My name is Carrie Frail. I’m 37 years old but I feel like I’ve lived several lifetimes.
I was a teenage rebel, who rushed headfirst into any and everything.
I went to college, dropped out, and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force by age 18. I was married by 19, a mother by 20 and bought an idyllic family home by age 23.
Everything seemed to be great on the outside, but internally I struggled daily.
Later diagnosed with a slew of mental illnesses from Bipolar Disorder to anxiety, I was also an addict. Since I had to maintain a security clearance for the government, I pursued my addictions legally…alcohol, prescription pills, attention from men, bad relationships, shopping…anything I could do to not feel so empty and broken.
It didn’t work.
Years later, I was no longer married. I had lost my job and my health insurance and couldn’t afford my daily medications. I had turned to drugs to self-medicate and I was spiraling down. I had been trying (and failing) to get clean for a year. My house was in foreclosure and there were warrants out for my arrest for driving my illegal, unregistered car. I had just gone through yet another devastating heartbreaking breakup and I wanted to die.
I had taken a large bottle of pills with some alcohol and I was laying on the couch, waiting to die.
As I closed my eyes, I thought of my daughter coming home and finding my corpse on the couch.
In this, my one brave moment, I decided to live. To die then would have been the easiest thing in the world. To live meant getting back up. Admitting my life was screwed up and putting in the work to fix it and most of all, to learn to love and forgive myself.
I decided to live and I got back up. I ended up in the hospital, then to the psych ward at the VA, then to an inpatient rehab program. There were lots of ups and downs after that. I lost my house and my ex-husband moved several states away with our kids. I got a job, then had health issues and left it. I still struggle with mental illness, and some days are better than others but overall, my life is worth living today because I appreciate it. I have had a lot in my life. Some was given to me and some I earned. Most of it I’ve lost and none of it really mattered in the end.
In the end, what really matters is doing that One Brave Thing day after day.
Making the decision to get up and live.
Carrie, thank you so much for sharing your brave story with us. We are honored and humbled by your words.
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If YOU would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your own life, send me an email here: email@example.com