What I Learned About Life When I Wanted To Die

What I Learned About Life When I Wanted To Die

Some stories and thoughts from darker times.
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What I learned about life when I wanted to die is that I don’t.

I do not want to die in the most unapologetic way. I cannot ring out my sadness like an old mop, but I can be at peace in the foggy water.

In the moments between vibrant life and absolute death, I feel like a ghost. The weight of grief sits on my chest like a rock weighing me underwater. Sometimes grief makes it hard to breathe. The hardest moments are when your grief has no attachment. When there is no sad story to be caught up in, it feels like you have no need to be sad. Even still, it sits on top of your lungs, cutting off your breath.

Sometimes it’s the moments of brief passing from waterlogged lungs to open vocal chords that you realize that clearing your throat is as holy as a ship docked in harbor after a long, long storm. Even with broken boards it still returns home.

A broken person is still a person. My body may be composed of chipped bones and untold stories but it is a body just the same.

I want to live in this body. I want to live.

~

My grandmother is a lemonade connoisseur. In endless July months she freezes lemonade in ice cube trays and wraps them in paper towels. My sister and I lick them like popsicles.

I think being sad is a lot like being frozen.

I've lived with depression most of my life, but the diagnosis was perhaps the turning point. Putting a name on what haunts me has helped me to face it with less fear.

When I was a child I had hair long enough to touch the crevices of my hips. It was thick and curly, almost impossible to get detangled. My mother would brush it and put it in braids. How beautiful it is to have your mother brush your hair. Healing is a lot of the same feeling. Sometimes you cannot brush out the knots alone.

~

People don't like to talk about mental health. For some reason, mental illness is an unspoken story sitting on everyone's tongue. Medication bottles in bathroom cabinets often reveal the truth that many are hiding. I do not understand why sickness is a cause for shame. If your brain is ill, you don't live with it like a broken knee. Shattered bones are not as painful as a shattered mind.

~

I love black coffee. Deluding caffeine with sugar or milk lessens it's affect. When I was first prescribed medication to aid my depression, I felt black coffee was injected in the hollow of my forearm. I felt a marathon in my brain where there had once been a funeral procession. Electric joy pulsing through my nervous system. I'm not sure if this was how I was always supposed to feel.

~

I am a poet. Poetic release has always been cheaper than therapy. I feel, I write. I ache, I write. I ache, I ache, I ache.

My grandmother was a librarian and my mother is a school teacher. Literature is written into my bones. Several years ago I learned that my father, a business man and musician, was a writer as well. Sometimes he writes poems that are so profound that they echo the sounds of the ocean. He shares them with me, but does not let anyone else read them.

Sometimes the lines in between are prayers, asking me to stop scratching skin with nails and build houses instead. I think it is beautiful to share something with someone.

We humans are never given a survivor's manual on how to get through the dark times. I think we are meant to write it ourselves. I've spent many days chained to twin beds of sadness, I've forgotten to fall asleep. I have not forgotten to write.

~

I was once in a dysfunctional relationship that I did not realize was dysfunctional until it was long over with. Her body was so hollow that I tried to fill it with mine, but in turn, turned hollow myself.

Princess Aurora pricked her finger on a spindle and fell into a deep sleep. I pricked my finger on my lover and I could not wake up.

~

My little sister is a dancer. She is liquid poetry. Artists come to paint her but she spins too fast for paper. Paint her with watercolors and stick around to watch her dry. This is not the time to die. I have so many boats to bring home.

When I was five, the doctor told my mother I had leukemia. My grandfather, distraught, prayed to God to heal me. He promised he would go to church every day until he died. The next day, the doctor told my mother there was a mistake. I did not have leukemia. I am nineteen years old. My grandfather still goes to church.

When I was younger, I tried to find a million ways to empty my bones. I learned that sometimes the heavy feeling is better than the lightness. Sometimes the heavy feeling weighs you down and commands you to stay. Stay, stay, stay.

~

I am sitting in my mother's car. The road ruptures beneath us, breaking stilled silence like cold milk in July. Headlights appear behind us. A motorcycle drives by, the speed of an ambulance in a hurricane.

My mother looks at me and whispers "That's how God makes angels".

I don't think it works that way.

I think the angels are the ones who wanted to die but didn’t. The ones who wanted to live but couldn’t. Who thought of suicide but wouldn’t.

I think living is a bravery that demands the most.

~

What I learned about life when I wanted to die, was that I don't.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

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I Had To Break Up With My Therapist And Moving On Has Never Been So Terrifying

It really isn't you. It's me.

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I had gone months without seeing her and realized that no matter how hard I had tried to keep it up, the hours I had with my therapist were simply ones that weren't gonna work out. I had to make a choice that was pretty difficult for me: I had to break up with my therapist. I stopped scheduling appointments and hunting for a new one was one of the longest and most ridiculous annoying processes that I had to go through in my life.

I knew it was going to be expensive and it was going to be difficult, but those were just things that I was going to have to accept if I really wanted to begin to take my mental health seriously and move forward.

I began to get in a bit of a bad place without my therapist, I felt completely in the dark and knew that if I ever wanted to improve myself or get any better I was going to have to continue with my therapy and journey for a happier healthier me. I didn't want to lose any of the progress that I had made and I repeatedly felt myself slipping back into the darkness the longer that I went without seeing her.

In all reality, it really was a me problem. I hear the phrase "it's not you, it's me" all the time especially when it's in a breakup situation, but in this case, it was absolutely the truth. It was all me. I had hours that didn't work well with my therapist and I also didn't bend over backward to be there like I should have been. I missed an entire appointment once because I was out with friends and know that was something that must have really aggravated her just as I am sure I would have been angry and aggravated if someone had just decided not to show up to some sort of appointment I had them scheduled for.

I am irresponsible and flighty, yet another reason that I need to be in therapy and I really needed someone who worked with me and understood that. Not that by any means, my previous therapist didn't, but the schedules never worked well and it was just really hard to find someone who was able to work with me correctly.

The hunt for a new therapist continues and it is indeed a wild one. The costs are all different and I really feel sometimes like I am breaking up with someone and voiding back into the "sea" that people so often claim there are plenty of fish in. The last relationship I ended was sad for me because I realized there really was a chance I would go looking for someone similar to him and never find him.

There's only one him and he's not mine anymore.

His personality was really everything I desired while searching for a partner and when we parted I had the overwhelming fear that I would never find someone like him again. I still have that fear and it's still scary to me. Venturing into the new is so terrifying especially when the new won't have a lot of the cozy luxuries you so desired.

So here I go. I'm moving on and I've truly never really been more terrified to do so. I go to college in the fall. This is a massive transitioning time for me, but one I am taking day by day.

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