My name is Alexzandria Kaylan Churchill, but most just know me as Lexi. This is the only spot in cyberspace that you will see my full name. Not too many get so close that they even know my real name, nonetheless the details – the ones that make up my being.
So here I get personal. Here, I let you in.
But truth be told, I’m still working on letting myself in with self reflection, writing and exploring. I’ve always believed I learn the most about myself through other people.
You see and read about those people – these amazing humans that inspire me to explore, teach me the lessons they’ve learned and help me love my life even more. Through them and our relationships, I will know myself.
To Zach, you have always been stronger than you know. I’m so happy you’ve found that power in words. Never stop speaking your truths, especially the uncomfortable ones.
He looked down and saw red clouding the bowl. Second later, he saw nothing.
His eyes rolled back and his body lost control as he stumbled from the bathroom through the hallways, barely catching himself before his father did. And that was the hail mary catch finally let him know there was truly something wrong.
The drive to the hospital was painful. Not only was it long, but Zach, for one knew it was overdue. That irritation filled his lower body and mind, knowing his deadly fever that had kept him from sleeping and internal pain indicated something, and soon he found out what it was.
He went through the alphabet soup of procedures that didn’t seem to form solid conclusions.
He had clusters of tubes running through him because he couldn’t keep anything down himself. A few ice chips an hour was all he had to quench his cottonmouth.
The tall and wide linesman couldn’t care for himself in the simplest of ways. It brought his self-perception down even further.
He was not invincible.
There was always a guest in the room but recovery was lonely. He was used to the isolation with a 7-3 work schedule followed by dinner in the basement and entertainment alone.
He came out of the hospital with needles of medication and the diagnosis of septic shock syndrome, something he didn’t take lightly.
A return to the football fields of hypermasculinity and the shallow high school halls only furthered the insecurities that his two week hospital stay had magnified. Classmates called him “Sepsis,” a painful label that would send him back into isolation.
And for the rest of high school, that is where he found the most comfort.
In college, his space was shared and not by someone who knew how. He struggled with his place of belonging once again. Once he’d found some ground, his lowest point came around and all he craved was the isolation he’d grown so accustomed to.
But there was no where on campus that truly gave him that alone time. Instead, he relied on long morning showers to let out the tears of anxiety and depression.
Come second semester, he got busy. His mental health and self-image was far from perfect, but at least he was distracted. Business kept the intrusive thoughts out.
Greek life brought more connections and involvement opportunities, including one that change the course of his mental health thinking.
Though he’d always been a mental health ambassador for others, he continued to struggle with his own. Sophomore year he finally found relief in counseling. There was still something missing, something more consistent and readily available.
At summer welcome, he was surrounded by plenty of leaders with similar struggles. They shared their experience with medicine, something he’d readily avoided out of uncertainty. He wanted to remain in charge of his emotions.
But from his fellow trustees experiences, he grew more open to the idea. It took a week of adjustment, but his hormones soon balanced out.
And at last, he found control in what he feared would control him.
“Everything will be so good so soon. Just hang in there & don’t worry about it to much.”