Editorial: Get published

If you always wanted to get published and never had the time until now, there are plenty of online opportunities with the Youngtown Edition. Students of all majors are welcome to get involved, and professors, faculty, staff and CCM community members can as well. Here’s how you can get involved with us:

All submissions must be sent to youngtownedition@gmail.com. Not all submissions may be published and all submissions may be edited.

  1. Take part in an interview

Student journalists are looking for students, professors, faculty, staff and administrative members to interview for their articles. By participating, you answer a set of questions from a student journalist, where you get to answer and provide your opinions. Your statements can be published in an article about the Coronavirus, online classes, cancelled events, community news and more. If you are interested in taking part in an interview, either through email or over the phone, please contact youngtownedition@gmail.com.

  1. Write a Letter to the Editor

As always, the Youngtown accepts Letters to the Editor, which allows everyone at CCM to write to the newspaper. You may have read an article that was interesting and that you want to reflect on, or perhaps you have an opinion about an article, or an event, or even just current happenings and want to share it. Maybe you want to write about your experience transitioning online, or how you have more time than you expected and don’t know what to do with it because of the quarantine. Send your letter signed with your full name to our email.

  1. Draw a cartoon or comic

If you are an art major or just really like to draw, consider creating and drawing your own cartoon and comics. Design your own characters and storyline. Any medium, including hand drawn and digital drawn, are acceptable. Cartoons can either be in black or white or color. Be creative and have fun with it. Be sure to scan in and send your cartoon as either a JPEG, PNG or PDF to youngtownedition@gmail.com.

  1. Participate in Roving Reporter 

Usually, student journalists and photographers search the halls of CCM looking for people to participate in Roving Reporter. This almost always requires providing a name, major, answer to a question and a photo. However, with the CCM campus being closed, the photo requirement has been lifted. If you have ever wanted to participate in Roving Reporter, but didn’t want your photo taken, now is your chance. Follow @youngtownccm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to participate in biweekly online Roving Reporter questions. Just send a direct message with your first and last name, major and answer to the question.

  1. Create a puzzle

If you ever wanted to design your own word search, crossword puzzle, maze, riddle or any other type of puzzle, now is your chance. Create your own puzzle, design a theme for it if you so choose, and be creative. Also, be sure to include a copy of the answers to your puzzle. Please scan in and send your puzzle as a PDF or PNG to our email.

  1. Share a recipe

If you enjoy cooking and baking, share a recipe for others to try at home. Either create your own recipe, share a family recipe, or provide a favorite recipe. If your recipe is not your own, please include what website or book you found it in. Please send your recipe typed out in either a word document or just in the email. Also, take some photos of what you made and send as JPEGs. Send everything to youngtownedition@gmail.com.

  1. Offer recommendations

If you have any recommendations on TV shows to watch, movies to stream, video games to play, apps to download, Youtubers to follow, music to listen to and more, write a recommendation of things you enjoy for others to check out. Send your recommendations to our email.

  1. Write an article

 Perhaps you have always wanted to write an article for the Youngtown. Write about any topic of your choice, and make it at least 200 words. Please remember bylines will only not be given if the student is a member of a club or organization mentioned in his or her own article. Send your article to youngtownedition@gmail.com by Sunday, April 5, to be considered for the next edition of the Youngtown.

Despite my diagnosis… Today I am Happy

Raven Resch


Despite my diagnosis, today I am happy, but I couldn’t always say that. I’ve had days of darkness where my own mind was destroying me from the inside out. 

I had learned that there was no place more frightening than the places my own mind can take me. I felt hopeless and helpless; there was a monster inside of me, torturing me. I felt guilt and shame. How could someone with a 2-year-old son and a rather normal life feel this way? But my life was not always normal, I ran from my past, but it finally caught up to me. 

You can’t run from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, depression and OCD. You can’t run, it will always catch up with you. I could no longer run from the thoughts that were destroying me, my mind was so loud that even my own screams couldn’t block out the noise. I wanted nothing more than to die, but I know personally how suicide can affect a family. My only way of giving up, was giving in. 

