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  • I used to keep a box of mixed pills on my dresser for a while when I was in high school. Gradually, I would take a few from whatever bottle I found in the "medicine cabinet", which in my home was really just a shelf in a cupboard in our kitchen. If my memory serves, it was this very box I still have today.

    I used to gradually take a beer here and there and put it into the crisper bin of the second refrigerator, thinking one here and there would go unnoticed. While I did, at times, take from this collection and sneak out to a party, the purpose wasn't entirely for fairly innocent high school drinking - I didn't actually like beer back then after all.

    This was all to provide myself with the option out. I was severely depressed between the ages of 15 and 16, but I hid it quite well. Between 16 and 17, things weren't so bleak to ensure I had a plan ready, but that's when I started the cutting. My parents chalked it up primarily to teenage difficulties in child rearing, I think. My friends didn't seem to know much of anything until I started talking about it much later. The thing about that age is that all around you are pretty self absorbed and things like this can be easily hidden if you just try a little. The cutting, well, that isn't that hard to hide when you live in a place that has real winters.

    I remember that night, the night I took some of the pills, but then got called up for dinner. My family was one that made a regular habit of dinners together most days of the week. If I remember correctly, it was just a bit before my 16th birthday. It was a day I swore I'd never forget, and I'm sure if I go back to some old journals I will find the date of April 7th in there... or maybe the 5th, but I can't remember which year exactly anymore. Funny, isn't it? I swore I would never forget.

    What I actually won't forget is this: I was so desperate to not be in this world anymore and just as I was about to actually do something about it, a family dinner, one I was very quiet through, but was still full of laughter from everyone else, made me realize I couldn't do this. I couldn't hurt these people in this way. There was enough hope that not hurting these wonderful people was purpose enough.

    These days, I would never change having gone through this as a teenager. It is a part of who I am, and it's something I've got to compare every other down moment to. As an adult, nothing I've been through has ever felt like that. If I got through those years where my own brain was my enemy, I can take anything else the external world gives me. I wouldn't give it back for anything.

    No idea why I thought about this today.... Haven't thought about it in quite some time. Even funnier perhaps, is that as I am about to save this, my dad calls to discuss what we should do with my backyard patio at the house I own 16 years beyond that night. Funny how life changes.
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