Thursday, May 17, 2012

Set An Example

"You Can't Kill Yourself....You Have Twitter Followers Now"

I haven't blogged in a week because I've been digesting what's happened. Last Wednesday, I was invited to a Middle School to talk to students about my life and offer hope that they can overcome child abuse, eating disorders, depression...etc. I talked with a lot of students, had my heart broken, and I walked away thinking that I'd done some good.

My stuff, in a somewhat neat stack
I returned to the basement that night, after being so excited about the difference I was making, and found that several of the girls had already friended me on Facebook, followed me on Twitter, e-mailed me...I returned the e-mails, pitched my author page on Facebook to them, and went to sleep happy. I was making a difference.

Thursday, I woke up, in the basement. I was cold, cranky, and not wanting to move. The happiness faded. I looked around the area and my stuff was surrounding me like a prison cell. I got off the couch, and my back and leg hurt because of the way Baxter was sleeping on me. I did an interview with one of the girls as an author, things I've learned, advice to give to aspiring young authors (still the whole Don't Give Up! business)...But something started eating at me. I went to the post office, ran other errands, and got gas. At the pump, someone from the Advertiser Democrat interviewed me, so I'm in the paper today for an opinion column.

But the more I evaluated my life, the more I started feeling like a hypocrite.

Friday, I went to work. My knees hurt, I got frustrated with small things, and thought, Who am I kidding? Who am I to be talking to girls about having hope? I live in a f#$ing basement! I get paid a little above minimum wage, with a college degree. I have bills that I can barely pay...

Then the thought hit me; I have a college degree. I can do anything I want. 

Bone crushing fear took hold of my heart, I can't fail. 

It is no longer an option for me.

If I'm depressed, if something bad happens, I cannot kill myself now. Why? Because I met these incredible girls who look(ed) up to me. If I relapse, all this hope that I've been spewing will be complete bullshit to them. Keeping myself alive, keeping me going now is the only choice I have. (That whole Practice What You Preach Business.)

More of my crap. I need to downsize.
I can't mess up, can't turn to drugs, or liquor, and homelessness. All of those things are failures. Now, because I said I'd come speak to a middle school, I have to do something with my life.

This is a lot to live up to.

Last week, I received rejection letters, I didn't get the job at the vet clinic I'd applied to. I am still broke, frustrated with life, living in my friend's basement, and constantly on the cusp of giving up.

But, I don't, and I haven't, because now, I can't.

Since these epiphanies, my sister has mentioned Teach for America, as well as supporting me no matter what. I'm considering applying, but I don't know what will happen between then and now. After speaking with these girls, I do know that I want to do something that can actually affect people and start creating change and hope. (Yes, writing novels can do that, but I'm not published yet, so until I am, I need a back up plan!)

Yesterday, I went back to the school and had the girls start their own Boards of Inspiration. The idea is that this board will have happy things, things that when they're sad, will help them get through the hard times; uplifting or funny quotes, pictures, inspiring words. I walked around the room, and saw several of them were putting TWLOHA pictures on their boards, and my heart flew (I wore their shirt to speak on the first day. Yesterday, I wore a Boycott BP shirt :) ).

A lot of the girls seemed really happy to see me, and I felt blessed to be back.

When I left, I went to Claire's, dropped off some food, and then went to my UNE manager's house. It was his 18th wedding anniversary, and they fed me lobster. His wife asked why I was asked to speak at the school, and I told her about my hospitalization, my eating disorder, my depression. She looked at me point blank and said, 'You had an eating disorder?' and I answered,  'Yes. Your husband was one of the people to help pull me out of it.'

When I left, they told me that they were proud of me, and if I need any help getting a place to live financially, they'd help me, no questions asked.

So here's what I've come to conclude. I'm not full of bullshit. I struggle with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder every day of my life. Each night that I fall asleep without hurting myself is a victory. Each morning I wake up, is another day to influence people, to be a role model. I have scars on my leg, and wrist, but I try every day to push through. I won't tell them that life will be easy, because I, and most people know that THAT is a lie. Instead, I'll tell them that they can get through anything, because they can, and I am living proof of that.
Yay for being happy!

Thus, I've decided that I'm sick of living life the way I've been, it's time to start making changes. I moved to Maine to find happiness, and at Sunday River, I found it. Now, it's time to start making a difference. It's time to start being someone that truly deserves to be looked up to. I told Claire last night that while these girls may think I made a difference in their lives, they've completely changed mine.

First things first, find a place to live.


  1. What a brave and inspiring post--and a lot of people need inspiration...sounds like your calling might just be something that helps others while allowing you to grow as well. Awesome :)

  2. Congrats! That was a wonderful post and I feel like you are going to go on to do wonderful things!! We all just need a little direction before we can act. You are totally headed in a beautiful direction!! Keep it up!

  3. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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