I try to remember the turning point. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to put my finger on one specific event or moment that changed it all. I had such lofty plans for myself. I had such hope. And now, all I can do is wonder how I became this puddle of depression and anxiety.
I was homeschooled almost my entire school career. I went to public school for kindergarten and first grade but things changed after that. Maybe that was it? I REALLY enjoyed public school I seem to remember.
Even being homeschooled, I did well. I tested out every year in the top 95 percent. Simply put, I did better than 95 percent of the kids tested at my grade level. I was so sure I'd be someone important and well paid once I ran away from home.
Was that my breaking point? Walking out the back door of McDonald's with nothing but my uniform at 18 years old? No, that couldn't have been it. I worked full time and enrolled in high school hoping to earn my diploma. I had a 4.0, walked to school and work and supported myself.
Was it having a baby out of wedlock at 19, giving her up for adoption and joining the army? Nope. That wasn't it. I scored so well on the ASVAB, I was promised almost 80k for college. I decided I wanted to jump out of airplanes in a dumb move on my part, but I committed. I was terribly out of shape but I found out I could get into shape quickly if I had someone screaming at a bunch of us in the rain.
Maybe it was getting raped and eventually discharged from the military because of PTSD and MST? No, because I knew I had survived something and I wouldn't be a victim forever. But it started getting REALLY hard to get out of bed. I started to have horrible anxiety over the smallest things.
I ended up in a rehab hospital for suicidal ideations. I never liked that term. I wasn't suicidal. I wanted to get the inside pain out, and the only way I knew how to do that was to cut myself.
At the hospital, I met another hurting army veteran and foolishly we thought we were in love and got married after only six weeks. Things were grand when we got pregnant almost immediately only to "lose" the baby at 11 weeks. After two miscarriages, my heart was born five weeks early in the winter of 2007.
Not long after that, we figured out we were not good together and got divorced rather amicably. Once again, I thought I had it figured out. I was medicated for depression, anxiety and insomnia. I worked two jobs, had my son 27 days a month and found love. I was doing great.
But it didn't last and this time, I fell further than I knew I could. My love brought another woman into my house. I moved out, stopped taking my medication. My PTSD and depression came back with a vengeance. I lost my job, my house, my car and finally, my son.
The only thing I did find was meth and heroin. There's nothing like the oblivion that comes along with being high out of your mind. I lost 30 pounds in less than a month. I went in and out of VA rehab hospitals a dozen times.
I figured it out though! I had to leave Arizona. I was slowly killing myself. And I was doing it quicker and quicker, I just knew it. So, I moved across the country, back home to Ohio. I decided to marry my first love.
That lasted less than eight months. I was clean off meth and heroin but I tried pain pills and he wasn't ok with that. He took me to the hospital across state lines and left me there. Finally, I found my way to Houston.
Once there, I started school again. I tried going to church. I pretended to look for a job. But then, I was told I could be in my son's life, but it was their way or the highway. I thought I could do it. I tried. I fell more in love with my son and grew to adore my "step-daughter." But the environment was toxic and threatened my sobriety. So I left Arizona again.
Back in Houston, I started back to school. I met this crazy, funny, starting over marine corps veteran. I found a job with the help of the school. I stopped going to school once I figured out my health can't handle both work and school.
Now, I work 60+ hours a week. I come home to a beautiful apartment and puppy. My man works so hard to provide me with everything I need. I have begun to get to know my daughter I gave up for adoption. My son is coming around to talking to me again and I get to hear about my stepdaughter daily.
I wanted so much more for myself. I planned on being so important and rich. I'm not even close to either of those things, but I'm ok with it. I've come a LONG way and I'm learning to be grateful for that.
I still can't pinpoint the time that threw off my entire life though.