I took myself to the emergency room and gave into whatever they wanted me to do. At this point I did not want recovery for me, I still wanted to die, but for my family I knew I had to do something. I was transported to the psychiatric hospital and from there to an acute partial hospitalization program, and it was there in that program where I got my life back. 

I was no longer just living, I felt like I was actually alive, a feeling I hadn’t felt for years. At the exact point where I felt I was giving up on life, I was actually accepting recovery. 

Today, because I accepted help I can say that I am happy. There is no doubt that some days are still hard but there are no days that are not worth all the lessons I am learning. I am turning my days of torture into days of success. I finally know what I want in life and that is to help people who are feeling exactly the way I felt. To let them know that there is hope even when you can’t see it, to speak out against the mental health stigma, and to end the silence that is slowing killing us inside. 

If you are struggling, please know there is help. Some resources you can utilize are the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255, the Crisis Text Line if you text HOME to 741741, and the Counseling Center in the Student Community Center, Room 118. 

Editor’s Note: If you are in the process of recovery we encourage you to join the members of Active Minds, Writers Club and the Youngtown Edition to become more than your diagnosis and to share your story, contact youngtownedition@gmail.com to find out how. 

Originally Published in the 2-13-2019 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Despite my Diagnosis… Hold on, pain ends.

By Rachel Eckert



Hold on, pain ends.
I hear this phrase over and over again. Whether it be by professionals or friends, everybody tells me that. I knew it was true. In theory, anyway. But I always had such a hard time seeing that and understanding that. I didn’t understand how the anguish I had felt for so many years could ever end. Even if I only temporarily felt better, it was better than where I was. I never expected to magically get better. Because that isn’t how it happens. You don’t wake up one day and tell yourself “I’m not depressed anymore” and go on your merry way. I know, however, that is how some people think. It doesn’t go away overnight, that sadness deep in your belly.
I knew that much, but never thought about what came next. In the past few months, I have learned that when you are so sad and hurt all of the time, a slight improvement feels miles better than where you came from. Unfortunately, that slight improvement also feels like you crawled a mile to get there.
I was at rock bottom. No, I was lower than rock bottom. I was in rock bottoms basement. It’s a place I never realized existed until my rock bottom somehow turned even lower. The depression and anxiety were getting the best of me. I felt awful all of the time. But I am not asking for your pity. That’s not where I am anymore. When you’re in rock bottoms basement, you can’t get any lower. And for that I was thankful.
One morning, I decided to take recovery head on. I had plenty of setbacks and I didn’t feel better immediately. In fact, I almost felt worse because of the fact that I didn’t feel better. It took me months to get where I am now. To some, where I am is still so low. But for me, this is the best I have ever felt.
Hold on, pain ends. Maybe not right now. Maybe not in three months. The way you feel won’t be the same. I am still depressed and I am anxious, but it does not pain me to be alive. It does not pain me to get out of bed every morning. You may never feel 100%, but the way you feel now cannot stay this way forever. So when you are sad and want to give up, have hope. Hold on, pain ends.
If you are struggling, please know there is help. Some resources you can utilize are the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255, the Crisis Text Line if you text HOME to 741741, and the Counseling Center in the Student Community Center, Room 118. 

Editor’s Note: If you are in the process of recovery we encourage you to join the members of Active Minds, Writers Club and the Youngtown Edition to become more than your diagnosis and to share your story, contact youngtownedition@gmail.com to find out how. 

Thanking Youngtown, from a long time staff member

By Marisa Goglia

Managing Editor

In the 20 plus journalism articles that I have penned this one by far is the hardest one that I’ve had to write. 

When I went to orientation prior to starting CCM in 2012, my tour guide said “You should join the Youngtown Edition, it will look great on your resume.” So, I set out looking to join and I went to my adviser Professor John Soltes who told me that the copy editor position was open and was mine if I wanted it. I remember going to production and Professor Soltes taking the time to show me Associated Press Style. Which at the time, I wasn’t too familiar with, but I bought the book and looked up AP style online, trying to make sense of it all. Looking back, the first issue I ever edited was a complete mess, majors were capitalized and titles weren’t properly styled. 

