“What was the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
I am compelled to write this post due to a comment from Lex. I want you to know there is hope. It is possible to emerge from the darkness; to grow out of the very darkness itself; to burn magnificently again.
I am living a life. It is easy to dismiss this statement, this feeling. But I think back to where I was before, who I was, how I was… I wasn’t living. Now, I live. I can do simple things that were once insurmountable, I study, I learn, I do things which I feel have some kind of purpose, there is some kind of reason there. I want to continue the next day. I keep going because I want to; not through obligation or fear.
Of course, this is progress, not a transformation. I try to stop myself descending into reclusive days and weeks. Sometimes my strength depletes, I rest, I hide, sometimes I don’t notice until it has happened. I have a friend who understands-well maybe it is better than understanding. He lets me rest, he lets me stay quiet for a while, eventually he reminds me not to succumb to the darkness, that I can contact people, I can go outside. These days though are not the vacuum of despair they once were. I barely feel it. I just have to try and stay aware. Not let myself be drowned.
I am not suffocated by my fear. A year ago I was terrified of so many things. I feared I would be locked away, I thought about ECT every day, imaging my family dragging me into hospital, being held down as electricity stabbed through my brain. The truly haunting terror that lurked in the darkness was myself. I worried I would kill myself. It wasn’t an idea in my mind, it was an inevitability, a fact, only a matter of time… I didn’t want to. But I would.
Today my biggest fear is those days returning. They will, they might, they won’t… I cannot know. But I know I cannot let fear dictate my life. Fear took so many years from me. No more. Not today. Today is mine.
I still do not know if this is me. I am at the same inevitable level; ambiguity and ambivalence. There is a difference though. This time there are options. I see the options.
I will try and write again, sometimes. There are things I need to say about feelings, self, ideas and life and living. But I do not know these things yet. I am still growing. There will be time.