Over the edge…

edgeI’m going to write about something I’m sure most of you don’t really want to read. It’s one of those topics we rarely explore, simply because we’d like to deny their very existence.

I don’t know how you think I am, if you view me as an idealist or a realist, if you think I’m good or not or even worse than that, but the truth is that, for most of my life, I’ve been a pessimist. One of the worst kind, actually.

The ones who feel they never get what they want. The ones who see themselves and the world around them as broken beyond repair. There’s never enough light for the ones who are afraid of the dark.

I found myself once in a strange place. I was standing over the edge of this terrifying abyss. All I needed was a gentle push for me to fall. I knew I wasn’t nearly as strong as it was needed for me to actually jump.

All this is just a metaphor or something, but the truth is that it wasn’t a moment. You see, the moment stretched and stretched, like a rubber band, and nothing could make it break. And seconds dissolved into minutes, and minutes magically transformed themselves into hours, and before I realized what was going on, three years had passed.

Three long years, in which all I did was stare at the endless abyss, not sure if I was meant to jump or not, scared that the jump wouldn’t fix anything. All I needed was an escape, and the abyss wasn’t willing to offer me one.

It took me three years to realize that life isn’t really worth living unless you want something. Until you have an impossible dream, an ideal to strive towards. Until you have something to fight for, you simply exist.

And I decided that it was better to go down fighting than to give up without a fight. Never retreat, never surrender. That happened on the 24th of April 2012, when I decided to start this blog. When I decided to try my best at making stuff up and selling it on Amazon.

I had something to fight for, but when I was staring at the dark, endless abyss, I was too busy to die. And I did die. In my head, over and over again, until I decided there was nothing death could offer me.

It’s something I never talk about, and I wrote about it once. More or less.

But the thing is, I found power and ambition and discipline while staring at the dark, endless abyss. Because I saw how it feels to be one step from falling over the edge.

What I’m really trying to say is that you don’t know what you want until you’ve got nothing left to lose. Take a man everything he has, and he’ll turn his gaze towards the stars. He’ll do his best to make his dreams come true.

It might take a while, not a fraction of a second, because this feels more like a bizarre epiphany, in which time has an unnatural flow.

The real tragedy in life is when you don’t want anything, and you find yourself staring down at the dark, endless abyss, and you can’t see a way out.

This kind of stuff isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Most people don’t want to think about it, most people don’t want to imagine how the world would look like with them out of the picture.

I once wrote that true freedom comes from the realization that you can kill yourself at anytime. It’s a special kind of freedom, one you’ll never taste again. Once is enough.

You realize it, and that’s all you need. Like a forbidden fruit, it gives you clarity. You can see that your life is your own, that you’re exactly as free as you want to be.

That’s why I write the stuff that I write, why I try to give people the hope that they can be better at what they love doing simply because they love doing it.

I strenuously believe that if I try hard enough, and I don’t give up, luck is only going to determine how long it’s going to take me to get what I want. That’s it. Failure is not an option, unless you want it to be.

And, yes, I needed to stare at total defeat in order to realize it.

Whether you believe me or not, whether this gives you hope or simply makes you think I’m crazy, it doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that I wrote these words with the hope that you are going to read them.

What you take from it, if anything at all, is not my concern.

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206 thoughts on “Over the edge…

  1. Inspiring, incisive and thoughtful.

    “I strenuously believe that if I try hard enough, and I don’t give up, luck is only going to determine how long it’s going to take me to get what I want. That’s it. Failure is not an option, unless you want it to be.”

    The above words are what truly defines my thought at this point of my life.

  2. Sitting out on the ledge or staring down into the abyss it is amazing how comfortable it can become and how damn hard it can be to get up and do something – anything! But staying isn’t an option and it is brilliant that you have spent so long moving away from the abyss. I’m in the process of trying to move away from my own darkness at the moment, so am grateful for any spark of encouragement to keep me going so thank you.

    • Good read!…that’s right Gail Deptford, he has pulled through so that others can know…we all had to face some kind of abyss in our lives, miraculously, some of us sprang back, and held onto the reins with all our might, and so we are here today to say to just one person…’you can make it!’♥jjf

  3. I tend to write about depression quite a bit, being in recovery nowwriting helps me find new perspective to continue to move forward. Depression is a silent and invisible illness which many don’t understand or want to talk about, awareness is key as many suffer in silence and unfortunately without help and supportand your own desire to be well it can have terrible consequences.

