BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Justine

BEING Young & Twenty Submission

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Justine O’Connor
Bleed Like Me For The Last Time
Age • 36

“Despite my struggles with mental health and sense of self, my 20s weren’t completely miserable.”

By the time I turned 29, I had been an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital 6 times. I had 16 ECT treatments, filed for bankruptcy, gotten sober, and divorced.

BEING Young & Twenty was tumultuous, to say the least.

My 20s were an extension of my troubled teens. I wanted desperately to escape my dysfunctional family and had no clue who I was or who I wanted to be.

I hated myself and led a reckless life as a result.

I self-injured, drank to excess, had unprotected sex and used IV drugs.

I wanted to die. I was incredibly self-destructive; hoping one of my poor choices would be the nail in my coffin. Fortunately, the universe had other plans.

When I was 22 I landed my dream job.

I met my future husband while manning the cash register.

In light of everything, I emerged from my 20’s victorious.

I fought through the worst times and have wonderful memories of the best times.

My 30s haven’t been a cakewalk but having survived my 20s; I’m convinced I can continue to pull through.

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