We rode our bikes furiously down the sidewalk. We were 12 so the safest place for us was there, where pedestrians walked. Pedestrian safety wasn’t on our minds as we raced each other through the narrow spaces, around signs, through people, and over blocks of cement, we were young and we had the wind in our hair.
It was in the narrowest space, near a busy restaurant in town, that I clipped an older lady getting out of her car.
I instantly stopped my bike and apologized. I felt terrible for hitting her.
Her blue hair and handbag would not have it! She yelled at me and my sidewalk bike riding until I peed my pants.
I was sure that I was having the worst day of my life. I would never feel this bad again. Riding home with wet pants while my friend encouraged me to just suck it up and continue with our bike ride was the day I was sure I would remember as the most horrible one ever.
I was wrong.
There would be many more.
Like when my dog passed away.
Or when I fell into the lap of the popular guy at school because I was walking backwards in the halls and not paying attention.
Or when all of my hair was cut off and my teacher called me a boy.
Or when depression sunk me so low I couldn’t see the light and I had to claw myself to the surface. Fighting my way back to my family and friends.
There are still days that feel like the worst. They feel like I have never experienced anything as bad as what I am going through at that very moment. But then I look back. I think back to the girl riding the bike who got to her house, in soaking wet pants, and made it to another day. I remember the girl who landed in the lap of the cute boy at school and I laugh about the experience. I see the child who’s hair was all cut off and I hold her in my heart, she made the best of the hair situation and rocked a perm like no ones business.
There are many days I struggle through and I’m sure they are the worst.
My illness tricks me into feeling like this. Like I can’t go on.
But I can. I have. And I will.
I’ve survived so many things, triumphed over challenges I didn’t think I could, and amounted to so much more than I ever thought possible.
I am strong and I am a survivor.
Even on the worst day ever there is a sliver of light that reminds us that there is hope. I’m looking for that light and holding on to it. No matter how small it might be.
Because this day might seem like the worst but I have survived sadness, loneliness, depression, and darkness before.
And I will do it again.