Autumn Rosselit reads her essay during last week’s breakfast banquet.
“Third Level” by Autumn Rosselit
I believe that everyone deserves a happy ending, a happy middle, and a happy beginning.
But I know fairy tales aren’t real, and I know that no matter what, life will throw obstacles at you.
It’s like a video game; you just have to find a way to get past the obstacle, to clear the boss and move onto the next level.
But there will always be another obstacle, an even harder boss battle.
Third Level is like your extra life, or the hints that sometimes make you realize exactly what you need to do to win.
Third Level essentially started in March, 1971. North Country Salt, in Traverse City, called for the creation of a crisis center.
The center would provide a 24 hour crisis prevention, and problem solving service; they’d disperse drug use information and help with dealing with drugs and emotional problems.
They wanted to have a non-judgmental and overall safe environment for young people to seek out support and help.
November 1971 they were incorporated as the Northwestern Michigan Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
Then in 1976 the name officially became Third Level Crisis Intervention Center, Inc.
And most recently, in January 2014 Third Level becomes an arm of Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan.
They don’t directly provide help with suicide prevention, but they provide phone numbers for places who can help.
Plus, they do participate in suicide prevention week.
Now, at the top of their home page there’s two tiny paragraphs, and it’s really those paragraphs that made me delve deeper into Third Level.
It says that there are four levels of communication, and the third level is the level of trust, intimacy, vulnerability, and transparency.
It talks about how people are often so afraid of being wrong and of being rejected, how communicating at the emotional level makes us vulnerable to being rejected, hurt, and scared.
Honestly, that’s one of the truest things I’ve ever read.
As odd as it is, that’s my personal connection to Third Level.
There are some things I really don’t want to share that have to do with my personal connection to Third Level, so I’ll just dance around the subject and leave you to write your own story about me.
It took me several years to get comfortable enough around my best friend to tell her about my social anxiety, about my other various issues.
I was terrified she’d judge me, that she’d ditch me.
But I felt that if we were going to really be friends, she needed to know, it was the only way she could ever understand me.
It was like a wall broke after I told her, everything became easier.
I’m so glad I opened up.
She knows everything, she knows even the deepest darkest things that I’ve locked away and thrown to the back corner of my mind, the things that make me cry, and things that make me hurt, emotionally and physically.
There are so many people out there with problems worse than mine.
So many people afraid to open up.
And I hate that.
But Third Level provides for them a diary, a place where they can talk about everything without fear of judgment.
There are people out there with family problems who have to put on a smile and pretend they’re okay.
People who use drugs as a way out, people who are slowly killing themselves, and they have no one to help them.
Third Level can help.
I love that Third Level can help people get their happy endings, and I love that they can even sometimes give people a happy middle.
I love that there’s an organization that can help people; that there’s an organization that understands.
Sometimes, life can seem like an endless dark tunnel, and living is like trying to walk through tar and like trying to breathe water.
Third Level is like the hand that pulls you free from the tar and the water.
And that is why I think they deserve the donation.