Eyes Open

Four years ago, I didn’t know anyone who had committed suicide. Today I’ve lost count. I recently read the statistic that 1 and 7 people who have known someone to commit suicide, will commit suicide themselves. In other words- Myself, you or the person next to you could be next. Does that not scare the shit out of you?

After my accident ten years ago, so much has changed. Most things out of my control. I laid everything out on the table last year. I had friends walk out of my life as if I was nothing. Their problems were bigger than mine. All the judgement. My own family not wanting to understand, rightfully so. No one thinks the same. Now that time has passed, I see why people react the way they do. And why I react the way I do. We are all molded by something in our past that has made us stay comfortable in our own ways.

I don’t blame anyone for ever hurting me. I blame myself for letting others control my feelings.

If I would have known that facing my fears of depression would flip my world upside down, I would have just kept to myself. I know I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. We are programmed to keep it all in and keep moving. Sometimes we need to take the time to heal the past and the present before we can move forward.

Being the girl that feels too much, I am always questioning my own worth. I’m either ‘too much’ or ‘not enough.’ I know things take time and clearly I’m not ready for all the BIG things I have been asking for out of life.

“He who loses Faith; loses all.”

I take things day by day. Some would say I’m selfish or even ignorant for feeling the way I do some days, when I have it so good. Others would say they had no idea I even felt such hurt. I used to hide it so well. For some reason over the years, I’ve let it be written all over my face.

I often wished that one day my past wouldn’t define who I am. But in reality, it is who I am and what I am becoming. The more I am true to myself and to others, the world is becoming more clear.

I have made my way back to working in a world that I am passionate in. Healing and helping others. I know I may question my worth, but at the end of the day, I know what I bring to the table. I was raised to be a good person, and that I know I am. I stand up for what I think is right or wrong. I celebrate the good. I get mad and let down when things go wrong. I am human. I hold myself and everyone to much higher standards than most. If I didn’t, my circle wouldn’t be so great.

The best part about my story, I am able to speak on it. I’m not afraid of it. Some days may be a struggle to get out of bed but I am able to grow everyday from something that happened so long ago. My father always told me back then that in tens years all of it wouldn’t matter, I wish I could say he was right. I’m lucky enough to have had someone as optimistic as him by my my side. I became a different person over night. I might not think the same, look the same, feel the same but my soul stayed pure.

The last few months have been life changing to say the least. The people i surrounded myself with have really shown me what life is. What I’ve been missing. Like my best friend who I walked out on a year ago because things got too hectic and I was selfish. I was welcomed with open arms a year later, that’s a true angel. The ones who forgive you when you can’t forgive yourself are the ones we need. There is so much good going on right now, so many changes, it’s hard to stay mad or fixated on something I know I can’t control.

I have found myself again through writing and sharing my trail and errors with all of you. All the love that is thrown my way can not be ignored. From sweet text checking in on me to random people encouraging me to keep going. It’s all right in front of us, we just have to open our eyes.

Dedicated 

I’ve sat here for days wondering where I should even start. The words are there. They just won’t come out. 

I’m not really sure when I knew the truth. But I knew. I always have.  

“People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

You know that gut feeling you get when something bad is about to happen? I’ve talked about it before. Fight of flight. In every relationship, in the past my first instinct was to run. And I always have. Getting attached again and having the possibility of what happened before, happen again, wrecks my well-being just thinking about it. 

I’ve tried multiple times to open up. I get to a certain point and for some reason, my brain just goes into over load. Maybe half the shit is made up- but the other half. It’s real. I’ve lived it. And most of you have too.
 
When we first met, you were a mystery. It’s been 2 years- and I can still say I hardly know you. You told me you would never hurt me like everyone else has. Friends or more than friends. You crushed me. You were so predictable. You did exactly what I said you would do. Maybe I talked it into being- Or maybe that’s just what you truly stand for and I knew it all along. 

Why I ever let myself get lost in the chaos of another unfaithful friendship- relationship. I’ll never know. I must be reaching for something I never got in the past. 

You left me sitting there. Crying. Shaking. So many questions left unanswered. That you actually had the answers to.. To coward to tell me in person. You text me after you left- Giving me the truth I wanted. The truth I deserved all along. 

After two years, I thought I knew you a little better than that. But as I said, “It’s always easy to move on when you have someone waiting for you.” You got so defensive. Why? If this is something you actually wanted- To leave- To finally win this battle- You won. 

My only regret, is opening up to you. Letting you into my life as IF we had a future. Bringing you around my family and friends. Telling you every detail of my life and everything going on around me, thinking you weren’t judging. Truth always comes out. 

‘Sometimes we know why things happen, other times it takes awhile to set in. When the truth hits you- The strongest thing to do is accept it. You can’t force anybody to appreciate what you have to give. And not everybody will recognize what makes you special. But they’ll feel the difference when you’re no longer around.’

