WRITING SAVED MY LIFE by ZONA GERBESHI
My name is Zona Gerbeshi. My parents moved to Sweden from Kosovo in ’91, and two years later I was born. I have spent my entire life in Sweden, but I have decided to let fear go and in a few days I’ll be moving to Canada.
I was 12 when I wanted to die for the first time. I had recently been diagnosed with severe asthma and was told that I had to metaphorically - and physically spend life on the bench. I finished my suicide letter with: “so… what’s the point?”.
Up until my diagnosis I was the kid who always wanted to entertain everyone. I would recite poetry at every family gathering, dance and sing at the top of my lungs. That faded away and I began to isolate myself. I was the quiet, asthmatic kid with braces who eventually got bullied. I never understood why they picked on me when I barely made any noise. After that I put my existence on mute. I spent most of my days reading because the books gave me a keyhole to peep through and see what it would look like to be alive again.
I was 16 when I decided that I’m going to live, and not only make noise - but put on a thunderstorm for the world. I sat down in front of a mirror and looked myself in the eyes. I met myself for the first time, and on that cold bedroom floor I decided that I am worthy of living - unapologetically. I haven’t stopped since. This doesn’t mean that I have completely healed because I believe that the healing never ends. There’s more digging to do, and more experiences waiting to help us reach a higher state of being. This is merely the first rollercoaster.
There aren’t any mistakes in life - only lessons, and I’m eternally grateful for every single one that has been sent my way. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am today and…. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
I look forward to writing about dying and being reborn, being the child of an immigrant, not letting an illness define me and everything in between.