The past few days have included a lot of reflection for me as this time of year always does. I wanted to share with you a milestone for me and why I find these days so important.

November 12, 2008, 9 years ago, I tried to kill myself. I overdosed on 200 pills in an effort to end my life. I feel like November 13th was the first day of the rest of my life.
Nine years ago. Nine years alive.

Nine years that may have never happened if I wasn’t able to ask for help that night. There would be so many losses. So many things that would have never existed. Moments. Relationships. Healing. Love. So much. Too much to put into words.

But I am here. I stayed alive. And I chose to keep living.

Nine years of consecutive days by putting one foot in front of the other. Days of fighting, struggling, demanding to survive. And days of glory. Days of magnificence. Days of joy and authenticity and raw, real love.

I’ve brought life into this world.
I’ve seen life say goodbye to this world.
I’ve faced recovery, relapse, and more recovery.
I’ve experience soul-wrenching heartache.
I’ve found the love of my life.
I’ve found work I enjoy and I’ve become a professional student. I’ve decided Academia is my bittersweet friend.
I’ve found my voice and a message worth sharing.
I’ve learned that life doesn’t fit into a backpack and home feels like many beautiful moments.
I’ve traveled and discovered what missing feels like.
I’ve found language for my story.
I’ve gained some labels to explain the reasons and ways I experience the world.
I’ve discovered talents and surrendered old ideas.
I’ve filled books upon books with words and found healing.

Healing. If one word could describe the past 9 years, I say healing. It’s be a series of healing moments. And those healing moments have been in connection. The vulnerability of my authentic self with those who show up. The faces may have changed through the years, but the message remains the same – I am lovable; I am worthy; I belong. As I entered recovery this last time, the loneliness has slipped away. The love has increased.

I know heartache. I know pain. If you know my story you know this. If you’re human, you know this. We all know pain. We all know heartache. It binds us together: the pain and the healing.

And so, 9 years ago I knew pain. I knew heartache. I did not know healing.

Today, because of a series of moments, I’ve learned healing. And through healing I’ve learned love. I’ve learned hope. I’ve learned much. I know little, but I’ve learned much.

Tonight, my message for you friend as I reflect on the rollercoaster trajectory of my life I say, I beg, please hold one. Please fight. Please stay. There are moments waiting for you. Moments waiting to awe you and engulf you in beauty.

Be gentle with yourself my friend.



© Ange Neil 2018

One thought on “Nine Years Alive.

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