There’s this line in my favorite movie where one character tells the main character that life is either a romance or a tragedy. I won’t lie, even as a little kid I dreamed of a great romance. The thing is my life seems to continually go the way of a tragedy – at least this far it has. This day marks the first day of National Suicide Awareness Week. Coincidentally enough, my birthday is tomorrow and five days later will mark the one year anniversary of the worst day of my life. To honor my journey, and to inspire others, we took this photo.
First, I am wearing my National Suicide Awareness tank-top that reads, “We’ll See You Tomorrow,” standing and holding the only salvageable bit of my race bike in my right arm (which can barely hold the weight of this carbon frame even after a year), and lastly I’m one block from the spot where my old life ended and my new one began.
You see, that long and visible scar on my arm pales in comparison to the scars I’ve got inside me from all the hurt and self hate I’ve been harboring. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why or how I got to be so sick. Not to toot my horn here but I’m really damn smart, so how the hell did I become a person who couldn’t stand to see himself in the mirror? Who lost his ability to speak up for himself and about what is wrong? How did I become clinically depressed when I know I wasn’t born this way?
I don’t know. I do, however, know that when I got hit by that car, when I lost my ability to hide my problems and my pain, when I went into crisis mode and started to plan my own demise because I couldn’t bare my injury or my depression and shame, it was only then did I find real strength of character and brought myself to get help. When I got help I was finally able to see how sick I was, and I was finally got to feel calm for the first time probably since I was twelve or thirteen.
This photo is important because it says that there is still hope. There is still time. My arm is still broken, I may never be able to ride a bike again, but there is still a chance as long as I am here tomorrow. Maybe my life has been a tragedy, but I’m gonna try my best to wake up tomorrow and maybe one day, just maybe, I’ll find myself in a love story.
Hope is real.
Help is real.
Your story is important.
You are not alone.
We will see you tomorrow.