“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Another day in this place, reciting this line with the group. They say if I open up with the group, the sooner I get to go home. As I listen to all the other teens’ issues with drugs and such, I feel like mine wasn’t that bad and I would be so out of place if I shared it. I could almost here the others mumbling among themselves, “Listen to her, she thinks she has it bad… she is hideous. Why is she even here, she did it all for attention.” This played over in my head, you know, that other voice that speaks to you and reminds you how worthless you are and makes you feel ashamed.
It was May of my junior year in high school. My sister, my boyfriend and I all planned on skipping the day of school and just hanging out at Dad’s house. I was scheduled to work that evening at Kroger so I figured I could still go to work, making it look like I had been to school. We parked the car in the barn so noone would know we were there. We hung out and did nothing important all day. I think the thrill of skipping school was enough.
It had only been eight months since the accident, I still struggled to care about being here… this life. So I had risky behavior and continued teetering the thoughts of wanting to kill myself so I could be with Ryan. At that time in life I didn’t understand much about God or heaven, so I believed, even if i took my life into my own hands that would get me to Ryan. Plus, I was angry with God because He didn’t let me go with Ryan, but instead, I was left here to suffer such pain and despair having no idea who I really was.
I went to work at Kroger, by the time I had to clock in a few hours later I get called to the office and the lady behind the counter said my mom was on the line. My heart sunk, I knew I had been caught. I spoke with her…actually she did the speaking and I listened, I knew my ass was grass. She told me she would handle me when I got home.
I walked into the house and went straight to my mom’s room as she laid on her bed waiting for my arrival. I stood there knowing that I was full aware of my careless actions. She spatted off many words in anger, and then spoke, “Get out of my face, I’m tired of looking at you.” I know, as a mother, she was angry for what I had done along with all of life’s other hardships so I probably topped it off. I have also found myself, as a mother, stressed and at my limit, almost saying the same thing to my kids.
As the teen in this circumstance, my mental stability was not where it should have been and I took those words back to my bedroom with me. I didn’t leave them in her room, I picked them up and packed them away in my mind. I lay on my bed, grabbed my bottle of Paxil and took one pill. Then those words I took with me spilled out all over in my mind. I could feel the desperation of not liking it here, not caring anymore, and wanting to be where Ryan was so I took a couple more. I began to shed my emotions and finished the bottle. I lay my head down on my pillow and feel asleep.
With the alarm clock ringing, I opened my eyes in a panic, noticing how my stomach was in severe knots. I tried to get out of bed but the stomach pain overtook me. I laid there wondering what to do next. I forced myself out of bed and looked in the mirror. I was shocked at my own sight. My eyes were dilated and I looked like I had just seen a ghost. My mind went rushing, how was I supposed to pull this off like it never happened. I feared telling my mom, my plan wasn’t to be here to wake up, but instead God didn’t even want me (so I thought).
With every ounce I had in me, I began to head to her bedroom. I tapped her and said her name, “Mom” but she didn’t wake up, “Mom”. She opened her eyes and flew forward. “Stacy K, what did you do? Tell me what you did!” as she is getting out of bed and throwing her clothes on. I told her I took my antidepressant pill in the dark and took too many. She asked me how many I took. I said a couple. She repeated the question until she received a more accurate answer. “I took 5 or so.” I honestly took about 20.
Once at the emergency room, they examined me and said the medicine had sat to long in my system so pumping my stomach wouldn’t do anything. They moved me to ICU to keep a close eye on me while having me drink apple juice and liquid charcoal. Every time the nurse would walk in she would be holding two plastic cups, one with a straw and one without. She would give me a sip of the juice then rotate the cups and I would drink as much of the liquid charcoal as I could stomach, then back to the apple juice to help wash it down.
A few days later I was released with the condition I would go directly to Koala Center for inpatient treatment. I pleaded that I learned my lesson and didn’t need to go, of course, I was the minor so it didn’t matter what I said, I needed treatment. I sat in my room, writing letters to my friend and family and I can’t see out the window because its not made of glass, I can’t have anything that would allow me to harm myself so I was limited. I hated it there, with the understanding I wasn’t supposed to enjoy it. It took me about a week to open up to the group and talk about the accident. I received a lot of out pouring through love and concern from all the kids in that group. I was shocked. Maybe they did care about me, maybe they did understand how I was feeling regardless of the relevance in all of our testimonies, we all came to the understanding pain is pain. Pain does not discriminate, it is free for all.
One week and a couple days later, I was picked up by my mom and returned home. I felt better than when I arrived but still left confused, not understanding my purpose to this life. I just wanted to go home, crawl in my bed, turn up my music and cry. Ryan still wasn’t going to call me, wouldn’t be coming by to hang out, and I had to return to school again, alone. When will this stop?
They always said, “Time will ease the pain.” I hated hearing that with a passion. When someone tried to encourage me with that response I felt as if they didn’t understand the pain, the darkness, the longing, the emptiness, the worthlessness, the huge hole inside my heart.
I am here today to remind you that as low and dark as one can go. Time really does heal the pain, but it’s not time alone. It’s serving others, sharing your story and reaching out to the ones who think they need it the least as well as the ones who know they need it the most. Make your pain count for something. That is your purpose through this!
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen”