When Reliving Your Childhood Could Save Your Life

Ah, childhood.  That far away memory of being small, just learning what kind of place the world is, maybe still being unaware of the pain being older causes… Bittersweet, yes?

I lucked out.  I had a decent childhood, mostly surrounded by my only best friend and an ungodly amount of reading to immerse myself in any world far from our own.  There’s always that one thing that brought you comfort: a stuffed toy, a doll, a tree, a blanket, a camera, coloring books.  For me, it was the wonderful world of Harry Potter.  (S/O to the new movie that came out November 18!!!)  J.K. Rowling was – and is – my idol.  Now before you tap out because “ew Harry Potter no way I hate that stuff it’s so stupid”, give me a chance.  I promise this won’t be fanfiction or fangirling or anything like that.  I want to unravel a source of strength and perseverance that may even help you, too.


Let me paint you a picture…

It was 1 in the morning.  My throat was burning from tears that I was physically unable to shed.  My body was curled tightly in the fetal position, aching for some level of comfort.  My mind was the definition of contradiction; thoughts raced round and round through my head, but I still felt a strong, hollow nothing.  I was alone.  I was depleted.  I had no point.  I was a waste of space.  I had demons that cast me in their shadows, chilling me to the bone.  I wanted to die.  And I knew how.  My body shaking, I slid from my bed as if the air was molasses.  I had one destination, and that was my medication stash.  I shuffled through a mental fog, probably why I bumped the bookshelf directly beside my bed.  I heard a thump.  Slowly tilting my head down to face the sound, I noticed a book had fallen, spine up, onto my path.  For what reason I cannot tell you, but I crouched down and cuddled the book to my chest.  Minutes ticked by.  Eventually, I grew curious enough to glance at the cover.

It was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I was mildly amused.  This was the book where Harry’s life began turning into a hot mess, kind of like mine was.  Almost without thinking, I flipped through the pages, stopping haphazardly to scan the words by my thumbs.  The 4th flip brought me to the iconic scene of Harry and Voldemort in the graveyard.  My thumb was positioned near this excerpt: “Harry crouched behind the headstone and knew the end had come. There was no hope…no help to be had. And as he heard Voldemort draw nearer still, he knew one thing only, and it was beyond fear or reason: He was not going to die crouching here like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort’s feet…he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defense was possible….” (Ch 34).  I froze.  Harry knew he would die.  Harry accepted he would die.  But Harry was going to fight.  I rose, gently laid the book back on the shelf.  My feet found their way back to my bed where I slipped them back under the covers, closing my eyes and braving sleep once more.


I’ve had other encounters with suicidal thoughts or actions, each time something has pulled me back from the edge.  J.K. fought her own battle with depression, pushing through to create this orphan wizard boy who in turn saved so many other lives.  I put this story up not so that I can host my own pity party but so that maybe it can show someone out there to fight.  You are a gift to this earth, even if you don’t see it yet.  I love you so much that I want you to find your own life vest when you find yourself drowning.  I am here for you.  I promise.   And remember …

Thanks J.K. and Albus Dumbledore 

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