I’m holding it together but it’s taking every ounce of strength. It shouldn’t be a surprise that fighting is harder than defeat. Every tiny step forward is a leap of faith, as I push on into the unknown.
I’m doing it. The things they’ve all been telling me to do for years now. Some courage sprouted in me and I began.
Moving forward is full of pain. All the while I can accept that lying still was agony too. Nothing changes if nothing changes. The mantra on repeat gives me a hint of reassurance from time to time. But the people who believe in those things never believed in death like I did.
Death was my friend. Death was a comfort. Death was an unwavering companion, always willing to take me away from this. That disaster was my only hope.
As much as I crave it, no friend can offer me that. They offer love instead. Love that keeps me anchored to the struggle. Love that brings with it the obligation to stay and fight.
They don’t see the blood in the battle. Steel smiles, rehearsed small talk and easy laughter are the perfect armour. I can blend into their world and keep them from stepping into mine.
I wonder if it is a part of healing, or whether this lonely misery is simply a new and different suffering. Released from the dark paralysis, my emotions really do have motion. Feelings come with noises and actions. Tears. Wretched sobbing that aches and burns. Tempers. Destructive, harsh outbursts of some dark energy. Or trembling fear that locks all the doors.
It’s hard to bear. Being closed down and empty comes with certainty. The familiar sense of being finished demands very little. Only waiting. Holding out for the inevitable conclusion. Dropping the things that are too much to carry. Avoiding the things that bring a risk. Existing without expectations.
But to begin again is to be afraid. Beginning is walking into the dark, moving painstakingly without knowing whether what’s ahead is better or worse. It’s leaving behind the hope of escape, and fighting to erase that fantasy which was once the only comfort.
As I strive to live, the agony of my past and present keeps pace, more alive than ever. Cruelly amplified as the result of a hard earned clear head. What a spiteful gift of sobriety.
I am terrified of the change and the newness and a thousand other seemingly minute risks that collaborate and conspire against my hopes.
It is hard to truly desire progress, when progress is so much more pain.