But being on the Youngtown and taking journalism classes, I learned my way around the numerous and continuous rules that AP style has to offer.

At times, I often wondered if I had overstayed my welcome because I was on the Youngtown for so long. Russ Crespolini, our current adviser  said, “No, no, please stay.” I could tell that he genuinely did not want me to leave because he didn’t have anyone in mind who could fill the position. 

As I stayed, the Youngtown wasn’t just something to put on my resume. It was the place where the quiet me came out of my shell, attended production meetings and made friends that became family. And it’s the place where I’ve achieved more than I could ever imagine from a first place Associated Press Award to becoming managing editor and copy chief.  

Thank you to Prof. Russ Crespolini, Prof. John Soltes and the communication department and to  Brett Friedensohn and the Youngtown staff. It has been an honor and a privilege to edit and write for the Youngtown for the past six years, thank you all so much.

Originally Published in the 12-5-2018 issue of the Youngtown Edition

A farewell from the editor

By Brett Friedensohn



I’ve known since I joined Youngtown in September 2015 that I would eventually need to leave, but that concept always seemed foreign to me until I started writing this editorial. And I’ve known since April 2017 when I accepted the editor-in-chief position that I’d need to write this on my way out, but it’s surreal to me that I’m writing it now.

I realize that’s a cliche way to look at all this, so much so that pointing out the fact that it’s cliche is cliche at this point. However, that’s the best way I can describe what I’m feeling right now. I’m just baffled by the concept of linear time progression and the fact that it’s now time to move on. That’s probably because Youngtown has become such an integral part of my life for the past few years.

The reason I started working on Youngtown is because I knew early on that I wanted some career to do with writing although I didn’t know exactly what that would entail. I wanted to get involved, so I grabbed the first Youngtown of the fall 2015 semester and sent an email to the address in the staff box, reaching then editor-in-chief Derek Allen who assigned me my first story. He and faculty adviser Russ Crespolini helped me feel from that point on like I was working toward something meaningful.

I have a long list of people I would like to personally thank for their work with me during my time with Youngtown. I won’t have enough time to acknowledge everyone, so I apologize in advance to anyone I have missed.

First, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my gratitude to Crespolini. From the very beginning, Russ has supported my goals and interests while pushing me to better myself at every stage in my short career. Also through this connection, I have been able to land a full-time staff writer position with the New Jersey Hills Media Group, his former employer. In his work with this company and Patch, he has grown with the changes of this unpredictable industry while maintaining his ethics, and that I find impressive and admirable.

Next, I would like to thank CCM’s athletic director Jack Sullivan the first person I interviewed for Youngtown, and probably the person I’ve interviewed the most during my time here. After I first met with Jack, he encouraged me to apply as sports editor, a position which I didn’t consider myself capable of attaining at the time. I want to acknowledge the boost in my confidence that he gave me that day and also all the assistance he’s given me since, for putting up with me bursting into his office the day of my deadline to get last-minute quotes, and for the positive atmosphere that he sets the example for in his department.

Reporting on all nine of CCM’s sports teams has become a passion of mine, and it will be hard for me to separate myself from it. Generally speaking, I want to thank the entire department for cooperating with me so much to help with my reporting and for making me feel like one of their own. There are plenty of people who deserve my gratitude in the athletic department, and while I do not have time to give them all anecdotes, I feel they should at least be named: Administrative Assistant Diane Davis, Assistant Athletic Director Roger Stevens, Softball Head Coach Greg Wardlow, Golf Head Coach Jim Chegwidden, Baseball Head Coach Brian Eberly, former Women’s Basketball Head Coach Brenda DeNure, current Women’s Basketball Head Coach Alexandria Katz, Men’s Basketball Head Coach Anthony Obery, Volleyball Head Coach Amy Berry, and scorekeeper and fellow Youngtown alum Scotty Sains. It has been an honor to write about all these teams and work with all these people, and it was especially exciting to report on CCM’s two Region XIX championship teams during my time here, softball in 2016 and golf this past spring.

