I recognized long ago that not only do I seem to have theme weeks within my brain, but often I will worry and gnaw at an idea until it morphs into something almost inane. Mostly these theme days or weeks are based on a central event in my life: therapist appointment, the disappointment of life, and simply sometimes change. I am not particularly fond of theme weeks as it means that I will spend hours and hours thinking about something that most people don’t even allow themselves to worry about.
This week I seem to be thinking about happiness. And I have come to one or two conclusions. First, I don’t know happiness that is described by others – that powerful, all over feeling that comes from life. Second, I don’t know contentment – at all. And third, there is a small part of me that is starting to wonder what I will do to finally feel this joy. What will I risk? What will I give up to have this? Can I have this?
I know a host of other things in the emotional spectrum.
I know about cutting. I know about the cuts on our wrists and the cuts on our thighs. I know about the need to feel a pain that others can see in a vain hope that they will see other truths. I know about that moment when the knife slices your skin and the blood finally appears, almost as if it was waiting to do so, and the knowledge that physical pain is simply easier than any other pain.
I know about suicide. I know what it is like to stare at yourself in the mirror and wonder if the world wouldn’t be better off without you. I know what it is like to believe with all my breath that who and what I am wasn’t made not only for greatness but also not for the basic day-to-day world that others seem at ease in. I know the feeling of not remembering or thinking about those you are leaving behind, because you know without a shadow of a doubt that if they could understand they would be cheering you on. I know that moment. I know that feeling. I know that my suicide is never about leaving my life; its about walking away from the pain.
I know about worth. I know the feeling that you aren’t worth anything in this world. I know the feeling of believing with my whole soul that God made the great mistake when he designed me. I know the moment when you look at your life and realize that you aren’t important or worthy of it. I know the moment when you wonder why. I know the moment that no other thought is allowed, not the common banalities of those who don’t know suffering or even those who suffer beside us. I know what it is like to know that no matter what I do, someday I will die without even the expectation of my dreams coming true.
I know what it is like to pretend to be doing something ordinary so that you can escape for one moment and hide yourself again. I know what it is like to calmly walk into a closet and with the door closed find yourself on your knees trying desperately to not create tracks of tears on your face. I know what it is like to cry for only a brief minute in order to survive another day. I know what it means if they see the tracks of your tears; I know what it means if they believe that any release you may have is dangerous. I know the fear of finally letting go.
I know being lost. I know that unbearable feeling of being lost in your own world. The things that yesterday seemed to make sense, don’t now. The people who seemed your saviors, have turned to the monsters of your nightmares. The ability to find the skills to do even the most mundane of tasks is loss in the confusion of a world that isn’t what it was supposed to be. I know the feeling of being so lost that the only way to continue is to find a path, darker and longer, that no one can touch you on. I know when you feel lost, the one thing you don’t need is a guide to help you out. I know what it feels to stand alone in a turning world of color and not be a part of it.
I know what it is like to try and run away. I know what it is like to imagine running away. I know what it feels like to contemplate walking away from everything you have built, everything you have learned in order to find the elusive missing piece that will finally make you whole. I know what it feels to feel the wind in my hair and for one second, one brief second, believe that I was finally free. Free of my life, free of my world, free of even the sound of my beautiful children. Finding a way to run away in order to find a way to survive.
I know what those voices sound like. I know what those thoughts sound like. And I know the difference. I know that those voices repeat over and over the one thing guaranteed to create within you a monster that you have never met. I know those voices laughter and their taunts. I know how lonely it feels to have voices keep you company late into the night. I know what it is like to believe that those voices, those pieces of your soul, speak not only the truth but the reality that you must face. I know those voices can drown out the last words of even God himself.
I know what it is like to look at that bottle of liquor and know without a doubt that for one moment you will be free. I know what it is like to take those drugs, not because they are popular or fun, but because for one moment they give you a false sense of freedom that isn’t available in any doctor’s office. I know what it is like to convince yourself that one more drink won’t destroy your illusions. I know the courage that comes out of that amber liquid, and I know the absolute belief that you are finally cured that comes only from highs no man can make.
But I don’t know what contentment looks like. I don’t know what it feels like to know that the journey, that the path that you are walking along is for the moment the best that can be done. I don’t know what it is like to know what words will be written on my headstone long before I die. I don’t know what it is like to look at the story of my life and find acceptance.
I don’t know what it is like to feel safe; completely and truly safe. I don’t know a place in this world that will give me a moment’s peace from the game that I am continually losing. I don’t know a pair of arms that while not capable of taking it all away at least are capable of giving me the comfort of rest. I don’t know a place that pushes all the fights to the other side and gives me a second to simply stand my ground. I don’t know these arms that can do all this. I don’t know the arms that can hold the hilt of that sword parallel to mine so that for one moment I could win.
I don’t know so many things. It seems most days I am blessed only with the knowledge of the darkness in this world. It seems that most days I am blessed only with the knowledge that my life isn’t worth much more than my tarnished soul. I am blessed with understanding loneliness in a crowd, sitting while others danced, and loving the idea rather than my diseased truth.
It takes so much to fight these days; more than I think it has ever taken for me. But when the days get hard and the nights get long, it isn’t the voices or the liquor I will find; it is the impossible dreams that others know as reality. This, this I know.