Chapter One: A little bit of my roots and where I came from.
I have tried many times to do this therapeutic exercise of writing out my story and each time that I have tried my flashbacks and nightmares have gotten worst. I sat with the urge to want to use my struggles and addictions to help those who can’t or don’t feel empower enough to reach out for help find the strength to do that. I listen to friends who tell me that their loved ones don’t get it or that just don’t understand me. Or they just think I am doing it for attention. Let me state this here and now I promise to be real, raw, and bluntly spoken in this book because it’s the advice I wish that was given to me. Now that I put out a warning label. Here goes nothing…
My name is Marie Cochran and I have PTSD (not from the military) and Bipolar disorder. I put the definitions of both in chapter one in case you don’t know the popper definition. I am 22 years old fun fact from the date today February 28, 2020 I am 23 days away from my birthday. I hope that by finally making myself to come into a head on conclusion with my past so that I can heal my wounds and make a conclusion to the chapters I am no longer living that I encourage you to accept your own inner daemons and I am assuming that if your reading this book you have a few. That I can show you that how to teach them to swim so that you can get on a level playing field them give you the tools to help you put them in a boat and show them that you can stay above water.
Before we begin this journey through my struggles, I want to give you a brief layout of how I plan to go through this book:
Chapter One: A little bit of my roots and where I came from.
Chapter Two: my first passions books & Poems.
Chapter three: Learning to copping with my mental health.
Chapter Four: How art became my second passion.
Chapter five: focusing on building my business while going to college for business.
Chapter six: Reaching out my comfort zone and sharing my artwork on the internet.
Let’s begin this long journey into being a better you. By listening to my struggles and how I learned to overcome some of my greatest tribulations.
To get to the age of where I began to have an official diagnosis, we have to start at around age ten. So up until this point my mother told me a story about my dad. That he was a good man and he just had a bad temper so he had to live somewhere else but about every two weeks dad would write us a letter one for mom and she would give me my letter. So, the day came to have my birthday party even though I had already turned ten years old. I didn’t know that this birthday would be one that I’d never forget. My dad came to visit for my birthday I was in my tree house with my cousin’s eating pizza. My mom came to the tree house and told me to come meet my father. I was so super excited until after the party was over because I had experienced my parents first fight and soon would learn that when he got mad, he would hit my mom. Since I lived down the road from my grandparents, I climbed out of my bedroom window and ran down to my grandparent’s house. I ran in screaming he is hurting my mom. My grandma told me to go into the kitchen with her the help finishing making dinner. I heard a gun go off, so I covered my ears and prayed to God to save my mom. My father was arrested and would go back to jail for four more years.
I came home from school one day and my mom had made my favorite meal and had bought me a new book one that I really wanted. So, I knew that a serious conversation was coming, and I got scared. I had my first fight with my mom where I cussed at her went into my room for six or eight hours. The next at school my best friend could tell that something was upsetting me. I told her that my bulimia had come back and that I had found a razor blade and cut my wrist. She went and took me to the bathroom and gave me her jacket told me that if any adult or kid were to tell about my cut that I would get into trouble and might get taken from my mother. So, I learned to hide my cuts and to keep it a secret. Later on, I would learn that as much history as me and her were going to have in the four years would leave me wounded and questioning myself worth. In middle school at the end of seventh grade I came out to my friends as a bisexual and that I was scared to tell my mom. My friend we name her Ericka for the sake of this book.
She became someone I leaned on and soon when I became comfortable, she became my girlfriend. After two years and countless hours she would become one of the teens who got pregnant from a one-night stand. When she had to drop out of school. I was lost for a few weeks until I began to have a crush on, we will name him Jacob. I began to get into a bad addiction of smoking marijuana and began the skipping class. We would find empty places inside school to hang out in while we should have in class. After two months of doing this I began to get in trouble because I was failing band class. So, me and Jacob had a week of in school suspension where instead of the social aspect of school you get to sit in one room without your cellphone and do your schoolwork all day long. Needless to say I was hanging out the best group of people at the time.
Our parents try to protect us as much as they can but honestly, they have no clue what truly goes on useless we tell them. As I said previously this is my story in a raw from being told to you because after so many years of struggling, I choose to take the big step to reach out for help. By the day of my 16th birthday I had two od’s from going to a type of party called a “farm party” which is basically “An outdoor party in rural areas, usually including a bonfire, where invitees raid their parents medicine cabinets and combine them all into a big pot to share. Users frequently take "handfuls" at a time and wait for the unknown rush to hit them.” I didn’t know that I had taken somewhere around 200 pills along with a few beers. I thought this was so cool until I woke in the hospital after a week of being in a coma. When I came to the look on my mom’s face scared me. So why did I go to another one of these parties the following year. Honestly because it was cool that I had od and survived to my friends.
