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Where have you gone?

Life happens.  It continues even when you think you can’t.  You’re stuck.  You go through the motions.  Counting each passing day.  Watching the pages fly off the calendar.  But you aren’t there.  Where are you?

You used to be whole.  You used to make sense.  And then a part of you left – it left and it won’t come back.  It is lost out there somewhere in the infinite abyss and you try.  You try to patch up the gaping hole but it remains.  To mock you.

Each day you go out with your mask on.  You laugh and smile and make small talk and everybody thinks you are healing.  You are getting better, and inside you laugh.  Not because you are happy, but because you are pulling it off.  Everyone believes you.  It’s working.  It’s much easier this way; your pain is so much easier to deal with alone.  When people address it, it hits you all over again and the pain becomes more intense – fresh.  Now it is just a normal ache, one you are used to.  It has become a part of you.  You try to let it go and don’t want to.  Without it what will you be now?  Where will you go?  Who will you become?  For so long you knew and then out of nowhere you were torn in two.  Your future no longer certain.  Your house empty.  Your heart…your heart torn.

I can’t begin to understand.  You left without a word.  You said you would never leave.  You said love.  But you did not love.  You left.

I knew who I was when I had you.  I knew what I wanted and where I was going.  Now I am wandering aimlessly.  Searching for…what?  I don’t know.

Eventually it will get better.  They say it always does.  Some day…  Some day I will want to move on.  Some day it will make sense.  Some day I will be able to let go.  Some day I will find myself again.

I focus myself.  Try to convince myself that I am moving on.  But you are always there.  Still.  I will continue to move.  Continue to continue as you haunt my days, my dreams, my memories.  Every song, every restaurant, every street contains you.  Your presence is so heavy.  I welcome it.  I welcome the tears.  I welcome you in my heart.  The heart that you have so thoroughly destroyed.  My faith has been shattered but I rebuild it.  One day at a time.  I consume myself with friends and activities.  With hope.  I hope you are okay.  I hope you get the world.  I hope you understand.  I hope you never feel this pain.

I will find myself again.  I am out there.  Waiting.

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“I shouldn’t be alive”

Sorrow can be found in the most unexpected of places.  Out with friends to but a difficult weekend behind us I found it.  Sitting next to me.  I had only met him once before and…this time he was different.

Drunk with sadness, despair, suffering, and longing he said, “I shouldn’t be alive.”  I hardly knew him but he explained that it was the anniversary of his best friends death.  They had been in the army together and he was the only one who made it home.  When I heard this my heart broke.  I had never been in the presence of such sadness from someone else and I felt so helpless.  I wanted to do or say something to make him feel better but I knew I had no comfort for him.  He was in his darkest place and he wouldn’t be coming out any time soon.  I sat there passivly as two other guys tried to console him, agreeing with him, understanding how difficult battle is.  But I couldn’t get what he said out of my head…”I shouldn’t be alive.”  It jolted me back to the times when I have thought that; thought I didn’t deserve to be alive, that it was all pointless, that nothing would change, that only sadness would be present for the rest of my life.  How did I get past it?  Have I gotten past it?  How selfish I had been!?!  This man, this lost soul, had actually been through hardship and devestation.  He had truly suffered.  But me?  No.  Not like that.

As I sat there many emotions ran through me.  I would be a hypocrite if I told him not to think that way when I myself had been through that.  And I didn’t have any experiences to relate to his so how could I possibly give him any insight into moving on?  For the first time in a long time I felt completely useless and unhelpful.  Usually I can offer something, but this time there was nothing I could do.  I wanted to take all his pain away but I knew I couldn’t.  I wanted to help him, but he couldn’t be helped.  He didn’t want to be helped.  Just like I didn’t want to be helped when I was in that place.  Death seems like a relief when you are in that dark place, and I could see it in his eyes.  Read it in his face.  Feel it in his presence.

Here I am, trying to better myself, trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, trying to change my thinking and look at all the beauty in the world and there he is…defeated, unhappy, and lost.  I have come leaps and bounds from that place and it was like I was staring into the face of the old evil I used to deal with every day.  There it was.  Living in another soul.  Destroying it.  Tearing it down.  I can’t help him, but I can do everything in my power to save myself from ever being there again.  I can only hope that I will meet him again, and…who knows, maybe something in me will pass on to him and help him in some small way.  I don’t want to make everything better for him, but I want to show him that you can move on.  It is a slow process, and while I know I have never been in his situation I know that he should be alive.  He is here and life is ready for him.  We are all damaged.  Some more than others.  But there is a strength in us that we are unaware of; a strength that you only recognize once you have picked yourself up and set yourself back on your path.

Even if life doesn’t seem worth it, we can find something out there for us.  For me it is always the small things – the old couple still enjoying each others company, the used book you find speaks so loudly to you it was like someone wrote it with you in mind, a soft breeze on a warm day, a summer storm.  Connect with yourself.  Connect with the world.  Let yourself be.  Stop holding yourself back.  Go for it.  Do it.  You’re ready.

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