“How the actual fuck did you even stay alive?” was the comment she made after reading about the death of my husband.
I pondered the question for a few days.
Even at my lowest, in the days that followed my husband’s suicide, it never crossed my mind that killing myself was an option. It wasn’t that I was tethered to life by my family ties — I have no children and my parents and brother are my adopted family — it was just that my particular brain is wired for living no matter what the circumstances.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I hear from people every day who experience Death sniffing at the cuffs of their trousers.
“I have been suicidal since age 10 or 11,” a man wrote to me. “Until recently I thought everyone was.”
“Not me,’ I wanted to say. “I don’t want to die at all. Not ever.”
I want to live forever in a body and mind that refuses to grow old and frail. I want to drink from the fountain of youth, not because I want my grey hair to disappear, but because I don’t want this life to end. Living is a precious gift that is quickly slipping through my fingers.
Such thoughts don’t make me better than anyone else, just different. My genetic predisposition is to feel my feet on this earth for as long as I can.
And that’s how I stayed alive.