Life After I Almost Died

I’m not yet okay – but I’m learning to live with that

11/2/2016 4:54:59 PM
written By : Sana T Vasi Print

My parents told people that I had been in a car accident. It was a lie borne out of love, I know — a way to protect me from the difficult questions they didn’t think I was ready to answer.

It made the first few weeks back home unbearably awkward. Family friends — the ones I only knew through vague bits of small talk at dinner parties — would look me up and down, searching for the physical markings of an imaginary trauma branded on my skin.

“I’m okay,” I would assure them, offering a close-lipped smile.

“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster,” my mom would jump in. “She doesn’t really like to talk about it.”

“Well, you look good,” they would say, their eyes soft with sympathy.

In those moments, I loathed them for their well-meaning condolences — for their superficial expectations of what “good” looked like.

Last March, I tried to kill myself. I was exhausted and desperate, searching for an escape from the gray plains of my depression. At the time, swallowing pills seemed like the only way to muffle the voices that reverberated within my head — the ones that whispered about how worthless I was while maneuvering through the 6 p.m. dinner rush at the Marketplace; how pathetic, as I laughed and hugged my sisters in the sorority during Bid Day.

The doctors told me I was lucky to be alive. Nurses stationed outside my room called it a miracle. My parents, haggard and solemn, attributed my survival to the power of prayer. Seven months later and I’m still not sure what to believe.

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