I found the door to the rest of my life, and it is open.
Now, I am expected to walk through it.
I have no choice but to walk through it. It doesn’t matter that I never thought I would get this far. It doesn’t matter that my life was supposed to end several years ago, in a bathtub, in a pool of my own blood.
It doesn’t matter that I was born to be a sad story stuffed into the smallest corner of the newspaper, reading, “Teenage Suicide.” People were supposed to hear about me and shake their heads and say, “What a shame!” before moving on, and forgetting me.
It doesn’t matter, because it didn’t happen. I’m here. I’m alive. And I will never be a teenage suicide, because I will never be a teenager again.
I’m an adult.
I’m a possibility.
I’m alive. And there’s so much that I can do as long as that remains true.
Because death is so final, and life is ever-changing.
I can walk through that door. I can follow the plan that I didn’t have until recently, the plan that I never made when I was young because I was never supposed to get this far. The simple plan: job, move, school, career, maybe get married, maybe be happy, run into problems along the way but always push through them.
I can do that now. I can live a life.
And what a strange party it is that I hold for myself, alone, in private. No invitations can be sent out because no one can know the reason why life overwhelms me and thrills me all at once. No one can know why I think it’s a miracle to be alive. If they knew, they would worry—but, they really shouldn’t because I survived. I made it through.
I didn’t kill myself, and I won’t kill myself. Instead of cutting into my skin, I fortified it with armour so that when the feeling comes back, I’ll know what to do. I will have prepared for it.
And, for now, I found the door to the rest of my life, the door that was never supposed to exist in the first place.
And I am walking through it.
Author: Ciara Hall
Image: Knar Bedian/Flickr
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina