Every person cracks, sooner or later.
[Trigger Warning: Attempted Suicide and Drug Use]
This time last year, I was a raging, drug-addled alcoholic who had to go to rehab.
At 26 years old, of course it never crossed my mind that in my straight-A, comfortable, very privileged life that something like that would happen, or that I would let myself fall that far down into hole, one which to be honest I am still trying to crawl out of, with the help of my wonderful family and a few true, good friends.
I remember last year that I was pushing onto the final year of my paid internship at my father’s friend’s law firm, and how quickly that led me down a path of sketchy people dressed in fine garments, drugs disguised in candy wrappers, and alcohol that always seemed to find its way into my hand even when in my mind I vehemently did not want a drink at whichever function we had to appear at.
So a few drinks and a hit every other night at work led to me bringing the attitude home, and my family, at least I thought, were none the wiser.
I had expectations to fulfill, so of course I need to take the edge off, I would tell myself.
I need to stay up longer to finish the readers the attorney sent in, I thought, as I took another snort.
And the smiles, pats on the back, and congratulations that always came my way became the ultimate high, although unknown to me at the time, I had begun to crumble.
The desire to never disappoint were oddly enough the reasons I had unconsciously started to turn to these destructive habits, and I fought so hard to never let the people around me see that the shell I build for myself —- the attentive, alert, resourceful, perky and smiling accomplished future lawyer— was starting to fall apart little by little.
It was on Christmas, fittingly enough, when the decorations I festooned on my dying self fell off. I got drunk at the office kitchen and was in the middle of a bad high too, found the little knives we kept, and in my delirium, swung at an elderly partner of the firm.
He made it out okay, but of course I didn’t.
I was told that after I achieved a state close to calm, they called my father and told him what had happened, and that he had to pick me up.
The car ride home was excruciating; seeing his stern, disappointed face. When we got home, I had to face that of my mother’s too, so I ran to my room and took out a box cutter.
The next few weeks were a blur of doctors, tests, and shivering so hard I thought my insides would fall out.
When I was healthy enough to go out of hospital and rehabilitation, of course I routinely met with therapists, but found that none of my old ‘friends’, the people I did drugs and drank with, would want to associate with me, lest of course they be suspected too.
I was at my lowest and broken.
But as the months trudged on, more and more people who I haven’t been paying attention to met with me, my old childhood and college friends would turn up at home with meals, and my best friend, who I had severely mistreated would even come around to do my laundry on the days I did not have the will to get out of bed because I felt like a shitstain on the world.
It was exhilarating to be loved, cared for, to be vulnerable.
I found that it was okay to let other people see me defeated, because those who truly cared would not only pick up my pieces, they would brush it off for me too.
I found that when I broke, I had let the light in, and it is filling me up.