And I will stay up through the night
And let’s be clear, won’t close my eyes
And I know that I can survive
I’ll walk through fire to save my life
Sia- Elastic Heart
June 4th, 2016 I completed my 4th Overnight Walk for Suicide Prevention. It was probably the most difficult one for me to date. Emotionally and physically, there were so many times I wanted to quit, but I had to convince my body keep fighting, to keep pushing through and make it to the end. Because I knew deep down inside that this year’s journey was so much more than about the miles that I would tackle. It was about breakthrough. It was about facing the things I did not want to face, feeling the emotions I have tucked away in the recesses of my mind because I was afraid they would break me. I knew that if I could face my fears, I could finally put the past behind me.
I could have given up. I could have decided that my body deserved a break. I could have decided that pain was going to win the fight. I could have decided to push the past under the rug where it had been hiding for years.
But I chose to fight.
I chose to walk through the fire.
To face my past.
To face everything that has been done to me.
and everything I have done to myself in return.
To be honest about the path it has taken me to get to this place.
8 miles in and I had to face the past. On the Brooklyn Bridge.
Pain came in waves. In images. and grief that landed like a sucker punch to my chest.
What brought the most pain was seeing a life that had been turned into something so hopeless and so hidden from the outside world. Hidden behind smiles, and rehearsed responses. Trying to be brave when the thought of falling apart consumed every waking moment. A life bearing physical and emotional scars that were continually being reopened.
I do not wish that life on anyone.
But that life, I do not live it anymore.
That life was no life at all.
Because I am worth recovery.
I am worth feeling whole.
I am worth the fight to snatch back every ounce of myself that has been stolen by the words and the actions of others.
I am worth the power of redemption.
I am worth a second chance at life.
So i left it behind.
And I chose to chase after freedom.
And the most beautiful part of it all was that I never had to face any of it alone.
I was surrounded by community. Surrounded by friends, who have felt like I have felt at one time or another. Surrounded by warriors, who were taking back their lives just like I was. Surrounded by families and friends who were turning pain into something positive and beautiful, as I aspire to do.
This year I needed them. And they did not let me down.