Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An End to the Darkness.


I thought once about ending my life. Once. You should know that I have never shared this. With anyone. It was a lonely time for me, a dark time. Life was hard. I was not certain that the effort was worth the exhaustion, worth the frustration, worth the tears. I was twenty-two. I had never done drugs or messed with alcohol in high school. I was not much into the boys. Everything that was wrong about my life stemmed from drugs, alcohol, boys. I was not interested in repeating the cycle of teen pregnancy, hunger, poverty, unemployment, and home insecurity in which I had grown. I wanted things. I wanted to live in a home for more than one year at a time. I wanted food, good food. Every night. I wanted a neighborhood and a profession and water that was never shut off. I wanted my future children to have parents that didn’t yell, didn’t throw fists, didn’t put holes in walls or take knives to car seats when they were angry at each other. I wanted to not spend the rest of my life chewing my nails to nubs, feeling sick to my stomach, or going to bed crying because of the anxiety, the stress of living in an environment that was unpredictable, explosive, and crushing to the soul. I wanted things. I was doing my best to make those things happen. But it was hard. I had one friend, one friend only, no other support, no model to follow, no path cleared. It was me. Just me. And one FUCKING obstacle after the other. It is easiest sometimes, when a thing gets difficult, to quit.

That is the point at which I found myself. I wanted to matter, to make a difference, to break that cycle. I wanted to live a life I could see in my head, a life I knew I was capable of building and, yet, for the life of me I could not make that happen. I could not see an end to the darkness. I came to believe that maybe I was not as worthy or deserving of that life as I had thought, not as capable as I had imagined. I was tired. I was tired of trying so hard, trying so hard just to live. And so I imagined what it might be like to end the darkness, to end my life.

I imagined how I might do it. I plotted the how, the why, the when. I got specific in my head. I pictured what the life I left behind would look like. Then from someplace I am uncertain there came a point when I realized that I was not living for myself, I was living for others, for the others I would impact along my journey. I was not going to school, earning that degree, breaking a cycle, struggling to keep my head above the proverbial water for myself, but for my future children, future students, friends, for the future me who would someday walk into my life. I was not living to accomplish, to achieve, but to impact, empower, to move others forward in THEIR lives. The struggle, the journey, was NOT for ME. How, then, could I consider ending a life that was not my own? How could I take MY life when it meant taking OTHERS?

I have been told I am too wrapped up in myself, too much about me. People are free to think what they do. What is it to me? I know that I am here for YOU. I know that I am here to lift you, to move you forward, to play the role that I am here to play in YOUR journey. If I flit about the stage in my boas and pearls, flinging hugs, blowing kisses, taking the occasional bow, if I make it SEEM that it is all about ME in order to make you smile, to make you laugh, to make you forget for one second about your troubles or pain, then so be it. I have done my job. I am not here for me. I am here for YOU. I am here to entertain, to inspire, to love. I know this. I know this because of that night at my kitchen table, sitting alone in the dark in that two-bedroom apartment, sitting alone contemplating ending my life. Others can think what they do. As for me, I know that I live because of what I am here to do for YOU.

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