My Story As A Suicide Survivor

The definition of “suicide survivor” is not someone who attempted suicide and survived. It actually refers to people who lost a loved one to suicide.

I am a suicide survivor.

On November 1st, 2015, at around 12:15 a.m., my other half decided to silently and sneakily leave this planet by hanging herself from the big bushy tall mango tree in the front yard of her house. We LOVED that tree. Mango season meant ice cold fresh squeezed mango juice, home made pickled mangoes, and picking off the ripe ones directly off the tree and eating them. They were so sweet, juicy, and fresh. There was also a tree house built into it where we would often climb in there and smoke weed and spend hours just being high and laughing inside.

My other half was the BEST. She was loyal, tough, fierce, over protective, blunt, funny, fun, lovable, loving, maternal, responsible, intelligent, crass, clever, hardworking, creative, smart, gorgeous, and perverted. She was also a fucking badass.

She and I were opposites. She needed to have everything planned out, while I just sat back and went with the flow. She was super messy, as to where, I am a neat freak. Her favorite color was black, while I preferred white. She was the tough one and I was the sensitive one. She questioned everything while I just took everyone’s word and was understanding.

She had this sixth sense about me whenever I needed or wanted someone. I wouldn’t have to say or do anything and she’d just roll up at my house, let herself in, find me in my house, tell me to get ready to go out, and the two of us would wreak havoc together and do random things while really really really stoned. It was ALWAYS a BLAST. It was NEVER a dull moment. It was the two of us. Us against the world.

It was her boyfriend that found her. He told me she still had a pulse, but she flat lined in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. He also told me that he has no memory of how he got her out of the noose which I completely understand. I asked him what grandma and dad did and he told me grandma just stood on the porch, with her right arm grabbing the railing, in complete shock. I can picture that so vividly because that’s exactly the stance she’d always be in whenever my other half and I were leaving the house or coming home. Her dad was freaking out and calling 911.

When I first found out she passed, I was in shock for I don’t know how long. All I remember is waking up one morning and immediately started crying hysterically, being in so much pain. I NEVER felt such heartache before. All the heartbreaks I had over some dumb guy, was NOTHING compared to the heartbreak I experienced from losing my other half. I had and still have this HUGE GAPING HOLE in my chest. The first two years after my other half went away, the hole just kept getting BIGGER and BIGGER EVERY DAMN DAY. I spent about a year, locked up in my room, crying 24/7, isolating myself, and just mourning, grieving, and missing her. I did go out here and there, but I would never be able to last for more than two hours because I’d see or hear something that reminded me of my other half, and out of habit, I’d whip out my cellular to call/text her about it, then, remember that she wasn’t going to answer back ever again, and start crying. And once I started crying, I could NOT stop and I would just cry harder as time went on, so whenever I was in public and started crying, I IMMEDIATELY left and went straight home.

I know all the reasons why my other half decided to end her life. I also know that it was premeditated. I stuck by her from the very beginning from when she slowly started spiraling down to her very tragic ending. She was always the one protecting me and comforting me and lifting me back up from rock bottom, so when she started her demise and started confiding in me and asking me for help, I was thrilled, overjoyed, and excited. I could FINALLY return the favor and be there for the person who was my entire world. I did everything I possibly could do in my power to help her. She KNEW DAMN SURE that I would move mountains and the whole solar system for her. All she had to do was ask.

I NEVER felt ANY ANGER towards my other half for taking her own life. She was in SO MUCH pain and unhappy, so I understood completely. I also never blamed myself or felt like I failed her. It was ultimately HER decision to pull the plug on her own life, not mine. I know that there was nothing I could’ve said or done to change her mind.

I accepted the fact that I am going to mourn and grieve my other half’s death for the rest of my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her or miss her. I STILL cry over her being gone. I STILL take out my cellular to call/text her whenever I see/hear something that I know she’ll find funny or is relevant to her/us. Our pictures are STILL up in my room. I STILL have all the clothes I inherited from her closet and wear them. I STILL use and keep everything she ever gave me. I STILL send her text messages and emails when I’m really missing her. She’s STILL in my “Contacts” and listed as one of my “Favorites”.

