“You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there.” -Louis Cole
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t breathe? So many things happening in life at one time and just as you start to cope with one thing… BAM! Something else happens. The end of my sophomore year of high school, I felt like nothing was going right. I’d go to school and since I stuck up for someone I thought was a friend, I was hated by many. I actually remember the administration putting me in in-school suspension to keep me “safe” from all the people threatening to beat my ass. I put on a tough act, acted like I wasn’t scared but I was terrified. Then, I’d go home and get in trouble for any and everything. I remember my friends and I would take bets on when I would get grounded again. In my opinion, my brother was the picture perfect child and I felt like I was a monster. My mom had this idea in her head that because my biological mom was bi-polar, that automatically I was too. She actually took me to a psychiatrist, where I was formally diagnosed with ADHD disorder. Now, I’m not saying I was the poster child for what a “good kid” should be. I lied, I fucked up sometimes, and I argued, I definitely had some anger issues but I felt like I just acted the way most teenage girls act at sixteen. The day I felt like giving up was the day I was taken on a tour of a place for “troubled children” in Downtown Orlando. I felt like everyone had given up on me. My Mom wanted to move to Jacksonville with my brother and I found myself outside of work begging my Dad to take me in. Was I really this bad of a kid that my own parents gave up on me? If they had given up, then I should too right? Wrong.
No matter who we are, there is going to be a point in life where you feel like you’re suffocating. I tried to give up so many years ago but that wasn’t in God’s plan for me. After my last blog post about my attempted suicide when I was sixteen, I received an overwhelming amount of messages from people. Lots of “why would you do that?” and “if you ever need to talk I’m here.” See, the thing is if we’re humble and kind to at least one person every day then I really feel we can make a difference in someone’s life. Is that too cliché? Probably, but I don’t care. If everyone had at least one person to believe in them, one person who didn’t give up on them, then I think people wouldn’t want to give up on themselves so easily. I only say this because I’m living proof. My last two years of high school, I had Mr. McCaffrey. He was probably one of the few people who looked past my shitty behavior and saw me for the smart kid I was. Would y’all believe me if I told you I graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA? I enrolled in both summer and night school over the course of my last two years not because I was failing but because I wanted a higher GPA. Yea, I’m actually kind of smart but I would rather people think I’m just some goofy kid. The only reason I didn’t get any scholarships was because I was always in trouble, especially my junior year. Trying to cope with everything that occurred over the course of my sophomore year actually turned into me lashing out at teachers, talking back, walking out of class and not giving a fuck about anyone’s feelings. Probably not the best way to handle things but we all have our own coping mechanisms right? So for those of you I went to high school with, that’s why I was such a shit head those years and I’m sorry if I ever said or did anything to hurt you.
I don’t blame anyone for how I felt and sometimes, still feel, about the past. In reality, no one can really know what a person is going through if they don’t talk about it. That’s me. My Aunt often tells me I’m incapable of having emotion. When people are supposed to cry, I’ll try to cry but I can’t. When people tell me their issues, I have to try really hard to find empathy for them. Some people think I should blame my parents but my parents are good people. My Mom was one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. She worked three full time jobs to provide for my brother and I while my parents were separated. Her family is in Jacksonville which is why she wanted to move there because she had no one but Richard and I in Orlando. Trust me when I say, I was definitely a handful. My Dad has made his fair share of mistakes but one thing I know is he loves me. No one is perfect and in order to grow, we need to go through conflict so we can learn. Some of you may have gone through something similar where you feel like you’ve failed your parents, your family and your friends. You may feel you’re so deep in the water and you have no idea how to get to the surface. Trust me, I felt the same way. How did I get to the surface? When I started focusing on myself, I started to feel I could breathe again. When I went back to school my junior year, I didn’t give a shit about being popular or what people thought of me anymore. I got my grades up, I focused on work, and I focused on my end goal which at that time was graduation. Sure, I had a shit attitude and slick mouth but once you stop caring about the little things then you start to see the big picture. That’s how you get to the surface, that’s how you stop feeling so suffocated you can’t breathe, how you stop drowning in your problems and how you overcome obstacles. Something I’ve learned over the last few years is we can think about the past because it made us who we are today, but we shouldn’t necessarily feel sorry for ourselves because of the things we’ve been through. I believe God puts us in situations because they humble us, they make us realize there are people who are going through worse in the world and make us appreciate the things we have in life. It’s okay to feel suffocated sometimes but don’t ever give up on yourself. Until my next post, inshalla.