I’ve been alive for 18 years. I was actually born a month before 9/11, and my dad saw the building come down from Connecticut, trapped on the opposite coast from me and my mom. He was supposed to come home that day, and I suppose he was living on borrowed time since then because he died about two years ago. I’ve dipped my toes in everything; I’ve crushed up and snorted pain pills, I’ve thrown up to feel better about myself, I’ve carved notches in my thigh, and as cliche, as it sounds looking for a way out in dangerous places never helps. I suppose that doesn’t mean a whole lot since I and most going through similar things was just too depressed to care. I still deal with the fallout, I don’t know if I screwed up my brain or if things out of my control did that and maybe I was even born that way. Sometimes I even feel like I’m living on borrowed time just like my dad was. But, I realized something. I always thought life wasn’t worth living if you weren’t happy, but it’s only as I’ve gotten older that I realized how much joy I could find even in the darkest depths of my mental illness. I remember the fragrant teas, the shimmering oceanside vistas, the best shows (and worst) shows on Netflix, the texts from my friends that made me smile. I realized something, that even though I know my struggles will stick with me, and probably for a while, I realized that life is always worth living for those small moments. That even though the worst of it those small moments don’t disappear, those memories won’t fade and the little joys will still make me smile. It hit me that life is still worth it, still worth the pain and the heartache because I’d rather a single chance to have that little moment again than cut it all short to avoid any more pain.