Monday, February 24, 2014

The Weight of Being

     Everything made sense when I was a child. The rules were laid out for me, all the truths of the world were taught to me, and everything was peaceful. I don't remember the moment it happened, but I know that one day my experience clashed with the gentle tranquility of my perceived world. Something didn't add up. A door had opened and what I could see on the other side grabbed my attention. Answers only yield more questions and my pursuit of truth left me with a loosening grip on reality. Truth is neither good nor evil yet I could feel something stirring inside me, a malevolent force. Some of us are stalked by demons and mine were making themselves known. They don't strike when you are strong because they want an easy fight. When you falter, stumble, and fall they attack.

     About ten years ago I was incredibly depressed, the demons had me firmly in their grasp and they were dragging me down. I didn't want to do anything or go anywhere. Nothing was enjoyable and I couldn't think of anything that would make me feel any better. My darkest days were upon me. I felt downtrodden and miserable as though I was carrying the weight of a world I would never get to enjoy. The toils of life had worn me down and I could not imagine what purpose my continued existence would serve. The pressure of an unseen force was bearing down on me. The murky waters were rising, a flood was imminent. Frantically plugging holes in the dam, I could not stop the inevitable deluge. The intangible force broke through and I was washed away. Not a martyr, not anything. Another soul in the grinder.

     I had given up. Every day I woke up and thought “I can't do this anymore.” The talons of hands I could feel but not see tore at me. In a poorly considered attempt to feel something other than crushing sadness, I began to drink heavily. For a while I felt better. I could enjoy myself, be around other people, smile and laugh. It didn't take long for my weekends of debauchery to lose their luster. Being misguided as I was, I believed that if being drunk made life easier then doing it all the time was the solution. Every day for a few years thereafter, I was a drunken mess. Alcohol was my wolf in sheep's clothing, it's true nature hidden from me. I put my faith in it to save me from sadness, but it only brought me closer to despair. A haze clouded my mind, I couldn't feel anything anymore. I was lost and alone in the world and alcohol was my escape.

     On the outside I was always having a great time, but inside I was dying. I nearly destroyed myself, I hurt other people, and I lost any sense of who I was. Countless nights I found myself sobbing on the floor trying to talk myself out of ending my life, clinging to the hope that I would get through the nightmare my life had become. In that frame of mind dying was not only an option, but a reasonable one. Thankfully I never got to the attempt stage. Being on this path should have been enough to scare me away from the dark abyss I had created in my mind. It didn't.

     Hope eventually runs out. I didn't want to fight for mediocrity anymore. I didn't want to fight at all. All I wanted was a break from the constant flow of devastation and disappointment. The demons had twisted my reality to the point that I was ready to die in my early twenties. I stopped trying to fight depression and began to rationalize that it was who I was meant to be. Alcoholism became my crutch and I never blamed it for the problems in my life even after losing days of memory to black outs. I was on a straight course for death, whether it be at my own hand or not didn't seem to matter. There wasn't much comfort in knowing I was not the only one who felt that way, in fact that idea only made it worse. If I could sacrifice myself to shield others from this malady I would do so without thinking.

     In the end I got lucky and I made it out alive. I learned to fight my demons, however I can not claim to have any answers. For me, I had someone come along to save me. I changed every aspect of my life and took on some real responsibility. Things turned around almost instantly. That is not to say that I never feel the shadows of my past creeping up on me. There are moments, especially during hardships, when I want to surrender. With the right people to stand up and fight by your side it gets easier. You might be as surprised as I was to find out how compassionate people can be. I spent years facing dark times alone because I thought no one would understand. The fact of the matter is that there are people who love you and that is all the reason they need to hold you up. Fighting your demons alone is a choice so don't keep it to yourself, someone will help you through it. The fight goes on and although it may not always seem like it, living is worth the trouble.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts. I always look forward to reading them.