the beach, dying and being glad to be alive.

The other night I ended up at the beach.

The same beach I walked along a few weeks ago with a friend, the night before my baptism, watching the sunset, talking and praying.

The same beach that a few weeks prior to that I had spent a Sunday afternoon on, with another friend, in the sun shine walking, talking and laughing lots.

The same beach I’ve been to many times before the ones mentioned above.


The same beach I used to sit alone on and cry.

The same beach I’ve sat on and slashed my legs to pieces and then poured dirty salty seawater into the wounds, just to make sure it really hurt.

The same beach I’ve sat and smoked on and then used my arms to put out the cigarettes – scars I still bare.

The same beach I used to go to alone and scream at God.

The same beach I used to dream about dying on.

The same beach I used to stand by the water on and wonder what it would be like if I was to just walk in, and be washed away.

The same beach that leads to the seas that I used to wish would just sweep me away.


The other night I ended up at the beach.

And it was different.


It was beautiful. And as I sat by the water, watching the waves, and the sun setting, I was thankful.

I was thankful to be alive.


Tonight at a church seminar I went to we thought briefly about some of our fears. Several people mentioned theirs. And I mentioned my fear of dying.

A fear that has appeared since last year when I had an asthma attack that I really did think I was going to die from, and which my medics also thought serious enough to consider ventilation et al.

And it hit me that the reason I was so fearful of dying last October was because I didn’t want to. I did not want to die.


Which is a far cry from those nights when I used to sit on the beach desperate to.

It is a far cry from April 08 when I took an overdose.

It is a far from the night before my birthday that year when I decided to try again.

Those nights, when I was desperate to die, dying didn’t scare me. I wanted it. I was desperate for it.


The first few years after not succeeding in my overdose were years of real pain and anger that I was alive. The next few years were years of accepting I was alive and just having to deal with that. The last few years have been years of learning to live life again …


But as I sat on the beach on Saturday night, and over the last few days, and even tonight I’ve been reflecting on the fact I no longer want to die. I AM alive. And I want to be.

And the last 12 months have been astonishingly life changing in so many different ways.

And so the other night I ended up and the beach, and it was different because now I AM glad to be alive.