I chose to live! – from sadness to pics, poetry and adventures
Below is my story… A story of how I broke free from sadness, to embrace pics, poetry and adventure!
Hello, readers! My name is Molly Gentzsch, and I live in Salem, Oregon. It is a city that has not been too kind to me, but I keep coming back to it. I guess I tend to get stuck in the past. There are memories living on every sidewalk, and I let them pass by me as I keep my head down. I have had a hard life. At sixteen, I was not living at home, instead I got by sleeping under bridges or crashing on couches. I just never quite fit in anywhere, so I dealt with my insecurities by becoming an addict. I dealt with addiction, the death of several friends, abuse, homelessness, and self-harm all before the age of 19.
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Dark years – drowning in alcohol
I think that when a person is given a difficult life, they have a choice in what to do with all that misfortune. I have seen so many people in this town choose to drown it away in beer and whiskey, and I watch them slowly turn into those sad drunks they promised they would never be. In my life I almost became that, just another useless drunk trying desperately to feel like anyone but themselves. It has always been hard for me to truly connect with people, they have caused me so much disappointment. I drank so that I could forget all of that and become the girl that others could find likable. After two shots, I was relaxed and smiling. After four shots, I would become your new best friend. So talkative. So personable. That shy girl who wanted nothing more than to disappear into the corner of the bar, becoming just another shadow for you to pass by, was suddenly the life of the party. Suddenly life did not seem so hard. For a few hours everything was just fine, but the morning never failed to come.
My best friend – my everything
My big wake-up call did not just stop me from drinking, but it also changed my entire world. My best friend was walking light. She understood me in a way that comforted the pain. She knew all my secrets and was the only person who could get me to dance wildly in the living room. She was my everything. She was broken in the same way as me, and she dealt with it by taking Chardonnay medicine. I remember one night when we sat at the back of the bar, we had just been to a funeral of an old friend who decided to end it all. The boy who was my first love was now being hidden in the dirt. She told me that she understood why he did what he did, how things can get so overwhelming that even breathing felt like an exhausting task. I told her that her empathy was beautiful, and that I loved the way she saw the world.
She put her drink down and said, “I may see the world in a beautiful way, but what is the point if I am not happy in it?”
My last conversation with her turned into one of those moments that I will constantly look back on and wish I had done something different. She had been drinking a lot, and she asked me to come hang out with her because she was having a rough night. At the time I was with a guy who had recently broken my heart, and I was in the middle of trying to work things out. So, I told her that I was busy, and I chose not to go. A choice I will always regret.
A heavy loss – my life was changed forever
I got the call the next day while I was alone in my apartment. I found out that at 3am while I was sound asleep, she had gotten so drunk and sad that she killed herself with a sheet. Since I was her best friend, and had spoken to her the night before, they asked me if I had known what she was going to do. I was accused of knowing and doing nothing. I threw my phone against the wall and crumpled into the carpet. I do not think I had ever felt so alone or disgusted than I did in that instant. All it took was a few minutes for my life to change completely, and to break parts of me that would never be repaired. My heart had fallen apart into hundreds of tiny pieces, too small to put back together, and when I replayed those words on the phone, I felt those pieces turn to ash in my hands.
My resurgence – A pen and a camera to fly away
Her death made me realize that if I followed the road I was walking down, I was going to end up six feet under. I put down the whiskey, and I knew that I needed to push myself to do something different. I had to put myself out there, I had to let myself belong to the world that I had pushed away. I had all these feelings and thoughts that I needed to express. So, one day I just started taking photos. I wanted to show people my own unique perspective, and in my mind, I was always dedicating these snapshots of my life to her. I also picked up the pen and began writing again. A lost activity of mine. I decided to let my photos inspire all the words I had locked away. My favorite part of
* photography is that I am always trying to show people just how beautiful the world can be. There’s always something around you that deserves a closer look, you just need to open your eyes and find it.
Life is not easy, but it is too precious – in loving memory
So now my life is filled with adventures, instead of sitting at home with a bottle. The thing is that it could have been me. Her and I shared the same issues, the same addictions, the same fuck ups. She chose to leave, and I will never be mad at her for making that choice, but I chose to stay. I know that I am one of those people who things will never be easy for, and I accept and embrace that. Let those obstacles come, I will always fight, and I will always be capturing those moments that make others nostalgic for memories that are not even their own. Every flash of brilliance that I encapsulate is for her. I enjoy my days on the run, searching for new memories to make in a world that I had neglected. We all have choices to make, my choice will always be to connect with the lives and wonderment around me. Life is too important, so I will spend my years welcoming it and sharing these small pieces of who I am. Hopefully they are pieces that others will understand and relate to. I want them to know that they are not alone in their fight. There is still so much of this world to see.
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