Her family arranged a private viewing. I was invited of course. I remember as soon as I got to the entrance of the chapel, I froze because I could see my other half just lying on the table, with her eyes closed, flowers surrounding her, and not moving. I thought, “Come one! Wake up! This is just some sick joke, right?! I know you’re not dead! The prank is going too far now! Just get up right now!” Except, she didn’t get up because she was really gone.  I started crying as soon as I took my first step inside the chapel. I brought a rose for her because she hated them and I wanted to give it to her as joke. When I went up to put the rose on her, I also kissed her on the forehead. She was so cold. I NEVER felt such coldness before. That made me start crying hysterically because it FINALLY hit me that she REALLY WAS, in fact, gone and NEVER coming back.

The pain I felt and STILL feel made me NEVER want to attempt suicide EVER AGAIN. I did not want to put my loved ones through the same pain as I am experiencing. And a parent should NEVER have to bury their child. I learned the hard way that suicide is NEVER the answer and the aftermath is painstaking, chaotic, and ugly. It leaves people with complicated questions that they can never ask, feelings of guilt, blaming others for what happened, people taking advantage of those who are especially vulnerable and in deep extreme grief and pain, hearing “I’m so sorry for your loss” so many times that it stays imprinted in your thoughts for fucking months, being looked at with sympathy and pity by everyone, and leaves everyone asking “why?”

Pain changes a person and most of the time, they change negatively. They become bitter, angry, vengeful, hateful, and guarded. They also lost sight of themselves and are unable to recognize themselves anymore, making them behave unnaturally and feel alone, lost, and incredibly insecure. For myself, instead of turning in that direction, I decided to use it positively. I now know that one of my reasons for being born is to carry out my other half’s spirit alive and with me in everything that I do and everywhere I go. In honoring her memory, I go to high schools and share my experience as a suicide survivor. I mostly speak to seniors. I pray to God that at least ONE student heard me and that I saved their life. I try to make each talk different, so I don’t sound monotone, bore my audience, or make it seem fake or routine. I don’t want to become complacent. My goal is to get every single student to understand how serious suicide is and that it’s NEVER the answer and to turn to the resources available to them when they are feeling like taking their own lives.

I’m going to imitate a PSA message now – “If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal urges, please get help immediately.” I’m serious. Please stay. Don’t go. The world NEEDS you. I NEED you.

I’m Still Here

I not was diagnosed with five mental illnesses, but with petit mal seizure symdrome. I fainted randomly one night when I was 19. I told my mother the next morning. She didn’t think it was a big deal and thought I just suffered from low blood pressure, so she took my blood pressure and it was normal. That’s when she freaked out, called my doctor right away, and got me an appointment to see her within the next hour.

My doctor also freaked out and scolded my mother for not taking it more seriously. She also told her that I should have been rushed to the ER. Because this was my first time fainting, my doctor had me take a CAT scan. It showed up clear, so I was scheduled for an MRI. The MRI showed faint signs of my blood vessels in my brain squeezed together. This was alarming, so I was dragged to the hospital to take more tests. I had an EKG, an EEG, an MRA, and a bajillion more MRI’s. I was in and out of the hospital for about two months. I got so sick of it and begged my parents to let it go and just let me be a normal college student. They consented, but on one conditon: to see a neurologist at least once a month. My PCP referred me to one of the top neurologists in the state. She had me take another MRA, MRI, and CAT scan. Before I took my MRA, the nurses inserted a needle into my skull that was filled with iodine, which pierced into my brain. The iodine was so that they would get a clearer picture of my brain. The MRA showed blood clots and more thinning of blood vessels. My family, my partner at the time, and my best friend were all asked to come in to meet with my neurologist. During the meeting, my neurologist requested that I be supervised 24 hours a day for a month and half in case I fainted again. They all worked out a schedule so that I was always with someone. I was also told that I am no longer allowed to drive myself anymore, for the rest of my fucking life. I’m 31 now and it’s hell. I was also not allowed to walk anywhere on my own.

