Popular new age wisdom says “Kill your stories.” You know. The ones we tell about ourselves to justify our lives. The devastating, the painful, the ugly we reach for in moments of triumph to recall how far we’ve come. “You’re not that person anymore,” they say. “You’re deserving of your success even without your pain,” they say. “Don’t dwell on all the bad that’s ever happened to you,” they say.
Some stories don’t make it so easy, do they? Stories triggered by passing words and songs played in grocery stores that so accurately transport us we can see their sights and smell their scents years later. Some stories deserve better than neat tucking away in the abandoned corners of our psyches.
My story is one of a girl who, on February 22, 2008, tried to commit suicide.
It’s a story of coming undone. Like Inanna at the gates of the Underworld stripping her adornments, strung up, reckoning with herself, dying a painful death.
It’s a story of rebirth.
Of wandering dark wilderness, one step at a time. Finding the light, bathing in it, and blazing across the sky like a shooting star.
It’s ten years of rising and falling, racing forward and stumbling backward, and standing still. Of choosing for 3,650 consecutive days to keep living, whatever “life” looks like in the moment.
I won’t abandon that tired, terrified girl who spent 48 hours curled up on a stiff, sterile hospital bed alone, rubbing dirty white socks against ashy, prickly-haired brown legs, praying to a god she wasn’t sure she believed in.
She is with me everyday. I hold her. I kiss her forehead. I tell her she doesn’t know it yet, but she is a fucking warrior.
I owe her everything. In tribute, I ruthlessly protect the life she allowed me to build.
Popular new age wisdom says “Kill your stories.”
Here’s to 3,650 consecutive days of survival.