Courage + Community

I know these stories are supposed to be about what made us give away our keys but I would like to tell you how I received mine instead. Hope that’s okay.
This year has been the hardest year of my life. On top of losing my first love, my job and my beloved grandmother in a matter of weeks, I was knocked backwards when I found out my mother had cancer, my unemployment benefits had been canceled and I was in a car accident. With mounting bills and no more strength to go on, I tried to stop the pain the only way I knew how. I was unsuccessful, in my mind another reminder I was a failure.
Five hours later, sitting in the hospital thinking I couldn’t sink any lower with friends around me that I was too embarrassed to look at, my roommate handed me a key and with tears in her eyes said “You need this more than me.” On this key was the word “COURAGE”. That night I was shipped off to a facility for 72 hours and even though they searched me and took away anything with a string, they never checked my neck for the key that hung around it. For 72 hours while I felt like I was in hell I was able to keep that key around my neck as a sign that I was loved more than I could ever have possibly imagined. It’s only been two months since that terrifying night but I’m still here and every time it gets too much all I have to do is look at my key and see that I have the courage to see this through. I wouldn’t say a key saved my life, more like a community, but I would say that this key keeps me going every day and one day I pray I’ll be able to find someone who needs it more than me.