The Fire

In all the parts of self-growth and discovery, being honest with yourself has to continually be the most difficult piece. It never gets any easier. It always evades you, even when you want to see it. Even when you open yourself to it. Even when you’re asking for it. And then half the time it blindsides you.

I was walking along Highway 37 last night. There were hundreds of other people walking with me. We were escaping. The hills around us were on fire. It was closing in on us all, hundreds of us shutting down the highway without a car in sight. My mother was in front of me when I realized the fires were going to engulf us. I asked her what we were supposed to do, and she moved forward into the crowd and gently let go of my hand. I was alone. I felt a deep sadness knowing my time was over. I pulled out my cell phone to text my ex. I told him I would never see him again, but I wanted him to know what a deep and aching love for him I still had. That feeling of needing to touch but you’re just too far away to reach. It’s an inexplicable sadness that aloneness creates. It’s shattering. It’s so quiet. I couldn’t tell if my text was going through.

After I awoke I laid in bed this morning for a while realizing that my relationship was over. I spent all day trying to feel anything. I can’t tell if I’m heartbroken over the idea of us not ending up together or whether I’m actually facing being alone now for the first time, even though it always feels like the first time and I’m always still just running away in some form or another. I convince myself I’m doing the work and then it hits me from the back. I never see it coming. There’s been a numbness to my sadness these last few weeks. To my life, really. Am I ready to move on? My life here has become a small blossom of beauty, but mostly I feel adrift. Always at sea.

In the beginning, there was sadness

There is a sadness that underlies all things I do. It is my dominant emotion. Somewhere, maybe, there is a universe or a parallel where I am whole. I don’t want to be living my life overrun with emotional strife or conflict, yet here I am, embroiled in it once again. Living with mental health issues really is a battle. Each day is a fight. Whether it’s getting out of bed to face the world, to connect with myself, to fight off a panic attack, taking a look at my behavior, hovering over a toilet, deciding whether or not to overeat, taking responsibility for my actions, deciding to meditate, talking myself out of suicide (again) as an option, or reminding myself that I am still breathing and there is nothing really to be worrying about, there’s always a thing. And it’s exhausting. When I am spiritually connected, I don’t struggle as much. But ever since I started being honest with myself about how much I battle with suicidal ideation, I haven’t been able to return to my baseline level of sanity. It’s slowly driving me crazy. There’s always been a place in my brain that’s convinced someday I will do the worst, but a bigger part of me that knows that isn’t who I really am and it sure as hell isn’t my legacy. We all need to feel something. My something is relationships. They make me feel connected and needed and loved. So not being in one is hard. Difficult. Impossible. But here I am and here I will remain. Single and off to college to get my degree and along the way to try and be open about what it’s really like to struggle with mental health. Because it’s not pretty. It’s draining and sad and frustrating and no one wants to talk about that part of it. Of course I want to be normal. But maybe normal isn’t an option for some of us. Those of us that are just trying to stay alive. If you’re reading this, keep on fighting. I promise I will too.