  4. You have no idea how incredibly happy it makes me that you didn’t give up. I’m so happy that you found something to want, and your writing is truly an inspiration to me

  5. every artist I have ever known, including myself, has stood at that ‘razor’s edge’ more than once. Driven to succeed keeps it feet away. :) nice write.

  6. Love it! It’s truly awesome to see the change you describe and how you stared into the abyss to recognize your dreams. Excellent and very well written. Thank you for the perspective.

  7. Cristian, thank you for your post. It is encouraging to find someone who seems to have walked some of the same paths and found their way out.

    I think I’m still staring into the abyss. Unfortunately I can’t see the bottom or a way out. I think that’s part of why I started my own blog this week… perhaps a way for me to stumble my way out as I sort through my thoughts.

    I loved the post. No, it is not for everyone, but I’m sure there are many of us for whom it hits home.

  8. Good post. I like how you take comfort in the freedom of being able to end it all at any point you want, that the decision is only yours to make. There’s nowhere to go to, there’s no destination point, or meaning, or great insight about what it’s all about, but your mind can make it mean anything you want it to mean, and I think that’s the greatest gift we have.

  9. This is so thought-provoking. It made me uncomfortable, but in all the right ways. Life isn’t supposed to be comfortable. People stagnate in their comfort zone. Thank you for writing this, you’ve given me a lot to ponder this Wednesday morning.

  10. I have a friend who is staring at that abyss right now and I feel your pain.There is a market for this type of writing and sharing how you found your way out…especially if you can do motivational speaking , which could be a bit tricky for a pessimist but haven’t we had enough of those people who are full of it?!!

  11. Thank you for acknowledging the abyss that enters our lives at any moment. But understanding it’s your own will power that can stop you from jumping. Many of us face this on a daily basis but you plucked up the courage to acknowledge it and face it. Thank you x

  12. I ahve to agree with the other comments and your words “failure is not an option”. I have always regarded myself as an optimist and yet I KNOW that you’re right and I have stared into that abyss. I came to the same conclusion as you not long ago, but by realising that a lot of the time I was looking for things that would please others if I carried on with them. Now I realise that what I really want is to write, not for riches or fame, etc but just for myself. And if any one does actually read my stuff then that’s a bonus! Failure is not an option…

  13. The abyss, unfortunately, is a very familiar friend. Like you, writing and stories and wishing for something better pulled me from the edge. I always find great comfort in knowing I’m not alone in the battle against it. Well done for the post, and thank you.

  14. “true freedom comes from the realization that you can kill yourself at anytime” – I’m glad that someone else finds that to be inspiring in a way. The first time that thought occurred to be I thought perhaps I was crazy.

  15. Really profound and honest and you also give some hope to those on that edge. We are all close to it but it is good to hear from those who can see beyond it. Thanks for sharing. And good luck with your writing. Will try to support when I can.

  16. I thought you were going to talk about ants….I try to ignore their existence but know they are still there and get those gentle reminders on the kitchen table every morning!

    But yes I do agree, however I would say that the most important word is perseverance, because honestly I never really understood what that was until I was so bailed up against the wall and couldn’t get out of what I was in that I just had to persevere and I have to tell you it WAS painful, but now a few years down the track, I would say it was worth it…most people don’t really understand how to persevere, they just give up and do something else….escape..

    And…if you can’t escape, well, you have to persevere…period.

  17. I love this post! I just started writing again after “staring into the abyss” of underpaid office work for years, pretty much giving up on the dreams I had in my teens and twenties because of the implication I felt coming at me from the world that “I’m a grown up now” and should act and think and dress that way. I also struggle with pessimist vs. optimism, but I find I’m happiest with pink streaks in my hair, wearing something with Hello Kitty on it, typing away on a story. You made me laugh with your last line, and I hope I can continue to remind myself that the implications coming at me from the adult world aren’t necessarily my concern, as long as I’m somehow managing to make enough money to keep myself from having to move into my grandma’s basement at 33 years old of course. Looking forward to reading more of your writing.

  18. You had me until “failure is not an option.” That is not a universal truth, it is a privileged ideal. Not everyone can succeed in anything they try hard enough at, or want bad enough. So I guess I’m more of a pessimist than you are currently.

    I wish there was a way to give that same hope without making it appear that anyone who fails is a failure of their own accord. Some people are dealt a bad hand

    • “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

      If you keep going, no matter what, you’re not a failure. You fail, time and time again, and you never reach the level of success you want, but as long as you don’t give up, you’re not a failure.

