Alec S

I grew up in a family with no communication skills. We had plenty of problems, for sure. Plenty of anger, plenty of hostility. We were rich in things that no man considered a fortune, and with our endless amounts of worries, we never faced a shortage of sleepless nights and rumbling tummies. One thing we did lack was any sort of vocabulary with which we could voice our feelings. I had no words to tell my mother that I was tired of living in filth. I couldn’t form the syllables to explain to my sister that it wasn’t her fault that we were being hurt. I was at a loss to explain to teachers why my clothes were caked with mud. The words simply weren’t in me.

Unsurprisingly, with no valve to relieve the pressure, it was pent up inside of me until the moment where I could release emotion in a dark storm of aggression. Explanation eluded me as to why silly occurrences had this power to overtake my mind in a cloud while lightning strikes of anger flew from deep inside. I was unaware that anger was a feeling. To me, it was an existence.

Anger was a constant companion through my adolescence. It helped me to destroy any relationship that I had and to alienate myself from my family. Bitterness was the mortar that cemented the wall between my emotions and the outside world. It was easier that way. I didn’t ever have to be sad if I could just be angry. A time came when even that was too much, and I stopped feeling anything at all. Depersonalization disorder started to develop as my brain’s way of coping with it’s problems. In a very literal sense, I was separating myself from any emotion and becoming a robot. Simplifying my existence to a state where I couldn’t feel allowed me to get through the days without truly dealing with any issues. I was cold and careless at 16 years old. After being handed to my uncle for guardianship, he asked me point-blank “Why don’t you seem to feel anything about what happened to you.” I did not have an answer.

Man cannot live on emptiness forever, and eventually my wall was seiged. There was just too much behind it. Depression set in as I prepared for college and I began to be more and more careless with my choices. Alcohol was my companion now, and I was a wild child who stayed out on the streets for days, floundering drunkenly between friends houses and public places Recklessness was my name and I lived up to it. I didn’t know it at the time, but all of my fun was tinged with sadness, because the short of it was that I was trying to escape. I was running while completely unaware that my feet were moving, because I had never been introduced to the notion that I was angry and sad and hurt and vulnerable.

Fast forward to college times, where I gain hold on my own full independence. Working to pay my own rent, buying my own clothes, budgeting for my own food, and all of the other things that mark the entrance to full adulthood. I feel good about myself and am confident that I can handle what the world throws at me. Yet, underneath the veneer of responsibility, the well of blackness was still tinging my mind. I never noticed it, but my choices and actions were so affected by past anger, that I haven’t moved one inch on the inside, even though I was on the other side of the country. Then one crucial thing changed.

Applying for health insuranceAlec  was daunting, to say the least. I spent the better part of a month researching new terms and learning different types of insurance. I called doctor’s offices to see what was covered and read numerous pamphlets that laid out details of plans. I was confident and well prepared to make a decision and I was spurned by one burning desire: to get into therapy. For one lost boy, the long road to get into therapy was seen as a journey to get to the safe port of the storm that had been brewing all of these years. For so long, it was far out of the question, because no one of my upbringing and status could ever be seen often enough to make a difference. But I needed help, and I finally found a way to get it. I saved up money specifically to pay my deductible, so that I could access an affordable co-pay. I searched long and hard for a specialist that was willing to help me and that would accept my plan. Insurance was a god send for me.

Since attaining this, I have learned quite a bit about myself. I feel empty now, void of the pollution that was there before, and that is a beautiful thing. I no longer suffer from the same welling of rage, that would fill me and I know words for things that were just entities before. I can voice my emotions, and once a demon has a name, it becomes conquerable. I can point to a certain event and say exactly what it made me feel. Getting a therapist has been life changing for me, by letting the little boy who was so scarred finally tell someone how he feels and have them understand him. ‘I hate you’ became ‘I am hurting’, and words like ‘sad’ became ‘lost for purpose’ and ‘unable to process anxiety’. There was body in my voice that wasn’t present before.

To me, getting insurance was a catalyst that was revolutionary to my life. It allowed me to get help for lifelong issues so that I could finally began to process them. Becoming insured was single-handedly the first step to a more fulfilling life, one which was more human. I could feel again, thanks to insurance. Poverty was no longer holding me back. I am not the same person that I used to be, and I am very happy to say that. I am whole now, and I have insurance to thank for it.