The world today as we know it holds a lot of misfortune. Crime, injustice and darkness haunt every corner of our waking lives and sometimes it is too much for us to handle alone. Often we are left with a way out, an escape from such a reality through the form of entertainment giving us the joy we wish we could feel in our lives at the present time, but what happens when that joy leaves us? What happens when we are left with nowhere to run, to face our problems and be consumed by them? How do we recover from being completely overpowered? This is my story.
Currently I am a happy 21 year old boy living in Vegas, dark hair, brown eyes, toned body, and an average height of 5’10. These were my many qualities a year ago, except one thing had been missing, the happy quality was gone. In its place was hatred and sadness.
My misfortune started my sophomore year of college in a little apartment in Reno I like to call the worst you can get, or Reno Regency. It was here where my life began to take a dark turn.
That fateful day began when I was looking for an apartment in Reno to live in for the upcoming fall semester. I hung around a restaurant which should have been more well known Taiwanese 101. Emily Linn the owner’s sister had recommended a place called the Reno Regency, a place where she had stayed for a while before moving to her house. The place had apparently been a hotel before becoming a place for people to stay as an apartment. She drove me there and I was instantly hooked on it, trying out the bed, and looking at the bathroom, giddily running through it like a child. I never knew my first impression would be so wrong.
After getting the paperwork filled out, and proving that I could pay for the apartment, asking for it to be furnished, I finally had a place to call my own. No more dorm people or others disturbing me, it was mine. I was so excited that I hopped on the bed and fell right asleep.
My dreams went wild, and not for the better. I woke up remembering at least 6 of the dreams I had, not a good sign for someone who wanted to sleep. The first thing I noticed was that something was crawling on my legs. I looked down and nothing was there. Convincing myself it wasn’t anything I got on with my day. I did not report anything to management. This was my next mistake.
A week went by, and the crawling had increased from my legs to my private parts, to my torso, and even my face and hair. I felt like millions of bugs were all around me, I could feel them, but when I looked down I couldn’t see them. Buying a vacuum and convinced I could take care of this, I began trying to vacuum my sheets. With nothing else to do, I quietly crawled into my bed.
Months had gone by, my many classes that my parents had paid money for had gone down the drain, and my sleep cycle was a measly 2 hour regimine if I was lucky. The year prior missing a class would have been unthinkable and I never missed one, but that year I did. It wasn’t a good feeling, I had cried out to God for his help. Some way to ease the suffering I was going through. I started going to church, hanging out with friends, swimming as hard as I could so I would be too tired to stay awake. On the outside, it looked like I had an envious social life, but on the inside I wanted to die.
A few more months went by and my situation worsened. I soon found cockroaches had infested my apartment and those bugs were easy to spot, especially when they ran across the walls, I was terrified. My apartment was the last place I wanted to be. I met my potential partner while going through this phase, Katie Randall. I’ve gotta say that though she broke my heart in the end, she did get me through some tough times.
By spring semester my parents saw my grades from the fall and were shocked at my apathy. I didn’t give the effort to defend myself, I couldn’t. My mind was jello, I simply did not have enough energy to tell them anything but my theory that invisible bugs had invaded my life. They didn’t believe me, and I didn’t blame them, in hindsight I wouldn’t have believed me either.
My parents made a surprise visit, finding my apartment in a less than tidy appearance they helped me clean it up and furnish it with new belongings. They thought I had fleas when they were cleaning, and requested I get it sprayed. The apartment sprayed and I had never felt better.
Days later the feeling returned.
Granted some good things happened too, I almost had a girlfriend, an ex marine cop befriended me, I had trained a navy seal to swim well enough to pass his pst, and I had been invited to my team’s swim team consisting of females even though I was male. I was prestigiously known as the fastest guy in the water around my age. Though the recognition and people made me feel important, it couldn’t take away my living situation and what I was really trying to achieve, a way to fall asleep.
A year had passed, I had transformed. As I looked in the mirror an unrecognizable figure stared back at me, purple bags dragged under my once smooth complexion, my skin had gone ashy, the hair on my head looked dull, and the smile on my face erased. I moved my stuff to another apartment, the invisible menace followed me.
I had moved to the much nicer Truckee River Terrace. People seemed nice, despite my sleep deprivation and low mental capacity I got a good vibe from this new and exciting place. Eagerly I signed the documents, and was admitted to a room.
I had no transportation at the time, so I had to carry the stuff I had, a 30 minute walk from the old apartment to the new one. That is another story, eventually I moved in with all of my stuff in tow.
Later I got a phone call from Vegas. My parents had contracted the invisible menace and could not get any sleep. They were suffering because of me, I felt terrible. Things seemed like they couldn’t get worse. I kind of asked for that one.
Katie Randall and Spencer Fellows got together, I want to say I didn’t care but that would have been a lie. Trying to forget about it, I went to a dermatologist to see if I could identify this invisible menace. Ron turner, my energetic friend and ex marine cop drove me to Renown medical hospital when I requested.
The dermatologist couldn’t see me, so an assistant came in instead. She was blonde, couldn’t be any more than 25 years old, with a certain height that would make small trees jealous. She looked at me, and I mean literally glancing, gave me some cream and that was it. No follow up, no diagnosis, just take the cream.
My parents got the bill for the extraordinary treatment I received. $800 was billed to my now infested parents. I was at a loss for words when I got the news.
Around this time I was finding a way to get away from the fact that I had lost in love after so much text, so much time, no real closure. I dated a few girls namely Shelby Rae an amazing woman of her field in the EMT and Danielle Flowers, whom I only knew for a short time. The swim team had invited me to swim with them, Abbey personally invited me. It was nice, and I enjoyed that. My solution for my problem hadn’t disappeared however, and I was desperate. Little did I know my parents were working behind the scenes toward a fantastic breakthrough.
Permithrin, a poison that kills mites, toxic to bugs but harmless to humans mostly. My father sent me this solution, and mixing it with water, we sprayed our living quarters.
Weeks passed and I felt better, there were still mites but I felt better. I could get some decent sleep, double my normal regimen things were looking up.
The invisible menace got a new name after the spray, I called them mites. They infested my clothes, my possessions and myself. I sprayed like nobody’s business.
I am here in Vegas now, and they aren’t completely gone, but I am living well. 8 hours of sleep have been graciously given to me once again.
That is my story of a small portion of my life. Granted it was full of hardships and grief, but through it all with the help of many people I rose from that situation. I hope whoever is reading this is inspired to do the same and not lose hope. No matter how tough something is, if there is a will there is a way, thank you.