  19. A person can be dead long before they pull the trigger…

    Your life is a beautiful thing and to bring the story of your life to an end in one final, abrupt chapter would truly be a tragedy. To persist in hardship, against all odds, is part of the human condition and your ability to stare total defeat in the face and stand right back up is not a testament to your failures but rather an assurance of the strength of your own personal character. If you continue “trying,” luck will exit the equation entirely as your efforts will surely produce fruitful rewards.

    If ever you find yourself staring back down into the omnipresent abyss: simply reach out and there will always be others willing to sacrifice their own internal flames to keep yours alight for that much longer–and you can count me amongst their ranks.

  20. This post is so beautiful and powerful, Cristian! I love it so much and all the words you used to convey your thoughts. You’re not crazy, man! You’re just simply amazing! :)

    I love everything you said, especially these two:
    1. it was better to go down fighting than to give up without a fight.
    2. Failure is not an option, unless you want it to be.

    Just so true. :)
    (And my mind tries to type “I love you” as an ending note. oh man, I think I’m going crazy. Lol)

    Keep sharing, Cristian! :)

  21. I can relate to all of this so deeply, I almost feel like you’ve read my mind. I stare at that same abyss daily, and kind of like you said, I feel that I can live a more fulfilling life knowing that I have chosen to not fall in. It gives me hope that there are others out there that that deal with the same things that I do, thanks for writing this. Keep writing!

  22. I like this very much because I know
    How it feels to ride that roller coaster of life . I’m down , that’s how it feels like at the moment . Starting from scratch but not really because thinking of my path it was an amazing one and now I’m leaving that path again and go where there is none to leave a trail once again

  23. Hi,

    Nice post. I like how you say “failure is not an option, unless you want it to be”. I’ll admit I’m a very optimistic person even though I haven’t always dealt with the easiest of things (father passed away, raising my sister, etc…but that’s a whole other story).

    I truly do believe that people essentially choose their own path in life. When people choose to be with someone repeatedly that belittles them, ultimately it is always a person’s choice to get out or stay in that.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for through your writing and life. I’ll be looking forward to reading more posts :)

  24. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot, In the Shadow of the Almighty, Elliot was an evangelical Christian who was one of five missionaries killed while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador.

  25. I feel like my reading through this post at this moment is serendipitous. For the most part, I don’t believe in coincidences especially when contemplating your artistic freedoms. I am blessed to be great at several things and one of my biggest struggles as an artist, besides letting my emotions get the best of me, is picking a focus and producing good work. Throughout the years I found out that all you can do is keep producing work and your artistic focus will arise naturally. Patience with this sometimes arduous but for the most part rewarding process, is difficult. Time and getting caught up in the rat race can make you feel as if you are being left out in the cold. But that’s not the case.Eventually all your creative talents will culminate into one large project after years of persistence, hard work and by making bold choices along the way. Never forget to enjoy your artistic journey.

    “This world is the movie of what everything is. It is one movie made of the same stuff throughout, belonging to nobody, which is what everything is.”
    – Jack Kerouac

  26. I actually do think about this thing a lot. Especially the several months before coming to my current city. It’s sad and scary but also sort of exciting when you’re contemplating giving up… But then there’s this tiny voice that keeps some of us from jumping over the edge. It reminds us why we were sort of happy at one time, and then we grab onto the one thing that keeps us alive. Writing is what saved me… To be honest it wasn’t anyone who really helped me… A couple of people reminded me about my talents which was life saving, but I didn’t live for them. It was the writing. It’s why I’m also scared to die… I don’t want to perish without finishing all of these books. But writing a lot takes my mind off death at all. It’s cool to really feel alive when we write. I loved reading of your struggle. You were stronger for not going down without a fight. And look, you’re still fighting and it seems to me that you’re winning. :)
    I’m not even sure that a writer could be good without struggle in their lives.

  27. What has happened to you is called ‘Pause’ …,a pause in Life. It is not that we are only that many years old that we walked on this planet during this lifetime. We have been journeying, running since eons, and such pauses are extremely important. It’s where the direction of Life changes. The more you are open and receptive to Life’s forces during this period, the less you try to define these moments as pessimistic or optimistic or such mind made concepts, the clearer will you be able to ‘feel’ the message of Life to you. “This universe is not vindictive, it is corrective” – Mooji. Every event in Life is weaved to help us evolve. It is WE who need to be gentle with Life, give it some space to work for us :) Enjoyed your beautiful deep narration. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I once suffered a great loss at age 25–the loss of my soul mate and love of my life. I made it through that pain, only because I told myself I’d do it this one time and never again. Suicide was the ace up my sleeve. I believed that. Then 5 years later, I remarried and had a baby. I remember looking into my son’s eyes and knew, that suicide was never to be an option again.