I am at high risk of having a grand mal seizure. I still faint randomly, but I’ve been fortunate and very lucky to not have hit my head. That’s the biggest fear everyone has. I used to regain consciousness after about five seconds. I also used to remember fainting. Now, though, I stay blacked out for about 5 minutes and I don’t remember fainting, so it’s getting worse. I also get really woozy and have to lie down for a couple hours. I also throw up each time. I noticed that I faint more often when I’m under a lot of stress. I also have moments where I completely blank out for about a couple minutes randomly. Everything goes white and I break out into a cold sweat. I also see stars. I’ll be in the middle of a conversation with someone and blank out. When I come to, I don’t remember where I am, what the conversation was about, or the name of the person I was talking to. It’s scary. I also get disoriented very quickly and randomly start walking aimlessly, when I’m with my friends. They call out to me and repeat my name over and over, but I don’t hear them. I just keep walking. They have to catch up to me, grab my hand, and literally pull me in the right direction. There have been many instances where I’ll just walk out into the middle of the street, while the light is green and cars are coming at me. This makes EVERYONE freak the fuck out. They run after me as fast as they can and pull me back onto the sidewalk in a matter of seconds.

My memory has also been affected. I’ll forget things right away and have to ask the person to repeat themselves or if I’m writing something down, I have to constantly keep looking at the information. I noticed that my memory of numbers has greatly decreased. It takes me forever to memorize phone numbers, addresses, and lose count of things very quickly.

Each day is a challenge for me. I’m not any medication for any of it. I tried a number of medications, but none of them worked. The biggest fear is that one of these days I’ll faint and hit my head or have a seizure. Because I blank out, faint, and become disoriented, it affects my job.

I’m still hanging in there and surviving. I will not give up and keep fighting.

My Short Experience Working At A Mental Health Clinic

I recently left my job. I only worked there for three weeks, but it was enough. I always dreamed of working at a mental health clinic since I suffer from mental illnesses and figured it would be a good way to help others and connect and emphasize with others who have mental health issues/conditions. BOY, WAS I WRONG.

The clinic has 13 therapists and one psychiatrist. Except, not all 13 therapists work at one time – about 4 to 6 work at one time. For “doctors” who are responsible for helping others with their mental health, they are completely incompetent, useless, and dumb when it comes to the simplest things. For example, scheduling. That’s a BIG one. The founder, whose 87 and still practicing, doesn’t have an email address or knows how to work the computer. He does his own scheduling and each week, I was responsible for asking for his planner, making a copy of the week, then figuring out his chicken scratch, and inputting it into the schedule on the computer. Because of this, there were many instances that he made scheduling mistakes and patients that were not on the schedule would come in, thinking they had an appointment with him, while he was already in session with another patient. In these instances, I had to interrupt his session and have him come out and talk to the other patients. This happened at least four times a week.

As for the other therapists, each of them had a specific way they wanted things done. Whenever a new patient requests a therapist, I had to email the therapist beforehand. There’s also a procedure for inputting new patients into the system that I had to follow and I had to make folders for them. Every single therapist had their own individual way they wanted the new patient folders set up, so I had to learn 13 different ways and whenever I missed something, instead of coming to me, they would go and tattle on me to the manager. They also had scheduling preferences. I had to make reminder calls and sometimes, the therapists would schedule an appointment with a patient without notifying them or me, which caused a lot of confusion and anger. Also, if a patient cancelled, the therapist would ask me to call their other patients and ask if they can come in earlier or later, so there wouldn’t be a gap in their schedule. This made a lot of the patients upset, especially, the ones who had weekly standing appointments at the same time and day. I took a LOT of heat for doing that. When the therapists would schedule appointments, they never included the patients last name, phone number, or health insurance, which made my job harder. I couldn’t make reminder calls, figure out the co-pays, or which patient it was. Not to mention, one of the therapists was a complete bitch to me on my VERY FIRST DAY. In fact, she was a bitch to me on a daily basis. She always had something to say about me and gave me such a hard time when I made mistake, even though I was new.