Next, I want to take the time to express my gratitude to the Office of Campus Life who is in charge of Youngtown’s budget. I want to thank the many student aides who have worked in that office as well as administrative assistants “Sassy” Annmarie Lippielo, Joanne Metro, and Dawn Doland, the reigning defending undisputed champion of Searching CCM, for all lightening up my mood whenever entering OCL almost every day during my time as editor-in-chief and for being helpful in general. I also want to thank OCL director Don Phelps who has helped this paper get what it needs, even going so far as driving off campus to personally deliver our favorite pizza to us after our Thursday night productions. Additionally, Don has been a reliable and helpful point of contact when reporting on club happenings.

In the communication department, I want to thank journalism professor John Soltes for giving me an insightful academic experience in news writing while also providing his insightful opinions and perspectives on the industry and its foundations. Additionally, Prof. Soltes has always invited me into his classrooms to talk about Youngtown, and he has encouraged his students to join the paper and to submit their stories for class to us. Hopefully, I’ll run into him at a Devils’ game soon. I also want to thank department chair Dr. Matthew Jones for his unwavering support of the Youngtown’s editorial independence and for also being an extra sounding board for all my wacky ideas.

Finally, I want to wish nothing but the best to the upcoming editorial board. The team that will take the mantle will be led by current layout editor Alexa Wyszkowski who is being promoted to editor-in-chief, current features editor Adam Gentile who is being promoted to managing editor, and current sports editor Anthony Ingham who is being promoted to news editor. I have confidence in these three to commit themselves to this paper and lead it to keep producing the content that has made Youngtown so reputable for 50 years.

If there’s anything I wish I had learned at Youngtown, it would be how to end stories with meaningful and thought-provoking conclusion sentences, or “kickers” in industry jargon, rather than awkwardly stopping when I’ve written all the information I need.

Originally Published in the 12-5-2018 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Ax the Pink Tax

By Lianna DelCorpo

Staff Writer


It’s time to get familiar with the Pink Tax, a hot topic of discussion lately as news travels fast across our country. Currently, in the United States there are no federal laws banning gender discrimination in the sales of goods and services. The result of these nonexistent policies is the “Pink Tax” or “Woman Tax” which represents the price discrimination in products directed towards women. The pink tax inherited its name due to many products for women often being colored pink.

In 2010, Consumer Reports found that women pay up to 50 percent more for very similar, sometimes almost identical products than men. Women are spending on average $1,351 in extra costs and fees every year for simply being women. Some examples include; women paying 13 percent more for personal hygiene products, 48 percent more for shampoo, 51 percent more for razors, 54 percent more for haircuts, the list goes on and on. Why? One explanation is higher import tariffs, which are fees the U.S. charges on goods imported from other countries. It costs companies an average of 15.1 percent to import womens clothing compared to 11.9 percent to import mens clothing. It’s also more expensive for manufacturers to buy materials of a specific color (pink) and scents deemed more feminine.

These higher costs are passed on to female consumers and contribute to these ridiculous markups. It’s not just women who are speaking out, Michael Cone, a New York City trades lawyer has been fighting the federal government over gender-biased tariffs since early 2000. Michael Cone and over 200 well known companies such as Urban Outfitters, Steve Madden, Forever 21, etc. decided to sue the government to protest these sexist tariff rates. Unfortunately, as of May 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly denied the attempts to challenge these unfair prices. Yet that has not stopped people from continuing to fight back.

At the federal level, California Representative Jackie Speier and 27 legislators, including New Jersey representative, Bonnie Watson Coleman, introduced the Pink Tax Repeal Act H.R. 5464 into Congress on April 10th, 2018. This bill would make it illegal to charge women and men different prices for significantly similar consumer products and services at a national level. Furthermore allowing the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations and gives a state’s attorney general the authority to take civil action on behalf of consumers wronged by discriminatory practices. 

