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Sometimes You Need a Semicolon by Valerie Dana - Trigger Warning

A lifetime of feeling alone and unwanted I sat in my apartment with a bottle of Captain Morgan and half a bottle of Klonopin. It was a little over two weeks after my ex had become my ex. A day forever etched in my mind even though the trauma still has me drawing a blank on most of that day.

As a result of the injuries, I had acquired that day I kicked my ex out, while my daughter was too scared to be with me. My black and blue eye with the broken blood vessel was enough to scare any seven-year-old. So she was with her grandma and leaving me alone in my thoughts. Surrounded by memories of the relationship that ended horribly. Facing the fact that I was about to forever be alone cause no one was ever going to want me. A lie that has been drilled in my head for years by him and other people.

So here I was left to get lost in my own mind. Surrounded by the memories of a love I could have fixed but failed. That’s something I was good at though, failing that is.

Failing could be a good thing, sometimes. That relationship was meant to fail. Just like I was meant to fail in what I was about to do. They were both lessons I needed to take with me to be able to help someone else later.

That night

It was a cool Sunday night in November. I was curled up on my second-hand five-piece barely standing sectional in gym shorts and t-shirt. The night started off bad when plans to hang out with someone had fallen through. Truly leaving me alone to reflect on the fact that it will probably be forever this way. No one wanted me. No one would ever want me. Demons I have struggled with all my life. Demons that know how to come out and fight me at my lowest. Echoing in my head: No one loves you. You’re worthless. No one will ever want to be with this broken pathetic weak woman.

The thoughts, the flood of memories, the loneliness, they all started winning. Always knowing just what to say to break me when I was already down. This time I was going to do it right, or so I thought.

My past failures had proven that using a knife wasn’t the way. I just ended up with another scar on my arm from the failed attempts. This time was different though. That bottle of Captain had a lot of promise, especially when you can chase a few Klonpin with a shot.

Amidst my little cycle, I managed to find some time to update my status on Facebook. I was telling everyone that after everything I was done with it all. Couldn’t deal with all this pain and loneliness any longer.

All night I had people commenting and even as my responses became less and less coherent no one actually did anything. There were comments that someone should check on me, call me, anything. No one did. It wasn’t until my mom got off work the following day that anyone actually checked on me.

My mom showed up to find her daughter barely coherent. She was taking me to the ER the choice was with her or by ambulance. I picked her, so still in my gym shorts and a tee-shirt in the middle of November, I threw on my flip flops and walked out the door. I was aware I was going to the hospital. I just don’t think I knew the severity of the situation.

I didn’t understand until I woke up in ICU with my system flushed. They kept me in ICU overnight to make sure my kidneys and liver were in the clear of system failure. Which was very close to happening when my mom brought me in. If my mom had waited any longer though the outlook might not have been the same.

When the Doctor’s felt I was in the clear to be transported I went to another local hospital better equipped for dealing with psych patients. I was looking at a 72-hour hold to think about what I did.

What had I done?

I know now that it was selfish. There was a little girl that needed me. Her father was incarcerated for the next eight years at least and his family was inactive in her life. Without me, she wouldn’t have either parent when she needed them the most. Not to mention little girls need their mothers. Even though I feel I have never been the best mother, though I tried my hardest. Knowing her mother left like that would have made things a lot worse.

At the time my brain was in tunnel vision. The bigger picture wasn’t coming in clear and I doubted it ever would. Not to mention I hadn’t learned the coping skills I needed to move past this type of episode.

At that point, there was such a large part of me that just wanted this all to be over. I was ready for it to be over. All my life I had struggled with depression. As a result of that, I had struggled with years of cutting myself. My arms and legs are covered with battle scars, each offering their own story.

Here I was a 27-year-old single mother ending yet another failed relationship and starting to feel destined to be alone. There was really nothing going for me. Couldn’t hold down a good job and couldn’t excel any further in any of the jobs I was in without a degree.

College was a double failure, so the possibility of completing and getting and a decent job didn’t seem likely. I was destined to struggle living paycheck to paycheck, using government subsidiaries to help ease the pay where it could. It was nowhere close to what I had imagined for myself as a little girl growing up. Not even a little.

The worst part was the fact that I was trying to raise a little girl and failing miserably at that. Failed to be enough for her father, he ended up leaving two weeks after she was born. Then the next serious guy I bring into our lives is an abusive druggie who left this recent broken shell of a woman. What kind of example was I to my daughter? What kind of mother was I to let all this go on around her? Maybe she would have been better off without me.

The more I drank, the more these evil thoughts were able to seep in and break me down further. It was a vicious cycle I allowed myself to start that night in my already weakened state of mind.

Drinking did nothing to help the situation. It never really does. It’s a depressant, so if you start drinking when you’re already depressed chances are you going to make things worse. Yeah, you may wake up the next morning and forget the crappy night, but it happened and you still need to deal with it.

Something else I couldn’t see that back then. Drinking helped me forget. It was easier to forget than to face it head-on. Confrontation and I never got along.

My story wasn’t over yet

The thought of being on a 72-hour hold terrified me. I was already depressed. I knew I needed help. It was the thought of staying locked in for 3 days with strangers. Some new and scared just like me. Some of them were repeat offenders, unable to get a grasp on their mental illness.

My roommate was there for her first time too which made it a little less scary. We were there for each other. She even became a good friend that I have been unable to lose touch with since our stay together. Our stay allowed us both to blossom into something beautiful. We still have our struggles but we are able to handle them a little more rationally.

I did go back to that psych ward a couple more times but they were on my own accord. I was able to recognize that I was getting bad mentally and needed emergency help that only a 72-hour hold could offer. Those stays weren’t as scary and I knew just what to expect while there.

All of this was just part of my training though to get me to where I am now. Everything happens for a reason. This is my reason. My story isn't over, but it could have been. I want others to know that they are not alone either.

Let me tell you, even though you feel alone, you really do have friends and family out there that love you and don't want to live in a world that doesn't involve you. Just because they are not there or talking to you every waking second, does not mean they are not thinking about you and praying for you. I still struggle with this daily.

No one should ever feel that alone. No one should have to feel like their only option in this world is to opt out.

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