I was at one of my lowest lows so far on my road trip journey while in Maine. First, I have to fill you in with everything that led up to that moment.
I was staying in West Virginia with “John”. I could tell I was getting depressed because I hadn’t really done anything in 2 months going back and forth from West Virginia and Connecticut. Then it happened I started to like “John”. I decided to tell him which only lead to him pushing me away then ignoring me completely. The ignoring then went to blocking my messages on his phone and Facebook. When I was thinking I was completely ok with never speaking to him, I noticed he started watching my Instagram stories, which was weird since he unfollowed me on Instagram. I should also mention that I’m an over thinker and with an endless supply of free time. This only meant that I became obsessed. I started checking my stories constantly to see if he was watching them because that meant he still liked me or that’s what my friends said. It got to the point it was mentally and physically draining me because I kept over thinking the whole situation playing multiple versions of how things could be in my head. I finally sent him a message on Instagram, since that was the only mode of communication I wasn’t blocked on, to let him know I was blocking him on all social media because it wasn’t fair to me for him to be able to check up on me yet ignore me. With out even reading my message he blocked me on Instagram. All of a sudden I went from he might actually like me to I meant absolutely nothing to him. Now my suicidal thoughts weren’t because some boy didn’t like me. Oh no, it goes way deeper than that.
It was because in August of 2007 I was raped by my friend’s brother who was in the navy. That experience made me feel like I was worthless and weak. Not only that but in August 2012 was also when I went on deployment with the ship that gave me my PTSD because of my chief singling me out in front of my whole division to constantly tell me I was worthless shitbag every single day, until the day I finally snapped and they put me in a different division. The kicker was when my LPO of my new division tried to rape me in October while our ship was in Bahrain. Which ended up triggering memories of my first rape. My suicidal thoughts were due to a culmination of “John” making me feel worthless in the one month where I’m already reminded of everything that happened to make me feel worthless and weak.
I felt like the walls were slowly caving in on me and I was drowning all at the same time. Not to mention I was in Acadia National Park at the time surrounded by locals and tourists. I felt like I wanted to curl up in a ball and just cry while surrounded by hundreds of people. There seemed like there was no place I could escape to where I could be alone and get out of my head. It was by the grace of Bumble, a dating app, that this guy told me about Baxter State Park and the tallest peak in Maine. He also mentioned that it wasn’t as packed as Acadia, which is what I desperately needed. I decided to go and check it out because I needed to do something to get me out of my desire to just end everything. It was a good 3 hours to Baxter State Park and my album of choice to listen to was Kesha’s newest album Rainbow.
If you don’t follow pop culture you should know that Kesha was sexually assaulted and harassed by her former music producer Dr. Luke. A situation that was very similar to my own when I was on deployment. She won the right to work with a different music producer and thus Rainbow was born. An album where she pretty much sang about not playing the victim and to move on with your life to start being happy. There were 4 songs resonated with me the most and as I drove to Baxter State Park I sang them as loud as I could balling my eyes out until I had no more tears left to cry and my throat was sore. That’s when I decided when I got to the park I was going to climb that damn mountain! I was going to do my damn best to make it to the top and I was going to prove to myself that I wasn’t worthless and I could accomplish something many couldn’t.
It took me 6 hours, enduring a gradual incline of almost pure rock climbing with Indiana, while singing Kesha’s songs out loud, to get .4 miles away from the tallest peak. The winds were insanely strong and the clouds weren’t going anywhere. I decided to not continue to the tallest peak since it would take me another hour to get there and I wasn’t sure how Indiana would handle to trek back down the mountain. While disappointed I didn’t make it to the top I refused to let myself feel worthless. I made it a lot further than I thought I could since I was constantly wanting to quit about 20 times while trying to make it up to just the top of the mountain. Not to mention there was only one other service dog to do this hike since no pet dogs are allowed in Baxter State Park. That meant Indiana was the 2nd service dog to climb mount Katahdin. Regardless if I made it to the tallest peak or not I felt alive and accomplished. Almost as if my mind had been wiped clean and I could breath again. My desire to slowly die in a dark cave was suddenly gone.
Now I only write this to hopefully help motivate or reach others going through a similar situation. If this happened to me 3 or even a year ago I would have given up on my trip completely. However, after years of therapy, I’ve just come to realize that sometimes you need to force yourself to be happy or to go out and do things. Kesha had it right when she said, “Life ain’t always fair, but hell is living in resentment. Choose redemption. Your happy ending’s up to you.” Even when you feel like you are completely alone in the world and that things can never get any better force yourself outside. Go for a walk, a drive, or do something that used to make you happy before your world turned gray. Challenge yourself even if its something small everyday like getting out of bed, making dinner, or doing laundry. Sometimes the smallest of accomplishments can be huge for a person who is depressed. Just don’t give up hope. Life is constantly changing. This means things can always turn around for the better. You just have to keep holding on to see that come true.
Click Here to listen to Kesha’s album Rainbow on Spotify
Indiana’s Final Thoughts