This I Believe

Rebecca - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 12, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

Nothing in life is a coincidence

I believe everything in life happens for a reason. By 1990, I was dying slowly, intentionally, literally. I moved from Boston to Phoenix in what on the surface seemed a random choice. I was scheduled to attend Community College and major in Finance. But why, I have no idea.

My abnormal psychology professor, ultimately saved my life. I signed up for abnormal psych as an elective. The first day of class I was hazy, hung over, and drinking a big gulp…breakfast. He came into the classroom of approximately 40 students, me being the oldest at 24, and told us to each share something about ourselves that was abnormal. I was terrified. I can’t share. I can’t speak in front of people. Hell, I can’t speak out loud when I am by myself! But, I had to. And, it was okay. I talked about the time when I was only 16 and my boyfriend, friends, and I broke into a bowling alley that was being built and started a bonfire. I told my story and he moved on to the next person. She had a crystal meth habit in high school. It was uneventful. I didn’t die.

The semester progressed, not effortlessly, but surprisingly okay. I participated. I was involved. I was fascinated. Crazy made me feel sane, and at home. It made my world make sense. And then, I passed out for the first time.

Our abnormal psych class took a field trip to the state mental hospital. For the most part, everything was very sterile and somewhat “cleaned up” for us. But, then we went to the children’s ward. There wasn’t anything grotesque or shocking, but there was a sense of hopelessness. The room seemed not as tall as normal. It was small. I tried to separate myself from the group and hug the back cinderblock wall. There was a display of brochures next to me that I tried to focus on…abuse, attention deficit disorder, bulimia;…I started to slide down the wall. I felt paper and metal. Then, I saw Doc Oz’s face. “Are you okay? Do you want to go outside?” he said. I must have said yes. It’s unclear to me now. But, Doc Oz and I went outside on the steps of the children’s ward at the State Mental Hospital in Phoenix. “Are you pregnant?” he asked me. And all I could think was….am I that fat? “No, no, I’m not pregnant. I probably just drank too much last night.” That excuse seemed to appease him. We resumed the tour. I succeeded in covering up my secret. So, I must be okay. Right? I am. I am okay.

Ultimately, Doc Oz was the reason I got help in Flagstaff. Seemingly random events in one’s life when strung together, form a path to their purpose. This I believe.