I started believing that everyone else in my life was bad for me, but you. That was my mistake. I knew better. This whole time you were telling me that my friends weren’t true to me or my life. In reality, they were quietly cheering me on from the sidelines. I feel whole again having them back in my life. Not only do I have my friends back, they won’t let me fall again. 

You taught me to stay true to what I believe in. I know what I want and need out of any relationship. I’ve been to rock bottom, I didn’t want to go back- You knew that and you still took me there. Thank you. It’s all up from here. 

‘We are on our own personal journey seeking our own truth. Sometimes we take things too personal. In order to grow as a soul, you have to come to an understanding that no matter what someone else has done to you, no matter who you wish them to be, people are who they are. They less you expect from them, the less you can be hurt by them.’

You dropped me with no intent on picking me up. That’s fine. This is where I pick myself up and move the fuck on. What I do best.

I really hope you’re happy. 

Dear Mom, 

You know that feeling you get right before you get in an accident, or almost get hit? That life or death feeling, that may choose you in that moment. As horrible and awful of a feeling or thought that may seem- it’s real. And people live their lives feeling this way. Every. Single. Day. 

Disclaimer: I did name this ‘Dear Mom’- That doesn’t mean it’s directed at my Saint of a Mother, by any means. There’s a ton of people in my life- who may or may not know the things that are about to spill from my heart. 

I was rudely awakened last Sunday to the fact that my own parents don’t really know their only daughters real struggles. Crazy to think when- I talk to mom every day. She is someone I consider my best friend. My dad- he’s always busy with work and he’s had a lot of back surgeries (9 to be exact) so when he gets time to nap, he does. I don’t like waking him, so I try not to call him too often. But yet- I have no problem calling him at 2 AM if I’m in trouble somewhere. You know how it works. 

I gave myself my own intervention, I asked my parents to talk and I opened up. I told them about my depression and how it was slowly taking over my life. I told them everything. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I felt as if I was living a lie. Can you imagine the weight lifted off my shoulders? Probably not. But it was massive. I’ve been wanting to speak to my parents on that level for a few years now. We’re all on our own timeline too, learned that. 

With that being said, I suffer from severe depression. Some days I don’t even know how I make it out of bed- I get home from work and everything is a blur. Other days, I don’t even try. I just stay in. I wish it was appropriate to put a BEWARE sign on my door or even something to send out a text alert to my friends/family or anyone who might text me that day. That’s the real world stuff we need to be thinking about.

Most days- I feel doesn’t understood. My mom own mother doesn’t understand sometimes. She still makes comments to me about my relationship and all the mistakes I made- she ‘warned’ me about them all. Because she knew better. Maybe she did. But I was 18. Does anyone listen to their parents when they are 18? My heart bleeds when she throws stabs at me like that. It’s then- When I realize she just don’t understand exactly what I’ve been through. She isn’t the only one though. I have friends who constantly remind me- ‘The pain we bare, is pain we bring on ourselves.’ I try to keep those people at a distance. I didn’t ask to be this way. I never asked for any of this. I know people who have it way worse then I do, and they didn’t ask for that neither.

“No matter how hard we try to escape it, you’re the only you there is, so you might as well be true to your heart.”

The last few months I have been going through a lot of self-observation. I went to a therapist for the last year- every two weeks, if my schedule let me. 

I learned a lot about myself and who I am as a person. I learned I am a lot Stronger- Mentally. Physically. Emotionally- than I ever thought I was. The sad part is- Some how- some way- my brain doesn’t let me remember all the great things about myself that I should. We aren’t all programmed that way. The last ten years, I have gone from one shit storm to the next- No slowing down. I honestly have lost site of what is good and what is bad in people. I have gone through many shitty relationships/friendships. I’m exhausted. Who is fake? Who is even real anymore? Why do people put time and effort into someone just to drop them the next day for the better looking match on one of their 10 dating apps. Get a life. 

Since we are being honest here. Unloyaltly, is all I know. I continuously put myself through dirt for people. At the end of the end, it’s my mistake. I knew better, every time. 

About three years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD- Ummm? What does that even mean?? I thought people who only went to war could have PTSD- Or at least that is how it is often viewed. Little did I know that the ‘trauma’ from my accident is still hiding deep inside of me. The look on people’s faces when I tell them I was diagnosed with such a thing is probably the same look you might of just had. Some know the real meaning behind those 4 letters- and the others will learn on their own.

Like I’ve said before- Everything I had ever known growing up was flipped upside down, shattered, in a matter of minutes. No pun intended.

I am not ashamed to admit that I still have problems from an accident that happened 10 years ago. It was HUGE then. And it’s still big now. To all of my old friends who blew it off as if it was nothing, here’s a big ‘FUCK YOU’ — I don’t expect anyone to understand. It changed my life as an nine-teen year old kid. It’s still changing my life today.

