Stress warning: This post contains information about self-harming behavior, suicide attempts and depression that may be triggering to some readers. Please note this post is about my experience with mental health disorders and is not intended to diagnose that of others nor suggest actions for dealing with such. What has worked for me has done just that, and I hope that readers experiencing any of the disorders described in this piece will search for what works for them. I firmly believe self-harming is not the answer and that there is always hope.
I watched Super Bowl 50 alone in my bedroom. Wearing nondescript blue clothing, I sipped Pabst Blue Ribbon at a pace that would hopefully not alarm my mom downstairs and ate “party” food she had purchased for me from Walmart.
This was by design.
I used to think that people were too good for this town, but now I’m realizing that this town is too good for some of the people.
Growing up in Cañon City, I had an understandable laundry list of complaints: the old, staunchly conservative population; the lack of “cool” hangout spots (no mall, a defunct roller rink/laser tag/teen club/arcade); the sometimes claustrophobic small town feel; the economy largely supported by prisons and tourism; the seeming impossibility of being genuinely successful or accomplished here.
When I was 18, I wanted nothing more than to leave this place. Seven (holy shit) years later, I can’t bare the thought of leaving.
I’ve always been ridiculously good at getting other people to drink during Never Have I Ever. I had somehow missed out on so many typical life experiences that it basically became a party trick.
Approaching my 25th birthday, I decided to try to right some of those wrongs by creating a bucket list of 25 things to do before I hit that milestone. I celebrated my last birthday with any real benefits (hello cheaper car insurance and rentals) on November 7 of this year. Though I didn’t make it all the way through the list (some of them are still works in progress), it did push me out of my comfort zone and ensure that I would always have something new to try.
I’ve got the Arkansas River flowing through my veins. My heart beats at around 3,000 cubic feet per second. One rainfall and it’s at risk of being closed down to anything but private use.
I used to fight almost everything about this town. But life happened, and I didn’t seem to have much of a choice. My dream job turned out to be more of a nightmare. My future husband became my ex-boyfriend. My homey apartment was too expensive. My happiness seemed like maybe it was a lie all along.