The truth is, I am not dead, not literally or spiritually and this is a miracle. It is one part luck, one part skill, and one part grace. My saving graces were many. The helpers were ready, moving like ninjas in my life. I didn’t recognize them for years. So many times they were protecting me from myself. Even tonight part of me wants to stop, just stop. Every breath feels like an attack and the weight of it is pressing on me in a way few people can ever understand. Logic doesn’t matter when this happens. When the cracks in your heart are ripping open, it doesn’t matter whether you can see God in the openings, it still hurts. A passing thought – can you survive this pain?
I always knew somehow that I could survive the pain. I just didn’t want to. All I could see was pain, heartache, and loneliness. My heart is cracking open; I feel the void next to my skin where another should be resting against me as we drift to sleep, a vacancy in my heart where someone’s name should be carved on the door, a desperation I want to cut short by reaching for a hand that is not there. This isn’t about missing anyone. It’s just fear. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. I don’t want to make my peace with single living. I don’t want to rely only on transcendental love, beautiful and holy though it is. I want the mud and muck of daily living. I want to argue with someone about the best route to the movies. I want the steady rhythm of the way the pages turn when she reads next to me in bed. I want forever, promises, wedding rings, late mornings, early nights. I want the best sex and love and friend of my life. I want crazy, head over heels, strong, sticking with it, challenged and supported, love, love, love. I want…. Something I don’t believe exists, at least not for me.
This is where the voice starts. The one I try not to write with here because I want this blog to inspire people so they will risk and break open and have a life filled with Light –as mine is. But the voice is nagging in the background. She is unsure anyone will want us. After all, the love of my life discarded me for something better. This is the voice of pain, and she is a filthy liar-except when she’s right.
That’s the rub of fear and the nagging voice. Discernment can be so difficult to achieve when we are breaking wide apart, when the world’s pain feels deeply personal, when we are connected to it all. And that voice, which lies so often, is sometimes dead on.
I tell myself again: I am not dead.
I should be. The life I have survived could well have ended me –fistfuls of strange pills, alcoholism, bad decisions, and two direct attempts. Why am I here? How is it my soul is still intact? I dive deep. I lean in. I write and write and write.
I’ve learned a lot about letting it all break open and usually I write about the beauty and power in leaning in to pain and breaking wide open to let more love flow. Tonight, I just can’t seem to find my footing and I just have to keep saying “I’m not dead,” like it’s all I have to hang on to.
I am leaning in, learning to bend and break –reshape. I am bumbling, imperfect and frightened, but brave enough to venture out on my own, to risk failure, to learn something more about myself. I am not dead, but for the grace of God, English teachers, poets, mystics, and musicians. I am just up too late, imperfect, writing and risking showing you a darker side of my process of breaking. Tomorrow I will start restorying my life. Tomorrow I will wake up and re-member who I am.