Bro, We're All Blessed Cause We're Still Standing... *Love Your Life* Cause You Wont Be Able to Miss It When It's Gone!
So the title on this one says it all, folks. Life is precious, no matter how hard it is. To really illustrate that, I gotta tell a story:
This story isn't mine for once, It's a friend’s.
You've seen firsthand a lot of the worst parts of my struggle, but that was self-inflicted. Not everyone has the easy fix of not being screwup that I have. Homegirl here is such a case.
Off the top, Her she and the rest of family recently survived a struggle against a nasty bacterial infection. The doctors misdiagnosed it act first, and they’d all had it for like 8 months by the time it killed her grandmother. Bacterial infections aren’t pretty and fighting through something like that takes a spiritual strength.
I watch her go through a lot of things that I couldn’t imagine myself having to deal with. There's lots of family struggles with mental illness and addiction. The thing is, I don’t usually see that side of addiction. I know my family suffers from my disorders but I never actually see it from their angle because if I were I’d be adding to the struggle, so that’s why I did my best to keep the storm I brought everywhere.
I didn’t realize the real suffering was the constant worry they felt when I wasn’t there. I thought the suffering I was the arguments we’d have in text messages and the spats that usually ended in encounters with the cops and EMS workers followed by trips to psych units, country jails, and times I’d sign myself into drug rehabs to dodge psych wards and jails. She's in that unfortunate family member position, but that’s not what she does that I think is fuggin’ amazing.
She’s a Mommy, raising a daughter by herself and working hard every day just to keep the roof over their heads and food in their kitchen. That right there takes more than strength than anything else in this world.
There's more, and unlike me she can't just go, "Hey if you stop being a total piece of trash, life'll get better for you and everyone you love." She's just not that lucky.
After hearing her story, my immediate response was to tell her my life is nowhere near as much of a struggle as hers. Which is the truth. I try to explain to her that my bullshit is easy that’s why I do it instead what she does. I’m lazy and life is easy when it’s all fun and games during the day then wandering into a party when I wanna be indoors for a bit.
I explained to her that no matter how much I know who to make my dumb shit sound interesting, she’s a testament to the strength of the human spirit, and I’m just a bum with a loud mouth and a death wish. All I do is talk and a whole buncha not anything that’s requires more work than sitting on my ass doing nothing. I told her that I found her strength inspiring because I couldn’t do it.
Her response was so simple and so beautifully truthful that it blew me away…
"I consider myself lucky, actually."
Everyone of us is, in my opinion. I didn’t used to think like that. I get exactly what people are bitchin’ about when people say “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” I’ve been through some truly painful shit, and so has everyone else here.
When I sit on my porch and just watch clouds in the sky, that 5 seconds just being alive makes 1,000 years of the existential battle worth it. Imagine what it woulda been like for you if you were never here at all and ask yourself if that really sounds better than a life of Samsaric Dukkha. We’ve all had a moment like that to soak in the scenery while life was perfect for just an instant. If you haven’t, then hang in there because it’s coming.
The hard part is what makes life so beautiful. No matter how hard anyone’s life is, we’re lucky to be here at all, and the harder your life is the luckier you are. Surviving the fight for our lives is what makes life beautiful.
If you're a living human who's still breathing, you're extremely lucky. The fallen can't testify to the truth of that statement; that's the problem with becoming one of the fallen. They would if they could though.
Life is a wonderful, precious gift. If there's an afterlife, then you're double lucky for getting two lives gifted to you. I dunno where we go when we die, I'm avidly Agnostic. Believe in whatever you want. All you're really 100% guaranteed is the one life you're living, though. Everything that comes after death is just speculation.
*Yes you're lucky*. Every second is a blessing. Every adult, most teens, and even a lot of children are here on borrowed time, whether they know it or not. Anyone who complains about how life's a total shitshow needs to learn something:
Yes, it's a shitshow. A messed up, twisted, beautifully majestic shitshow.
You gotta take the good with the bad. That's just the facts of sitcom theme songs. Everyone struggles; some people struggle harder. Consider yourself blessed anyway, even though life's never been a cakewalk and it never will be.
*It wouldn't be so completely fuckin' awesome if it were any easier*
That girl's grandmother, I mean it's sad she died but in a way it was a choice she mad. My friend heard her grandmother pray at night, asking God to just take her already. She gave in and didn't fight the illness. That's pretty understandable to me in extreme cases like hers. She was in the twilight of her life, time was short anyway, and the pain was too much. I get why she chose to give in.
I disagree with the decision to ever stop fighting to stay alive.
Even Papadukes, who gave in to the immense physical and emotional pain and did the unspeakable, loved life and held on as long as he could. I was there in his final days, even if our relationship was rocky, and 'til the last second he appreciated what a truly special thing this life is. He had good reasons for giving in. He still loved his tragic, fucked up, beautifully majestic life till the last breath, and he was sorry his time at the shitshow was over. Again, I understand the reasoning, but I'm a firm believer in never giving up.
Fight until your last breath. After you've taken your last breath, fight for one more breath.
I don't mean to come down on you if you can't see it that way. God knows I haven't always been so adamant about this. I've come pretty close to pulling off the unspeakable before. I realize now that it's only truly hopeless if you tell yourself it is.
Even when it feels totally hopeless tell yourself there's always hope. You don't even need to believe it. Tell yourself there's hope 'til you believe it. If you've told yourself a million times and it still won't sink in, start back at one and tell yourself there's hope a billion times 'til you can't help but believe it.
If the future seems pitch black, don't look at the future. Look at right now and what you can do to make even the tiniest bit of light. Somethin' you gotta remind yourself of whenever it feels like nothing's ever gonna change: You can't see the future. That void you see is all in your imagination.
Focus on the now.
If you've fallen, get back up. Just this once. Don't worry about whether or not you're gonna fall again, 'cause you definitely will. You're gonna handle it by getting back up, just that once, and not worrying about the next time.
If you're already on your feet, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Watch your step, otherwise you'll trip and fall. Keep walking forward though, on to the next part of your path. Do that no matter how rocky the path is, 'cause it's the only way to get past the rocky part to greener pastures.
If it's dark, use the spark of life you've been given to make any light you can. Make any sort flash you can, no matter how small or fleeting it may seem; Those little flashes of light add up, as long as you refuse to give up on making them.
Keep at it like that, and don't ask why. Eventually, the reason why'll be so obvious you'll feel stupid for asking.
Photograph Credit: Wendy Way Lyons