Trigger warning: the following post will speaks about suicidal ideation.
I have written before that rock bottom is a place with which I am deeply familiar. But the truth of the matter is that I’ve really only been there once, for just over a year from about July 2017 until August of the following year.
For the last five weeks I’ve lost the gift of physical health having been back in with my parents, battling an injury that’s left me in pain and physically incapable of walking.
This is not the most eloquent piece I’ll ever write, owing to the fact that my brain is riddled with a sense of just being lost in it all.
I write on a day where I feel like I can’t go on like this anymore. I returned here at the end of September when the residues of summer still hung softly in the air. Since then, I’ve watched the trees outside transition seamlessly with the season, from earth to fire, soon to assume nakedness for the winter ahead. All the while I’ve been subdued, in my room, watching life happen and attempting, largely in vain, to surrender to this forced “pause”.
Pain is a given and suffering is a choice, they say. Feet firmly rooted in the human condition with no rigorous meditation practice to boast of has left me in a state of suffering as of late; in wake of physical agony and emotional distress. It’s the not being able to shower without help and needing a commode next to your bed in case you piss all over the floor again thing. A real lesson in humility when you’re in your late twenties, forging your path and trying to make your mark in the world.
Today has been my worst day yet.
I’m no longer in the sort of physical pain I was previously facing. I’m fortunate for my pay check even though I’ve been entirely unable to work. But I have reached the ninth door. The bit where recovery feels so close, yet so intangibly far. It is freedom I long for. The freedom that lies in my extortionately priced, cupboard sized rental in East London that always smells of incense and coffee. The freedom of going for a walk and feeling the cold air kiss my cheeks. The freedom of being alone- truly alone- and not having my privacy accidentally invaded. The freedom choosing when I get to do things rather than the relentless…“Dad could you pick this up?”, “Could you fill my water bottle?”, “Could you move the shoes so I can get past?”. The worst trigger right now is the crutches crashing to the ground. No matter what surface I seem to lean them on, it’s like they have a mind of their own, insisting on making a loud bang against the hardwood floor. It reminds me of being in a toxic, dependent relationship. Tag line: I need you, yet I hate you.
I’ve dropped the resistance to the anger, frustration and anxiety today. Is it because I’m exhausted? Or is it because I can physically feel my ego about to die today?
A decade ago I faced a similar injury. I recall, like it was yesterday, the day I gave it all up to a power greater than me whom I identified then as Lord Krishna. I walked the moment the resistance left my body and I learnt then that there is a force greater than me at play.
Ten years later, I don’t know what sort of force with which to identify so I’ve settled on this instead: This Is Not Rock Bottom.
Rock bottom was having no purpose at all. Rock bottom was not having my own back. It was night after night of wanting to swallow a million pills and “call it a day”. It was cutting the skin of my left inner thigh out of intense, all consuming self loathing. It was being repeatedly neglected by a man who didn’t deserve a glance from me in his direction. It was the feeling of “I have nothing to live for but I’ll keep myself alive for my sister anyway”.
The fact I no longer occupy that space feels like the only beacon of hope I have left amidst this specific brand of crisis. And today, on the day I no longer feel like forging on, the day I’ve dropped my resistance to the all consuming pain, the day before my ego might just die… it’s that beacon of hope I choose to hold onto.
Love & kisses