Not sure how to begin, but I know that the therapeutic act of writing down my thoughts and feelings may at least bring some peace to my mind.

I’m struggling. Yes, I know, so is everyone else. My struggle is unique, just like everyone elses, but my choice to express my struggles through writing is not an act of claiming more hardship than others, it’s just words, thoughts, emotions, that’s all.

I got a call this afternoon. It was my dad. He was crying and I could tell that he wasn’t doing too well. He explained to me that he relapsed on crack again and was engaging in suicidal thoughts. This isn’t new. My dad’s been an addict since I could remember. This time isn’t any different than the last. I reach for words that I hope calm him down but that also provide some concrete solutions without making him feel even worse than he already does. I tell him that I need him around, that I’ll be there in three days, and that I want him to see me become a successful woman, mother, wife and human being. I hold back my tears so that I sound a little stronger than I am. He says he loves and misses me and can’t wait to see me and my siblings on Thanksgiving. We hang up on a lighter note.

I begin to bawl my eyes out. At this point I can’t even truly articulate the emotions I am dealing with. I’m trying to succeed in school, I have two jobs, I now fully support myself, I’m trying to stay sane and start building up some savings, I’m trying to apply to PhD programs, and I had already cried to my mother about feeling like a nuisance and unworthy of any help.

I’ve run out of energy. I’m out of words to keep my dad from harming himself. I’m about to run out of gas in academia. And I can barely get in and out of bed in the morning, constantly tired. Constantly loosing track of my thoughts and lacking the motivation to actually attempt to sort them out.

I’m tired. I need a break. I need to take care of myself. I need to learn how to manage all of this. I’m 23 years old and I feel like I’ve already been through a lifetime of heartache and sadness.

I want to be a better person for my future family. I want to show them a different life than what I had as a child. I don’t want them to worry about whether or not I’m going to die, or if I’m lying, or got in to trouble. I don’t want them to have to become a parent to their own parent. I want them to feel safe, loved, appreciated, and protected.

I know life doesn’t work that way for anyone, but can you blame me for wishing?