It’s been a ride. I wipe genuinely soothing tears from my probing eyes as I examine and reflect retrospectively upon the life I have lived thus far. I had a relatively magical childhood. I affectingly feel fond memories flood in as I muse upon footloose days at the park in which I would throw a softball around with my father or the sincere love that my mother welcomed me into the world with and bestowed upon me throughout my innocent adolescence. My beloved parents gave me an ample amount of reasonable space which triggered countless curiosities within the blossoming of my own imagination and creation of an inner value for simplicity at a substantially young age. I am the middle child and altruistic sister of my two treasured brothers, Jonathon and Donovan, who are eternally my dearest sidekicks and heedful right hand men. Our family grew up in the aggressive slums of Southwest Detroit in which our small, two bedroom home was anchored between my Sito and Jido’s (grandmother and grandfather in the Arabic language) bungalow and an eerie cemetery that was utterly visible from our nearly microscopic front porch. My father intently slaved away day and night at the bar that his father owned, Johnny’s Bar, to ensure that our family had food on the table every single night while my mother counseled and watched over my brothers and I at home. I was brought up in a neighborhood in which gunshots served as alarm clocks and noisy barbecues, corner stores, police sirens, pimped out whips and the real world nitty-gritty forced me to grow up quickly in the face of adversity. I survived and escaped a kidnapping by a venomous child molester in the form of man who handed me a shiny ring at the naively ripe age of 6 years old. I attended a prominently Arabic American elementary school in which I was willfully picked on for simultaneously not wearing a hijab in the classroom and being the only caucasian child in sight. I was naively an outsider dressed in a chirpy peach colored dress with silky golden brown hair swaying from side to side. I was very ahead academically and resorted to teaching myself how to shift my feelings of being an alienated source of teasing full of loneliness into the creation of imaginary friends that would keep me company and assure me that I was never alone. I began expressing emotion through writing at the age of 7 years old. I vividly recall preferring books to classmates and reciting a charmingly simple poem I had written in front of my disinterested peers at our school’s talent show which later was published in The Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans. Ironically, I won a D.A.R.E award at the age of 11 years old for an essay I had written pertaining to my intention to never engage in illicit drug or alcohol use.
My social anxiety was heightened by school bullies to such a staggering extreme that it led toward hasty anger outbursts, feelings of unworthiness and a great deal of emotional turmoil. I had nobody to sit with in the cafeteria at lunch and the coping mechanism I chose was to timorously hide in the bathroom stall and create stashes of uneaten sandwiches my mother prepared for me in my sparkling pink backpack to feel safe from emotional bullying. I contemplated, planned and achingly failed at executing suicide which laid the frame-work for self harm in the form of maliciously cutting myself in hopes that the excruciating physical pain would alleviate the emotional pain I was feeling inside. I would deliberately tear my skin until the sting of harrowing pain and the rush of the sight of my own tender blood provided a sense of mollifying comfort. I hated myself. I felt as if I did not have any value to contribute and not a single individual to turn to or talk to pertaining to my disheartening feelings of estrangement. My substance abuse concerns began in the 7th grade at Stout Middle School in Dearborn, MI when I was first prescribed the controlled substance and anti-anxiety medication by the name of Xanax by a psychiatrist I was visiting on a weekly basis. I was instantly hooked on the powerfully addictive benzodiazepines that provided rapid social anxiety relief and inhibited my brain’s natural ability to anxiously speed up and principally go bonkers. Before you know it, I morphed into a rebellious 13-year-old addict mischievously hiding away from my parents in my room, skipping school and snorting illegally purchased Xanax bars off of my dusty social studies textbook. Every single one of my grades began to plummet and I chose abusing extremely high doses of sedatives to recapture a feeling of relaxation to better cope with the so-called stress I encountered and periods of hyperactivity over delivering a straight A report card to my highly concerned parents.
