by Sarah Fader
In 2004 I almost died. It was the scariest day of my life. The ironic thing is that there have been days, months, long periods of time where I have actually wanted to die. But that day in April of 2004 was not one of those days. I woke up that morning and due to a freak accident, my hand went through a casement window. I was trying to shut an extremely old window and pushed too hard on the glass with my hand. My wrist was cut open and I saw my insides and a white light that I walked away from because it wasn't my time. I'm lucky to be alive and if that day taught me anything it's that I know that I do not want to die. It's not my time and when it is, G-d will take me.
That day was over a decade ago, but it feels like it was yesterday that I stood there thinking it was the last day of my life. I looked down at my hand and ran for salvation next door to my neighbor. She saved my life. She took my bleeding hand in hers without thinking. She grabbed a white dishtowel and wrapped my hand in it to stop the blood from flowing out of me.
I don't want to die
And she did...help me. She got me into that ambulance and I didn't die that day. I lived. Someone out there was watching over me and I survived. my life was spared and I wanted to remember that day for the rest of my life. I designed a tattoo to remind myself that I'm lucky and grateful to be alive. It is the Hebrew word for life: Chai. When life gets too hard or too much to bear, I look down at my wrist and I remember that I nearly passed away in 2004, and I am so lucky that I am alive.
Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She is an author and blogger, having been featured on Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York. Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with panic disorder. Through Stigma Fighters, she hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.