How I Began To Save Myself

I’m writing because there is nothing else that I can do. I could stand at the window and let myself take in the beautiful night breeze of three in the morning. I could let my heart find love in the skyline of a city that I can peacefully say I used to know. I could let my lungs take the breaths that they have been so deprived of. I could let my tears fall because the cold air will dry them before I tell myself I shouldn’t be crying and decide to turn away from my emotion. I could, but then I would be doing exactly what I’ve been doing for months – just with a nicer scenery. It’s all in my head, my heart beats faster than I feel safe to realize, but it’s all in my head. I need to let it out. There is nothing to let out, though. It’s only a broken record up there, even with its halfway positive contributions – it’s nothing that I could work with.

My mind is supposed to be art; a claim I convincingly make. My mind is supposed to be colors and flowing thoughts that I can only think of rivers to compare to, gardens of flowers that bloom higher than I care to change, clouds that are so beautiful I can feel it. My mind is supposed to be a masterpiece I never stop working on. My eyes fill with tears as I realize that a long time ago I put down the brush. I put down the brush and haven’t lifted it since.

If I were to decide to sit down at the canvas and pick up where I left off, I wouldn’t be able to. The painting dried way too long ago, I wouldn’t be able to paint over it – even if I were to use the same colors. The paintbrush also dried, I can’t work with it no matter how much I try to dampen it with the water and ways I used to dampen it before. I need a new paintbrush, to create a new piece of work. I’m not who I used to be, I can’t expect to live that way. It’s been too long. I can’t use my past mindset, I am not my past self. To be honest, though, I’m scared. I’m scared in this very moment. I’m scared of deciding to realize I need a new paintbrush to create a new masterpiece. Comfort and familiarity only destroy me, I know. They’re what I’ve lived off of for the past months and all I have lived through is drowning destruction. Do I face my fears though?

Do I step out of this comfort zone that I so stupidly call home? Comfort is a monster. It’s bigger than any other monster of a concept and it’s intimidating. I take refuge in a monster. I hide within the empty embrace of a monster. I let a monster keep me warm at night. I let a monster fall in love and lust with me, so much that he takes me away from what I can, need and want to fall in love with. This monster is here with me right now. As tears fill up my eyes again, he is watching over me holding my heart in his hand. He is threatening me with the eyes of his that I cannot see. He is squeezing my heart; he wants me to surrender. He wants me to love him. And really, I do. It’s ever wrong but I do. I love comfort, even though all it’s ever done me is harm.

To find peace is to let go of what we call toxic. In the more shallow sense, toxic people need to be cut out of our lives. In the deeper sense – the sense that I live with now that I am only substantially living with others – toxic concepts need to be cut out of our minds. I know people who live with comfort as a friendly lifeline. I also know that I get to choose my lifeline and comfort is not my choice. There is so much more that I want out of the world, out of life, out of love, out of my mind and soul. Comfort is not enough for the dreams that are as vital to my existence as the blood pumping to and from my heart.

I always find a solution, sometimes even subconsciously. Fear has been the problem and subconsciously I let comfort become the solution. In reality, they are both a problem. To rip free of their ever bone-crushing grip will leave me naked and bleeding. It will burn every part of me, it will hurt more than I could scream to show. But – and my eyes fill with tears once more as I realize this – I will finally be given the freedom to heal. I will search for what I need to clothe me, to shelter me. I will grow a new skin – a positively different skin – and I will recover. It’s the only way. I pray that I stay knowing God is here with me through this journey, even if He doesn’t ease the pain.

I would strive for happiness. I would splatter the canvas with bright colors. It’s what I do to come back from a broken life – to stitch back together a broken soul. But, I realize that I have to fiddle with the dark colors… to know the worth of the more lively ones. I have to face the toxic. I have to face the problems. When I am nothing but seeds in a pile of dirt, I will grow. I will grow until my mind is once again my infinite canvas.

Some people are happy and others are getting by. I’ve come to realize as I hear the sound of the soothing wind that for me, because of what I want out of myself, happiness is work. But I guess it means God understands me. Because I am proud more than I am almost anything else, and I can only be proud of what I have worked hard to achieve. This is life for me. I just need to stop thinking about it and start living it.

I am ever so fearful in this moment because I am on the brink of deciding that I will begin to face my fears, that I will end my relationship with the monster. But I read somewhere that this fear, this very feeling of heart palpitations, is the very epitome of life. I guess what I do know, is that I am willing to take a leap of faith and believe that. TC mark

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