Let them think what they liked, but I didn’t mean to drown myself. I meant to swim till I sank– but that’s not the same thing.
There are times in life when bad things happen and you’re powerless to stop them. In fact, you can’t even do anything to fix the aftermath. All you can do is just look around you and see all the parts of your life strewn about in every direction and cry because it’s not what it used to be. Sometimes you have to sit and do nothing but cry and rage and feel sorry for yourself and the life you used to have until you’re too empty to cry or rage or brood any longer. But what I’m unsure of is, what do you do after that?
Something happened to me about 7 months ago, and I’ve been raging and crying and moping ever since. I had so much sadness and anger inside of me; I felt betrayed, hurt, and hopeless. I was distinctly aware of this feeling that nothing would ever make me happy again. I might smile or laugh or feel better for a while, but I could always feel my anger stirring deep inside me. It would manifest in really strange ways, catching even me off guard. I hated everything and everyone. Everybody was a piece of garbage, and I wanted them all to suffer like I was suffering. I wanted to tear everybody down and thrown them into the disorganized piles of shit my life had become. I wanted to fight them, physically fight them, and stamp on their faces until their noses dripped snotty, mucusy blood. I wanted to pull their hair out and make them understand every shortcoming and flaw they had to the point that they felt too horrible to live. I think I wanted a world in which everybody was so ashamed of themselves, they killed themselves.
Now what the fuck does that say about me?
As time went on, my anger abated more and more. It became more centralized, focused on a few main players in the tragedy that had become my life. I was central among the people I hated. I hated myself, my actions, my emotions. I hated waking up every morning and looking out of my same odious, miserable eyes. I couldn’t get out of my head, no matter how hard I tried. At times I could sense I was speaking to somebody, and I could feel my mouth moving and forming words, but I didn’t know what I was saying. I was going through the motions of life, trying my hardest to look like a happy, regular person. But on the inside I was seething with anger and trying desperately to hold back tears. All I wanted was to die, just to avoid spending another day as me.
Fast forward to last week. Last week something came over me and I decided that happiness was a choice. Forgiveness would come in its own time, but who was I really punishing by being miserable? I was punishing myself (the victim); the person who I truly blame for what happened is not a physical part of my life. It exists in another realm, untouched by my hatred and living unpunished for its offenses. So why should I be miserable? I set my focus on overcoming my own misery, and letting go.
It has not been easy. I was good for about three days, and then one small thing triggered me and I fell to pieces. Clearly if something so small could topple me, I had rebuilt myself very poorly indeed. But imagine my frustration when I was right back where I started, in a cesspool full of everything bad and destructive. So that’s where I’m writing to you from now, my dear reader. Just at the shore of that cesspool, trying my best to scramble back up to the top. I want to feel warmth and sunshine again. I want the company of other people to be a cool breeze on my warm cheek. I don’t want to recoil from interaction anymore. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I want to be happy. But I don’t know how.
Lately I’ve tried to find strength in a quote. It’s the quote I started this post about, from Joseph Conrad. It means that even if you know going into something that you will fail at it, the crime isn’t in not succeeding, but in not trying. So I leave you, struggling as I was when I started writing, with another quote. This one by a Mr Samuel Beckett. May it see you through better times than it has seen me.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
The Awkward Duckling