To call attention to the unfairness of the pink tax, Burger King created an advertisement called “Chick Tax” where employees charged real female customers $3.09 for a pretty pink box filled with the same amount of chicken fries as the original box that sells for $1.69. Essentially, they were charging women $2.39 more for a product that is exactly the same but in pink packaging. Women in the ad were completely outraged when a manager spoke up and said, “When you go into a drug store and you pay $2 more for your razor blades, do you say something then?” The ad ended with a statement that 42 percent of the time women’s products cost more and invites viewers to support the Pink Tax Repeal Act H.R. 5464.

We can support the repeal of this pink tax by contacting your local governor or member of Congress to request a federal law outlawing gender pricing. Start ignoring clever marketing schemes and cute packaging and buy products solely based on their price and quality. As a wise man once said, “Knowledge is Power” so the more we know about the pink tax, the better we as consumers can fight back, by refusing to pay the pink tax whenever we can!

Originally Published in the 12-5-2018 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Participate in creating a safer Halloween

By Alexa Wyszkowski
Layout Editor


Photo courtesy of: Fare

Halloween should be a fun holiday for all. Pick out a costume. Purchase some candy. Give out the candy to kids or be the kids to go get the candy. Or even indulge and  eat some candy. It’s a Happy Halloween indeed, unless one can’t eat the candy.

The point of trick or treating is to gather with family and friends, dress up and go around collecting candy. Halloween may seem like the best day of the year to most kids, unless you are a kid who has life threatening food allergies, food intolerances, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), celiac disease, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), feeding tubes, or is on a special diet. Kids with various conditions like these may not be able to have candy and may feel left out while trick-or-treating.

Halloween  can also cause stress for the parents of these children, especially those with food allergies, as Halloween candy does not always have ingredient labels, the miniature versions of the candies may contain different ingredients and with all the handling of candy there are more chances of cross-contact. With all the risk involved there is a lot of uncertainty if the candy is safe or not for the child to handle or eat. If a child were to eat a candy that contained their allergen, they could have an allergic reaction, which could potentially lead to death.

In 2014 Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) created the Teal Pumpkin Project, a program designed for the kids who may not be able to have candy, but should still be able to feel safe and included while trick or treating. Households can participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project and show their support of food allergy awareness by providing non-candy treats and displaying a pumpkin painted teal or a free printable teal pumpkin sign from FARE’s website. By having a teal pumpkin displayed it tells families that there are safe non-food treats available. Non-food treats could include items such as stickers, pencils, glow sticks, or small toys. Candy can still be given out, as that is tradition, but keep the candy in a separate bowl from the non-food treats. Be sure to give all kids the choice of either candy or non-food treats.

Families can also add their home to FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project map online, so other families can plan to visit the houses that will definitely have safe non-food treats. By participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project you are creating a safer and happier Halloween for all. For more resources and information, visit foodallergy.org.

‘Army of Darkness’ a fit film for Halloween

By Francis Valanzola
Acting Entertainment Editor



What makes a good horror movie? Demons? Suspense? Or an ancient book that causes the main character to get a goddamn chainsaw hand! That’s right. What’s up, Youngtown readers? It’s Halloween season, and you know what anniversary it commemorates? Well, for those of you in the realm of pop culture, you’d know it’s the anniversary of the premiere of the pilot of Ash vs. Evil Dead. So, to commemorate this, your pop culturist has taken it upon himself to review the first movie to include the iconic use of word “Deadites,” “Army of Darkness.” Created by Sam Raimi in 1993, this end to the three movie arc in the Evil Dead franchise starring Bruce Campbell, that would later be rebooted, as a movie, and a television series, actually had a budget of 11 million, and surpassed it at 25.5 million USD. The gist of the movie is after summoning demons from the Necronomicon Ex Mortis or Book of the Dead, and lopping his hand, which was possessed, off at the wrist, Ashley “Ash” J. Williams is sent to medieval times, is mistaken for a Red Army soldier, and is kidnapped by Lord Arthur. When he finally proves his true self as the warrior from the prophecy, his mission is to get the book that started the whole mess, state the phrase from the 1951 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still, klaatu barada nikto, face off against an army of Deadites, including an evil doppelganger of himself, and get back to his own time. This movie is amazing. The use of practical effects is, I’ll admit, a bit dated, but it gets better with age. I actually recommend this to any newcomers to the Evil Dead franchise, since it gives you a recap of the events in the beginning, and gives you a clear name for the possessed form of the humans: “Deadites”. Overall, I give this a 8.5 out of 10. It’s okay, but not perfect.

