0 is from when life seemed to be perfect, before things went wrong with my parents, and my life went downhill. It is the time that I don't remember well, because I was so young. It is from before my parents became addicts and stopped taking care of me. This was one of the best times of my life.
1 is for foster care in the United States, where I spent four terrifying years. I moved through many foster homes, most just as terrible as the home that I had been removed from. They say that foster care is a good place, but it never was for me. All of my foster parents just wanted the monthly checks they received for having me.
2 is for November 17th, 2007, fourteen days after I turned 11, when I was finally adopted. My adoptive mother had been my first grade teacher and she loved me through more than anyone ever had. It was one of the happiest days of my life, when I finally found a family and felt loved. That day was one that I never truly though I would see.
3 is for Boys Town, Nebraska, where I spent two years of my life. I hated the place while I was there, thinking I didn't need emotional help. After I left, however, I truly appreciated every single thing that they helped me with.
4 is for the dark pit of depression. It is all of the times that I have been on the edge of falling into a black hole. This darkness almost consumed me many times, but I fought through it. It never truly goes away, but I am still choosing to survive.
5 stands for the demons of addictions, doing anything to have some kind of high. Stealing money. Taking too much of your medication. The pain of a withdrawal when you finally choose to move away from your dependencies.
6 is homelessness, living on the streets. It's doing stupid things to survive. You sell yourself, drugs, anything you can. You break into places and steal. Its a fight for survival, and no one wants pity. They just want a way out of this misery.
7 is hopelessness, and the unpleasantness of no longer wanting to go on. It is when your mind becomes slowly clouded with a fog where you think nothing else can be done. You just want to die.
8 is my eating disorders. They are a challenge that I can't get away from, and still want to end. They become an addiction, a need, one that is impossible to fight alone. They kill you slowly, from the inside, only sometimes showing symptoms.
9 is marriage, and a second chance. My marriage saved me from myself and is the best thing to ever have happened to me. Every single day, I smile, because I finally have a reason to want to survive. I finally have someone to fight for.