Thursday, July 8, 2010

No One Can Beat Me Now

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by nightin the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.
-T.E. Lawrence

My life has been something of a constant challenge; overcome one obstacle, only to have two new challenges twice as difficult be thrown in my path. I won't get into the details, but it's been the embodiment of the quote "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger." In 20 years, I've went through several horrible experiences, a lot of which other people have encountered. The difference is that these people tend to only experience one or two of these things, where I had experienced several by age fifteen. And for the longest time, I kept them all bottled up, refusing to talk about them or accept they happed -- because that's what I was taught to do.
I've been falling apart at the seams this year, my demons finally getting the upperhand. I'm used to dusting myself off and picking up whatever is left, but the past few months it seems like I can't even get myself back up before I'm hit again. By June 23rd this year, the five year mark since my best friend Eric died, I was fighting a losing battle to keep myself. I felt like some other person was pulling the strings. I didn't live; I existed.
After leaving the cemetery on the 23rd, I felt a strange sort of calm start to set in and replace the constant ache in my chest. A part of me worried that it was a sign I was about to die -- I had the first of three procedures in my mouth to correct whatever has been going on in my jaw. It hit me -- what if I have an allergic reaction to the anesthetic? what if they slip up and do something wrong? what if I stop breathing?
The night before, I felt so inexplicably calm.
Obviously, I'm still here. Granted, there is a nasty infection, a lot of bleeding and swelling. I have antibiotics and my second procedure is on Tuesday. But I'm drifting from my original point...
I mentioned to my mom how much I missed my (deceased) friend Eric's family, since we drifted apart after he died. Then I ran into her last week. We talked -- I showed her my tattoo dedicated to Eric and she cried. Then I learned something - she never goes to the cemetery anymore. Hasn't since the week after they buried him. And then she asked if I've ever went back.
I smiled and said, "All the time. Definitely every year on June 23rd. I stay and talk to him a while." She almost started to cry again when she said she's just not strong enough.
Later that evening, other aspects of my life started to fall apart, and to my surprise I felt that calm come over me again. I couldn't figure out how I was fighting off my depression, but I let the calm stay and keep my head clear.
It was the next day that I was listening to a CD I just bought -- one of mine an Eric's favorite artists -- that had came out the 22nd. The CD seemed dedicated to the artists drastic change in his life since he felt his deceased best friend warn him about the direction his life was heading in.
And the more attention I paid to the lyrics, to his story, the more I started to realize little strange things that had happened to me during some of my hardest times over the past five years. Strange things that seemed eerily connect to Eric. The newest being the strange calm, and seeing his mom.
I started crying... It hit me like a sack of bricks to my face -- as crazy as it sounds --
Eric is still with me, still guiding me, in spirit anyway. And this was the only way he could get me to see that my life has gone off track, that I've been letting myself down, when really I'm strong enough to overcome anything. He had to make me calm so I could see clearly, he had to show me how strong I am by showing me how everyone else is taking his passing.
I've spent so long now hating myself for being alive. I've been plagued with guilt and hate that wouldn't let me live my life since he couldn't. Eric's passing has been my weakness, when his memory should've acted as my strength. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I couldn't save him or exchange places with him, I'm focused on celebrating his memory and living for the both of us.
How does ANY of this apply to anyone else? Why am I posting it on my writing blog?
Eric was ALWAYS one of my biggest supporters. He'd listen to me read my stories to him, he'd be honest with what he thought, and he'd tell me that I needed to be a writer before I ever thought I could obtain such a dream.
So, I've got the message loud and clear -- Get back to living. Accomplish those dreams.
And I plan to. I'm too strong to let anyone or anything stand in my way now. Including myself.
I'm back, ladies and gents.
And to end this on a much more pleasant note:

Issue #3 of Ax Wound ( features an article by yours truly on page 90, not to mention a photo I took on page 44. This is pretty big to me, since in this very same issue is also an interview with THE Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, Inglorious Basterds)

Success if it is to be meaningful must be a personal thing.
-Howard Whitman
So feel free to order, lovelies, and cheer me on. This is a step in the right direction --
Nothing can stop me now.


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