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  • Jenn Jones

Tragic Tales of Lost Youth

I reminisce about late-night meetings, where burnt coffee filled styrofoam cups. The cold metal chairs formed a circle, and as I sat there, I found myself dissociating into the patterns of the church carpet. In those moments, I wondered if you would walk in. It had been six weeks since you left, but it felt like an eternity had passed.

You confessed that you couldn't stop, and I sensed it was more than a mere habit. While I managed to leave it behind, I couldn't understand why you struggled to do the same. The morning sunlight pierced through the blinds, a reminder of yet another night without you. I found myself repeatedly calling your voicemail, desperately hoping for a sign of life. Sleep eluded me, and my thoughts wandered, wondering if you were still alive and if you would ever find your way out of this situation.

I recall the moment when I asked you if dying hurt, and you responded by saying that being alive hurt even more. It was then that I realized you were in immense pain. I longed to heal you, but deep down, I knew I was equally broken. I sought solace in the bathroom, hidden away from the world, carving my own pain into my upper thigh as a misguided attempt to cope.

In the short story of our missed youth, we found ourselves entangled in a web of failed attempts to fix one another. We believed that the 12 steps could provide the answers we desperately sought, but in reality, we had much more to grieve than we initially realized.

As we reflect on those times, we begin to see the multitude of things we once deemed normal, only to discover that they were not part of other people's stories. Our experiences were filled with tragedy and loss, a stark contrast to the carefree tales of youthful adventure that we had hoped to create.

Each interaction between us felt like a desperate grasp at redemption, an attempt to mend the broken pieces of our own souls. Yet, despite our efforts, we remained lost in the labyrinth of our shared struggles.

We yearned for guidance, for a path that would lead us out of the darkness and into the light. But the truth is, we had to face the depths of our individual pain before we could truly begin to heal.

Now, with the wisdom of hindsight, we can see that our stories were not just tales of missed opportunities and failed attempts. They were testaments to resilience and the strength to confront our demons. They were the foundations upon which we built our present selves, scarred but wiser.

In the end, our missed youth became a catalyst for growth and self-discovery. We may have veered off course and lost our way, but through the trials and tribulations, we learned valuable lessons about ourselves and the world around us.

And as we look back, we realize that our stories, though tragic, have shaped us into who we are today—a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human heart, always striving to find meaning even amidst the darkest of times.


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