Another thing was some patients were tattle tales. They’d complain to their therapist that I was eating while taking their co-pay, when I was on my break or that I was “rude” because I answered the phone. I learned VERY quickly to be professional whenever patients were in the waiting area. Also, because the clinic was in a wealthy part of town, the patients were mostly snobby and mean and felt entitled to being treated like royalty. There were a few patients who were very kind, funny, and understanding, but there weren’t very many. Since I was new, I wasn’t able to recognize the patients and some of them had a real problem with that, which I didn’t understand. How am I supposed to know who you are if I never met you before?

I learned my lesson the hard way. I am staying FAR AWAY from ANY mental health clinics. It is absolute bullshit, stressful, and a LOT of babysitting. One of the main things was the billing sheets. Each therapist has their own special color and prior to each day, I have to fill out a sheet for each therapist working the next day and write the name of their patients. I forgot to do it one day and the therapists threw tantrums. They could simply do it themselves. They have access to their schedule on their phones and home computer. All they have to do is grab a billing sheet, their pen color, and fill it out. It takes TWO minutes. Of course they complained to the manager when some of them don’t even turn in their billing sheets to the billing coordinator.

Not to mention, all the stress only triggered my mental illnesses. Especially my depression and anxiety. I could not get a good night sleep because I was filled with anxiety and dread for the next day. During work, I found myself on the verge of wanting to cry because I felt so depressed. I thought working in a mental health clinic would help my mental illnesses, but it only made it worse.

I am SO glad I am out of there. I INSTANTLY felt BETTER when I left. I am NEVER stepping foot in that clinic EVER AGAIN.

Please Help

I am currently in a very dark place and I don’t know how to get through it. I have such a GREAT life. My parents are pretty cool and love me, I have an older sister and we we are close, and I have a two year old niece who is the apple of my eye. I also have a partner that I’ve been with for four years.

I’m not sure why I’m feeling this way when I have SO much. Perhaps, life is catching up to me and the trauma’s I experienced is finally creeping into my subconscious. I feel the darkness pulling me under everyday and I have NO idea which way up is anymore. I feel trapped, restless, scared, lonely, alone, worthless, ugly, a bad person, and unimportant. I feel that my education was useless because I’m not using my degree and that disappoints my parents, even though they tell me they’re not.

I feel like I’m drowning and no matter how hard I try to swim to the top, something is gripping my feet, preventing me from swimming. This hold is so strong that it scares me. It makes me think that I’ll never be able to swim to the top and breathe.

I’ve also been having night terrors. I wake up drenched in sweat, screaming, and crying. Thank goodness my niece is a heavy sleeper. I’ve tried sleeping on the floor of my parents room to see if the night terrors will stop, but that doesn’t work either. If I don’t have night terrors, I have nightmares, which are just as bad.

I started seeing a therapist and she’s is AMAZING, but I’ve only had two sessions with her, so we haven’t gotten into the really messy stuff yet. I also have a psychiatrist and am on medication. They help most of the time, but it doesn’t prevent my night terrors.

I feel guilty because my parents are really worried about me and are constantly checking in on me. They try their hardest to cheer me up and put a smile on my face. I barely smile. I’ve been told by many people to smile because I look like a bitch and angry all the time. I haven’t genuinely smiled in a LONG time. It’s as if my face muscles and nerves forgot how to smile. I cannot remember the last time I had a good laugh, either. My parents try to make me laugh, too, but it never works.

I just cannot seem to be happy with myself and accept who I am. I feel I have to change, but I don’t know how or where to start. But, the question is, do I need to change or just find the light at the end of the tunnel? Will I ever go back to being truly happy, feel worthy, be able to laugh from my belly, smile again, and live life to the fullest? Will I ever be independent and not rely on others for everything?

I had such a bright future and I was on the path to accomplishing it, then suddenly, out of nowhere, I lost sight of it all. I have NO idea how to get back on the path. I don’t know where to begin. I don’t even know if I still want the same things for myself and my life. I’m so lost and such a mess.

Someone please help.

