Peace Begins Here: Decide You Want to Live and Be Your Own Hero

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Peace Begins Here
Decide you want to live and be your own hero.

Today I decided I didn’t want to live anymore.

My existence was looking pretty bleak. This summer has been a whirlwind of gut-wrenching, terrifying life changes that seem to destroy my life faster than I can rebuild it. I like to consider myself a resilient person, but these past couple weeks have been wearing down my elastic.

For starters, my grandfather (who, I must mention, is a huge reason and part of my current existence in pretty much every way that can be defined), is on his deathbed. He’s almost been there a lot the past couple years, but now he’s actually there. Like at the point where in his rare waking hours, he’s hallucinating seeing people who are long dead, but meant a lot in his life. Like his father and his best friend. The kinda people you expect to meet you halfway to Heaven. Last week, I stayed with him overnight, and it was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot with heartbreak in this lifetime.

But since that’s not devastating enough, my old symptoms from what I consider my “worst days” are creeping up again which is terrifying. I don’t know how I made myself better. I don’t know how I became a healthy human being instead of the hospital-and-bed-ridden shell of a person I had been for years. And if I slip into that dark hole of unhealthiness I was in before, I’m afraid I won’t come back out this time. I feel like my healing was a fluke.

And since I’m a giver--not easily a taker--I’m dealing with all of this on my own. I’m not talking to anyone about it. I’m keeping it bottled up. I’m avoiding my emotions, and pushing everyone who might bring them out away, just like I did when I was so sick. Which I know is exactly why I’m feeling sick again, and I need to reach out and TALK TO SOMEONE, but I don’t want to be a burden. So when I reach out, I make it seem like everything’s fine so I don’t burden anyone with the weight of my emotion, and because I seem fine, they don’t take my cry for help seriously, and they end up leaving me alone, assuming I’m dealing with it and want to be left alone. 

So then I’m alone and my thoughts are cycling because I have freetime. And I have freetime because my hours have been cut at the job I love which has distanced me from the coworkers who became my greatest friends, but now feel more like strangers. So I feel like I’m losing friends while I’m also losing the ability to financially support myself. I really need to get a second job, but I’m too worried the extra time will keep me from writing. 

Which adds another problem. Because my writing career isn’t doing so well, I dropped out of school so I could write, and I stopped writing my blog so I could research agents. I put all my extra free time into writing, and then I stopped because the rejection letters kept piling up, and not even my best friend wanted to read my book, so I convinced myself it was pointless.

This led to questioning the point of life. Seeing my grandfather on the edge of death, I wasn’t so sure there was a point to life. The way I rationalized it, you had two choices in life: career or people. My grandfather was someone I would say chose career, and now on his deathbed he was surrounded by family members who didn’t know how to help him because those relationships were never built. His own wife didn’t know the answers to his security questions to unlock his cellphone. None of us did (especially not him). So if you choose career, you lose the people. But choosing people obviously isn’t so great either because people die. If you choose people, you also choose the grief of every single one of their deaths: physical and otherwise. And really that seems worse because at least with a career you can spend many years doing something you’re passionate about every day, with your worst regret meaning you die alone, and hey we all die alone anyway, right?

This was my mindset today. These were the bleak, ugly thoughts going on in my head. Along with how I would kill myself. Blood is too messy and I didn’t want to traumatize anyone, so cutting myself open wasn’t an option. Pills are unreliable, and too easily suspected. I basically went through every suitable suicide option that would allow me to die the way I wanted: instant and alone. I didn’t want to risk anyone else’s life, emotional or physical. I knew there would be people who would grieve for me, but nobody who couldn’t live without me. Time would heal all wounds.

Guiltily, I decided I should write a letter for the people who would miss me, letting them know it wasn’t their fault. They would be okay. I would even play the guilt card, and tell them I wanted them—no needed—them to move on and live their lives. I wasn’t strong enough, but they could be. I believed in them. I just didn’t believe in me.

And since I was on this letter-writing train of thought, I took a pit-stop on a memory of a book I read recently. The protagonist is a suicidal teen who decides to execute his elaborate murder-suicide plan, but a quirky teacher noticed his strange behavior and gave him hope again. This teacher reached out and broke the rules and saved two lives. He gave the protagonist hope amidst the hopeless with a homework assignment. He told the protagonist he was required to write two letters to himself: one from the perspective of his future wife; the other from his future daughter.

But I didn’t have an unusual teacher telling me to write. I didn’t have anyone swooping in uninvited with creative ideas that force me to have hope, if only for the length of a page.

But that didn’t mean I couldn’t.

So I told myself before I could write my suicide letter, I’d have to write two letters to myself from my future favorite people. 

So that’s what I did.

And now I remember why I want to live. Now I have hope again. I didn’t need a special hero to give me hope. I gave myself hope. I was my own hero today.

And I wanted to share this here so whoever is reading this can know, 


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