Sometimes it can get dark, and, for most of us–if not all of us–that is a relatable fact. Life is not always this rainbow filled paradise that someone stirred up inside a milkshake, it’s actually a road that changes quite often.
Some say it’s a tough road, some a pleasurable road.
I think it’s just a road, dependent on what you yourself call it. I am not walking the same road as someone halfway across the world–no way is that possible; but they could be wishing they were walking my road, I could be wishing I was walking theirs.
As I sit here and chomp on Easter chocolate, I think about times I’ve wished to walk another road, or, even, to stop walking it entirely. Grim, I know; and, trust me, I never want to find myself thinking thoughts like that again. But you can’t build a wall around everything.
For me, I think, that can be easy to forget, maybe for others it is, too. Acting as if you can move through the world and be indestructible–I’m a teenager, whaddya gonna do, sue me?–it can size you up pretty well in your mind, then, when you think you have it great and the troubles are all fading, the tiniest thing breaks through your defense and crushes you.
I had dark thoughts. Thankfully, they passed, but when I thought them, when I was in that stage, where it feels like a million dumbbells are pressing on your chest and you’re suffocating from the immense weight so badly, that any chance to remove the weight, the insanity, the stress, is taken, and it is taken with haste.
I felt decrepit, an old man walking in a teenage body; there were times I felt weak, unable to accomplish the routines I was committed to so fondly; and there were times I wanted to get away from it all–would a miracle show up and transport me from this hell that seemed never-ending?
Folding inwards was the route to my happy place, going deeper into my mind than I had in years. Night after night, I plugged away at a novel in which every dark ingredient of my conscience was added to this infesting depression–it was, at times, heartbreaking, blissful, tragic; and, when I reached the ending, both satisfying and saddening.
If you lose yourself, lose who you are, not who you think you are–the grit and bones of yourself–it can be shattering: you can look at the world in such a way that the sky seems to always be cloudy, that it contains these tumultuous emotions and is waiting for the perfect opportunity to barf it all over you. No one around you reveals their true self, that it’s always one mask or another, then you realize you’re the one who is wearing different masks, and now they’re worn and battered from constant use.
It almost happened to me, for about five minutes. It was draining, and; frankly, I have never been in a darker place. From my point of view, however, what else had I to do? A family member was going through cancer, suffering so often, and so much, it got to be unbearable to stay in the house. All of our solutions were going to shit, one after another the doctors kept coming up with blanks. And I felt it was up to me to maintain happiness in my family, each member dealing with their stress in their personal ways, while I was stuck in between a rift of sunshine and darkness–and eventually the darkness overcame the sun, as much as it hurt to know.
“How do you get around that?” I asked myself, and the truest answer for me was, keep writing, keep doing what you love, what keeps you sane. I did. I finished my novel, the darkest story I have ever written, and within those words was the five minutes of total surrender. I still get a chill when I read the scene, as it is personal and full of hatred at everything, regardless of how much these things had supported me beforehand.
I write this because I know I’m not alone. Millions of people go through the worst times of their lives, worse than my own experiences by miles, and many of those people have trouble finding a crack in their storms of darkness.
I write this because I want you all to remember sunshine comes around. It may not seem so at the present, but it is fighting to reach you, all the people surrounding you, who love you, would lay down their lives to help you see the light, if only for five minutes.
And sometimes, five minutes is all you need.