Ten years is a life span of time for me. So much has changed that I feel like a completely different person than the person in these photos.
I look at these photos, and wonder, Who is she?
I don’t know her.
Ten years ago I was a senior in high school. I was a below average student with a bad attitude. I lived up to every low expectation people had for me, which resulted me being a serious delinquent. I spent most of my time fucking off, cutting class, or getting into trouble to really gain any valuable knowledge my senior year. I hated school.
I had just lost my father the summer of my senior year to a sudden heart attack. This left me to grieve his loss most of my senior year. I really struggled but I didn’t offer myself any help, I ignored healthy eating habits, a sound sleep schedule, and dove head first into an alcohol problem. I developed depression and serve anxiety by the age of eighteen.
I struggle like most teenage girls did with self confidence and my self esteem, but when I think an over arching feeling to describe me ten years ago, it would be misunderstood.
I felt so misunderstood by everyone, and most times myself.
I struggled with knowing what I wanted out of life because I was struggling to deal with my mental health because I was denial anything was wrong with me. I tired to hide my pain, angry, sadness, and grief in my drug and alcohol abuse, as well as self harm. I drank A LOT and heavily. I can vividly remember trying to blackout and throw up every weekend, because, why? That was fun to me. I hated my life that much, I just didn’t realize it because I was too busy numbing. I wanted love and validation so desperately from everyone but refused to show myself any love or acceptance. I became a walking talking plain jane, country bumpkin, puppet on string, that would do whatever I thought would make me likable, attractive, desirable, loved. Every tiny attempt I made to be myself seem to back fire. I feed into my fears, instead of leaning into my faith. I hid who I was behind one painful mask.
I don’t make excuses for my past, nor do I judge myself to the choices I have made. I did what I needed to in order to survive, and I am learning each day to show myself grace and forgiveness. Ten years is a long time, and I am so much wiser, but I feel more alive today than I every did at eighteen. I look at these photos, and wonder, Who is she? I don’t know her, anymore. I am no longer just trying to survive, I’m trying to thrive.
M i n n e s t o n e r G i r l