British Bataclan survivor writes letter a year on from Paris attacks

A woman crying over a French flag

I recently acquired a new identity. I am a "survivor".

On 13 November 2015, terrorists tried to kill me. Whilst they did not succeed in ending my life, my life has been changed forever.

I was at the Bataclan.

Life after Paris is tough. So many people didn't make it, and it shocks me every single day.

While I do feel lucky to be alive, the sadness, anger and guilt I feel is overwhelming at times.

I am sad for those who lost their lives, angry at those responsible and I feel guilty that I have survived over so many others.

I am also very scared.

I want to get better, but sometimes wonder whether I deserve to

My new life is about avoidance, risk assessment and "what ifs?"; What's that noise? Where are the exits? Where could I hide?

Almost a year on, I have a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, which is managed using medication and psychological therapies.

I want to feel "normal" and be able to enjoy the things I did before. Socialising, live music and travel, but know that this will take some time.

I want to get better, but sometimes wonder whether I deserve to.

As the "anniversary" approaches, I accept that I will always remember what happened on 13 November 2015, but hope that time really is a healer and that the feelings will fade.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by terrorism, always.

Reporting by Daniel Rosney, animation by Matt Wareham and Chris Smith.

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