  29. The person you become from having faced the abyss is strength and honesty personified. I too have faced it; coming out the other side is a long journey. I will cheer for you. It can only ever make you a better person. The profundity of that abyss will serve your writing indefinably and indefinitely.

  30. You have transformed your pain into art. You have made something so ugly and horrible to bear into something beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have inspired others to do the same in their own lives.

  31. “I strenuously believe that if I try hard enough, and I don’t give up, luck is only going to determine how long it’s going to take me to get what I want. That’s it. Failure is not an option, unless you want it to be.”

    It was only within the last couple weeks that I have personally come to internalize and truly believe what you have said here. I very recently used to be the pessimistic, downtrodden type as much as I hate to admit. I’m so glad you said this because I can relate immensely. Thank you.

  32. This. I just wrote a post about my death a few minutes ago. I had this epiphany a month or two ago and I’m never looking back.

    I reached a point in march where I had nothing. I had lost my will to do anything, so I decided to force myself to fight by trying to kill myself. I fought – and won (even though I was unconscious for 3 days). Since then I’ve learnt that happiness is a trap. As soon as you reach a point where you say “everything is perfect, I am done” that’s the point where things go bad, quickly. You have nothing left to fight for, nothing left to aspire to.

    The scary part is that you don’t need to reach ‘perfection’ to go downhill, all you need to do is to over-rationalize (like I did). We all have an obligation to keep the mystery in this world alive. Beauty lies in mystery – in never quite knowing the whole story. The fact that I don’t know what interesting, and beautiful, experiences I may have tomorrow is what keeps me going. I look forward to watching the stars, to watching people learn and grow, to accomplishing things that other people just won’t understand.

    I applaud you for following your dream – many people decide not to and they end up living with regret and endless sorrow – never quite knowing what went wrong.

  33. I see that you using the Inferno of Botticelli to describe exactly what you mean in the post. The edge can be very thin between a worth living life and a life without goal. It up to ourselves to figure out and try to archive what we desire by all of our hearts. Thanks for sharing such deep thinking.

  34. I’m one of the luckiest people in this old world. I never had to stare at the hole. Unfortunately people close to me have. I get it.
    Now I peruse the memory banks for all the neat stuff that I got to witness all through the trip so far and “Make stuff up” about it with just enough truth to make it fun. If that makes someone happy fine, but it makes me happy and that is what counts.

  35. You write beautifully. I loved this post. “It took me three years to realize that life isn’t really worth living unless you want something. Until you have an impossible dream, an ideal to strive towards”. The best of luck for you and your wonderful projects!!

  36. Very true words. Maybe inner peace is something that could be described as an impossible dream – in some circumstances. Well written Cristian. Glad you got away from that edge.

  37. I appreciate this whole post, it resonates with me for a number of reasons. However, the part that stands out is the ending. I admire that you write for yourself, and appreciate the chance that you can share yourself with others, but first and foremost I find it’s an outlet and a goal to complete something.

  38. While I read your essay with full attention and appreciation, I am unable to support you with financial donations. My circumstances are financially quite limited,and I depend on God to provide for me each month. I hope you’ll understand. I do relate to much of what you wrote–it is rather a terrible freedom to know I could end my life, and I have recurring despair, must withstand the desire to leap into the abyss. My Christian faith is a comfort and source of strength. I don’t know if you’ve pursued that option. God bless you in the struggle which most of us face.

  39. Good stuff! Those who suffer depression and anxiety are the bravest people in the world. It takes so much courage to keep going. I went through my own depression and still do at times. It was finding my faith and hope in Christ that has gotten me through. And that doesn’t mean a “crutch” as some people may think. It means a head-on advance as opposed to retreat and cowering. ( what you said!) Fear and faith cannot co-exist and depression and anxiety begin with fear. It’s never easy, but it’s worth it to keep running the race that’s set before us. I enjoyed this post…well written!!