The Youngtown Way Back When

By Dr. Noel Robinson
Professor Emerita, 1970-2011

I was a member of the English department from 1970, the third year the school opened, until 2011 when I retired. My very earliest memories of the Youngtown center on Professor Mary Hires, the first adviser. Mary was a diminutive blond, always smiling and a firehouse of energy. She had come to the English department from California where she had taught for a number of years and had far more experience than many of us. She was completely devoted to the Youngtown. No matter what time I left campus, she was always in her office, chain-smoking, surrounded by the Youngtown students, plugging away to put out the best Youngtown possible.

Honestly, I don’t recall much about the intervening years until I took over as adviser in 1997 and began teaching journalism as coordinator of the program. I continued to advise the Youngtown for 10 years and greatly enjoyed it although it was hard work. The most difficult task for me was learning to use the publication software to get the paper into print. Not only did I have to learn QuarkXPress, but I had to be able to teach it in my editing and publication design class.

Student Augustine Adda, editor of the paper, was an incredible help to me. Augustine was an amazing young man, incredibly intelligent, a voracious reader and thrilled to be enrolled at CCM. He arrived from Ghana, where he was actually a prince of his tribe, and adapted very well to life as a college student here. He very patiently taught me the software, and, believe me, it was no easy job. After a semester or so, I was finally comfortable with Quark. In later years, we switched to Adobe InDesign, so there was another learning curve for that.

For many years, Campus Life hired Wilma Martin, a professional technical editor, to help teach the publication software and to help with the layout of the Youngtown. While I was adviser, every other Friday beginning about 2 p.m. the Youngtown staff, Wilma, and I would gather in the journalism classroom and computer lab to lay out the paper.  Many Friday evenings, it was as late as 7 or 8 p.m. when the hard-working young editors and writers would finally put the paper to bed.

The quality of the articles and the overall Youngtown itself had been good for years, but it got even better when I received permission from the vice president to require all students in the journalism classes to work a few hours during the semester on the paper and to submit articles. The requirement was included in the course descriptions for the classes. Beginning then, for each edition of the paper, there were quality articles and usually enough students showing up to help the editors with the layout and design.

In the late 1990’s I also began encouraging my students to submit the Youngtown for the Columbia Scholastic Press Awards and for the New Jersey Press Association awards. Over the years, I am proud to say, we did very well. The paper itself was recognized by both groups with highest honors a number of times. I was even happier when individual students received awards, and there were many. How terrific that the Youngtown has continued to be an award-winning student newspaper in recent years, too.

Of course, my fondest memories of the Youngtown center on the outstanding students who wrote for it and/or worked on publication. Chief among those are the super-dedicated editors. Here are just a handful, and I know for sure I’m leaving others out.

When the tragedy of 9 /11 struck, our Youngtown staff hit the ground running under editor Will Hagerty.  They sought out local angles, including the story of a daughter of an employee who barely escaped with her life. It’s not easy to churn out a good quality edition under pressure of a deadline. Will had the additional obligation of being asked to address remarks at a college-wide observance of the tragedy.

Mindy Drexel, who is still a friend, was editor or managing editor for five semesters and did an outstanding job both as a writer and in layout and design, which she loved. Under her leadership, the paper achieved Gold Medal status from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Mindy herself received four first-place awards from the NJ Press Association and a number of other students were recognized also.

Like a number of other students who were serious about journalism, Mindy is now pursuing a career in journalism or communications.  She served as a copy production editor at the Record and Herald News and is now returning to graduate school.

Students Diego Ortiz and Shawn Aiken, also very memorable editors, both always loved writing and in recent years have been pursuing writing other than journalism. Brendan Kuty, who always could make everyone laugh or smile, now has his dream job covering the Yankees for NJ.com. Dave Danzis is also a mighty happy camper. He was a reporter at the New Jersey Herald for a number of years where he was recognized with a number of prestigious awards and is now a reporter for the Press of Atlantic City.

