I’ve been telling a lot of stories lately. A part of me feels like these things shouldn’t be shared anymore but to hell with that. I’m proud of myself for living to tell these stories. I’m proud of myself for deciding to stay.
One dreadful August night a year ago, I tried to kill myself. It was a big one for me because it’s not just wanting to hurt myself. In the past, I hurt myself due to my self-loathing, hating my body, my thoughts, the circumstances of life given to me, or I made for myself. Nevertheless, a part of me knew I didn’t want to die then, I just wanted things to change.
That’s the thing. A lot of people say they want to kill themselves because they hate their bodies, they hate their thoughts and they hate the things that happened to them, how it made them scared and afraid and hurt. They said they just want the pain to end and just rest infinitely. But sometimes, I believe that subconsciously, they don’t want to die, they just want things to change. If certain things were possible, they wouldn’t be backed into a corner where death is the only way out. If they can only just punch the corner open and find another way outside the darkness, they wouldn’t think of death.
Maybe if you were told you can live that dreadful day again and not walk past the drunken men by the dark alleyway, you wouldn’t want to kill yourself, being haunted by the memories of their hands on your body and your cries being left unheard.
Maybe if you were told that the rumor spread about you in school can disappear and be wiped from everyone’s memories you wouldn’t get in that tub and slit your wrists bloody until the water turns red and your vision turns black.
See, death isn’t what you choose. Most of the time, you don’t really want to die. You just want things to change. You just want to rest.
The last time I chose death wholeheartedly, it scared me. I was suddenly hyper-aware about the fragility of life. How one simple step can end it. How one simple cut, how one movement of your hands can mean the disappearance of your essence, can mean losing everything—the things you have and the things you don’t.
I stared at my mom who fell asleep waiting for me to come home that night, her face still gaunt even in her sleep.
There is pain that you feel because of pity for yourself. It’s burning and painful and takes your breath away in a really, really bad way.
But there’s the pain you feel when you see your pain being inflicted on the ones you love. It’s not burning, it’s a searing, white-hot pain in your chest that is mind-numbingly painful and all-consuming.
Right there and then I promised I would never choose death, as long as I can choose. As long as I still have the chance, never will I choose death again and see the same pain in my mother’s eyes, in her body and in the shadow of her soul.
I started writing.
Like the usual.
I write and count the days, jotting down the things that gave me hope and the things that made me lose hope. At the end of each day I would smile and tell myself, that that pain is something I can take a long deep breath and get over with. It is not worth dying for.
Days passed and I continued to count.
With every count, I lived. Honestly, it’s all the same. No biggie. Bullshit after bullshit still came my way. People continued to disappoint me and life continued to fuck me up. But at the end of each day, I always tell myself that I am given a choice, I still have a choice, I will make a choice for myself.
And I choose life. Over and over. Life and love and kindness.
Today marked the first year of me scribbling on my notebook. I reread it before reading this and I am shocked at how much I’ve accomplished. At how much I’ve been through even in just 365 days. Reading my bad days made me smile now, reading my good days made my heart swell. Seeing what I lived through made me realize that I am strong. Stronger than I give myself credit for.
With every day count, with every paragraph I wrote starting with “The stupid heat woke me up again,” or “My growling stomach is what made me get up from bed” and the occasional “I woke up in a really good mood today” I see just how every single day can be different from the other and what happened yesterday can be put behind you if you just let it be the past that it already is.
I have one short span of consciousness given here in this vast multiverse. I am to see only an infinitesimal fraction of what there is to see. I choose not to waste that by living in bitterness and violence.
I’m not being a hypocrite. I am aware of the darkness, of the violence, of the sheer cruelty there is in the world. But there is just too much of that for me to add more. Even when all that is left is darkness, I will be my own light.
I hope you try to choose the brighter side, too.
It’s tough to admit, and the circumstances that follow may be different with everyone but whether you like it or not, you are always given a choice.
so.. yeah. I’m a year clean! I just wrote that way too dramatically because I am extra.