  40. But, if you had hope for the people to read what you wrote…then you had to have a reason as well, right?
    Do I believe you? Absolutely, I see no reason for you to lie so you don’t have to be affraid of not being accepted. Your pain is accepted too.
    It goes like that…we all have our own paths to go through until our evolution.
    I am slightly different then you, my understanding came in a different package but yet somehow so similar to yours. You see, I was lucky enough so life gave me obstacles to teach me lessons straight away. The day I stoped fearing death was the day I nearly died when a car ran over me.
    The best way, unfortunately, is still on our own skin instead of learning from others. But, leaving your experience can help someone build beter foundations thus having greater chance in finding their balance.
    There is nothing wrong with the pain you went through or should anyone judge it. It is how we deal with the pain which counts. And at the end of the day, you were successful. You defeated yourself and placed your emotion in control. So, no matter the path, I congratulate you. Even if you might not care what your post gave to me…I am still happy to see human evolution.
    With some statements though I do not agree.
    “What I’m really trying to say is that you don’t know what you want until you’ve got nothing left to lose. Take a man everything he has, and he’ll turn his gaze towards the stars. He’ll do his best to make his dreams come true”
    I don’t agree for my own personal experience of the subject. I didn’t know what I want up until very recently…my problem was- I wanted it all….and the choice was so difficult.
    I don’t agree but…it does not mean your point of view is “wrong”. I don’t agree because I am an absolute optimist and always have been. You are (or were?) a pessimist so it just means you look at it differently.
    And I agree…take a man everything and his will for life will find the solution maybe even without his knowledge or direct thought.
    The other statement is more of an opinion then agree or disagree
    “The real tragedy in life is when you don’t want anything, and you find yourself staring down at the dark, endless abyss, and you can’t see a way out.”
    I don’t think you didn’t want anything…I think you didn’t know what you want and that made you crazy. It was how it was supposed to be. Some people crack and some people evolve…
    Sorry, I don’t have anything for a donation….but my time, patience and understanding.
    The last thought of this reaction…
    “I strenuously believe that if I try hard enough, and I don’t give up, luck is only going to determine how long it’s going to take me to get what I want. That’s it. Failure is not an option, unless you want it to be.

    And, yes, I needed to stare at total defeat in order to realize it.”

    No, failure is not an option, unless you want it to be. And I stared at my defeat too before realising it, just the way it goes…it’s life. Only difference is how we measure our defeat and the boundaries we are ready to cross, how deep to fall in order to rise. You were falling all along and you were so scared not to fall…
    Glad to see you up in the air not affraid of life or yourself anymore :)

  41. You read it and it just slowly draws you in. Once you’re in, it’s all you can think about, and you can’t manage to pull yourself away. Then you wake up and realize that it’s over, and you wish more than anything that you could have held on to it. Line by line, it’s engraved into your thoughts. You knew from the beginning that it was what you wanted, because most people don’t really want to read about it.

  42. I feel like anyone who would judge you thoughts on this are people who live in a world made from denial. People have these feelings everyday. Me included. It’s doesn’t make us weak to discuss them. It makes us strong that we can see it and take it for what it is. And move past. I am inspired by your thoughts. Please keep writing!

  43. Friedrich Nietzsche’s comment was that it is the possibility of ending it all that gets us through the night and on to the next day. (Something like that.) As long as one knows where the edge of the abyss is, one can struggle on, knowing that if things get worse one can simply take a few steps in the other direction. I don’t know that I agree, but it is an interesting perspective.

  44. I think you will find true purpose and meaning in life when you have found Jesus Christ. Believe on Him that he came, died, rose again and that because of this we too, if we believe when we die we shall live again in a new and glorified body. This actually is when we find true freedom.This is the blessed hope. Death is not the end.

  45. wow. The dichotomy of your suffering and presence is felt deeply is your words. Thank you. I was moved by your insight into suicide- though I’ve never felt that kind of deep suffering, I know that ending ones own life is a power we all have. It is both a freedom and a cage at the same time. Your words and your ‘self’ are important.
    Sending love and respect my friend
    Thank you
    Michael

  46. If I says , something against this articles meaning I’m lying to myself. In fact, I don’t think you’ve wriitten this piece for another person than me. I enjoy, it very well and so much, that I can affirmed that it was me in this picture, completely described. And here there is no disappointed as I was even well dressed.

    It is a thriller and a serial polar image of the doubt pious that I’ve always be. Struggling not seems accept, assumed to be, trying to struggle to an idealist that I’m not, not perfect at all but looking for perfection.

    Personally, I thank you for autobiography of me and me alone. I really enjoy my background.
    Thanks,
    With special regards.
    Pius A.

  47. This is so true, I know about the abys I’ve been there on the brink for the last 5 years no sense of purpose life flying by as I’m getting older and older and finding it harder and harder to remember why exactly I’m here

  48. Christian– A person who can bring so much clarity, power, and grace to such a tangled, painful subject is not broken. Don’t ever let the abyss pull you in. It’s lying to you.