Living Life with Borderline Personality Disorder

It’s no secret I live with mental illnesses. However, out of all five, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects me the most. I was diagnosed with BPD about four years ago. Once I received the diagnosis, I studied up on it and did as much research on it as I could. I realized I’ve suffered from BPD since I was three. The symptoms of BPD include: fear of abandonment, a history of unstable relationships, impulsive self-destructing actions, self-harm, disassociation, seeing things as either white or black – no “gray” area, explosive anger, extreme mood swings, and putting people up on a pedestal, then dropping them because they upset you without them knowing, and feeling empty. When I started pre-school, I used to cry the night before school and the morning of, refuse to take off my pajamas, because I wanted to stay with my mom – talk about fear of abandonment! I also noticed a pattern of unstable relationships all throughout my life and self-harm. In addition, I behaved VERY impulsively – some behaviors were dangerous to myself. I just wanted to be “normal”, but I could NOT find the way out.

            BPD had taken EVERYTHING from me – stable loving relationships and friendships, control of my behavior, and worst of all, life itself, with multiple suicide attempts. Once I was diagnosed with BPD, it ALL made sense. I could FINALLY begin in the right direction of recovery. I went to my psychiatrist with my newfound diagnosis and he switched up my medications for me and I also sought out a therapist who specialized in treating people with BPD. Finding the right therapist took me YEARS, but, I FINALLY found “the one”. She is funny, kind, non-judgmental, gives GREAT advice, but most of all, does her best to understand who I am – NOT my illness, but ME. Having someone separate my identity from BPD is a refreshing change of view. It’s honestly nice to know that there’s SOMEONE out there rooting for me.

            Looking back on my behavior prior to my diagnosis scares me. I was ALWAYS looking for trouble – trying to gain a “badass” reputation and define myself through that, self-harm to the point I landed in the ER multiple times because I would bang my head on the asphalt until I gave myself a concussion, cutting to the point I could not stop the bleeding and had to go to the ER to get stitches, trashing my room, and lying to everyone that I was “fine”, when in reality, I was drowning. I also did and said things to my past partners to make sure the attention was directed on me at all times and it was usually BAD attention. I scared them, pushed them away, fought like animals on a daily basis, and treated the relationship like a light switch – I would break up with them and then, two hours later, call them, and beg them to come back. I am proud to say, for the past four years, I am in a stable relationship. We’ve never “fought” before, just had disagreements here and there. I’ve learned to compromise and reach a fair decision when my partner says “no” to my initial request. I have also stopped behaving impulsively. My suicide attempts? GONE. My self-harm? A thing of the past. In fact, I’ve learned to embrace the scars from my self-harm. I used to be ashamed of them and was looking at plastic surgery to erase them, but I learned to be proud of them – they tell a story. A story of my struggles and when I was on the edge, about to jump.

            I am a survivor. I still have my bad days. I still disassociate and feel “empty” and worthless, but on those days, I know how to cope in healthy ways, instead of turning to self-harm or behaving impulsively. I have connected with others who also have BPD and we talk about what symptoms we suffer the most from and share ways we cope. There is such a HUGE network of people who live with BPD and UNDERSTANDS EXACTLY how I feel. It is such a BIG relief knowing that there are people out there who are “like me” and that I am NOT alone because I CANNOT go through this on my own. I NEED help – as much help as I can get. I’m willing to publicly share my experiences with BPD in order to help others who are going through what I went and STILL do. Just because I am “stable” it does not mean I am “cured”. I am in the process of “recovery”, BUT, I KNOW that for the rest of my life, I will struggle with BPD. It is a daily fight – myself (the REAL ME) versus BPD. It’s NOT easy living with BPD, but I am learning how and that’s enough for me.

