It’s the final act, and it still doesn’t feel like I have adequately spread the butter on this toast. Have I said enough or was it too much? I think it’s too little, as no life could be encapsulated in a four-part blog. I presumed that no one would read this far into this blog because this post isn’t littered with fancy pictures from a recent trip, so it feels more comfortable to truly write how I feel.
It wasn’t until the end of the second quarter this year that I truly started thinking about all these things. This year has been one of the unhappiest years that I have experienced in the past 5 years. While I would have thought 2020 would be the year of tremendous sadness due to the lack of freedom caused by the pandemic. For me, it was a time of quiet contemplation and observation. This year I was crudely reminded of all the relationships with friends and partners throughout the years and saw them echoed back to me in the same manner. I honestly felt very worthless and struggled to understand what was the point of having these experiences? At one time, I would say that the point is to endeavor toward happiness, but I have learned that seeking that would only lead to more unhappiness. What I now cling to is peace and acceptance. To be at peace with my faults and to accept the things that hurt. If I can develop a way of making peace with this, then others wouldn’t shake their head in pity or feel the sorrow surrounding what I have to say.
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I have been unable to sleep throughout the night since the first week of April 2022. I awake without fail around midnight to 3:00 am, as it seems no matter how early or late I go to bed, I can only muster up 2 to 5 hours of sleep before I wake again. I meditate, exercise, sing and dance before bed, yet I arise during the witching hour. Since then, once a week, I have gotten up without fail between those hours. I dress in my gym clothes and walk by the river’s edge. I sit on a bench facing the river listening to music, crying, or thinking. Sometimes I sit in the rain, cold, fog, wind, or warm air. Sitting in the shadows waiting for something, whether it’s a dog walker, runner, cat, or a boat passing by. The humans never see me unless they notice the flicker of my phone. The only ones who can sense me are the animals; as I know they can smell my fear and sadness.
View from my favorite spot along the river. Picture taken August 2022.
There is a sense of anticipation and a slight nervousness that is with me, during those quiet moments. Pairing out at the world, I know that this moment in time will be over soon, and all of this will be a memory. I will move on to the next place, then the next, I will find new acquaintances and lose old ones. I will go through the motion of life until there is no more life. I will look out of these eyes and see the world with an old soul and feel what I couldn’t feel in this realm.
When I am done, I walk back to my apartment, ease out of my clothes, and slip back into bed to sleep for a few hours until it’s time to get ready for work. No one knows I do this as they may think it’s unsafe or weird. However, this is a secret I gladly share here because it’s become a norm and a comfort. A time to truly be alone with my thoughts to process the day ahead of me or ponder over moments that are behind me.
From the Final Act to a New Act
I’ve been holding on to this last part of my blog since September 2022. I have rewritten it over two dozen times. Every time I attempted to write something came up, whether it was illness, depression, or being unsure of my words. Once I endeavored to write I would make notes of my current disposition in hopes that when I do return to complete this blog it would remind me of the frame of mind, I was in. So, instead of colorizing my words; what you will find below is an exert of what happened to me between October and December 2022.
This year I’ve felt very alone, perhaps prompted by a slow-paced job, being in a country far away from what I know, and constantly interacting with people who caused deep self-centered reflection. As I write this, it is September 2022, and I cannot post this last chapter yet. So, I allowed for weeks to pass, and now it’s mid-October. I am sick with COVID for a second time, but this time I experienced profound sadness. As my fever broke, I launched into hour-long cry sessions that escalated into my first manifestation of a physical attempt to end my life. This was the first time I took steps to physically self-harm. I remember crying myself to sleep that evening and waking the next day miseriable after taking 25 over the counter sleeping pills. That day I recall staring in the mirror shortly after I woke and there I saw something that wasn’t me. For the first time, I could see the sadness in my eyes and how distant I had grown from my soul.
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It is now early December 2022, and I am pregnant. How did I go from almost taking my own life to being with child? A child who is perhaps no more than a few weeks in the making. A child with no name or face, a child I kept to myself before making its presence known to anyone else. It’s a child who somehow survived going from one toxic host to another. A single cell who fought through the murky opening of a penis to enter an acidic vagina bypassing a birth control device to penetrate an egg. When I had time to sit and think about it, I was moved to tears at how nature doesn’t care about what we are doing, feeling, or thinking and will continue to do whatever it takes to survive. I was deep in depression and self-pity; trapped in a state that seem barren where nothing could grow. So, I was beyond shocked that something survived inside me.
In the short window of knowing something was living and growing inside of me, I deemed it a boy. While I knew I couldn’t keep him, my subconscious wanted him. I had already decided that any child conceived in this way couldn’t be mine. With no support and a year’s worth of suicidal ideation, I felt unworthy of keeping a child, especially after it was conceived while on birth control. My idea of conception always included willful intention, and knowing how low I’d felt for months, there was a deep fear of poisoning an innocent soul. This was also followed by a fear of rejection and possible postpartum depression in the future.
To this child with no name or face, I am so sorry. I wished for you, I wanted you, and I heard you when you asked to be born, but I denied you that right for selfish reasons. I know you will come back again in a few months or even a year. I hope to welcome you the second time around, even if I am the only one there to see you through. Once you make your presence known again, my life will forever be in service to you.