the first time i was left out in the street and had the gate closed on me, i learnt to appreciate the silence of my otherwise constantly-busy-surroundings as both my legs carried me home. i remembered thinking then that it would only be a matter of hours before i would be safe in familiarity again. and lucky for me—i had all the time there was to kill.

the first time i was left in my hospital room after i had begged for company, i learnt that i could stomach seeing the ugly. i could do the difficult. and that no matter what, i would always survive the scary. i remember climbing out of bed to use the toilet, pulling the intravenous pole along with me. shuffling across the floor and wondering just how much blood i would see if i were to look. i remember thinking i ought to just leave it a little while longer so it would not be so fresh but ultimately, the curiosity got the better of me and i just muttered "fuck it" and peeled the dressing off. i was pleasantly surprised then and learnt that things might actually just be worse in my head than in actuality.

the first time i had walked home from school after i had realised no one was coming for me, i learnt that it was even possible for my family to forget me. i was lucky enough to have a friend care enough to accompany me the second time it happened. but i learnt that day not to ever make the mistake of thinking anyone else would remember and come for me. i guess you could say that that was the day i learnt to stop waiting.

the first time i was left in a foreign country with no money, no wallet and not clad in proper footwear one chilly morning, i swore to myself that it would be the last time. i learnt that morning to make sure that i would never again be perceived as less or powerless. i learnt that people who claim to love you could never desert you and ultimately, render you completely worthless. that was the day i grew an unbreakable backbone for myself and taught myself that Enough is a full sentence.

the first time i ran out of people to call, to turn to, i learnt that no one would ever reach into the fire and rescue me except God. and even then, He would refuse me the easy way out. rather, He would stay with me, patiently, silently, as i writhe and scream and cry out in total agony—He would watch me be consumed because it would be the only way i would re-build stronger, more resilient. i would be granted the certainty then that i can withstand every darkness, every hardship, every turbulence and He would never forsake me. i just need to not be the first one to forsake Him. i learnt that where every man has ever failed me, God never has and never will. the first day i feared i would die, God saved me. and He has not stopped since.