After my wife passed away I lost it. I tried to destroy myself over a span of a couple years. I sent myself to the hospital with drug overdoses. I got into too many bar fights to count, hoping that one of them would end it all. I spent one long night ‘Cleaning my gun’ which is alcoholic-veteran-code for sticking it in my mouth while loaded and trying to work up the nerve to pull the trigger – that night ended with two bullet holes in my ceiling and my neighbor quite literally saving my life, and me spending a night in detox at the hospital – waking up later that next day was quite a doosey. It took me a few years to realise that I was suicidal. I couldn’t admit it to myself, I couldn’t even acknowledge it. I still don’t know why it took so long for me to admit to myself that I was on this track.
My wife died in a hospital four days after crashing her car. Just thinking about it right now my fingers are trembling over the keys and my pulse is quickening, my muscles tightening and my thoughts are starting to run away from me. It was a rough time, and I will never be able to let go of it. Thinking about all these things isn’t very easy. I can smell and see and feel and hear all these things, like I’m reliving them as opposed to just remembering. It has taken me years to sit down and write this, and I don’t even intend to go into much detail, just let go of a little bit that for some strange reason rose to the surface this morning.
After she was gone it was just my five children and myself. I’ve never had much of a support system, the perils of coming from a broken family myself and growing up in an impoverished fashion – you don’t really have a whole lot to lean on. My brother and sister both lived far away, living their own lives and facing their own challenges. My father and I never had much of a relationship to speak of, and that was it for family for me. My wife’s family was eager to be helpful, but there just wasn’t very much that they could do for me. I was left trying to find out how to be a father to five children with no support from any direction. Not an easy task.
Long story short it didn’t work out. As I said, I went through a pretty rough phase and the bottom fell out. I am still healing from this time in my life, still searching for a way to not feel guilty that my wife, who was the only reason I made it out of ‘The Hood’ for lack of a better term, is now gone and I am still here. I’m still trying to find a way to be at peace when there are times that I feel at war with the very fabric of existence.
I have come a long way, but I know that I’ve still got Miles To Go. I am able, now, to get through the day without having compulsive thoughts that go all the way down, now they just go a distance and I can stop them. I am able now to smile without feeling like I’m lying. I am able, now, to see that all is not lost and that I still have much to contribute – to my children, to my friends and family, to the world at large.
I have had to teach myself how to let go of my pain. Not saying it isn’t just there, hiding around the corner out of sight, and I don’t think it will ever be gone. But no longer do I seek it and swathe myself in it. No longer do I hold it before me as a battle standard. No longer do I hate the world.
I can love again. I can love myself, I can love the world, I can love those that I have previously resented for completely contrived reasons.
I’m not sure exactly what prompted this train of thought this morning. I was actually in the process of working out a hopelessly derivative story when this popped up and just wouldn’t go away.
Anyway, thanks for reading guys, hope you all have a good one. I hope that I’ll be able to post a story or two up here soon, it has been a while since I took my other fiction down and, although I have a meagre number of followers, I think they’re pretty good and worth sharing. Give me your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.