And for the record. I didn’t sue anyone. So there’s that, to all you believers out there.

“Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.”

Like I told my mother, as I’m about to tell all of you, I wish I could go back and change everything. But I can’t. I can’t live off of her mistakes or anyone else’s- I have to make my own. As I’m sure I will continue to do so. All I can do is take her advice. I hope she understands that much. It’s not JUST because of him, Mom. It was my ‘friends’ who turned their backs on me when things got sour. It was nothing but hatred and betrayal from people I knew my whole life. People who know things about me that nobody else does. They all left. Half of them came back after learning the truth. Probably not even half. More like a handful. It all happened so quickly, but yet it still feels like yesterday.

Where I have come from, where I’m at now, is completely different from where I hope to be in the next ten years. I have battled a ‘salty’ heart for awhile now. Flight of flight, right? What’s it going to be? Call me selfish, but I’m going to fight for my own ego for awhile. All I can do is pray for a bright future- I know it’s waiting for me. Healthy Living. Happiness. And Growth. 

Once you realize you don’t get to choose which way life takes you, your days become a lot easier. 

“I’ve never met anyone else I’d rather be, and even if that’s a delusion, it’s a lucky one.”

B for Broken

“Suicide doesn’t end the pain. It passes it on to someone else.”

I’ve been going back and forth on what I should write about next. I feel like I have so many things I want share but the right words don’t come to mind. I read that quote last week and it really hit home. Right under the picture it was captioned ‘These words saved my life’ – I can’t even find the words to describe how I felt in that moment. 

I’m sure in my blogs you will read the phrase ‘I feel’ a lot. And let me tell you. I fucking feel. I feel way too much. My whole life I’ve been told “You care too much” .. Deep down all I’ve ever wanted to say is “Maybe you don’t care enough.”

I’d be lying if I said the thought of suicide never crossed my mind. Luckily, the thought alone leaves an unbearable feeling in my soul. Almost 2 years ago, I lost a friend to a self-inflicted wound. You never think it’s going to hit home until it’s too late. I am still to this day asking myself, Why? It’s a mistake, Right? Wake me up from this horrid dream. To talk yourself down from the ledge has to be one of the hardest accomplishments one can face. Clearly, not everyone is lucky enough to win that battle.

Depression can and it will take over your life. If you aren’t personally suffering yourself, you know of someone who is. It’s true when they say ‘Pain changes people’ – All too often we are judged and crucified for what we have been through. Or even what we have not.

I can count a handful of times I’ve been pushed away because I am ‘broken’ – Whatever the fuck that means. I too get confused on what the true meaning is.

Broken- (1) having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order (2) having given up all hope.

Although I have been fractured, I was thankfully bolted back together. And even though I’ve been damaged, I’m still here fighting for my place.

B gave up. He gave up hope. He gave up on his friends. His family. And most importantly, he gave up on himself. He was worth fighting for. He worked so hard. Day in and day out- He was the best friend anyone could ask for. I think back and it brings tears to my eyes knowing how much he was hurting. Obviously, a little extra that day. He let himself get lost in this nasty world and doubted all of us.

If I had the chance to speak to him today, I would tell him he isn’t the only one who feels defeated. I too have loved someone so much I wanted to die. I would tell him he was enough. I would thank him for always being there for me. I would tell him his past never mattered and remind him how far he had come. I would show him proof of how hard he always worked. I would tell him I was proud of him and that I love him. Most importantly, I would remind him of our God. I’ve been told he can save a dying soul.

If at any point I feel like slipping- I think of him. He is my constant reminder of life. I’ll never forget that morning. January 19th. I woke up at 3:45 on the dot. I knew something was wrong. I will never forget the feeling I felt or the size of the knot I had in my throat as I was grasping for the words of disbelief.

That moment your soul is rocked.

“Suicide is the only thing you can control in your life. That’s why it’s considered a sin. Because you’re beating God at his own game.”

Never under estimate the pain someone is feeling, we’re all struggling if you haven’t noticed. A heart does not turn cold unless it’s been treated with coldness.

“For sometimes you the break the things you love, and sometimes the things you love break you.”

The beginning of the middle of the story… 

For those who don’t know me my name is Mandee. And no- it’s not short for Amanda. I am not a writing major by any means. I don’t always use commons in the right places. I might miss spell words and use run on sentences but I do know the difference between there, their and they’re. That’s really all that matters these days. First and foremost, I have lived a life full of blessings. Along the way I have had a few questionable moments happen to me. Sure, we all have. But I have seen and been through things that would make anyone question humanity. For awhile now I’ve had people telling me I should write a book. Sick joke, I say. The more time that goes by, the thought of telling my story and my past manifest into an idea of acceptance. Something I have not come to terms with yet.

