Break Down To Up

R.B. Winters
R.B. Winters
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Over the past five years a lot has gone on. Reflecting on much of it, I’m not sure how I’ve made certain mistakes in the last year. Many of those mistakes all too recent and ongoing. 
Five short years ago I moved home to go to school and become someone. I had already published my first novel and was nearing the completion of my second. A year and a half after that I had an AA in English, two published novels and was working on my third. Only a year after that, things took a swift shift and everything started to change.
I was working on my BA in English and my third novel, slaving away in a retail store and living by all the rules that had been set for me. I suddenly found myself exhausted and miserable. It’s hard to say if I was aware of the changes I was making in the beginning, much of what happened seems to have come without my control. For the longest time I didn’t realize things were any different than they had ever been. 
Suddenly, I found myself sitting with my best friend at our favorite bar night after night. I was skipping class and going into work with a hangover almost every day. I started calling out sick when I was too tired to get up, I wasn’t paying bills, I was shopping like a Hilton and I was in general just having a “good time”.  Things came to a head at the beginning of this year. I ventured on a short trip to visit a friend in a distant city, on which I realized how much I had changed and how unhappy I had become. I can only explain what happened after I returned home as a break down. I just lost it. Everything I had been suppressing came out, all of the problems were on the table and people were pushing prescription drugs and therapy in my face like candy. 
There was a period of three days where I remember sitting in a chair.  I stared into space. I didn’t eat, sleep or move. I’m not even sure I had a single thought in my head. After that I seemed to reform from my toxic behaviors. I refocused on my writing, got rid of all the things that were making me unhappy and I moved to a new city. The issue I’m facing now is that I’m repeating some of the same behaviors. I’ve been using alcohol as a therapy tool, dating people that I know I should stay away from, hanging around people I know are bad for me and letting “fun” get in the way of my life.
I reflect on this now, much of my life in transition once again and certain people around me that always open my eyes. I have no idea where I’m going right now, which is terrifying in its own way. I’m finding myself in situations and places that I never thought I’d be. In a sense I feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean reaching for a lifesaver and every time I grasp onto one I realize it’s a rock and start sinking once again. There’s no way to see what’s coming, but I can control what direction I move in, so why have I not been?