Saturday, October 20, 2007

The turning point...

I hit a turning point around the time I took my blog offline about a month ago. I'd woken up once more in the black hole of existential despair. My brother took me for breakfast and gave me his usual brotherly pep talk. I sat there listening to his ra-ra rally and realized I'd heard these things a million times before from a million different people. "Believe in yourself." "Think positive." "This too shall pass." It all seemed to blur into one long string of guttural noises ala the teacher's voice in the Peanuts comics: "Wah wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah."

I left breakfast with my brother, half-depressed, half-enraged. I thought to myself, "How the fuck did I get here?" This was not at all where I expected to be at the age of 33. No where even close.

On my brother's suggestion I went for a walk. I didn't get very far. The subway beckoned me. I sat outside the station contemplating how I'd arrived at that particular spot, how I arrived at this moment in my life where I was seriously considering jumping in front of an oncoming train. And suddenly, everything seemed so absurd. I laughed out loud. This life I'd been taking so very seriously was complete bollocks.

I realized that I'd been spinning in my head for so many years that most of the stuff I'd come to believe about myself and the world around me were just that, thoughts. And that I was the only one who could do anything about that. No amount of therapy, drugs, pep talks from loved ones or any other intervention was going to make a bit of difference unless I was interested in living, not just thinking about living, but actually living.

So, I sat there outside the subway station and asked myself, "Are you really going to kill yourself today?" I waited for the reply because really I wasn't even sure what it would be. It was a "No". Clear and definitive. So the next logical conclusion was, "If you're not going to kill yourself than you have to find a way to live." And that was it. I left the subway station and walked home.

I have had to have this conversation with myself a few more times in the past month, but for the most part, I assume that if I wake up and I'm still breathing, that I'm going to live another day and do the best I can with it. I never knew how empowering it could be to take one day, one moment, one breath at a time. It's the greatest gift I've given myself. One that I alone could give.

tall penguin


Brandon said...

This concept of making a mountain out of life with it actually being a molehill fascinates me.

John Davies said...

We are the inevitable consequence of causation before and beyond ourselves, our Free Will an illusion. However, our delusory sensation of 'Free Will' is itself determinant.
So I say to myself, whatever led to this, "I take it from here".
At times I realise I am being the mindless slave of bad habits and mentally step back into greater objectivity and am surprised by how easy it can be to find calm and greater freedom of 'self-determination'.

John Davies said...

Oh yes, I forgot to add the line from The Shawshank Redemption by Andy Dufresne {"who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side") - "Get busy living, or get busy dying".