A few weeks ago, my mother attempted to commit suicide.
The last two years of my life have gone as follows: assault of a family member, divorce, relocating, trips to the hospital, and now, a suicide attempt.
At 17, I'd say I am stronger than my years would lead you to believe. I've learned that life holds countless hardships and that this fact is inescapable; I cannot change my fate, nor will I try to, but I will not let my past define me. I'm not broken, but alive and breathing, which is what matters. And as long as I wake up each and every day, I will find something to live for.
This past year, I was forced to shoulder huge responsibilities, when my mother, in an attempt to soothe her pain, took to drinking. That left me to look after my little brother when it was her turn to have the both of us. I felt like I was unexpectedly thrust into an upside-down and backwards world, where I was now the parent of a thirteen year-old boy and a forty-nine year old woman. I cleaned the house, prepared the meals, and looked after the both of them. And even when I was away from my mom, I was always worried about her. That was all that occupied my mind - I forgot about myself completely.
That was all before the suicide attempt. It seemed like it was getting better, but one night, my father got a text saying "Goodbye." It was a red flag. We immediately headed to my mom's place where we found her in bed. She had overdosed.
Things kept going downhill. I didn't have the motivation to get out of bed in the morning and could not help but sit and dwell on what my life had become. It was miserable. My mom was alive, but my spirit was gone.
A week later, my dad gave me a gift. The key was from his girlfriend, Laura, who had been informed of my mom's near-passing. I hadn't expected it, but I will be forever thankful for it. My father paused, smiled, and handed me the key with a sense of knowing I'd never seen before.
As soon as I read it, I'd started to cry.
I don't know why really, because they weren't sad tears; they were just raw, overwhelming, unexpected tears of relief. I'd tried to do everything on my own for so long, never had it occurred to me that I may have needed support. But, I did. And, I know that now. I wear my strength key everyday. Whenever I'm feeling vulnerable or scared, I hold that key and remind myself how strong of an individual I am, that I will always prevail and make the best of it.
There are such a thing as happy endings.
This key might just unlock mine.