    Just about anything anyone can say in the face of such profound angst is glib. But let me share a glib-sounding bon mot that I realized was not such a platitude when a doctor tried to tell me that if I would just think positive the third surgery on which she was about to embark would surely be a success. It goes like this: Pessimists are far happier people than optimists are. We are never disappointed, and sometimes we are pleasantly surprised. Conveniently, this little squib shut her up, so at least I didn’t have to listen to prattle while trying to deal with an extraordinarily difficult predicament.

    In a way, it’s not as platitudinous as it appears — the world is not all effing sweetness and light, things do not always turn out for the best, and you cannot change reality by willing it or imagining it to be otherwise. But you can live with reality by learning to recognize what it is. And by being pleasantly surprised now and again.

  49. Excellent essay! So glad I read this today. I am a retired professor, and I always tried to focus my students on doing what they LOVE. The world is full of too many people who majored in a field that they thought would make them money when they really would have been so much happier with their lives if they were living their dream. This is especially true of those who are artistic and creative. If they are NOT following their dream, or they are not even aware of a dream, then their life is truly bleak. We can see this in people when they reach mid-life, and feel empty inside regardless of their career success. This essay you have published is so meaningful. Thank you!

  50. I felt a strong connection with what you wrote about here. It made me realize that maybe perhaps I am not alone in this madness we call life.

  51. Love your honesty. I’ve been there too man. I’ve struggled with minor depression, although I’m thankful I’m doing much better. However those thoughts still creep in when things are not going right. That inner abyss is there. Thanks for writing.

  52. This really resonated with me. I have tried to describe to my (optimistic!) boyfriend what it is like to feel like this. Not just sad, but that feeling of hopelessness, of not knowing why to go on. I spent several years up and down, mostly down. I am on track these days but every now and again that feeling comes back. It’s so hard to explain to people who just don’t understand, so it is incredibly comforting to read your experience put so eloquently, as well as the comments below. Keep going, Christian.

  53. Once you plunge into the void, you cannot change your mind. Pulling back, you can always reconsider. I opt for the latter, not out of fear or caution, but for the sake of an adventurous life.

  54. Hm..you state at the end that “failure is not an option unless you want it to be”…If by this statement you mean “in our failures we (at times) actually succeed, then I agree whole-heartedly with you. I have “stumbled” too many times in my life to even count any more. It’s in those “stumbles” that I pick myself up and soar…It’s just that “in between time” of stumbling and soaring that knocks the bah-jeebers outta me!!! Thank you for our beautiful words….. Lucie

  55. “It took me three years to realize that life isn’t really worth living unless you want something. Until you have an impossible dream, an ideal to strive towards. Until you have something to fight for, you simply exist.

    And I decided that it was better to go down fighting than to give up without a fight. Never retreat, never surrender. That happened on the 24th of April 2012, when I decided to start this blog. When I decided to try my best at making stuff up and selling it on Amazon.

    I had something to fight for, but when I was staring at the dark, endless abyss, I was too busy to die. And I did die. In my head, over and over again, until I decided there was nothing death could offer me.”

    I also discovered that I have a dream that looks impossible. The will to see if it can be achieved is what keeps me alive today.

  56. Ahh, this post brings so much truth into light. It reminds me of this assisted death documentary where the suicide clinic founder (the ones that actually assist you to do it) said most people never have to come back after making that first step of registering; it seems as if the knowledge that they could end it on their terms gave them the strength to go on.

  57. I came
    I read
    I understood. Had my own edge and abyss. What fascinates me now is how did we reach this abyss. Why us. Why not others. How some have moved on while others stay forever at the edge. And why some take the leap.

  58. When I confronted this back in college, I tried several strategies. You can’t fill up the abyss by throwing things into it. It just swallows them up. You can fill it with heat (activity) or light (truth), but it’s hard to succeed with that if you don’t have a response from other people. Finally, I had the image of falling forward into the arms of somebody falling from the other side. We made an arch that held us both up. It’s been so long, I’m only just now realizing that I don’t know who that was.

  59. wow.. I could so connect with what you wrote, especially the part where when there is nothing left to lose do you truly realize what you really want. I have faced that abyss myself and it does give you clarity to a large extent. But I would like to add this – That in trying to find a purpose, why not find a bigger one? Coz the type of meaning your life will take after that will be beautiful. The freedom that you feel comes when you know you can end your life any moment will be multiplied when you are ready to fight for that higher purpose knowing fully well that your life and body is just a mere instrument in its pursuit.

  60. Wonderful work! And beautiful thoughts!
    Keep on dreaming! Keep on fighting!
    Do pray from time to time for all the people in the world, who need the power to pull back from the abyss.

