Gia January 21, 2020

“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.” (Source: American Psychological Association)

I was supposed to be dead by now.

Six feet under, veins cut, peace attained, pain passed on. Family destroyed, friends devastated, all asking what they did wrong or didn’t do at all.

Or on that day when I paused too long on the bridge over the train tracks in Baneasa on the way to collect her from the radio station she had hitchhiked across the country to get to.

Or sitting on the curb at the bus station in front of the mental hospital when I cut myself with a dirty coke can that made any urgent employment impossible.

Or when I found myself doing the most shameful things so I could bring her $1 flowers every single fucking day because she loves flowers and she deserved to be surrounded with them in her unit.

Or smoking cigarette butts picked up in front of subway stations in between begging each and every last one of my friends to host me for a few days because I was homeless.

Or last Monday at the crosswalk at Unirii when I studied every single car that I could throw myself in front of as they zoomed by.

Or three days ago in the shower when I was crouching in the tub because I couldn’t stand up and I was crying uncontrollably and the razors were inches away and he came and held my hand as I desperately tried to wash this living nightmare away.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t kill myself. Because that would be the easy way out for me.

Because I love her too much to ever, ever, ever give up on her.

Because too many people have supported me through this absolute hell that never seems to end. The friend who stayed on the phone with me until I stepped off that bridge. The friends who welcomed me into their homes or lent me money I would never be able to repay. The friends who check up on me today and provide unfailing support in a situation they will never be able to fully comprehend. The boyfriend who refused to run away and continues to endure every step of this nightmare by my side as it unfolds from bad to worse to unimaginable.

Because I am resilient.

Because in the face of tragedy, I take super-human, laser-focused, solution-driven action.

Because suicide is not an option when the lives of others depend on yours.

I am the embodiment of resilience.

I don’t want to be, but I am. I have to be.

For her. For him. For you, reading this right now and experiencing your own living nightmare.

You are resilient, with or without your own will.

There is someone whom you love, or who loves you so incredibly much, or both, and they’re the reason for this resilience.

People who choose suicide as an option are judged, classified, and condemned as selfish. Anybody who has ever reached this as a last resort knows that it’s anything else but selfish. It’s a perceived solution for ending pain for themselves and for others.

But the truth is what I said in the first sentences of this weak ass excuse of a story. It doesn’t end the pain. It only passes it onto others. The very others you’re trying to take the pain away from.

Resilience is a bitch. A ruthless bitch that beats you with her whip over, and over, and over again.

But this bitch is ingrained in you. Resilience is embedded in your soul, in your mind, in your very being, in the hopeless moments in which you physically cannot go on anymore.

This bitch is here to remind you that you’re still alive. You are surviving. She is lashing her whip on you, and she will continue to do it, time and time again, only to make you stronger, and stronger, and inhumanely stronger.

Resilience is the answer you never asked for. It’s your inexhaustible source of power to keep living when living is unbearable.

I wish I were dead right now. I was supposed to be dead by now. But resilience didn’t let me.

And she won’t let you either.

Trust your resilience. It’s there. It’s very much there. It will keep you alive, and fighting, and surviving.

Resilience is the only reason why I’m trying with all my might to help you when there is no real world solution to help me right now.

It’s only because of you, and her, and him, and this terrible and incredible resilience that I’m writing this instead of causing irreparable damage right this very second.

And for this, I beg you to keep fighting.

Your resilience will guide you.


Gold Nuggets is a series with life lessons that I’ve learned the hard way.