It wasn’t until I was a high school freshman that I began to experiment with Schedule I drugs (ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana) and the almighty source of spirit produced by distillation that morphed me into a frightful and wretched monster. It was within moments of swallowing my fist sip of the drastically mood-altering substance that my meager sense of self and absolute common sense began to dwindle away. I nearly instantaneously adapted the reputation of being able to toss back more tequila than my amigos and blackout prior to the social engagement I was attending even remotely beginning. I endured more episodes of amnesia in which I lost my capability to form a single memory while I was exceedingly intoxicated than actual days I attended high school. I wholeheartedly formed the crooked belief that drinking alcohol was the glue that was holding my life together. I began ruthlessly shoplifting alcohol from local drug stores on a daily basis within my sophomore year of high school without a slight concern of getting caught red-handed and the potential consequences of my dishonorable actions. I was arrested and placed in juvenile detention on numerous occasions for drinking as a minor, shoplifting and physical altercations. I was so traumatized from my experiences of bullying aching at my core that I in turn became the bully who inflicted pain and hurt others. I spent every year of my teenage life on ceaseless drinking sessions that ended in waking up in a sleazy beau’s bed or spending the night next to boneheaded deadbeats in a chilly jail cell after sucking down a fifth of cheap alcohol that I shoplifted between bouncing from one crooked situation to the next. I made my mother suffer until her hair turned gray. I regularly ridiculed and verbally abused my mother in public. I watched my mother pour her eyes out with heavyhearted tears as I purposely engaged in any poor behavior that would create catty wars and increasingly make my parent’s life a living hell. I was placed in an accredited chemical dependency treatment center at the age of 14 years old in which I would barbarously lash out at the director and regularly fail every single drug and alcohol test I was required to endure. I discovered cocaine at the age of 15 years old and vividly recall the first time that I instantaneously felt a gram of what I believed to be pure gold make my lips go numb. The highly toxic and life threatening combination of cocaine and alcohol allowed me to consume higher amounts of alcohol and obtain what I believed to be a sense of social acceptance. My ailing sense of confidence was boosted and malevolently admired by my cold-blooded peers as despicable stories full of humiliating memories began to rapidly add up. As I floundered in high school and anesthetized my personal struggles with alcohol and drugs, my adolescent life rapidly began to go downhill similar to a sled gathering speed. I dropped out of high school with a 0.6 GPA. On the fast track to self-destruction and rashly under the belief that I was invincible, I became progressively preoccupied with living life strung out with guilt and through a state of pure ignorance. After years of fake id’s that led me to be the first individual at the bar and the last individual to leave, I began feeling as drained as the Energizer Bunny on empty. What initially began as a narrow, shallow path became so deeply engrained and solidified that it morphed into a deep and wide trench. I was murkily engulfed by a choppy tide grimly shedding all of my sainthood like snake-skin. I received a phone call from my mother with her voice trembling despite her efforts to control it stating that my little brother, Donovan, had received news that he was diagnosed with cancer. In a state of initial cold-hard denial, I shouted, “No he doesn’t”, and abruptly felt the bitter nothingness of discord, nonacceptance and opposition morph into a poignantly heartbreaking fact. Life changed. It felt akin to all of the air being sucked out of my lungs and a ton of bricks being pitilessly dropped on top of my heart. My heart literally hurt. Tears liberally rolled down my face. Our family has found incredible strength over a period of harrowing uncertainty and have intimately come together to join our little man in his war against the smiting disease attacking his body and mind. I began reassessing how I perceived trivial matters in life and opened my heart to a new level of acceptance. Through succumbing to the fact that this relentless illness is certainly real and currently the most important matter in each one our family members lives, I developed a zero distractions mindset set upon the only goal; overcoming. I learned how to act in a calm manner despite adrenalin flowing beneath. I learned how to stabilize my emotions and regain rationality through forthright acceptance. I selflessly learned that my brother’s diagnosis had absolutely nothing to do with me. And I have had the experience of observing a young man whom I love dearly develop and transform into a powerhouse full of unwavering fortitude and endurance.