    Andreea

  61. ¡Bravo Vecino! I see courage not pessimism.Those of us who have lived in the abyss and revisit it now and again are inevitably going to put on the “pessimist hat”. I often call myself a “miserable bitch”. The nature of the abyss is to retreat and isolate which annoys people. It’s no fun being around “mute maracas”. And it’s easy to get used to collecting dust in silence. It feels like a “miracle” when the fog lifts. I’m so glad I found your site. I look forward to reading more of your work. Cuídese.

  62. You don’t really sound like a pessimist. While reading your blog, I felt like someone was explaining my thoughts. Thanks a lot for writing this blog.

  63. Wonderful post. I read it thrice and it gave me more hope every time I did. I’m all sorts of confused right now but I’m hoping I will figure out what I want real soon. Thanks for the helping me hope! :)

  64. Sitting here close to tears. That dark abyss took a dear friend of mine. I wish he had the opportunity to read this. Naybe, just maybe…he might still be here today. You have absolutely no idea of the amount of hope and light your words have let in to my life.

  65. Hi Mihai, Looks like we all had to go through these types moments of darkness in life somehow or rather. It takes a lot of courage to write and sharing your experiences here with the rest of your readers. Good on you. I had this quote repeatedly resonating in my mind ” Every situation is one we can learn from, it’s just that some come with pain than others”. It was written to me by one of my respected lecturer at Uni, when I was going through some tough time in life. Great blog post.

  66. Cristian,
    You are right about everything in your post except for one thing that most people don’t truly understand. Failure is not a negative thing. Failure allows you to reassess what you are doing and why it didn’t work. Our society looks at failure as negative and as a coach, mentor and people catalyst, I try to make people understand that they should look at failure differently. There is so much to learn when you do not succeed. In actuality you learn more when you do not succeed.
    I would say to all, use your failures as a learning tool. Analyse where you went wrong and use that information to do it differently. this applies to everything you do in your life – your work, your relationships, your creativity. It is so liberating when you realise that failure is actually a positive occurrence and that any successful person will tell you that they failed several times before they succeeded. they will also tell you that they used those ‘failures’ to improve what they were doing until they achieved success.
    You re also right when you say that the abyss opens up to those who do not know what they want. i have also seen the abyss several times in my life as i tend to move towards the abyss when i can see no direction to follow in my life. It is a constant battle, but I also believe that life is about the journey not the destination, and if you only look at the destination you can sometimes lose your way on the journey.
    Kind regards to all who read this post!

    • You are so right on the mark. If we only got everything we wanted it would be a very boring life. That’s how I view heaven and why I would never want to go there. I relate life to the song, ” The Bear Went Over the Mountain,” and what do you think he saw? If there were no more mountains to climb there would be no more lessons to learn. Our life is one big cause and effect. 100%. We can’t pick and choose what we want to be caused by us and not be responsible for the effect, anymore than we can choose not to be effected by gravity. We often, though, don’t understand the causes we made to get the effects in our life that we have, but that doesn’t mean the cause wasn’t there. We just don’t understand because the cause was too far back. I want to give you an example:

      About a month ago someone paid me back some money I gave them when they were in a desperate situation with no one to turn to with promises of immediate payback. He was sending me a check through Fedex. He had even taken a picture of the check with his phone and sent the picture to me in a text so I could see there really was a check. He was on the phone with me when he said he was dropping it in the box. I was very grateful to get the money back because I live on disability. Promise, promise, promise. I waited and waited and waited and the check never came. I don’t think he was trying to scam me. He was just having trouble holding on to his promise because his life was a mess. In the meantime he was calling me, frantically asking if I got the check yet. He was upset that I hadn’t. He said he keeps his promises. I trusted him. I told him that. He then said he would call Fedex and have it tracked, but he lost the receipt. He not only lost it, but it was supposed left in a rental car that someone had rented for him. ( Remember this point.)

      True? False? I told him to call the rental company because I was sure they would keep things for awhile. He gave me a long list of all the other stuff that was also left in the rental car. Hmmm. It started sounding fishy. When I asked why things would be left in a rental car I got all kinds of other excuses I won’t go into here. Then I got real reason. A person who paid him for electrical work he had done stopped payment on a check they gave him. The check to me had a stop payment on it.

