Autobiography · Mental Health · Relationships


"Empty House" © Jeff Garris, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Empty House” © Jeff Garris, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
I rock back and forth. The ever-present, “I can’t do this,” dripping from my lips.

Mason whispers into the nape of my neck, “Yes. You can. I believe in you.”

I inhale sharp and nod my head. Hemingway running through my mind, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

In therapy Leif won’t even let me entertain the idea. “You are not uniquely broken. It sounds like you want to create different habits and responses. There’s no reason you can’t do that.”

I stare at him and bite my lip and start to cry and nod again. “Okay,” I say. Though it feels like it’s more for his benefit than anything.

Strangers leave blog comments as votes of confidence. I get pumped up for a moment, but I inevitably remember that I don’t believe any of it. That I think it’s all bullshit. Like I know some great secret no one else does. Truth is, no matter how much everyone else believes I am capable of making it out of this, I’m not.

I’ve always asked if bridges were high enough when crossing them. Always known where the hotels with balconies are. Always been aware of how long it takes to get a gun in the city I’m living in. I’ve always had a running list of options. Always known I am just biding my time until I break down well enough to go.

I talked openly about how I wouldn’t make it to twenty-five. But rarely mention how I continue to assume I won’t make it another year. Every birthday comes as a complete shock to me. Every anniversary.

But they’ve been right all along. I’m the one who has been foolish.

Inhale sharp. Nod my head. Mean it. This year I’ll learn to believe it.

I love you, Mase. Happy anniversary.

September 2015.
September 2015.

16 thoughts on “Belief

  1. The “uniquely broken” comment got me .
    The feeling kept me drinking, tipped me over into every day try to stop the pain enough to get thru each day drinking. I walked around uniquely broken, no one could understand my pain, how could they possibly? I was the only person who lost so much, the only person who had a good reason to kill myself.
    the times i fantasized about driving off cliffs, taking too many pills with my jack….
    Clarity began with sobriety…I;m not the only one began there. I am not unique, even tho, of course, I still thought i was.
    Real clarity began when I started to realize the ways in which I could allow myself to be unique…I am uniquely qualified to help others. That statement was a revelation to me. I was allowed to hold on to my uniqueness (even though it was a noose around my neck, a pocket full of stones,a wrong turn on a mountain top) and use that to help others.
    Out of my head and into the world. Out of my self-obsessing and into listening to others, opening my eyes and ears outward to see where I could be useful.
    Often-times my usefulness was just in BEING, because I was loved….other times it was knowledge I had, an understanding that I have because of my own pain, that I could help others through similar things (grief, sobriety and other issues).
    We are all, I suppose, unique like snowflakes are…no two alike. But in the end we all serve the same purpose….to be unique in our device to the world and to others.
    Foster that uniqueness, the feelings of “uniquely broken “recede and “uniquely qualified “begin to take over.
    It works, I believe it works. It;s why I am here.
    I’m with Mason and leif…you can do this, but ruminating on this will make no difference, try getting out there and helping, doing, being your own uniquely qualified self proudly, not broken but able.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You ARE strong, you can do this. You were one of the first people I started following. I too deal with depression and so identify with your words on here. They are also my thoughts, you just put them into words. Happy anniversary. You are so lucky to have a man that supports you through this! “Hugs”


  3. I feel your pain in such a personal way. Other people must know me better than I know myself because they are always so sure that I am this beacon of strength even when I am crumbling at their feet. It’s hard to believe it when what we feel is anything but strength, yet here we are, having survived our demons thus far. We can do it, and we will, but sometimes we do it only because time moves forward and puts us here. Does that make any sense?

    Anyway, I wish we could have a face-to-face, with a bottle of wine perhaps, and just chat (maybe cry). I think we’d make splendid friends 🙂
    You’re in my thoughts…


    1. I think we would make splendid friends, too. Joys of the internet! We’ll always have video calls.

      And I totally understand the “time put us there” comment. It often feels like we just kind of showed up, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re stronger than you think. Have you tried deep meditation with audio? It will change the subconscious tapes in your head that keep telling you it won’t work. The time it takes is individual, but it is a very peaceful experience, try Kelly Howell from Brainsync. Subliminal meditations are great too, just listening to ocean but so much better. Even if you think it’s bullshit, try it anyway. I used to say to myself, well, maybe I will stick around anyway just to see what happens next. So glad I did, you will be too.


      1. I do it in bed when I first open my eyes. I stay there and sometimes fall back to sleep, it still works and it is life changing if you stick with it. I’ve done it for years with headphones, never sat up straight like you always see, bad back, but mind wanders without headphones. Try Brainsync, lay in bed, fall asleep, 30 min. a day. About $10 each. Well worth it, very relaxing and makes me positive for the day, even if I fell asleep.


  5. I think that is the definition of bravery: knowing you are going to fail and going out and trying to do it anyway. Succeeding is it’s own reward. Good for you that you are making it through a really tough inner critic.



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