Katy s Story
“November 7th, 2012. It was the first snowstorm of the season. I had been babysitting and the family told me I should stay the night because the roads weren’t safe, but I wanted to go home.
There was no one on the roads and I thought to maybe just run off the road, make it look like an accident. But, I kept driving and finally got home. I just wanted to finally feel free.
I sat in my living room and started pouring the pills out of the bag I had been hoarding. I just started throwing my head back, swallowing, and trying to write out a letter on my phone.
Somehow, my boyfriend just knew something was wrong and asked my dad to check on me. I took 17 painkillers before my dad came flying through the door. I still remember the look on his face, trying to hold back tears as he carried me out to the car.
I remember laying on the bed and feeling as light as I ever had. And that’s really it. I kept nodding in and out of consciousness and didn’t have the strength to open my eyes. All I knew was that I was hooked up to 5 IV bags, trying to save my life.
The next day, they asked me the question, ‘Was this a suicide attempt?’ and all I could say was ‘No.’ I told the doctors I had a drug issue and have been experimenting with painkillers since May.
In my head this made more sense because I could blame something, a physical thing. Drugs can make people do crazy shit, but only ‘crazy people’ try and kill themselves. So, I went with the story of being a white girl from private-school addicted to painkillers.
I was admitted to the top rehab facility on the east coast for alcohol and drug addiction. Two days in, I had a mental breakdown and told my counselor, ‘I shouldn’t be here…I was trying to kill myself’. She sat there, looked at me and said, ‘It’ll take longer to get out of a mental institute than a rehab.‘ So, I stayed in the rehab for the month and kept my mouth shut…
Three years later, I broke. I felt the worst I had since the night of the snowstorm. I had to make one of the toughest decisions and leave College of Charleston, mid-semester, to truly focus on my mental health. To put it simply, I don’t know if I would still be alive today if I didn’t come home.
And once I did that? I never looked back. The last couple of months have been some of the best I’ve ever had. I’ve realized, quickly, who are true and real friends. I have been studying at one of the top fashion schools in the world, as well as being promoted from an intern to having a position. I was able to attend some incredible New York Fashion Week shows and will be moving to Paris in January.
But the best part? When people say to me ‘You look so happy,’ I can say I am truly happy and that’s something I couldn’t say for a very long time…
It’s worth it, I promise. Even when you’re asking yourself, ‘What’s the point?’ I still have to remind myself from time to time that this life is worth it. I’m human, just like you. It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to think that it can’t or won’t get better.
If my progress can inspire or even change a sad mind, I’ll share it. It’s a daily struggle I’ll deal with for the rest of my life- not ever knowing how I’ll feel when I wake up or how quickly I can make a 180°. But right now, I’m happy that I listened to the people who told me it gets better. And my hope is that I can make someone realize that too.
As the lady who hands me a newspaper every day at Penn Station says ‘You’re alive, be glad about it.”