Alexa DiBiase
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How Dying Saved My Life

And Why It Changed It, Too

Peter Pan, a boy who never grew up and never wanted to grow up, said once that dying would be a big adventure. Who knew that at the age of 24, he would be right. It’s not something we think about everyday—unless you’re me and think about it more often than not. What would happen if I died? Would anyone be sad? Would anyone attend my funeral? Would people who pretended to like me regret being rude? It’s everyday thoughts like these that have me thinking about the what if’s. I know we all have them, but I remember one particular moment away from these thoughts that saved my life.

Ever since I was young, I’ve been the punching bag of jokes. I’m the one who gets made fun of in my family and no one really takes me seriously. I’m not too sure why—maybe because I choose to go and get drinks with my friends on a Saturday night opposed to staying in and watching a movie by myself. Maybe it's because I still enjoy Harry Potter and researching theories and facts of the fandom, instead of researching stocks and investing my money in them. It's always been like that. I love my family dearly, but they only see the jokester in me. It's hard to open up when they only expect jokes constantly. This makes me feel, well, ya know, not so great. I want to be able to say "I'm great! Life is great!", but that's not the case.

I remember the day that I lost all confidence in myself. The day I had to go file for an Order of Protection against my ex-boyfriend. I lost almost all my happiness. I was scared to go anywhere, walk alone on my school campus, or even look out my window because I thought my ex would be there waiting for me. I felt trapped. Once the Order of Protection was finalized for a year, I should've felt relieved. However, I didn't and I was still terrified to go anywhere. A month after the order was finalized, I was contacted by him again through his friend's snapchat and I knew it was an intimidation act. I remember being yet again scared. I thank the police and investigators that were so kind to me and helped me every step of the way to ensure my safety, but they couldn't restore the confidence and faith I had lost within myself.

Ever since, I have not been the same person. I remember losing friends and being told I'm "annoying" because I had asked them to stop including me on posts with him. I felt even more alone than I did before. I remember being told that I was overreacting and needed to think about my decision. Again, I felt alone. I thank my mother and my two best friends who were there for me through every step of the process, both legal and emotional. They comforted me and reminded me that I did what was necessary, and that I shouldn't apologize. However, I still felt this sense of emptiness that I still feel today. This emptiness has driven me insane. I've found comfort in food, alcohol, and friends who let me repeat myself over and over whenever necessary. I've found comfort in Harry Potter, whether that may be watching the movies, reading the books, or reading up on facts to make sure I knew everything. Even then, after all that was over at the end of the day, I wanted to know why I still felt empty inside. Dying has seemed to be a state of mind that I am no longer afraid to have anymore. Dying is something that I think, "if it happens, it happens." Do I have aspiration and dreams? Of course, but they seem more and more distant. It's like that I was just kind of waiting for the day my time would come, and stuck in this limbo part of life. That all changed when my best friend asked me an important question.

My best friend and her boyfriend got engaged in August of 2016. I was over the moon for her and her boyfriend, who I both went to high school with. They were high school sweethearts of course. One day, she and I went out to eat like friends do, and she randomly pulled out this box. I remember asking her, "Is it pretzels?!" because we had a previous conversation about pretzels. However, it was far from pretzels. It was a DIY box that said "I can't say 'I do' without you. Will you be my bridesmaid?" I remember crying, laughing, smiling, and hugging her. That moment gave me a sense of life. It gave me something to look forward to in a long-term sense. It made my entire year and a half. I couldn't let my best friend down and not be there for her on her wedding day. I accepted the offer with open arms.

That moment is when I realized that wanting to die and find something to let me live for, was the moment it saved my life. I was so desperate to feel my worth and feel that I was loved in some way. I wanted to fill the empty void I had some the year prior and being afraid to break down the wall I had built around almost everyone. Dying saved my life. The idea of wanting to die saved me from dying. The last plea to find something to look forward to and feel good about was given to me. I know not everyone believes in God, but I know for a fact God works in mysterious ways.

Thank you to my mom, Lexie, and Ashleigh for always believing in me and helping me see the good in every bad situation.

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