All posts filed under: Survival Stories

What No One Tells You About Going Into the Hospital

After two and a half decades on this earth, I found myself strapped to a stretcher, my legs pinned down to keep me from kicking the cute EMT.  Maybe an hour before that, I was in the emergency room, hurling my guts into a trashcan while precious Nurse Marco wrapped me in warm blankets and filled my IV with the medicine I so desperately need.  Maybe four hours after the stretcher incident, I awoke to find one of my oldest Florida friends right by my side, tagging in for another friend who had previous obligations.  For the first time in my life, I was admitted into a hospital. And my family was states away.  But in those hours that are all now blurred together, I came out on the other side, incredibly grateful for surprising things, things no one ever told me about being in the hospital.  1. Make sure your undergarments are comfy and breathable. I once heard you should always wear cute underwear because you never know when a firefighter will have to …

What Rob and Harry Taught Me About the Power of my Words

Every relationship I’ve ever been in grew from a seed of curiosity. An irresistible, dangerous curiosity that calls you to it like siren song. I think too much and often find myself turning past romantic encounters over and over in my mind. Just as river currents smooth out the rough edges of a rock as it turns it in its midst, it’s as if I think that if I reflect on them enough, perhaps the power of my mind can smooth out the unforgiving, snagging edges of my memories and make them into something neat and digestible. I reflect on them and think and think and then think some more, but I rarely speak about them out loud. My therapist Jill once told me that healthy doesn’t attract unhealthy, only unhealthy does. “Hurting, broken people attract others just like them,” was the way she put it. I saw in my mind a parade of broken, passionate albeit responsible men I’ve loved throughout my story and wondered what it meant. In the past few weeks, I’ve …

I Want To Talk About Mourning Your Story

I cried at work. The ugly kind of cry that makes it hard to breathe and sends mascara running in black rivers down your face.  My boss described it as sudden, almost manifesting out of thin air. “I understand you’ve been going through a challenging time,” he said, his green eyes bright and shimmering with concern, “but it’s like it suddenly came to the surface all at once.” He then gave me time to compose myself in the women’s bathroom. “I can’t have you crying all over the Warhol,” he said. He was half-joking, yet entirely serious. A few weeks ago, Andrew told me he was worried, “You’ve always felt things deeply and had this sense of sadness around you, but I’ve never seen you with this much of it.” He’s known me for almost ten years and within that decade, he’s been witness to all the times I dropped a plate because I was suddenly overtaken by sobbing while doing the dishes. He knows all of the restless nights spent staring at the ceiling; …

Life Changes, But God Doesn’t

I have lived a very blessed and privileged life. Don’t get me wrong I have worked hard to get to where I am, but my parents were always very supportive in giving me many opportunities to grow. Some might even say I’ve been spoiled. I grew up going to church and I attended a Christian university. Some might even push to say that I’ve been sheltered. In all honesty, I can’t say I disagree. On the day of my college graduation, as per usual, many pictures were taken to document the important day. I hate every single one of those photos because, at the time, there was severe swelling in my face that contorted my smile into something unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. My friends kept telling me to smile normally, even though I felt like I was. My boyfriend at the time was always by my side to remind me of how “different” my smile looked. In other words, I no longer had the smile that he had fallen in love with. I …

Forgiving Yourself for the Silence

TRIGGER WARNING: This piece deals with non-explicit themes of domestic violence and assault.  “You know how we each have something that keeps us up at night?” The hum of the voices in the coffee shop whirled around me as I typed out the words to my friend from undergrad, Rachel. I paused and looked out the window into the depths of a late-February nighttime. The dark road of my city shimmered under the lamplights, moist from the afternoon’s rain shower. After the pause that all confessions require, I told her what kept my eyes open at 2 am, what tossed me around in my bed when I fell asleep, what moved through my dream state and lived as a permanent squatter in my subconscious. “For me, it’s the fact that I stayed silent.” As I hit “send,” I was transported away from the small table with my headphones and half-finished packet of organic fruit snacks and back into 2011. “I regret that I never reported it. That I just let him graduate magna cum laude …