The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Coming Out Story, Part II: Love, Drugs, Recovery

My previous post titled "My Coming Out Stop, Part I: The Homo-Realization" just provided the overarching synopsis for what I've come to believe is most crucial moment in my first 23 years on this earth.

For the most part, I've weeded out the "frenemies" and kept the good friends around despite the fact that I moved across the country. However, with family, "picking" and "choosing" it not so easy. I'm lucky to have grown up in one of the most socially liberable places in the country...with one catch, I guarantee that every person you meet from my dad's side of the family is a Republican and every person from my mom's side is adamant supporter of Democrats.

So what happens when you insert yourself into a political dialogue that is already contentious beyond belief? You tell them you like having sex with girls....or maybe a more subtle confession, which essentially means the same thing: "I'm attracted to girls, not guys."

So let's get back to what led me to write these blogs in the first place—my first "love" Seulty.

Seulty was emotionally complicated, had a tumultuous family life being raised by a single mother. All the while, she lived in Belmont, with one of the most prestigious public school systems in the country. She played Women's Backetball and Soccer at BHS, and she was the captain of both teams. Seulty was the definition of an overachiever—the kind of overachiever that walks with a little bit of swag when she takes a step. But for some reason, despite her arrogance and my extreme loneliness, I was attracted to this overconfident blond girl with a freckled face and about three inches taller than me. In my mind, she was gay, and that was enough for me to drunkenly Facebook message her one night.

To my surprise, I received a Facebook message back! (I don't know what I would have done if the someone had randomly Facebook messaged me). She denied that she was gay (Yeah, right! I thought to myself), but she said she would like to see me before she left for NYU.

It took a lot of sneaking around, but eventually, we developed more of a traditional relationship—to this day, I still don't know what "traditional" means because how can you be in a relationship with someone who is afraid to come out of the closet to even her closet friends and family, hide her significant other (which in this case was me), and all the while introduce me to an escape called D-R-U-G-S to fit in with this girl that I admired but treated me terribly?

The relationship with Seulty was a summer "romance"—sex when our parent's weren't home, sex in our cars, sex while f---ed up on coke.

I don't blame Seulty for my addiction problems that eventually led me to an in-patient rehab center called East House (for teenagers that were 18 and under) in one of the most prestigious mental hospitals in the country—McLean Hospital—which just happens to be located in Belmont. How convenient.

Did gay shame lead me down the path of drugs? Did my bipolar tendencies lead me down this path? Was this the high school "senior slide" that occured immediately after I received my early acceptance letter to NYU in December of 2007? Was I predisposed to addiction? Was I desensitized to the vials of cocaine left around my house from my step-mother who committed suicide in October of 2005 from a drug overdose?

The answer to these questions aren't simple—I think the answer lies in a mixture of all of them.

But what did I do next? I deferred another year from NYU for recovery purposes, got a job a Starbucks with a gay-supportive staff surrounding me. I had a mother who loved me dearly, and a father who was a little more critical of my behavior, though I think it came from a good place, a place of concern—I could have died while I was using drugs.

Then I met Kristen...a "straight" girl who I think didn't want to admit her own reality: she was gay, too. The problem with Kristen, aside from a serious case of borderline personality disorder (which I personally have diagnosed, so who knows how much weight that opinion carries). But Kristen was addicted to pain killers. And I returned to the vicious cycle of drug addiction, this time to opiates. I voluntarily placed myself in an adult out-patient rehab program and ended things with Kristen.

This is my story from 2006-2010. Here I am, three years later, and three years clean. The more I reflect on these troubling first girlfriends and my simultaneous battle with addiction, the more I realize that being gay and being an addict is a common, related phenomenon.

But rather than focus on my tumultuous past, why not look to the future? I'm proud of being a lesbian. I'm even more proud of being a recovering, clean addict.

While I'd love to get into politics and maybe run for office someday...will this baggage hold me back? Possibly. By I certainly hope not. As a soon to be 24 year old, I think I've experienced more than most adults, and I hope that works more to my benefit than to my detriment.

I have a life to live, and honesty is the key to making change in this world, as cliché as that may sound.

I love who I am today, and I hope my words can change just one struggling gay teenager or addict. I'm going to join the bandwagon and say to those struggling individuals today: IT GETS BETTER.

With love,
Mikayla Galvin



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February 1, 2015 at 9:39 PM  

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