Although the Youngtown always involved very hard work for both me and the editors in the 10 years I served as adviser, it was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I believe for the students. At a community college where students are only with us for two years, it’s not usually possible for professors to get to know students as well as I did my Youngtown editors. That was one of the best parts of the work.

Also, I know that the Youngtown students firmly believed in the importance of what they were doing, reporting on events in and outside the college, covering sports, writing opinion pieces and editorials, all to keep their fellow students informed and to foster a sense of community.  In our current environment, good journalism is more important than it’s ever been.

Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the Youngtown, and keep up the good work!

One Year Gone: How I lived since my suicide attempt

By Lindsey Tess Medwin
Contributing Writer

You’d like to say that it was an immediate wake-up call. That things immediately took an upward turn because you realized how “valuable” your life was and “how lucky” you were to be alive. But that isn’t true. In fact, life got a hell of a lot worse after. Intensive therapy almost everyday for hours. Labeled with conditions you barely understand and prescribed a cocktail of medications you can hardly pronounce the names of. Learning coping skills and mindfulness and all these other therapeutic ways to deal with your problems and past.

You try to kill yourself and all the sudden the world expects you to devote every second of everyday to wanting to live when just a week earlier you made a clear decision to die.

The transition back to reality is far from easy. You expect so much out of yourself and, mindlessly, expect a lot of those around you. Especially those who are closest.

But for some reason- you do it. You drag yourself out of bed and swallow your morning meds. You ignore the voices in your head telling you to give up and that there’s no point. You fight through the crippling anxiety that stopped you from going to work, seeing your friends and even leaving house most days. You just go.

And at first you don’t do it for yourself. You can’t even really explain why you’re doing it. Maybe it’s for your friends or for the loved ones around you because you don’t want to let them down again. Maybe it’s to pass the time since you can’t work or go to school. Maybe it’s because you have nothing left to lose.

It’s never easy and it’s definitely never something you’re prepared for. Talking about the darkest parts of your soul and memories for the first time in your entire life and opening up about things you’ve pushed down for years. That’s never easy.

And yet, you start to find some type of comfort in it. Despite sitting at a table surrounded by strangers, opening up seems safe. There truly is a lack of judgement and a universal upstanding for the pain and suffering you all share. And for the first time in your entire life, you stop feeling so alone.

As the weeks and months go by, you start to develop a sense of self again. And though you are miles away from where you want to be, the fact that you want to be anywhere and have some sort of drive again gives you so much relief. You want to be a better you. A healthier, happier, successful you. You want to be alive.

The journey isn’t over though.

The transition back to reality is far from easy. You expect so much out of yourself and, mindlessly, expect a lot of those around you. Especially those who are closest. You develop an unhealthy dependency and attachment and it makes you question where your happiness is really derived from. You are so caught up in the idea of having hope again and the eagerness for things to go back to normal, that you overlook the toxicity still surrounding you.

Eventually you realize it’s this remaining element of darkness that is holding you both back from true happiness and prosperity.

And while you do your best to prepare as the survivor you are, no one could ever be ready for the person you loved to leave you.

But by that point you’ve come too far. So, with the comfort, care and concern of those around you, who immediately come through, you let go of the shock and sadness and begin working to overcome this.

And it’s during this time of desperation and vulnerability that you realize who’s there for you when you really need it.

And you accept that you always be grateful to this heartbreaking loss, for it gifted you the greatest friend you’ll ever know.

And soon after, you take a chance on an opportunity that gifts you stability. And while that’s all it was initially, this opportunity also surrounds you with an incredible group of people you never expected to love so deeply.

And from there, you really start to grow.

You are no longer consumed with your anxiety or depression or post-traumatic-stress-disorder. You are no longer fixated on survival. You are no longer seeking approval from partners or from your past.

You’re finally at peace.

And while there is so much more for you to learn, that’s all you could really ask for.

And suddenly, it’s been a year since your suicide attempt. And you can honestly say you have never been happier.