This is not a topic I cared to write about today, but the with all the turmoil in my mind this week I had to pour it out. Hopefully it will drain away like receding flood waters and leave me on dry ground again.
It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you are not.
For people who don't understand it is impossible unless you live it first hand. Until you feel its icy hot grip on your soul do you realize what it must be like. Sometimes one is blissful unaware. Things just work out that way. Shrug your shoulders and move on. Try something else. But when the realization hits, it is akin to standing on the railroad tracks, staring at the train as it bears down upon you. Frozen. Unable to react. Resigned to the inevitable. Accepting of one's fate.
Life has no reset button. Rare are true second chances. I know of a few people who have kick started new opportunities. I am amazed by their raw courage and determination. What pulled them back from the precipice may remain a mystery to me. All I can feel is that they possess something I do not.
What awakens the addict from a stupor and enables a life to be reclaimed? I think it is fear. What keeps the addict locked into the cycle of use and abuse? Fear again. The difference being fear can either cause one to act or freeze one in inaction. We can be afraid for what we stand to lose, either way. For all my recent writings I still live in fear.
The quote atop this post was sent to me in the wee hours of this morning. It came from a true friend, someone that may not fully know or understand me but truly wants the best for me. One part of me is thankful that such a person walks this earth. Another part of me questions why someone would even bother. But she listens. I have special empathy for my wife. Andria has to deal with me on a daily basis and is at a loss for how to respond when these moments arise. All she can do, as can I, is hold on and hope to ride it out quickly. Thankfully I do not become violent or speak out abusively. All my anger is thrust inward. The tendency is to cannibalize myself.
As for the quote, the message sent in the dead of night, I had but one thought. For as little as I think of myself during weeks like this one, I fear that I am even less than that. What if I am worse than the darkest thoughts I can imagine?
This shit isn't pleasant. I am thankful I never took up drugs. I am thankful I am not an alcoholic. I am thankful I do not abuse Andria or our children physically or emotional. I am thankful I do not harm myself physically - regardless of what people say about ultra running.
But for all that I am thankful, I would be most thankful for this cycle to end. I pray you never have to experience this existence. It is nothing to write home about.
It is difficult to say how these cycles begin or end. I do not know if the triggers are chemical or emotional, environmental or internal. Usually I can feel the wave beginning to crash. At that point there is no way to stop the tumble.
Maybe this one started at the foot of the biking trail, as I looked longingly at the packed earth and swaying branches. Turning away, while it was the right choice at the time, may have proved ultimately to be the wrong choice.
Maybe it was the unhappy, inconsolable child during the ride home and days since our trip. It is not her fault. She is only a child, a precious gift that I do not deserve. I wonder if I really am equipped to be a parent. And here is a confession - whenever someone innocently proclaims that I am a good father I want to backhand them. Personally I find that statement laughable. I would love to be a good father. All I can admit to is trying.
In reality, all I know is that when the voices tune up and form a chorus in my head I cannot shut them out. They will sing to my failings and rejoice to my faults and I am simply an audience of one. Lone sinner in the pews, waiting for this sad service to adjourn.
I am hovering on the edge today, not sure which way I am leaning. I could be on the way to shore, letting the wave play itself out. Fortunately I have felt the full drowning tumbling force of a crash once. Only once.
All this is to say that if you know someone experiencing this sort of existence, don't tell them to keep their chin up. If only it were so easy. The best you can provide for is to be an ear or shoulder. Listen. Ask a few questions. Examine recent events for a root cause, should one exist.
Another quote pops to mind presently. Another person - a survivor of far different demons than my own, someone who's story I admire greatly - says that we should spend more time living than analyzing. Don't know if I am there yet.
If you do know someone in this same situation and do not care to listen - due to either lack of time or interest - don't bother asking. You may get more of a story than you bargained for in the end.