While I still have the courage, and my insides feel like they’re going to be eviscerated, I’d like to share my thoughts on this transition I’m going through. In my mind, after things I’ve seen or been through, I think, process, feel things a lot differently. I can acknowledge that I need help, that some areas of my thought process need calibration, for now I am who I am.
I’ve always had a voice, a feeling, that made me feel, gave me this sense of assurance, that I would never live past 25. That no matter what path I went down in life, I’d die before having a family, before getting married, before birthing a child. This feeling used to scare me, haunt me even. I can’t say exactly when I just accepted it as my reality, but by the time I graduated high school, the feeling felt apart of me. I was okay with it. There was even a short time in my life when I rebuked it. Took any and all power it had over the way I was living.
I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about it, but again, my sister Cherelle has seen some of harder moments in my life. Before her, before Cub, I was destructive. There’s no better way to explain it. I put myself in positions to be hurt. I hurt myself, sad and weak cries for help. For most of my middle school career I was a cutter. Not deep, I’d learned that left scars. For a long time I was lost. I’ve edited this multiple times, deleting and replacing that confession. It feels shameful to know I was that lost. But I figure, I’m not the only one.
I would binge eat. Engorge myself on food, and make myself throw up. It amazes me how everyone would laugh at how much I ate, and were equally fascinated by how I gained absolutely no weight. I had a lot going on then. Not even just my physical life but mentally. I can’t remember a more dark time in my life than then. And it didn’t help that no one noticed. Then I went through a pill phase. Nothing crazy but it became an issue, it’s one of the main reasons why even now in my adult life, I refuse pain medication unless my pain is unbearable. I know when people look at me, they’d never think I’d be the “type” of person to do these things. I’m too “strong” to do it, but I didn’t become strong until I defeated those demons.
I say that to say, that I’m faced with a choice. In this transition, I can feel that there is more than my health at stake. I can feel this darkness trying to seep into every component of my life. There’s this nagging that if I don’t choose to fight, I will lose everything I’ve fought for and gained. My old self has been knocking, cracking open the door, and venturing into my happiness. I see her lurking, feel her gradually moving me onto a path less painful, yet more dire.
I didn’t realize that this choice was a choice. Not until I spent some time thinking about where I am now, and where could I be, if anywhere, next year. I wondered if 25 really would be my last year of life, and I wondered if I care either way. I can honestly say in this moment, in the moments I’ve spent questioning myself, my decisions, and my life, that I don’t. As self aware as I try to be, I cannot for the life of me figure out if this is me not caring because life is what it is and you can’t control how it ends, or if I would rather it just be over.
It matters which one it is. We all know that. One is basic acceptance, the other is dangerous. I don’t want to die, but if I had to be honest, I wouldn’t be at all heartbroken if I did. At least, not until I start to ponder on my future, all the people I could help, all the moments I’ll never have, the kids I’ll never tuck in at night, and the husband I won’t greet after a long day of work. It’s when I think about those tiny sparks I dream about that I say “maybe there’s a reason to stay”, but then if I myself am not reason enough, isn’t that a problem within itself?
All I know is, I need to choose. I need to make a conscious effort to save my own life. Because to me, that’s what living is really about. It’s no different than love. You have to make an effort to decide who you will be every day and every night. You have to choose every decision to make, every thought you repeat, and the negation of choosing those choices, is still choosing something.
I’ve been living in negation. Living by default. It’s this lack of discipline that has allowed my old self to tip toe her way behind me, and slowly attach herself as my shadow. I am at an impasse. Do I become the shadow, or do I put the shadow in its place.