There is so much I would have missed. So many stupid, insignificant days, hours, minutes, seconds I almost didn't see.
Life didn't seem worth living, no breath worth the effort. The impenetrable darkness pulled at my mind, the ever-present monster in the closet, a terrified child frozen with desperation, with no light to wield on the face of my invisible demon to drive it away. I fell as far as I could, and slammed full-throttle into the deepest throes of despair. Evil engulfed my soul; the absolute malevolence of the world and the people who populate it became my obsession, the only truth I knew. Eventually, some part of me died for it. But then, some tiny, unknown facet of my being slowly awakened, and little by little, clawed its way back toward life, fighting through the darkness that enclosed my soul like an everlasting fog. It led me back from nowhere.
The strength I found pulled me back to the world. Walking outside now, I can look up and see clouds and sun and feel life flowing through the air like electricity. Stare out over nothingness and see more than desolation. Turn my eyes to look up into the pouring rain of a raging storm and feel more than the wretched tears pouring from the universe and down from my eyes. I can feel again, feel rain and sun drenching my clothes and skin with their unique mannerisms. Conversations that last through the night, a moment spent in a daydream, dancing, writing, painting, an enthralling book and the time to read it - there's an infinite list of experiences overlooked by people who have never lost them. These people might think that the lengths I had to go to learn this were extreme. They look at me with pity in their eyes, their minds too distracted by what's right and proper to see past the scars forced on me by my own destructive hand. Rushing with the clock, looking constantly for something they may never find, they don't see what I do. What they miss is what's truly important in life. Dreams and thoughts, the crazy, infallible ideas of children, those moments that used to make blood pound in veins, those have been lost for too long.
I still have my moments: that desperate, lonely, frustrating pain can still overtake me, but now I know. I know my friends will be there when I cry; I know the clouds will disperse eventually. I know I'll see more, one more sunrise, another blue sky. There's always more to experience, and too many forget that. What makes us get out of bed every morning, and keeps us up through the night; what opens our eyes as well as our minds, hearts and souls; a moment that takes our breath away. Something is always waiting, unexpected experiences that make life worth living and air worth breathing. Everything we tend to miss, to walk past and ignore, they are the experiences that add vibrancy and inspiration to our lives, and they are what everyone should learn to appreciate.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.