A long time ago things were very dark for me. This was a very long time ago. Before I had a husband and before I had children. This was back in the dark days when essentially it was just me. And even though there were people in my life, it did not feel like there was anyone.
It was at this time that the depression and loneliness started to become suffocating. All I could think about was how painful everything was. How much it hurt to take a breath and to just keep going. It hurt so much more to live at that time than it did to think about not living. It was about this time that my youngest brother died in a car accident. And it all seemed so easy at that point to just not be here anymore.
I do not know what happened exactly. There was no great moment of clarification. No one came suddenly into my life to help me make meaning out of everything. There was no outside change in my life. I just decided to keep going. To keep trying to breathe. And the breathing became a little easier. Things were still dark but they weren’t as dark.
Coming out of that dark place took time. And a lot of escaping. I was living outside of Boston at the time and spent a lot of time in the city just looking at people and reading. I wrote more at that time then I had in a long time. I am not sure how I came through to the other side but I did.
That doesn’t mean that the darkness doesn’t still come out of nowhere and truly floor me anymore. It does mean that now I have reason to believe that I can make it to the other side of the darkness. Because I already have. I already walked through it. I am still here.
I guess the reason for this story is to say that the darkness though very real does not have to win. We can make it to the other side and be OK. There are many things to help us through. Friends, family, therapists to name just a few. But the point is that we are needed here. And sometimes we just need to be there for someone else, or allow someone to be there for us. I know that in reality it is really not that cut and dry all the time. But it is that cut and dry more often than we think.
I am glad that I kept walking past the open window. That I kept going. I know many who have not. And they are greatly missed. So the ending of this story is that a long time ago I thought that the pain was more than the pleasure of living. And I took a chance that the story I was telling myself was not true. And I won. I have a beautiful husband who is an amazing example of how to keep pushing through and eight beautiful children who have given me more reason to keep walking past the window.
And to end the story traditionally, I lived, happily and unhappily, but I still live.