The ledge and the abyss
So my problem is that no matter how many good days I have, or how well the meds and therapy might be working, I am constantly walking on a ledge between worlds. There are the good days, the really good days, that I can function and put a smile on my face for the outside world. Then there are the days where I’m hanging on to that ledge with my pinky finger and the dark abyss below is calling my name.
I am walking that ledge right now, and I’m writing down my thoughts in an effort to regain my footing on that ledge. The effort that it takes me to keep the world at bay on days like today is exhausting. The effort that it takes me to keep from falling the rest of the way of the ledge is equal to the effort really required for a person to hang on to a ledge by their pinky finger. It is damn near impossible. Inside the abyss is all the things I’m fighting to stay away from; alcohol, harmful intentions, suicidal thoughts, anger, regret, frustration. You name it; it is probably down below in that blackness and it’s all calling my name. It’s calling my name loudly.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the thoughts in my head. Like a lot of people, the things going on in my life are all taking their toll. I absolutely hate being away from my kids. I cannot stand the emptiness inside when they are with their mother. That alone is harder for me to deal with than anything else in my life. They make me whole, they keep me far away from the edge of that ledge, and a hug from them can bring me back from anywhere. They keep me alive. They are without a shadow of a doubt the only reason I have not taken my own life in the 5 years they’ve been alive.
I fight for them. I am alive for them. I’m getting help for them. Without them, I have nothing to live for and no purpose in life. I am willing to live on this stupid fucking ledge for as long as I need to just so I can be there for them; so I can see them grow up. I do it so I can see them enjoy a life I don’t think I can at this point—so I can see them live a better life than I am. It’s hard to admit to myself, let alone the world at large, that I’m in tears as I am writing this. I have not even written that much and I have to stop and look at pictures of them. It’s the closest thing I to sanity when they are with their mother.
You know, as I sit here and talk about this ledge that I walk and the more I address it in the limited ways that I have, I learn that most of the people I connect with on this planet are walking their own ledge. Within the last 24 hours, I’ve learned that 4 people in my life are on their own ledge. They’re all in different places and times and for different reasons. They’re all keeping themselves out of the abyss for some reason only known to them. I would never betray their trust by giving any details or personal information and there is no way anyone reading can guess considering the only friends I keep could all fall into this category.
The one thing I’m learning as I deal with this shit is that I am not alone—not even close—but I notice that everyone else that is fighting the same battle I am seems to have the same issues talking about it that I do. Why am I coming public with this and talking about it? Because I can. Because one day in the future my kids can read this and hopefully understand that I’m doing the best I can and that I will always love them. I hope they understand why they are so important to me and why they keep me from falling all the way off this ledge and succumbing to the abyss that lies below.