Editor’s Note: This post was submitted anonymously.
I woke, just a short while ago, to a magic day. Everyone has seen beautiful days, but I see today as if with new eyes.
Metaphorically speaking, today is the last day of my life. Each year, the energies astrologically present at the moment of our birth settle into that same exact pattern that was present on our birth-date. Same pattern at the same moment. They call it a solar return. I call my tomorrow birthday Rebirth.
Despair would settle in. I’d struggle, anxiously grasping for something worthwhile. I’d find it and slowly crawl back out. The pattern repeated throughout my life. The last despair was different. It was a monster that ate every notion of why I thought life was worthwhile. It seemed to grow stronger rather than dissipate over time. I asked for simple things to come to me. They didn’t. In panic, I asked for anything to show me what worthwhile is. Nothing was coming. Now I understand that I was slowly being stripped of every false belief about myself. But at the time, I cowered at life.
I understand Robin Williams. I’d find myself in reveries about leaving this life. It was the only moments of peace I would feel. When you think you have nothing left, it becomes very attractive. It has to. Those who succumb have to justify overcoming our strongest drive; to remain alive. Peace must outweigh life for such drastic measures.
I began to not care about anything anymore. Nothing ever “worked” so why bother? But it wasn’t the freedom of accepting life, it was the slurred surrender of a patient to anesthesia.
Last year I had trained for a position called reverse logistics. You process the incoming freight from outside vendors on these antiquated 1994 personal computing, brick-heavy, donkeys. If you don’t do the process exactly, it just sits there. Very user unfriendly. My trainer and I agreed that it would take two weeks of training to just be competent. I was trained for three days. I soon forgot about reverse logistics.
Very soon after the trauma of my foot being crushed, I was checking the two-week advance schedule. My usual “unload/flow” department was replaced by “reverse logistics.” For two weeks. “I know you’ve only had a little training, but we’re thinking of bringing in back-up from another store. We’ll get through it.” Fuck. I know that tone. It means, “We’re throwing you in the fire, someone has to. You’re on your own.” The day came, no back-up.
It all came to a collision that morning. My so-thought futile efforts and abilities, useless against a situation I did not want to be in. I didn’t care. If they didn’t why should I? The first vendor came in and I fruitlessly punched in a nuclear strike code of senseless number sequences. Another vendor came in. Then another. Panic started to cloud what little presence I had. Out of nowhere, a manager appeared at my isolated post. He happened to know how to handle the operation. I was rescued for the moment.
Something important happened. I looked onto the process and something clicked. I wasn’t going to be humiliated. I grabbed my old notes and a manual and began to understand what I needed to do. The rest of the day and the two weeks flew by. I was being forced to be fully present. And rather than not caring, I was stoked to prove to myself that I could handle it. And I did. Last week I trained on another job. Clear mind, absorbed what I needed, asked questions until it was clear. I cared.
I understood that panic is the fatal denial of our abilities just when they’re most needed. Self-humiliation and denial. And in vowing not to feel it again, I vowed to believe in myself. I care for my Self. Who I Am. And in caring for myself, I’m finding that my interaction with life and people is becoming more meaningful than not, more often than not. Times of feeling softer, more gentle, more real. I like what is unfolding.
My totem or consciousness of the South; the direction of child-like innocence and joy, is the butterfly. Of course, butterflies are famous for their transformation from something utterly different. Ground-bound to flight.
In the early hours of tomorrow morning I’ll be another step closer to what I always was. Strange that transformation returns us to Who We Are and always were.
Happy Birth Day, C.
If you feel you need help, please don’t hesitate to talk to someone. Ask.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – (800) 273-8255
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