The sun comes up, the traffic begins to build as workers set out for the day, I put on my trainers and lead the dog out onto the pavement for our morning run. It’s just another day. There is a chill in the air but the icy breath of winter has been superseded by a more tolerable spring breeze. Buses roll past me, undertaking the static cars powerless to move faster in the morning rush hour jam. It’s just another day.
Back at the house I check my phone and notice the date, 26th April. It’s a friend’s birthday.
He’s much more than a friend actually. He’s my lifesaver.
Approximately 725 days ago the friend who’s birthday it is found me unconscious in the dark, alone and drunk and vomiting. He called an ambulance, rode in it with me, sat by my bedside for hours in the stark glare of the hospital ward, told me it was ok when I woke up, looked at me with sadness, held my hand, helped me discharge myself and took me home in a taxi. He put me to bed, made me a cup of tea, told me it would be ok, told me I would be ok, didn’t leave until I had stopped crying.
I never really thought I had been within touching distance of my own death until that morning. The weeks that followed were the darkest I’ve ever known. But eventually the sun came out again, and I moved forward.
The friend who saved my life gave me so much to be grateful for; the chance to live free of the shackles of alcohol, room to grow as a person, all the days I’ve spent since with my two children, fiancé and my family, a deep appreciation of everything I have in my life, my health and happiness, a real awareness of the fragility of life and with that, a passion for so much that the world has to offer, developing a realisation of the things that matter, and the things that don’t, my future hopes and dreams, becoming who I was meant to be, my life.
I sent him a text. It read ‘Happy birthday Lifesaver. Lots of love, always.’ And I meant it.