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Twenty-Somethings And The Need To Self-Destruct

Twenty-Somethings and the Need to Self-Destruct | GenTwenty

We’ve all been there, and we’ve all talked ourselves into doing something that we wouldn’t usually do. We tell ourselves that if we can say “I would never do this,” then we are definitely going to do it.

We find comfort in pushing buttons and crossing lines, and maybe figuring something out in-between the shots of tequila. We’re smart and tenacious, but we enjoy the fire of a spectacle.

I’ve been there, and so have my friends. I’ve seen destruction bulldoze it’s way through my early twenties like a tornado, and I’ve seen my friends be beyond help. I’ve seen plenty of people give up on themselves.

There’s this little voice in the depths of our mind. It’s childlike, but it’s stubborn. It tells us we can do whatever we like, damn the consequences. It tells us “if not now, when?” We don’t want to be bystanders of our own existence, we want to do something.

Self destruction dresses itself in curse words and vomiting, and last night’s shame stained on an old cream dress. It hides in self doubt and withdrawal, and we surrender for some time. It’s adrenaline and cigarettes, and we’re all after the high. It’s not all a grand act of destruction though, much of it exists in the small and discreet moments, and in secrecy. These private moments are important though, because we’ll always remember the time we fell from grace.

I see it happen over and over again, but when does a little rebellion become a driving force of dangerous habit? I’ve seen a few drinks turn into alcoholism and denial, and I’ve seen shame in a red face of regret. It seems as though the one thing we can control is how in control we actually are, so we let go.

The great thing about losing control, is that you can always get it back. Hitting rock bottom is just another story to tell, another lesson to learn. There’s nowhere to go but up.

I want to tell you that you need to break up with your bad self. I have to tell you that while youth is power and energy, it’s also dangerous. We can all fall off the wagon at some point, but we need to find our way back on it.

We also can’t enable those who go further than rock bottom. We need to be good friends, good lovers, and good to ourselves. Consider this the rain on your parade, and your lifeline.

It seems like it’s easier to admit defeat, and go on a directionless adventure into the wild.

Once we get out into the wild, we get stuck in the dirt. We’re snapping twigs and branches, and falling over our feet. It’s getting dark now, and we don’t know where we are. We’re not afraid of getting lost. We keep running through the wilderness, but we’re about to run out of breadcrumbs.

Some of us can find our way back, but others need interference and intervention from friends and caretakers, but we have to let them follow us into the dark if we really want help. We need them to bring us back into the world, because we’re too old to play hide and seek with our problems. We need to abandon excuses and understand our accountability. We need to grow up, and we need to do it now. Life isn’t going to wait for us much longer.

About the Author

Shelley Phillips

Shelley holds a B.A. in Media Studies from Swansea University, Wales. She enjoys keeping up with a critiquing TV shows, blogging, American politics, and baking snicker doodles. She hopes to one day work as a journalist.