I have been writing this post for quite a while now. I was not in a place where I could breathe life into the memories of all those that have stood by me and showered me with love as I fought my way back to life. But today, on my three year anniversary, on the day I was planning to die, I am again deciding to get better.
I could cry right now, tears of solitude, of happiness, one by one until the world is filled with love and support. You came into my life, like others before you, as the father of a friend. You welcomed me into your home, fed me, and showered me with love. You let me stay. I understood two words you said and I'm not entirely sure if you understood any of mine, but we spoke in a language far deeper than any created within borders between us. I couldn't help but smile, feeling the genuine love and caring emanate from your body as you showed me around. I said thank you, in the very little bit of turkish that I knew and you left. Only to return moments later, looking around, looking apologetic, and with your hand gestures I understood there were no towels in the apartment. I tried gesturing back saying it wasn't a problem. You left. Then a few minutes later, towels in hand you came back and my world spun apart in a weave of support. You may never know this, but if anyone could save me, not just empower me to save myself, it'd be you and the man that showed me similar kindness three years ago.
I don't know his name, nor do I plan on ever seeking it. He welcomed me into his home like you had, fed me, and told me about his hometown. He asked if I've ever been there, and what I wanted to do with my life. And he told me that no matter what I will always have a home in West Boylston, despite only meeting him for the first time thirty minutes earlier. I walked out angry, upset at myself, at the world, but not at him. I was not planning to survive the week. I had an expiration date, but before I could fully sour inside he came into my life and I couldn't hurt another human being after that. He might sound like a family friend, but in fact he was a stranger I was selling my car to.
I never took him up on his offer, but the damage had been done by then. I was alive, and I planned on fighting because of a single thirty minute long conversation. It's hard to explain what those thirty minutes were like, but they were words, they were support and they were love.
Today, exactly three years later the rest of you woke me up with the kindest of words on a Facebook post. You accepted me for who I am, illness in tow and made me feel like it’s okay to be ill. I have never wanted your approval. For years now I have been unapologetic about my mental Illness, but you allowed me to belong and the fight faded from within me and I was filled with support.
You reminded me of the larger than life things that can bring us to save ourselves. And for that, I can never thank you enough, in any language. The words are simply not enough, and I pray that someday I can find the words or the action to truly vocalize what these simply glorious acts truly mean to me. I'd just like you to know that your kindness, your support and your love did not go unnoticed, and they will have affected my life in ways I do not even yet know.
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Founder and Executive Director of Life in My Days, Inc. He is the co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, and a Novelist. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter, instagram or facebook.