If anyone ever encourages you to take a pill that you don’t know what it’s don’t risk your life to be cool. Are parents aren’t supposed to be burying us we are supposed to bury them. After I OD the seconded time the same way. I was sent to a therapist to talk about my feelings. I hated that because it will have been used against me when I was 16 years old and was put into the hospital for self-harming myself, I tried to cut my wrist in the bathtub. My mom walked in the bathroom just as I was fading into the light. All of this because the boy I had been dating for few months broke up with me. That was the third attempted I had made on my life. Also, the moment when most of my family decided to give up on me.
Expect my mom she tried to be there for me and tried to figure out ways that she could help me. For a long time, this meant that I would go into my room after school do my homework. Smoke my joint and read a book. My relationship with food was still very unhealthy, I wouldn’t want to eat dinner or even a pack of crackers. Isolation was what I did, and it made me have issues with being social at school in just general life.
Over the course of three or four months my teachers called my mom after I hid a letter for her to go to a parent teacher conference. My teachers were concerned that I seemed depressed when I was in class and when I wasn’t in class, I was skipping school. My grades began to slip to the point where I was in risk of being held back in seventh grade. It wasn’t that I wasn’t smart it was more of the fact that I was focused or applying myself in my schoolwork.
Freshman year of high school is when things hit a breaking point for me. They had put me on Prozac, and I became a zombie. The only class that I had an A+ in at this point was English because once I finished my class work. I was free to read a book either one that we were reading as a class or one I was reading for myself. After a month or so of being a zombie the numbing feelings of being alone came into play. I got to a critical point where I wrote my suicide note saying something along the lines that this life had become an unbearable nightmare. I’ve been bullied in school for months all because of one guy who spread rumors about me. I had been cutting for months now and honestly it wouldn’t be so hard to just be gone.
I can see that now at the age of 22 almost 23 in about a week and half. I would have hurt my family and what friends that I did have. The friends I would make in my future (currently now) and more importantly I would have gotten the amazing joy of becoming a mother. When we are deep within our thoughts the negative events in our life seem to be too much or so hard to navigate but if we are given the ability to have a person who can talk to about things like a best friend life seems to be better. Sometimes are downfall gives us a slap in the face to wake up to all the positives that we have in our lives. For me depression for so long felt like I was an outsider looking in on my life through the lens of a camera.
Every so offer I am going to add what I will call in this book a life lesson # whichever we are on. That if I would have known at the time, I was learning it I might not have been so stubborn.
Life lesson 1: Don't isolate yourself because when friends and family reach out to you to see if you want to talk and you just say no or LEAVE ME ALONE (meant to be yelled). After a few times they won't ask any more they will grow distant from you.
-Sometimes you learn how not to cope with yours troubles in healthy ways. For example, from the age of 10 to 12 years old I was being in a very toxic negative environment. My birth dad and mom would be fighting about the bills not being paid by him. Then came the night went he hit my mom and dad d8isappeared to my older sister’s house. From age 11 to 12 I encountered another form of abuse in that I agreed to something I didn't fully understand and allowed myself to be in the position to be taken advantage of by someone. We want so badly at this age to think we are adults but in truth we aren't until 18 years old. But even then, are you really? For me 18 looked like being told I will be homeless unless I go to live with this foster family who I had only met twice and live with them. They at first seemed like genuinely nice people but turned out not to be. I never had both parents in the home heck even when I did it wasn't sunshine and rainbows.
Leaving the quiet halls of elementary school and going into middle school wasn't fun. I only found comfort in band class and doing softball outside of school. This was one of the only times I felt like I belonged to something or a group of people. I played four years with my last season being freshman year of high school because of any injury.
Once I couldn't play softball anymore, I got really depressed for a couple of months. Until I had the time to pick back up books more often not having to go to band or softball practice. Sophomore year and junior year of high school would be the most challenging because I had been diagnosed with PTSD and major depressive disorder (which medically shorthand term for a lot of depression). In case you are thinking oh well only military people get PTSD let me put the definition here. National Institute of Mental Health say PTSD is: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experience a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. This means that if you were in Hurricane Katrina you could have PTSD. Rape, sexual assault, robbery can all cause you to have PTSD. This is a mental health disorder that is different for everyone some people can recover in six months. Or like me have in for a long period of time. I've had PTSD for 6 years now. I honestly don't believe I will ever be completely free from it and this is because of the domestic abuse from my father and my rape that went on for roughly a year and a half. My other diagnosis is Bipolar disorder: (formerly called manic depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes usual shifts in mood, energy, actively levels, connection, and the ability to carry out day to day task.
