September 8, 2008

ASHLEY'S SIDE OF THE STORY

There was a point in my life when I reached complete darkness. When I say complete darkness, I mean there was no hope left. I had resulted in cutting and eating disorders. I was the kid that always got picked on for being different, or always pushed away because I was a "nerd." I had no reason to keep living; no reason to keep breathing. The sadness and pain was unbearable. This was a few years ago, a time that still haunts sometimes.

I would cry myself to sleep at night, feeling that nobody understood. That`s when I heard My Chem`s, "I`m Not Okay (I Promise)" on the radio. I had heard of them before, but I had never really heard their sound. That song was a light in the darkness. I asked for that CD, but my grandmom wouldn`t allow me to get it; however, I would not give up hope. Instead of buying "Three Cheers," I bought their first album "Bullets." I had never heard another band that captured me in such a way.

Being me, I looked into the band. I became interested in the members, in what they had to say. I was getting better. I felt like I had a little shard of hope to hold onto. I had my friend burn me "Three Cheers," the lyrics intoxicating me in such a wonderful way. I was so self-conscious and full of self-hate that I hadn`t realized there were other guys who could feel the same pain.

In 2002 my grandpop passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. "Three Cheers" also helped lighten the grief of that album, knowing that it was written for the grandmom that Mikey and Gerard had lost. There was a passion that stirred in me to keep going, and I stopped cutting; My eating disorder also came to a stop. I was starting to feel better about who I was, even though I was different.

The time from then to 2005 was a time that I don`t really remember. I wasn`t depressed as I had used to be. Then life caught up to me again. I was dealing with the struggles of what had happened to me when I was younger, my eating disorder was returning, and I was becoming the target to verbal abuse at school. [Girls are still mean to me because I won`t dress like them.] I was cutting again. The music had stopped working; I lost all hope in My Chemical Romance. They were just five guys who [I thought] probably didn`t really care.

It was like that until October of 2006. Over that summer my aunt had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer; I was still spiraling downward. My emotions were taking a hold of me, and I didn`t want to stop. When my aunt passed away on October 14th, I felt guilty. Instead of going to see her in the hospital, I had spent time with my boyfriend. She was my favorite aunt, and I was told she was going to make it. I didn`t like being lied to; being broken far worse than the arguing and teasing. On October 21st, I called up the local music store asking if "The Black Parade" had come in yet. He said it had, and I bought it.

Ironically, the first track that I put on was "Cancer." I cried. My grandmom cried. But I also felt like a hole had been restored in me. After losing all hope in MCR, it was as if they were telling me to hold on. I couldn`t give up now, because I had something to live for. I had to keep on going, and it wouldn`t be that hard. It made me realize more than ever that every time MCR had saved my life from the pits, my faith in them had grown stronger. I had become a stronger person. I finally started to do things I was always afraid to go. I became more involved with art, and started to take guitar lessons.

But what I have to thank MCR for more than saving my life, is saving who I was. Instead of giving in to others, and changing who I was, I learned not to take anyone`s shit. If people couldn`t accept me for who I was, there were five guys who society didn`t except either. I had five friends that I knew I could depend on when life went insane. I had five people I could hold onto when I was on the edge of everything. And although this story is long, it will never hold the power and emotion [that words cannot describe] that I feel for this band. They are not just five men. They are heroes, angels. And even when they are gone, they will hold a special place in my heart. No one can destroy this. No one can destroy me. Their lyrics are more than words ... And in finding myself with My Chemical Romance, I realized ... I am part of The Black Parade. I am a patient. And I`m going to be okay.

-Ashley