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Why I Decided To Stay

I remember the day I started driving with the intention of not coming home. It wasn’t the same day that I said I would kill myself, because that particular day I just wanted to make a point. I was 18 years old and extremely lost.  I wasn’t alone, but I might as well have been.

That day started off like any other, boring and rushed. I worked from 6am to 2pm and went to school from 3pm to 9pm like every. single. day. It felt pointless. I felt pointless. I was going nowhere and everyone else around me was finding clarity. I had lost a couple things at this point in time and that resulted in me losing sight in myself.

I remember leaving school at 9pm and instead of going the normal way home, I drove in the complete opposite direction. I didn’t know where I was going, and I didn’t have to. I had a couple thoughts about running my car off the road and I was tempted to try it. I remember screaming with the windows down asking begging for a sign from the gods or whatever the fuck is up there for me not to do it. Nothing came. No clarity, no realization, no signs. I was going 90 mph and took a deep breath and came to a complete stop.

“Why am I doing this?”

“Why do I feel this way?”

“I need help.”

The drive home was relaxing. For once in my life, I wasn’t thinking about anything. The girl who is in a constant overload of thoughts finally has nothing to obsess over.

It took me a lot longer than a couple days to change my outlook. It started with small changes. I started writing every day, even if it was a sentence or two. Just to prove that I still had all of these thoughts rumbling around in my head and they had the potential to make sense at least a little bit. Writing became my safe place. It didn’t matter what happened to me that day because I knew that I could come home and write.

I applied to college that was far enough away from my hometown that I could come back when I wanted but still too far away for anyone to bitch at me. Things started to change, I started to change. Small steps created a happier Stephanie. I relapsed back into my old ways a couple times, which is normal. My life didn’t change overnight. It didn’t change in a week. It didn’t change in a month. Change wasn’t something I all of a sudden noticed when I brushed my teeth in the morning. I didn’t actually notice until a couple years later.

Its insane to think that I almost ended my life.

I think people forget that young adults are so vulnerable to the world around them. One hurtful word, one meaningless sentence, or one unnecessary argument can leave an 18 year old feeling lost and empty inside. Everyone hits that point where they don’t think they can go on. The real challenge is finding reasons to stay. I wrote a post called 100 Weirdly Happy Things, and if you’d like to take a look into my thought process and some of the reasons I chose to stay, please read (https://shamelessandnameless.com/2017/05/10/100-weirdly-happy-things/).

Fight the words, push through the doubts. You are amazing. You are intelligent. You can do anything you set your mind to. One day you’ll look back and be glad that you decided to stay too, I promise.

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