-I want to reference and quote somethings from my first ever self-help book that was given to me by a mentor of mine. The book is called Healing from trauma: a survivor’s guide to understanding your systems and reclaiming your life by Jasmine Lee Cori, MS, LPC. I am going to quote or reference somethings and give you the page number to find it on. Okay before I start quoting things, I want to be real with you all so around 8pm I sat down after I got my son to sleep to write. Now it’s 11 pm and I am just now writing because I wanted to make sure I did my research and everything before I quoted these passages of my first ever self-help book. So, two hours of researching before I am about sit here and quote this book and now, I am ready.
“Do you numb out through drugs, food, or addictive behaviors?” (Cori, 2007, p. 57)
I am going to try my best to give you an answer in a short and sweet to the point way. Yes, I numbed out in all three of these ways. First, I used marijuana to numb out because it put me in a mellowed state, and I was anxious anymore. Food and addictive behaviors for me went hand in hand I would eat and then feel shameful not skinny enough this was in fifth grade so lots of therapy to determine if I had an eating disorder which it turned out I did it was bulimia. With this diagnoses my mom watched my food intake very seriously for a while. This caused me to stubbed into a dangerous addictive of cutting.
A lot of people will tell you that self-harm like cutting isn’t an addictive thing that people do it for attention. For me it was a way for me to release my emotions and to get over with my struggles. I felt super alone and it just got worse to the point of where I’d go to school and come home go in my room do my homework and read a book. For a week I would turn my phone off at home because break-ups as a teenager are the end of world not really. But we think at that moment in time it will be. I was more or less staying away for the drama and trying to ignore the fact that it had even happened.
“One study found that 80% of those with PTSD haves at least one additional psychiatrist disorder.” (Cori, 2007, p. 57)
My list includes (at age 16 years old):
1.) Depression due to PTSD. (Cori, 2007, p. 59)
2.) Addictions being self-harm. (Cori, 2007, p. 64)
3.) Eating disorders, mine was bulimia. (Cori, 2007, p. 65)
At this point I want to finish this chapter with how I came about having bulimia. Let’s start with the medical definition: “Bulimia nervosa: People with bulimia nervosa have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating is followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or over overweight. (footnote 1)
I was going through elementary school without a father and my mother was working most of the time to make ends meet. I don’t think I understood how much my mom scarified for me to have clothes on my back shoes on my feet. I didn’t know that one day at school my friend came in the bathroom after I had and heard me making myself sick after she just saw me finish my lunch. You might ask why I remember this time in my life so vividly and my simple answer to that question this was my first friend at a new school. The friend who helped me carry my backpack to classes when I was on crushes for a month after I broke my ankle. I’d been struggling with some really hard things and she was a friend to me. She helped me she the beauty in my misery. We stayed close friends until middle of sixth grade then we slowly differed apart. We didn’t have but one class together that year and I had another really close friend.
I want to continue to the next part in that story but let’s save in for later. I was struggling with my bulimia still at the point. I had a bad break up and I was hanging out heavily with one of my guy friends because I was and still am the type of girl who gets along with guys better than girls. To me it always seemed like girls were full of drama. I feel confident to say my friend helped me in my junior year of high school to really accept myself and not to harm my body. I wasn’t making myself sick at this point, but I just wasn’t eat at school and that the only time I hung out with this dude. It’s crazy for me to sit here and type talking about this friend back in 11th grade and that’s because as of July 2020 we are going to be married. Raven Owens has been the light in my darkest hours. He always been there for me blunt straight up honest advice. He never judges me for any of my faults but helped me understand myself better.
I thought March 8th I was done writing about my struggles with an eating disorder, but I had a close to almost breakdown today. So, I want to add that in the ending of this chapter one. I want this book to inspire and help people. I want to show people that the internal battles sometimes are harder than we let people know about. Kind of over the way I feel in my body. I need to change it but everything I get super stressed out or depressed I eat a lot of food. I just feel like I work one area in my life and everything else fails. I Hate the short temper I have and low level of stress tolerance I have. I work so hard to escape my past and it sucks that when I go to sleep my mind is filled with negative shit. I want to give up on this fight but then I remember I am strong and that I gone three years being clean from one of the worst addictions I've had. Step one to getting over these hard parts in my life is talking with my mom Tina and my soon to be fiancé Raven. knowing that I want to give Alex a good future is the biggest motivator of all.
You can buy my memoir here: https://www.amazon.com/My-Story-Overcoming-Memoir-ebook/dp/B08F25HHXJ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=Y1VAO7UV3MM0&dchild=1&keywords=my+story+of+overcoming+by+marie+owens&qid=1613061219&sprefix=my+story+of+over+coming+b%2Caps%2C180&sr=8-1
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