How I Used My Voice

About three years ago I was violently sexual assaulted by my male BFF of ten years. I developed an extreme case of PTSD because of it. At first, I decided not to press charges because I did not want to go through a trial. That changed quickly. After the sexual assault, I thought my attacker and I had cut ties and will never speak or see each other ever again. I was wrong. My attacker started harassing me – he’d blow my phone and email up. He’d go from cussing me out and threatening to kill me, my family, and friends, to apologizing and begging for my forgiveness. He even tried to get me fired from my job. He also snuck into my phone and went through my texts and messaged the males I texted on Facebook, demanding them to tell them what kind of relationship I had with them. I ignored him, but I did not block him or change my number because I was afraid of not knowing what he was thinking or doing, which could potentially harm me and my loved ones. I felt safer knowing he wanted to be in contact with me.

I was surprised when I was diagnosed with PTSD. I thought my behavior was normal, but it was not. I was constantly in fear, especially being home alone or out in public by myself. I was always crying. I asked my family to tell me their schedules for that day and where and how long they were going to be if they left the house to go to the store or something. I freaked out whenever they forgot to tell me and I called them in a panic, asking them where they were, when they left, and when they were coming home. If they didn’t answer the first time, I would call them repeatedly until they answered.

The sexual assault left me feeling lost, lonely, fear, violated, hopeless, helpless, worthless, and betrayed. How could my BFF for a decade do this to me? I said, “NO”. He stole my voice. He left me stripped of all the self-confidence and trust I had. I stopped smiling, laughing, socializing, and just cried – he took all of that away from me.

Since my attacker was harassing me, I decided to put a restraining order on him. I just wanted him to leave me alone. When I arrived at the police station, with a folder full of texts and call logs printed out, there was a female police officer who intercepted the evidence. As she skimmed through the texts, she IMMEDIATELY knew that I was sexually assaulted. She asked me, gently, if I was willing to press charges and I agreed. My attacker was being charged with sexual assault in the First Degree – a Class A Felony.

After a few days I made the report, the detective handling my case contacted me to come in for questioning and to give my testimony. Afterwards, I texted my attacker that I was pressing charges and that it would be smart of him to leave me alone. He just laughed, called me a liar, and kept harassing me. Then, one day, he suddenly stopped. Turns out, the detective contacted him to come in for questioning. He never did. Instead, he ran and hid. The police went to his house several times and each time, his parents answered the door and REFUSED to tell them where he was. They helped hide him. I STILL cannot fathom that. Why would you do that? Your oldest child obviously is in BIG DEEP trouble. Why make it worse for him by hiding him? Were they not aware that they could have been arrested for it? How can they live with themselves? How can they choose their child over the law? The police ended up assembling an undercover team and found him two weeks later.

When my attacker was on the run, I contacted EVERYONE who had met him (which was practically everyone) and asked them for help finding him – just keep an eye out. It was then, that I received the stereotypical reactions – majority of my “friends” did not believe me. One of them had the audacity to tell me, “It’s not rape if you wanted it.” Most of them did not want to get involved and told me they were not going to help. Some were skeptical and asked a bajillion questions as to why I wasn’t letting the police handle it and why they weren’t doing more. I was even asked if the sex was consensual but it wasn’t to my expectations, so I was crying “rape”.

I was devastated and hurt by my “friends” reactions. Many of them assumed I was already intimate with my attacker, when the only contact we had before the sexual assault was hugging. I now understood why people who are sexually assaulted do not report it. You’re viewed as a liar, a slut/whore/easy, seeking attention, and a bad person. After receiving the negative reactions from my so called “friends”, I felt ashamed, guilty, dirty, devastated, angry, ignored, left out, let down, awkward, and what I was doing was wrong. I was being doubted by the people I held dear to me. Instead of compassion, I was harshly judged. Instead of reassurance, I received painful remarks/comments. Instead of help, I was left alone, in the cold. Instead of comfort, I was insulted. How can people be so cruel? That day, I learned the only person you can count on is yourself and that I had to be strong.

Although I received a lot of heat and hate for speaking up, I do not regret it. I was able to get justice and find my voice again. The law listened to me. They heard me say, “No”, and rescued me. I found the guts to get through the hard parts and remain standing. My family was the BEST support system. I am so grateful for them.

