Five Years.

I was nineteen, and it was Thursday.

The Summer Set’s “Papercut” was playing on repeat in the background, and it was one of those days where nothing was really wrong, but it just felt like the worst day ever. Daddy’s 10-year mark of his deathiversary was coming up that Sunday, and I honestly just couldn’t deal. I didn’t feel connected to any of the friends that I had, I couldn’t stand where I was, I couldn’t stand who I was. I just felt like I was in a lose-lose situation.

I remember seeing that Aaron Carter was playing a comeback show in Philadelphia, and at that moment, all I wanted was to go back to the city of Brotherly Love that I was forced to leave after three weeks, because I was irresponsible and lost all of my documents. It was during those three weeks that I felt like I was starting to understand who I was and the things I wanted to achieve (Boy, was I wrong), and so when my mom said I couldn’t go visit, I just blew it.

It sounds so stupid that I just blew it over not being given permission to go to a concert, but it was so much more. I wanted to leave the shell of the life that I had in Arlington. I wanted to erase the ugly memories that my dad had instilled into my life. I wanted to escape.

I felt so worthless. I felt like nobody actually cared about me. I felt like if I disappeared, the world would just continue spinning, people would just continue to do what they were doing, it didn’t even matter. I didn’t even matter.

So that night, I tried to escape in the way that I thought was best and would hurt the least. I found a bottle of extra strength Tylonel in the medicine cabinet, and I swallowed in two swallows the entire contents. All 40 capsules of the bottle.

I knew suicide wasn’t the answer, but at that moment, that wasn’t on my mind. In the least dramatic way as possible, I thought that it would be what was best for everybody. I wouldn’t be the person that people had to worry about anymore. I wouldn’t be the person that people had to come up with excuses for anymore. I wouldn’t be the person that that people even had to think about anymore. The world could carry on without me.

Once I swallowed the pills, the world around me stopped, or at least, go in slow motion. But also in a weird sense, the rest of the night was somewhat of a blur. I remember tweeting the word “f o r t y,” thinking it was my private twitter. (Surprise, it wasn’t.) I remember picking up Lexi’s phone call and saying the word “Tylonel.” I remember her showing up and then somehow arriving at the hospital. I remember being forced to drink liquid charcoal and realising I had an allergy to Zofran. I remember being pushed through the emergency room to my own private room, and I swear the show “Scrubs” is so real. (JD and Turk high-fived above my bed, and Lexi confirmed that two male doctors did do that. Either she was lying to make me feel better or it happened. I’m betting on the latter.)

By the end of that weekend, countless people had come to visit me. Countless phone calls and text messages had come in. Countless people had prayed for me. It was such a weird situation. People that I didn’t know cared about me actually cared about me. The encouragements showered over me were words that I never thought anybody could describe me with. When I left the hospital a few days later, I slowly had begun to realise my worth, my purpose, and my value.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t until Mary texted me earlier tonight with a screenshot from her Timehop from five years ago that I had even remembered that this was even an event in my life.

My whole past seems surreal. A lot of it doesn’t feel like it’s actually happened. It feels like they’re just stories that I once read in a weird book that sorta come up when I get asked to share bits of my testimony, and though life is still sometimes pretty hard, I can’t believe that I have the life that I have now.

I’m currently sitting at the Clitheroe flat with Meredith, Leon, and Haley, and I just had chili mac a la Haley, buttered popcorn a la Meredith, and I beat everybody at Monopoly. (I had 9 $500 bills and 11 motels… Suckers.) I’ve laughed, I’ve smiled, I’ve even touched Leon’s feet through his socks just to be a weirdo. And I honestly couldn’t ask for anything too much better.

These past five years have been crazy. So much has happened. But by the grace of God, I’m here, I’m alive, and for the most part, I’m happy.

Nowadays, I get to spend the majority of my days, talking about Jesus, in a weird island of a country with young people in a team of people I can call my friends. I get to read out of that weird book called my life to others when I get to tell them about how God crushed the darkness and despair in my past just to show other people how He could make me, the most annoying, most selfish, most unbearable person in the world, be a light and how He could do that in other’s lives too. I get to spend my days praising Him and loving people. How cool is that?

Sunday will be the fifteen-year-mark of my dad’s death, and it’s the first year that I can remember where I’m not dreading it. It helps me to understand that I’m forgiving, that I’m growing, and that that person doesn’t define me because it shouldn’t define me.

I am now twenty-four, and it is Thursday. (Okay, it’s now past 1AM, so it’s Friday.)


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