I am 26 almost 27. The day is February 21st, 2017 – the start of the saddest days of my life for the past decade.

I always thought my myself as strong and independent in my 20s. I was wrong. While I thought that... I was the opposite. Weak and heartless. Once you are stuck in a dark hole for so long you forget where you are, who you are, and what you are. I call this dark place The Rabbit Hole.

Growing up I would say I was pure, innocent, and caring. Throughout my adolescent days, I found myself in what I thought was love. Though, I could not say the same for those I loved in my younger days. They told me they did and yet... Their actions would reflect otherwise.

I can slightly remember those days as I am writing this. I thought that if I loved them wholeheartedly that they would see how good we would be. Wrong. Hurt. Confused. I can recall a fuzzy part of my high school experience. Unresponsive. Sad. Anti-social. Kid you not, cried to sleep every day for a year.

Then it all changed. I remember it clearly. I was 15 and my friends invited me out to a high school party. They knew of a liquor store nearby that would sell alcohol to them. I was hesitant on going. The place I confined myself for the past year was only the safe place to be. A place where I can’t be hurt. My bed.

Nervous about going, they showed up outside my place and left me no choice but to go. I have tried drinking two years prior. My first time was a quarter of a beer can. I never thought much about it. Didn’t understand the reason people enjoyed it.

As we were driving to the party they pulled out a bottle of UV Blue and 40s Mickey. Half a shot and a sip of a beer, I started to feel a euphoric feeling. I was confused. I wasn’t so sad anymore. For once in a very long time, I was happy. Happy that I started to forget. Also, this is the day I found a shovel and started to dig my hole.

At the party, I met a girl who went to a nearby school. It was dark… I don’t remember what we spoke about. All I remember is that I was drunk and I didn’t give a fuck. We made out and I can remember that night when I went home. No, we didn’t go home together or anything. For once in the longest time, I can remember I didn’t cry myself to sleep that night. The morning after, it all came back. The pain I thought that disappear has reappeared.

I was depressed. I didn’t want to do anything or can do anything if I wanted to. The kind of sadness where you can’t do anything because all you feel is the pain. And when I did try to do anything it was absolute shit cause my mind is in a dark place.

One ‘fun’ night out and back to depressed and anti-social. This is the start to an addiction that will continue on for the next 10 years. The hole I was digging got larger, deeper, and darker as each weekend passed. The shovel was alcohol - the hole was my brain trying to get away as far as I can from my heart. The amount of alcohol and substance abuse I did would be equivalent to how much a normal person does in their lifetime. Perfect Attendance I called it. A badge of honor so I thought.

The alcohol controlled and consumed me for 10 years - I didn't control it. All the bad decisions I ever made was when I was drunk. Getting a DUI, attending Alcohol Anonymous (AA), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) couldn't even stop me.

When I was 18 I met a girl that would one day be the person who I love wholeheartedly. That girl will someday be my best friend who will save me. It didn't cross my mind at first. I just knew every time we saw each other we talk for a while.

We would bump into each other occasionally throughout the years at random events. We found out later we went to a lot of the same places and was close to each other without knowing. Also, it turns out we went to the same middle school and high school. We dusted off her old yearbook and there we were...

The craziest was when we connected the dots about an event in 2008 and I was the photographer for the event. In shock and awe, I scanned through my archives for hours to try and find her. And there she was... A photo of her hugging her friend which turns out to be the last photo of them as he passed away in 2015.

We crossed paths so many times it is unreal how it is true. I wish I remembered our conversations… However, I was always under the influence.

7 years later when I was 25 she would become the light and hand that will help me out of my rabbit hole. I didn’t know it at the time neither did I know I was in a rabbit hole. I just knew she was special. It was an indescribable feeling. I just knew. We connected right away. For once in a very very long time in my life, I knew she is the person I want to spend my life with.

When I say The Light, I mean it. Her… Words can’t even describe how caring and loving she is. The absolute best person you could ever have. The most non-selfish person. You know the kind of feeling when someone walks into a room and time slows down or even stops? The person that when you see them all you want to do is smile because their aura shines like the sun.

She saved me with her light. She helped me up when I was down. She stayed beside me when I rest. She watched over me when I was incapacitated... Literally. She did so much for me and more. Words can’t express the things she gave. She gave me everything.

In return, she cried because of me. She got hurt because of me. All because of me. Even though it was unintentional I did it somehow and now I am disappointed in myself. How could I hurt the one person that cared so much for me? I’m a monster.

If I had a chance to do it all over I would wish to have never met her. Let me explain why. When she jumped into my rabbit hole and used her light to guide me out she got stuck inside. She got left behind. She sacrificed herself to trade places with me. I thought I understood it all. I didn’t understand shit.

All I want to do is to help her. To be there for her, to care for her, to love her. There is only one thing that is stopping me... Her heart is somewhere locked up. I don’t know where it is but I know it is there. Every time I get a little closer I am stopped. A gate with a padlock with her brain roaming around as her security. I don’t know where the key is nor how will I get her security to let me in. All I know is I am going to do whatever it takes and however long it takes to trade places with her.

She doesn’t deserve this. I don’t deserve to be saved. I don’t care how much pain and dark it will be. All I care about is that I can trade places with her so she can be happy. I will save her.

I don’t know where you are but please hold on a little longer I am coming as fast as I can. I love you.