There will always be Paris

Hey you. Yeah it is me, actually you. Future you. I get it is weird. It is weird. And I know it is not a good time right now with everything that has happened. You’re feeling pretty raw. No one knows what to say and you can’t switch off your brain.

No one ever tells you that the hardest bit of surviving a suicide attempt is living through it afterwards.

I’m just here to say thanks. Thanks for making the decision to live, even though you still don’t think it was the right decision to make. I was there with you for it all. The weird looks from people, the friends who didn’t understand and the feeling of just trying to constantly catch your breath.

I would love to be able to tell you that it all gets better from here. But that would be a lie. You’re already starting to work that out I know. You’ll have lost friends by the end of this year. And there will be more you will lose. Over time it will be like this veil gets lifted and you’ll see the crap you’ve put up with and you’ll just walk away slowly. And boy do I mean slowly!

So there’s those losses. And they will hurt. But there will be lots of new things too. New people, new places and new love. Again things and people will hurt you but you do get stronger. You travel. You embarrass yourself in Paris jumping up and down in glee but you do not care. YOU ARE IN PARIS.

You find comfort in music. You find yourself practicing mindfulness without even thinking about it. You do things you never would have ever dreamed of. Life still kicks you, but you kick back and each time that inner strength grows. You laugh so loudly that you make others laugh. You travel alone, watch movies alone and learn to like yourself. You are no longer defined by how they saw you, instead you create your own you.

Your son has your character. You have a lot to answer for with that one. Just like you he feels everything intensely. But, that means he also laughs loudly and loves fully too. In love, you finally found someone who enjoys you for all that you are. You took him to Paris too.

Since surviving fourteen years ago you have now fallen in love with life. Bringing life into the world made you want life to always be safe. It isn’t sadly. Not all your days are in Paris after all, but you have been there three times with full intentions of returning. They are three times you gave me amongst so many other things by choosing to live.

There will be a time each day where you will remember what could have happened. Over the years you will unpack a lot of anger, regret and heartache. You will grieve. The coldness and forgetfulness of those you loved will scar, but time will heal those scars I promise.

You are a wife, mum, daughter, friend and teacher. You are a storyteller. You are constantly inappropriate, swear too much and are addicted to coffee and colourful dresses. You are lots of things to lots of people, but the most important thing is that you are you and that you are here.

I see you now. Confused, in pain and scared. But through all that I see someone I am so grateful towards. I am here. You are here.

We are here.

There will come a time when the memory of what could have happened does not hurt so much. Instead, that stab will be replaced with feelings of strength, determination, passion and enthusiasm. There will be joy. There will be dancing. There will be love.

There will always, ALWAYS be Paris.

Peta Dampney