Saturday, March 30, 2013
Living the Dream
So I guess this is what it feels like to be in recovery. It’s like standing on the starting line of the biggest race of my life, the second before the gun goes off. Every single moment of every day. That sickening mixture of adrenaline and nausea churning in my stomach. My throat tight. Hard to swallow. Hard to breathe. The sensation that I’m about to jump out of a fucking plane 24 hours a day, and absolutely no way to escape. No familiar way at least. There is no freedom to be found in the hum of a cassette as it clicks over the asphalt, and no satisfaction to be tasted in the edge of a blade. There is just this moment and all of the discomfort that it breeds. This feeling must pass because no one can live here forever, not even me. I can put up with a lot of discomfort, come to enjoy it, or need it even, but this is nearly unbearable. This feeling of not wanting to be here, but cringing at the thought of being anywhere else. This constant sense of not fitting into the puzzle of my own life. This discomfort in my own skin. This overwhelming feeling of impending doom about to come crashing down on me from all sides. They cannot last forever. They cannot last forever because I cannot live like this forever. If life is going to feel like this, then I don’t want a damn thing to with life. Not this life, anyway. I’d rather be sick and blissfully unaware of the pain that dwells inside of me than go through my days feeling this way for the rest of my life. I’m not giving up. I’m going to push through this. Things were bound to get worse before they ever got any better and they have certainly gotten worse. But they can’t get much worse than they are now. Yes they can. I can make things far worse than they are right now by giving in to this pressure to break or bend and find myself trapped in my prison once more. This is my only way out. My only way out is through this discomfort and agitation, through sleepless nights and days lost to anxiety. This is the road that I must travel because it is the one that I have refused to take in the past. I’ve never held my ground and stood strong through anything like this before. Any pain that I’d become so good at enduring had always been pain that I inflicted on myself. This is different. This pain resides inside of me and I have no choice in whether I feel it or not. It follows me wherever I go, as if my shadow were trying to choke the life out of me. It’s only been a few days, and already I have been worn thin. Already I am desperate for a moment of relief from this feeling of being crushed from the inside out that plagues my waking hours and prevents me from finding any sleep. Perhaps I am not as strong as I had thought. Perhaps I cannot be victorious in this battle. Perhaps it is inevitable that I live my life as a tortured soul. I cannot believe these things. I cannot allow myself to give in to the weight of the real world which I am attempting to carry for the first time in my life. I will find no peace in surrender, only the familiarity of a war that cannot be won. This is my only way out, straight through the worst of the storm to calmer waters on the other side. But everything inside of me is telling me that all of this discomfort would disappear with a few pedal strokes, indeed that all of my problems would certainly evaporate the moment that cleat contacted pedal. It feels wrong to live my life without air, but that’s what I’m attempting to do. Find some new way to survive without ever breathing again. It cannot be. I can only hold my breathe for so long and I look forward, with all of my heart, to the day when I can taste the sweetness of familiar air in my lunges once more. Who knows how long that will be? It’s not up to me to decide my fate in this regard. I suppose that the very day that I do not need air to breathe, that I have learned to live in some other way, will be the same day that I am deemed sane enough to return to my kingdom. I am terrified that it will be too late, that it may already be too late and the harsh reality that things will never ever be the same finds me in my dreams and shakes me to life in the darkest parts of the night. Will I even be able to go back? Can I ever accept that things must not be as they once were if I am to maintain the life I’m living now? If I were given the choice today to continue leading this life, suffocating in fear and drowning in the unknown, or to go back to the subtle deadliness and familiarity of what I once knew, I’m not so certain which I would choose. I am intrigued by the prospect that something better exists than the life which I had created for myself but I am doubtful in this moment that it truly lies on the other end of so much suffering. But haven’t good things always come from suffering? Haven’t the best things only been found on the other end of considerable amounts of pain? The pain was different, and the reward was not the same, but I pray that the truth of my old way of life still rings true in this new place and that I am holding out for something far greater than what I am leaving behind.