Silence had become my best friend. I did basically everything the same from June. Nothing. I cared for my boyfriend’s every need, I sat at home reading and exercising, and I started to feel like I was slowly drifting.

Now I know that it sounded like me taking care of my boyfriend was a burden on me. At the time it wasn’t. I loved him unconditionally! I could have seen myself marrying him, and he said he felt the same way. We had discussed getting married, having kids, and moving away from Mississippi. That was the issue. I wanted to move away, and he wanted to stay in this small town. There’s nothing for me where I live. I am unable to plant my roots and bloom here. But he wanted me to be happy here so we could stay where family lived. So I just figured that’s how it was going to be.

I decided to spend 4th of July with my mom. Me and my boyfriend didn’t have plans so I decided I would spend it with my mom in Florida. I had a wonderful time! I loved being around my mom and her friends who also basically helped raise me. Pensacola is a special place to me, but I’ll save that for February. I included a nice “throwback” picture from that day. For people who don’t know, Zima is an alcoholic beverage from the 90s. We threw in some Doritos for comedy.

I got to experience some of the most amazing fireworks from the backyard of a friend’s house. This house is on the beach, and watching the fireworks light up the sky and fall into the water really just made me happy.

We got back to where we were staying that night and I finally get ahold of my boyfriend. He tells me that all of our friends are over at our house shooting off fireworks. I sat on the floor and started crying. There’s one thing that he was very good at. Purposefully not including me. He would tell me that I’m included and invited to things, but I just didn’t speak up about the events. It was up to me to invite myself which is something I do not believe in. As I sat crying on the phone with him I heard him heave the biggest sigh and say, “What’s wrong now?” Hearing him say that made me hide what was really wrong with me. I told him to have fun with everyone, I hung up the phone, and I walked downstairs and continued drinking.

I drank a lot in July. I wanted to be away from myself. My boyfriend also liked me better when I was drunk because I was “easier to deal with.” He obviously was not aware of all of the times I drank, sat in a bath, and cried until I couldn’t feel anymore. I liked the feeling of being numb. It meant that the voice in my head was silent. But in all honesty it was never silent. If anything my voice grew louder the more I drank, but at that point I had no control over it.

The middle of July was my boyfriend’s 21st birthday which we appropriately celebrated. He got drunk even though he told me at the beginning of our relationship that he hated the taste of alcohol.

I didn’t realize that this birthday would lead to such a downward spiral. He started drinking all the time, and it felt like I didn’t know him anymore. When he would drink he would tell me that he was doing it because of me. See, he had this thing where any bad thing that happened to him was on me. I dealt with it.

The last day of the the month was my first day at my first job. I had always wanted to work because I’m a very headstrong person. Work makes me happy, and this job made me very happy. Being in a bookstore brings you peace. Even though it was get crazy being a retail worker, being almost books eased my stress. It had always been a place for me to be able to escape, and now I had the pleasure of going there almost everyday and getting paid for my presence and hard work.

I thought my year was beginning to look up. I had a boyfriend that loved me, a car, and a job. I literally couldn’t have asked for more. I was happy with where I was and I was comfortable.

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