I’ve been through a lot in life. More times than I like to remember, I’ve fallen, left in a puddle of despair, sobbing through heartbreak. More than once, I’ve considered ending it all. Well, not in the finger-on-the-trigger kind of way, but in the I-can’t-go-on way. The stage of grief tucked between depression and acceptance.
Somehow, I’ve always bounced back. Crawling out of the mire, I managed to find some new lease on life, some new reason to go on, some meaning in all the turmoil. Tenaciously, I clung to the belief that there is a reason, some higher power connecting it all together, some lesson to be learned in everything that happens. To the chagrin of those I’ve harmed, I seem to always come back from the edge. Some believe unscathed, but I bear the internal scars to prove otherwise. Nonetheless, I’ve always come back.
This time, it feels different. This time, I find myself simply treading water. My audience mistakes my frantic strokes for swimming, as though I have once again found my way back, determined to succeed, head down heading toward the finish line. What they don’t see is that my treading water is a reaction to paralysis, a shrug to a life that goes on for no apparent reason. I have said it for years, but it rings more true now than it ever has before: I go on because I must. I must, because I go on.
I go on without joy. Without sadness. Without fear. I feel only anxiety, an underlying worry that I will be left without. Without friends, without family, without purpose. Treading water until the inevitable happens, a fate to which we all are destined, but one which I cannot no more hasten than I can prevent. A past I regret, a future I watch with emotionless apathy. I try to find a way to live in the moment, but honestly, I’m too tired from treading water.
Before, I’ve always found a way to come back, to push through, to survive. This one has taken the wind out of my sails. This one has left my resolve tattered and blowing in the wind. The words from Old Man River echo in my brain: I gets weary, and sick of trying. I’m tired of livin’, but afraid of dying.
Perhaps it’s karma. Touché, karma. Touché.