“Help me see myself, cause I can no longer tell, Looking out from the inside of the bottom of a well” – Pearl Jam “The End”
What I remember is how dark it was, hiding the sunlight behind drawn shades. All of this pain. There only seemed to be one solution, but was that really a solution. As each hour passed, as I hid from the bright lights and the glare of others I wondered, what would it solve. My presences versus my absences. Yes, there would be tears, angrier, certainly questions. But who would blame me? Better yet, who wouldn’t have expected it?
I convinced myself there was strength in the action, an explanation, a fix. I couldn’t recover from this, hell there was no way, but they could, they would, with time. The hole would fill, maybe not completely, at least I hoped it wouldn’t, but it would fill. Fill enough to move forward, grow, care and love something or someone else. This was the answer, the why, now the how, when, and where.
But something happened, slowly, but something happened, with each day, each passing moment. I opened the shades just a little more, cracks of sunlight streaming into my well of darkness. I realized, for whatever reason, the real courage was not in leaving but in living. It didn’t make sense at first, how could it, but it did, amongst all the confusion circling inside my head. These faces, these people, my people, my blood, my flesh, kept me here, wanted me here no matter what my faults were or what my fall meant for our future.
A little more sunlight, a little more warmth. Each day the opening grew wider. I could stand on my toes and see over the top, survey the landscape, and decide whether I wanted to climb out or hide a little longer. Short trips, baby steps in a world forever changed, discovering what a new normal could be, discovering what my new normal would be.
I understand the darkness. I have stared the creature in the eyes, and felt its hot breath on the back of my neck. I know the games it plays, the false hopes and securities it offers. Pity is a warm blanket, and self-doubt is the rope we dangle from. I found the courage to let go of the rope, the ground was there below, maybe a little mushy, but firm enough to support me.
Have the courage to live. Do it one today at a time. The rest will take care of itself.
“You can spend your time alone redigesting past regrets oh…, Or you can come to terms and realize you’re the only one who can forgive yourself oh yeah… Makes much more sense to live in the present tense” – Pearl Jam “Present Tense”