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The Unraveling of My Life

By , Bragg Creek, Canada
I have always been a happy person. There is absolutely no doubt about this, as a child I was constantly laughing and running about outside. My first years of high school were filled with same kinda of reckless joy. I was pretty enough and skinny enough that there were always one or two guys after me. Grade ten was easy for me, It’s always been like I was made for high school; It’s easy for me to make friends, I’m smart enough to get reasonable grades without doing much homework. I had always been very athletic and in gym class I always got the highest fitness test scores of everyone. Even the guys. My teachers mostly liked me and I was friends with over half the kids in my grade. Life was easy. It still is, I mean I’m not a starving kid in Africa and my parents don’t abuse me or anything. They have always provided for me beyond what they needed too and they have always supported me. Most of my child hood was spent in a big green house on a hill in a quiet little valley with many friendly neighbors. My dad is a successful neuroscience professor at the university here and my mum has never had to work. Not that she doesn’t do a lot, she takes care of the house which is quite a significant job, she is the volunteer president of a ski club and she is always helping out everyone. My parents love to travel so since I was born I have been carted all over the world. I’m that kid in class that can’t even remember all the places they have been when asked. As for culture, besides all the traveling my parents have done with me, my mum is always taking me and my older brother to ballets, plays and concerts. Speaking of my brother; he is twenty years old and though he isn’t perfect he is an incredible older brother. He picks me up from parties, boots for me, hides me and my friends various illegal explorations. This might make you think that I’m a bad kid. I’m not. I rarely lie, I never steal or cheat, I help my parents with work around the house and I don’t swear much. I called this the Unraveling of My World because though I have an easy life, I feel as though things can’t get much better then they were the second semester of my grade ten year and the first half of that summer. I was surrounded by friends and had a thing with a couple very cute guys. One of my longest lasting friend and her family were taking me to tour the French country side with them for three weeks and everything was perfect. France is amazing and though that was my sixth time there it was just as amazing. My life was consumed with lying by the pool, waiting for emails from a guy I had been head over heals for since the start of the year and going out to classy restaurants for dinner. The draw backs of such a lovely holiday were that when I came home I wasn’t as fit as had been before. The first workout I went to after I came home was horrible, I remember crying as I ran for two hours. My coach must have been in a bad mood because he hardly asked about my holiday, none of my friends were there just two other people. My brother and his friend who I couldn’t keep up too. I think that was the moment I first doubted my life as an athlete. You have to understand fitness had been my life for the last five years and I was decently good at what I did. So being even slightly out of shape felt weird to me. Everyone kept telling me I was going to have an amazing year and would get better then I’d ever imagined. I guess it got to my head because at then end of summer I felt invincible. I would get wasted once or twice a week with my friends and go training the next morning. Even when I got alcohol poisoning and was throwing up for almost seven hours I still went out a couple days later to do intensity. I didn’t start to realize how much these things were effecting me right away, but soon it hit me. I had an intensity workout running up hills and I just couldn’t do it. I was lagging behind people who I usually beat by a long stretch. I started to get freaked out I felt so horrible. My lungs were burning from the first time I tried smoking the night before and my legs felt like they were going to explode. My coach stopped me with a concerned look and I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I remember just kind of crumpling in tears and sobbing though I didn’t have any extra breath to cry. I can’t describe how awful it feels to fail at something that has been a huge part of your life for almost six years. An active lifestyle was something so embedded in my family by then that I felt like a failure to them and I was embarrassed for my teammates to see me in such a weekend state. I started taking longer and longer breaks from training which of coarse made it worse. I kept going to river parties and the calories in the alcohol made me for the first time look at my body and not be completely happy. I kept training until I couldn’t finish anything without breaking into tears. I told everyone I would just take a break for a couple of weeks, but I never went back. Now I wish I had, not so much because I miss doing it but because I miss the structure it gave me and the feeling of endorphins after a hard workout, not to mention the wonderful friendships I had made. I felt like they wouldn’t accept me if I came back. I can’t explain the logic behind this but it was there. After I quit my active lifestyle my parents were disappointed for the first time I think. They kept asking me when I would go back or asking me why I didn’t go exercise. My mum who is almost the same height as me but probably weighs thirty pounds less was always asking me why I didn’t go out and do things and didn’t I “miss being fit” as she put it rather bluntly on more then one occasion. Along with all this my grade eleven classes were harder and I began to see how so many guys had used me. Every class I went to that first semester had in it either a