When I say past, I mean the last eight years of my life. Prior to June 28, 2008- I had lived a life any young girl would dream of. I grew up in a loving family. One older brother. Whom I was super close with except for the times when I shined bright on the annoying little sister part. Growing up I always knew I was different from the other girls. I always knew who I was. Who I wanted to be. Or at least the idea was there. As I’m sitting here typing this my heart starts beating a little bit faster when I think of how big my dreams once were. I used to think I was invincible and nothing was in my way.

On June 28th, 2008 my whole world was changed. In a matter of seconds. Myself and a group of friends had been hanging out at a friends house. We were throwing a ‘Welcome Home’ party for my friend who had been back-packing in Europe for a month. By group of friends- I mean friends who had known each other for over 10 years. Some longer. The bond we all once had was something that brings a smile to my face despite the mess we made. That night I was there without my boyfriend who I was with at the time. I had work the next morning and it was my bosses birthday. Around 12 AM- As I was walking out to leave- A few people hopped on the golf-cart to ride up to the front gate to let an old friend in. Someone who I had not seen in a long time. Instead of just leaving, I jumped on with them for a short adventure. We made it to the front- We also made to back to house- Instead of parking it- we kept going. As we were turning around- Someone yelled “my hat flew off’ – The driver jerked the wheel to the left. There was a bunch of loose gravel and an open ditch. The cart went off the road and ending up flipping over. Everyone was thrown off but me. I landed on all fours with my back holding up the cart. My friend lifted it off of me and I crawled out. I rolled over and laid on my back. I remember laying there in the first few seconds, adrenaline rushing. My first thought was wiggle your toes. Since it was dark all I can picture was the porch light that was on in the distance. I wiggled my toes and they moved! Do I even need to say that was the best feeling in the world? My legs! They work! I’m fine! I jumped up and walked home half a mile.

Within 20 minutes I knew something was wrong. I went to sit up like I had sat up the last 18 years of my life. I couldn’t move. My body was completely numb from my armpits down. My friend rolled me over and noticed bruising and swelling down my spine. The only word I can use to describe that feeling in that moment is fearful. I was scared. I was scared I was going to be late for work. I was scared my boyfriend was going to be mad at me. I was scared of what my parents were going to say. I called my mom and asked her to come pick me up- I assured her I was fine and that I just needed rest before work tomorrow. I reminded her that my dad need to come to drive my car home. By the time they got there I was completely stiff. My friends had to carry me out to the car. I remember the whole way to the ER I kept telling my mom to hurry up. As if she wasn’t already going as fast as she could. When we arrived they immediately rushed me in. Hooked me up to a bunch of IV’s. Within minutes I felt nothing. Morphine is one hell of a drug. After my CT scan and MRI they pulled my parents out of the room to show them the results. It was maybe a few minutes which felt like hours before they came back in.

When my parents walked in I noticed they were BOTH crying. That was the first time I had ever seen my father cry in all of my years. I muttered “What did I do?” – Neither one of my parents could talk. The nurse spoke up and shared the news that I had shattered my L2 vertebrae. “I what? What does that mean?” I was so shocked. Still am. They then explained exactly what my condition was. My L2 had shattered into my spinal cord. For some unknown reason it did not puncture it. I should have been paralyzed. Typing this brings tears to my eyes- as I am constantly reminded just how lucky I am.

For the next six months, my life had become something I never knew. I was having to depend on everyone in reach. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I felt trapped and I couldn’t understand why me?

I can now say I fully understand what it means when they say ‘It isn’t always the initial heartache, but what comes after that hurts the most.’

I not only had my ‘normal’ life taken away from me but I lost a lot of friends too. When you’re young, friends are life. You learn peoples true colors when times get tough. Everyone I ever knew growing up turned their backs on me. Everything I believed in was false. I felt like my life I once knew was just a dream and I was rudely awakened into a nasty hell. Stripped of my identity and forced to make my way with no guidance.

God has always made his faith very apparent in my life. I might have questioned his reasoning in my time of my pain but I never doubted him.

After my accident, I moved out and began a relationship with someone who I thought would be my husband and who I would start a family with one day. We were young and both still growing into who we are supposed to be today. We lasted for five strong years. Even though we had great times it was toxic to say the least. We were both fighting for something completely different. I was trying to find myself after losing everything- But the only thing I found was myself lost in him.

This last Wednesday, I was out and about in New Braunfels. I had some time to kill so I stopped by the river where I used to spend my days before the accident happened and where I met my ex. I had not been there in eight years. The feeling I got was so indescribable. I was talking to a friend and I said ‘it made me feel like one day i’ll be happy again.’ In that same breath I clicked over and read the words “Im going to be a dad.”

Ironic. Don’t you think? I believe in the good. And I believe in God. There is a purpose for me. I’m so close to finding it.

‘You defeat who wounded you when you choose not to be like them.’