Die and Heal
by Stella P.
I was twenty-three when my life was ending.
My lungs were clogged up with infection and mucus.
Every breath I took pulled me closer to death.
My body was shutting down and took my mind with it.
Dying is not like anything else.
It’s pure exhaustion.
It’s being completely filled with pain.
It’s not being human.
It’s all of those things and none of those things at once.
It’s dying. It’s horrible. And even that is not the right description.
My doctors told me I could get a second chance. A double lung transplant.
I wrote: “I DON’T WANT TO SUFFER ANYMORE” on a piece of paper and held it up.
I had no breath left to utter the words myself.
They told me I didn’t have to suffer, I would get painkillers.
I said yes because I knew they would put me in a medically induced coma when I did.
I said yes because saying no could prolong my suffering.
I didn’t care how it ended. As long as it ended as soon as possible.
I was twenty-three when I was reborn.
I took my first breaths (I was taken off the ventilator).
I made my first eye contact (My hallucinations lessened).
I spoke my first words (I cleared the mucus of my vocal chords).
I sat upright for the first time (The pain I endured was indescribable. When I was allowed to lay down I wanted to do it again. I don’t know why).
I took my first steps (My feet where bent inwards because I had been in the ICU for months, of which I spent three weeks in a coma).
Two and a half years went by.
And then the PTSD showed its face.
It came with a big plate of good old fashioned depression.
And now, each day is a new year.
Stretching out before me.
Sometimes it stretches out like an awful vastness without meaning or hope.
Sometimes it stretches out with the potential for magick and life.
Sometimes it’s just there and I try not to let it bother me.
And now, each day I set my intentions.
I make my New Years resolutions.
This time it’s going to work.
This time I will push through.
This time I will heal.
Until the dying starts again. And there will be no more second chances.
Stella P. is an anti-capitalist, chronically ill, beginner witch and low-key artist. She spends her days reading, journaling, drawing, making the occasional zine, going to gigs, and scrolling Instagram for too long. She also spends a lot of time trying to maintain her physical and mental health, which is pretty much a full time job. Follow her on Instagram.
Image by lorraine santana, found on Flickr.