Not Quite There Now

Last year, at this time, I was in a horrible place. I can’t say the year became better. This year we are only 12 days in and it has not been the best. People have had it worse. Our weather has been below zero. It made me laugh and reflect because at this time last year, I did not want to be here. I contemplated and acted on freezing myself to death. There are worse ways to go. Instead, I came to some sense and wrote. For those who have read it before, thank you for tolerating it again.

I step into the sub zero night.

Intentionally, I’m underdressed for the occasion. No hat, no gloves, no scarf. Deliberate disrespect.

I sit down on my stoop and close my eyes. The tears fall freely and too quickly to freeze. Are they due to sadness or the element? Does it really matter?

I inhale steadily through my nose. My membranes sting as the air gains admittance. My lungs protest at the lack of warmth and exhale the unpleasant variation in the form of a cough. I breathe through my mouth to show how it could be much worse.

My body begins to convulse uncontrollably. My mind takes over. It becomes the voice of reason and calm. Or is it the voice of illusion?

“How easy this could be.”, it coaxes. It tells me to stay on the stoop. I feel my vitals slow. My metaphorically frozen heart yearns for the literal.

My extremities follow.

The voice coos, “Now isn’t that much better for everyone?”

How easy it could be. So easy.

The voice of sanity interrupts with a jolt.

You didn’t win.

This time.

I’m not quite there, now.

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27 thoughts on “Not Quite There Now

  1. You broke my heart, and then you uplifted me. Following through on an exit strategy was never something I was ever able to do. There are days where that feels like a blessing and days where that feels like a curse. Keep writing. It’s better than dying. Anything has to be.

  2. I think maybe Canadian embraces are characterized as being frosty at the best of times. We didn’t have a summer this year. But a warmish Canadian embrace is forthcoming nonetheless.

    This is painful and raw to read. And it moves me, and will stay with me. I am glad that you wrote instead of acting on your thoughts. I find words to be freedom, and relief, even when they’re about the darkest moments that we know.

  3. Very scary to read and realize this is you, not a fictional character. Thank you as always for your honesty, J. ((hugs))

    • Thank you and likewise. I’m glad my mind isn’t where it was a year ago. Parts of it are, but learning. I’m a little slow and learning to take each day as it is. Can’t predict tomorrow.Thank you for being there. I hope you are doing well.

  4. Jaded –

    I don’t know what to say. Obviously, I’m glad you are still with us. We don’t talk as much as we used to and we both have our own shit going on, but if you ever need to talk I will make time for you, my friend.

    Stay strong and stay amazing. And kick those demons right in the junk. Fuck them.

  5. Warm thoughts going out to you my friend. I hope that whatever shit was interfering g with your life last year is in the rear-view mirror. Or at least, just in your peri feral vision and not slam dunk in your face.

    • Thank you so much, Elyse. Last year is gone. This year is presenting its own set of potholes. That said, many have had it much worse. Winter below zero (again) triggered the memory and I’m happy to not be in that place, now.

      • I’m so glad you’re not there, Jaded. Life seems so bleak sometimes, and then it changes. It always changes. I try to remember that when things look black.

  6. It’s painful to read this because you’re someone I’ve come to really care about. But I’m glad sanity won, and hope it continues to win… and you don’t end up in that place again. Hugs.

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