I first thought about killing myself when I was 12.
Mind you, it was more of a passing thought than anything else, and not an actual suicide attempt. I remember thinking ”I can always kill myself” as if it were the solution to a problem I had yet to uncover.
Twelve years later, I now know that the problem was depression, but back then I thought it was normal to feel the way that I did. After all, the characters in the books I was reading were apathetic and moody and constantly considering killing themselves, so who was I to question it? I was ill-equipped to understand and process the emotions that I was finding in the YA section of the Border’s bookstore that I frequented.
I found life to be increasingly dull and predictable, and each day it became harder and harder to get out of bed.
That is until I discovered an unsuspecting book on a shelf called Twilight.
To say that Twilight consumed my life between the years of 2006 and 2012 would be putting it mildly.
My bedroom was covered in posters, I had the Edward action figure, the snap bracelet, the band-aids...
Twilight gave me more than fictional men and women to fantasize over; It gave me a reason to look forward to living, even when I was deep within the abyss of my undiagnosed depression.
First there were the books, for which I forced my parents to drive me to the store on release day to pick up, or to a midnight release party filled with giggling teenage girls and stupid activities like “Draw Bella’s Wedding Dress”. Then came the announcement of the films, and the Twilight Tuesday videos from the set that were released weekly, and the magazine articles, and the DVD release parties.
To say that it kept me alive is an understatement.
To say that it is a massive part of my life to this day is an understatement.
I fell in love with the story, but Twilight also gave me time to fall in love with life.
It made me want to become a writer so that I, too, can weave stories that bring hope and meaning to others. It gave me a shoulder to cry on and a world to retreat into when the outside world became too much. It gave me friends even when my depression was pushing everyone away.
Which is why I will never doubt the importance of books and storytelling, and why I will always wear my TwiHard badge with pride.