guy I had made out with at a party or a guy that I had dated. I wasn’t a slut, in fact there were only three guys at school at that time that I had ‘hooked up’ with and they were all good looking. It was just hard because I wanted something more to have happened each time but it seemed to always end up with me liking them and them deciding to move on way to fast. I could write pages about the guys I have liked, and only two of them ever wanted to date me the rest were just alcohol induced kisses in the dark at some party. There was a girl in my physics class who I knew mostly because she had always had a thing going for a guy I liked but as typical to my life after we had rolled down a river bank at the start of the year he had flew off. Honestly I’m quite sure that I must be a horrible kisser, it seems like after a guy kisses me they split. Anyway this girl was hilarious and awesome. She was from a different group of friends then I usually hung out with but we bonded over the trials of physics twenty and laughed at the group of guys that mocked us in those classes. It wasn’t long before we were chatting on Facebook and texting all the time. She was a little bit of a stoner and I had never smoked weed before. The first time we hung out we went for a long walk and giggled about the guys we were into and the trials of being a sixteen year old girl. Later when my mother was out we sat by the camp fire and I smoked pot for my first time. Soon we were best friends and constantly laughing at, and with each other. Countless inside jokes were formed and we began to hang out almost every weekend. As we got close she began to tell me more and more about her life. Since she had moved here at the end of grade eight she had been fighting an eating disorder and by the time I met her she was already addicted to smoking. My friends had never really been the problematic kind so it was eye opening to see someone so cheerful have issues. Second semester I fell for a boy in three of my classes and she began dating a boy she had liked for almost three years. There were ups and downs but life was good. I also fell for chemistry that semester, it made sense and it was nice to be good at something, better then most, without even trying. Of coarse the year ended and on the last day of school things started to come apart. My best friends boyfriend called me in the morning and since I was skipping class anyway I went to meet him. He was almost in tears and he said something had happened to her. He wouldn’t tell me what it was but I was worried. I contacted her and asked her what was wrong and her simple reply was that she was at the hospital because she had cut herself the night before. Its hard to hear one of your best friends is suicidal especially when you had no clue she was even depressed. I didn’t blame myself but I felt that I should have realized something was wrong. My other best friend who I had known since I was about eleven was there for me as she always is. She is more like me in that she is almost never sad and a very bright and cheerful person. Don’t get me wrong my physics buddy is cheerful too but also suffers from depression. This is when I started to get just the tiniest big screwed up. I started smoking more though I still had only ever smoked about six cigarettes in my life and about the same amount of joints. I met this awesome kid at a party, he was in my bio class and happened to be best friends with the guy I had liked for the past three months. He took me out for lunch on the last day of school and we hung out the entire night at this party. He was sweet, attractive and funny, but I felt guilty for being happy because of my friend who was going through so much. As my other friends pointed out to me it would make her even more sad if she knew she was effecting me as well. Her and her boyfriend had broken up and it was hard to keep up with her mood swings. Finals as well were happening and the stress of those mixed with the excitement of this new guy as well as the constant worry about her seemed to build up. I’d have momentary lapses in the wall of cheerfulness I’d built around me. I would just break into tears on my bed before going out to an exam and attempting to be the picture of happiness. The thing about having a friend that has experienced an eating disorder and is still extremely skinny as well as her owning a hot tub can lower a girls self confidence. Though I’m not fat I’m also not as skinny as my three best friends. I started to worry about it more and more. I just kind of stopped eating for a little bit. It didn’t last long, but it was scary to see how easy it would be to start a downward spiral. About a quarter of the way through summer issues were resolved and we all forgot about our worries and fell in love with the sunshine and the lakes we spent a good part of our summer in. I traveled to Denmark and read books, ate expensive food and took my dog for long walks, lay on the dock beside my friends and blew smoke out of my mouth in long curls at night. Life is good, I realized. None of us are perfect, and because of this none of our lives will ever be perfect, but good is good and I’m not complaining. The trials of being a senior are sure to take their tole on our friendships and after that I plan to go to Germany and learn German then attend university there. The adventures that await us all are out there and you’ve just got to hunt a bit for the good ones. After all my life didn’t unravel. At points it felt like it did but looking back on those few years I laugh at how close I thought I was to the edge, because really I was just fretting over a couple cracks in the pavement. I’ve made my mistakes, I’ve broken laws and lost friendships and trust but the one thing I’ll say for certain is I now have no regrets about where its all gotten me and one thing is for sure; I’ll do it again and I’ll enjoy it.





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