As I was driving, I started thinking about where I was actually going to go. Los Angeles had always been the dream and although the idea of going straight there was enticing, I realized I had very little money and things could go bad very easily. It didn’t take long for me to decide the smart thing to do would be to go and stay with my aunt and uncle. They lived in Vegas, which I knew was only about four hours from Los Angeles. Just by leaving in the first place, I realized that I was already taking a huge risk and stepping outside my comfort zone. I thought it might be smart to at least have a roof over my head while I picked up the pieces and put together my new life.
I kept driving, headed West and as soon as I had about four hundred miles between myself and my old life, I began calling my family. First I called my aunt to break her the news that I was on my way. She had always said that I was welcome there, but there was still a part of me that was nervous about how she would react. In the end, she was excited but also a little bit concerned. Let me explain.
You see, last November I spent seven days in a psychiatric hospital in Auburn Hills after I attempted to take my own life. That fall evening, I took a bottle of 30 xanax, .5mg each. I also drank about two bottles of wine, and took 30 trazodone, 50 mg- just incase. Luckily, someone I hold very dearly to my heart sensed that something was wrong with me and drove 40 minutes from her work to my apartment to see if I was okay. She found me unresponsive and completely pale, passed out on the couch in my living room. She called 911, and an ambulance came and took me to University of Michigan hospital, which is where I would wake up some eighteen hours later.
As you can imagine, that entire experience was extremely difficult for both me and my family. No one knew what to say, no one saw it coming. Everyone felt guilty and everyone was worried about me. I was mostly numb. I cried a lot, even after I got “better.” I felt lost most of the time and always alone. Not alone in a healthy way. Alone in the sense that I felt like I may never find where I felt like I truly belonged.
So when my aunt got this phone call from me, she was ecstatic but also fearful. The thing is, I felt exactly the same way. But the reason I never turned around was because for the first time in I don’t even know how long- I felt like I was back in the drivers seat of my life. The only other time I could remember feeling that way was the night in November when I drove my car to the scene which I decided would be the final act of the story that was my life. This time, it was a different kind of control. I wasn’t giving up anymore. I was giving in- to everything I had buried over the course of twenty five years. That day, I wasn’t driving to my death. I had just started living.