Arterie Fine Arts
It Only Takes One Night #2
Inkjet Print
11" x 14"
Rachel Konsella
Facebook Page

Whenever I’m asked to share a story from my life, I always go back to one specific night; the night that changed my life forever. Sometimes that night alone defines who I am. Other times I remember that it was simply one night, one experience, one second chance.

Today I am grateful. Unbelievably grateful.
I. Am. Alive. Really Alive.

Over time, I’ve noticed that the people who are most alive are the ones who have been closest to death: a cancer patient, a recovering addict, or an attempted suicide survivor. They all have one thing in common: They all know what death could be.
They’ve seen it. Just like how I’ve seen it. But today, they are alive. Just like how I am alive.
The days of swollen eyes, clenched teeth, and an utterly weak body have passed, and in its place is a new light.

Sometimes I get flashbacks of this one particular night. The night when I looked into the mirror and screamed the most piercing scream you could imagine. I was terrified. I had no control over my thoughts or my actions. It felt like some kind of demon turned me into a puppet and I was forced into the front row watching someone else destroy me, unable to do anything.

As a way of coping with what had happened to me that night, I reenacted it, years later and documented it. Some may call me crazy but I believe that to fully recover from trauma, you must fully accept it. You must travel to the core of your being, look it straight in the eye and somehow let it all go.

‘Returning’ to that night for these photographs was almost as hard as going through the experience the first time. But it had to be done. I know that for many people, these photographs may cause fear, anxiety or discomfort. But to me, they expose a beautiful self-­discovery of my letting go process that finally let me become fully alive. They give me hope that no matter what happens during the rest of my life, I can survive it and it really will only make me stronger.

Sometimes it only takes one night to change your life forever. So even though these photographs depict one night, one experience, one second chance, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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