The all too familiar question of ‘Who am I?’ began to stir in my mind without a clear answer in sight. I began distancing myself from human beings and discovering my ability to elevate the murkiest disarray into words that string together and activate the process of identity. I took the onyx pain into my arms like a wicked amorous lover who has perilously derived art from obscurity within the lurid storm between birth and death. The diminishing rays of a blurred sun duskily grasped my urbanized walls downward as daylight mercilessly ended and I unabashedly morphed into my own pitiless private investigator in the unmitigated quest for clues on how my puerile innocence has been ruthlessly eaten alive. I found it oddly alchemically refreshing to be intractably drawn to opaque smokiness from the flaring wildfire in the abstruse depths of my labyrinthine mind. I experienced days of exhilarating honest reflection which shed layers through revealing the magic ribbon leading to sublime inner and outer views. I would probe the complexity and sheer simplicity of human existence while gazing in the manner of an ensorcelled child down the tunnel of the kaleidoscope of my life. I liked the quietness. I liked the stillness. I liked being able to feel my breath slowly caress my core and nourish my being. I liked feeling hungover free and sober. As I began to release energetic tension stored in my body, I awakened a profound depth of internal comfort that led me to enter formidable experiences I normally would’t dare to go as I grew to learn that that was where the flowers grow.
Today, I have been sober for years and cry tears full of profound pain as I recall how I embedded the emotional pain that was pin-balling inside of me into my mother and loved ones while I was engrossed in a state of perpetual hysteria. Today, I take full accountability for my life. I write for a living and have travelled the country over the past year in which I have gathered information from my experiences to develop probing questions while opening portals that empower the discovery of new and effective ways to free myself in the deepest sense. I have cultivated an inner GPS system that unceasingly points to the path of opening to the moments of ecstasy within the bloody, raw and painful realities of life. I am an intricate act of ever-changing and charmingly aging beauty rising out of stasis and adorning the brief nature of life. I have developed versatility and broadened my personal borders through life-enhancing experiences and influential exposure. The beauty of crafting words awes me, and the journals in which I share my internal equanimity are my best friends. Hell, I could be Anne Frank reincarnated. It’s my favorite time of day when I choose to close my eyes, open my heart, stop looking, stop hearing, and start feeling. I have rediscovered who I am and what I want out of life. I am marvelously made. I have discovered an enchanting place within where colors are luminous and energetic freedom lives. I have developed courage by failing. Many times. Over and over again. Experimentation has led me to demonstrate to myself that I am able to push every single self-created boundary. I have rewired my brain. I breathe life through my body. I am an ever-emerging constellation of elaborate ingenious patterns in touch with the far-fetched, dreamy inner child and the wisdom of a seasoned veteran on the road of life. I stand in my worth unwaveringly. I am simultaneously soft and ferociously bold. I am 26 years young and wise. I am strong in my sensitivity. I am alive and free in my forthright vulnerability. My life is not polished and pretty. It never will be. I am no shaman and I put my pants on the same way that you do. I chose not to wait until I hear that I am dying to begin to live. I did not play the hand that I was dealt; the hardy warrior inside of me changed the cards.
Stop wishing upon on a star from the sidelines of your life. You are the architect of your life experience. This is my heart speaking to you. Nothing is sexier than accountability. Take action. I have developed monk-like focus through piercing into the marrow of my being and deliberately preserving my health. I am eternally a grown up kid from the block with the mind of a scholar who is proud of the woman I have chosen to become. Although I recognize my cheery disposition mellowly subsiding and tottering towers of experience accompanying me regardless of destination, I do reserve feverish reverence for the sharpened perception and curbed enthrallment that mutely examines and descries neurotic wonder in all. I confidently express my authentic self to the world. The choices and sacrifices I have made to intentionally exist where I am today have led me to actively living the life of my dreams while residing in Los Angeles, California. I observe internal assurance while living in the fullness of magnetizing, sunlit nourishment. I am a living, flawed work of abstract art and a woman of superior amaranthine grace. I stand emotionally open before the world as a prismatically offbeat bouquet of words and an introspectively impenetrable world. I carry a mischievous vividness full of cogent stimulus through enduring a turbulent flow which arouse a golden glow exhibiting the gifts I bestow. I treasure my scars as reservoirs full of evolutionary insight that carry the golden ticket to the accusation of timeless wisdom. I have written my own prodigious constitution at the worlds oldest and largest educational institution. Poetic, eh? Hi. My name is Jessica Golich and I have been enrolled as a student at The University of Planet Earth since birth. May you take appropriate action toward overcoming your personal battles and create the world you live in to be the world of your dreams.