This is for anyone and everyone out there to speak up and find help from experiencing such a trauma. You can do it. It will not be easy, but you will receive justice and you’ll no longer be a victim. Besides, you survived the sexual assault – if you can do that, you can get through ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. You’re worth it. You may not forget, nor ever forgive, but you will get past it. You WILL move on. Just please know you are NOT alone. You are a SURVIVOR.

The “Dark” Side of Paradise

Hawaii is viewed as “paradise” with its breathtaking beaches, sunsets, & views, famous nature landmarks, beautiful sunny days and blue skies all year long, and filled with the aloha spirit. As someone who is born and raised on Oahu, let me tell you, there is a dark side and Hawaii is NOT just a 24/7 vacation. Hawaii has the most methamphetamine addicts. Only, it is not methamphetamine – it’s called “ice”. For those of you who never heard of ice, it is a different chemical make up from methamphetamine. It is stronger, more addicting, and deadlier than methamphetamine.

Ice is EVERYWHERE in Hawaii, especially Oahu. I’ve lived in town my whole life, which is slang for the suburbs, and majority of my neighbors cook and use ice. It smells terrible. The smell of bleach, acetone, nail polish remover, and pesticides waft into my room, sending me into a coughing fit. Ice addicts also have a distinct smell – they smell like sweat and metal.

I lost MANY friends to ice. It’s tragic. Ice eats you from the inside out. I witnessed the effects of ice on people. Since it is more powerful than methamphetamine, the side effects take hold of the addicts almost immediately from the time they use it. The high also lasts for 24 to 48 hours. Ice comes in the form of rocks, which can either be smoked or injected. Most of the ice addicts choose to smoke it. When someone starts using ice, about three months in, they are nothing but skin and bones, pale, with sunken eyes. After another two months, they have sore all over their faces. Give or take a month and they start losing their teeth and hair. Many ice addicts live out of their car at the beach. I surf, so I frequent the beaches and am friendly with some of them. Sometimes, they’ll surf and they’re amazing at it. They could’ve gone pro, but they fell into the grips of ice, ruining any chances of it. Ice addicts are dangerous because they are unpredictable. They’re happy and friendly one minute, then violent the next minute. Even though they weigh less than 100lbs, they’re still a threat because the adrenaline from the ice gives them herculean power. One of my good girlfriends from high school is an ice addict. I remember her calling me the first time she did it. She told me how she felt light, happy, and energetic and we should meet up, so that I could try it. I said “no thank you” and hung up. About two years ago, she was blowing up my phone while I was working. She told me some sob story about spending the night in jail because her parents called the cops on her for taking her car out, which they reported stolen. She needed a place to shower and crash in town because she had court the next day, but had no money to catch the bus, and asked if I could pick her up and stay at my place. I asked her if she was clean and she told me she was, so I agreed. As SOON as she got in the car, I could tell she was high. She lied to me. I confronted her about it, but she was too high to be coherent. She proceeded to take out her bag of ice and pipe to show me. I was LIVID, but I decided to let it go and help her, after all she was a good friend of mine and needed help. BIG MISTAKE. We were about an hour away from my house, from where I picked her up, and I could tell she was crashing. Once we got to my place, she took a shower, and I gave her a change of clothes. She, then, asked if she could borrow some money and if I could drop her off at a pawn shop. I did not want her staying overnight at my place, so I agreed. I gave her a 20 and dropped her off at the pawn shop. The next day, I noticed my grandmother’s one-of-a-kind custom made 18kt gold ring was gone. I looked EVERYWHERE for it. Then, I realized she stole. It. I felt sick. I felt stupid. I felt betrayed. I felt like crying. I felt angry. I felt like breaking something. I felt powerless. I realized my “friend” pawned the ring for ice. How could she do this to me? I HELPED her. I was shaking from anger, but I decided not to contact her about it, because it would only fall upon deaf ears. She was FULL BLOWN addict. Nothing I said or did would bring my grandmother’s ring back.

Hawaii has an ice epidemic. Yet, it goes ignored and unnoticed. We want to keep up the image that Hawaii is a vacation destination, especially since tourism is our number one industry. I hope to anyone reading this learned something and is now educated a bit more about the truth of Hawaii and has a better understanding of the island.