      I was livid, upset beyond rational thinking, pissed at myself for allowing him to affect my life in a negative way when all I wanted to do was to sincerely help him out of a jam. I hadn’t done anything to him to deserve this!! He knew it was part of my disability check! I was feeling stupid for trusting him. I thought of all the things I could have used that money for, even though at the time the money crucial for his survival. No matter how hard I tried to stop thinking about it I couldn’t. It was like a reel in my head playing it over and over and over. Angry, Angry, Angry. I couldn’t get it out of my head. How could he do this to me? I told myself to let it go. I needed to. The money was gone. Will he pay it back someday? Who knows. He’s avoiding my calls now, so the friend that I had enjoyed so many hours of wonderful conversations with won’t call me or answer my calls. Probably because he feels bad about it and doesn’t know what to say to me. What did I need to learn from this? Never trust or help anyone again because most people turn around and kick you in the teeth? No, that wasn’t it. I spent a lot of time thinking about this. . .

      Because I ended up creating a post here you will find the rest of the story at http://www.watchandwhirl.wordpress.com ( in about 15 minutes )

      There was a reason for what happened. . .Thanks for reading.

  67. By no means is it something I wouldn’t want to listen to; it’s something we should all consider! I really like that thought on the nature of freedom.

  68. Christian, have you read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl? He was a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. The book is about how he was able to survive and not let his spirit be destroyed. He later developed a system of principles called Logotherapy, focusing on Kierkegaard’s will to meaning. It’s very apropos to your post.

  69. Thank you for exposing yourself. It takes courage to do it. Not everyone will understand, you can’t really unless you’ve been there yourself. I wish you all the happiness! Take care of yourself and merry christmas! /thouchyfeelygirl

  70. I know I’m down at the end (for now) of a very long list of comments. You are wise beyond your years. Everything happens for a reason. There are no accidents. There is no luck. There are no miracles. There is only one thing. Causes and the effects they make. It means taking responsibility for your life without expecting anyone or anything else to change it for you. This is why you stood on the abyss and didn’t fall in. We can’t always understand why we are they way we are. Some try to cover that inadequacy of knowledge by saying that is “the lord’s will”. The lord’s will??? Why in the world would some other supposed intelligent being who supposedly sent his son to die on a cross to save you from your sins ever want to instill in a child the fight to not fall in the abyss. If I believed there was such a character I’d be pretty upset with him for causing you such pain.

    But here is what you did – you didn’t rely on anything but yourself to save yourself – by your effort, from the wisdom you gained. There was a reason for that. When we die, the only legacy we have to leave anyone on this earth is the effect we have on their lives. Good effects? Bad effects? We choose what that is going to be. We choose. You have an opportunity here and I think you won’t waste it. There is something I’d like you to do. Go to http://www.sgi-usa.org. Read it and see if you can see yourself and what you think life is. If you want to talk. Contact me. I have two websites: You’ve been to one and I don’t remember which. http://www.mynameisjamie.net and http://www.watchandwhirl.wordpress.com. I am going to reblog this post there.

  71. One of my favorite lyrics comes from the band “X”

    “This must be hell, she thought, as rain began to fall
    To have everything you want, and hate it all.”

    One of my favorite sayings comes from me:

    “An optimist can never be pleasantly surprised.”

    Great post, Christian. I hope you never get everything you want. *meant in a good way, of course!

  72. “It took me three years to realize that life isn’t really worth living unless you want something.”

    hmmm… but isn’t the absence of it equal to personal freedom, particularly in a material sense?

    ps I just linked to your blog in my latest post! and no, you don’t have to link back. ;-).

    • When you don’t want anything? Yes, it is kind of liberating in a way. To feel that you have all that you could ever want. But how often does that happen? And for how long?

      At a certain point I suppose that you’ll find something else that you want or you’ll be afraid that you’ll lose something you already have. And unless you choose to act, there’s no freedom in either.

  73. “The real tragedy in life is when you don’t want anything, and you find yourself staring down at the dark, endless abyss, and you can’t see a way out.”

    I haven’t been looking at this darker place where I now find myself called ‘me’ in the way you described above…

    I want plenty which leaves me I suspect in a better situation than I was before I read this sentence here from you.

    However I do still return to the place of not wanting anything other than to just fall peacefully asleep waking up on the other side but don’t because I have many innocents within my charge. So in that there is my ‘want’… Wanting to be here for them.

    Thank you for sharing this fractured hidden part of yourself; I find comfort & encouragement not to mention deep reflection in your entire purge.

  74. This was so thought provoking and touched me a lot. Love this post, very empowering it really inspired me to appreciate life and manifest my ideal visions int reality whilst I still have time. :)

  75. I love how you describe it as a stretching rubber band. Been ready to jump for about 5 years, that’s why I’ve started a blog too, plus something to stand for with my new job. A conservationist data company that wants to save the world. :)

  76. Christian, beautiful, beautiful words. I understand especially about the stretched rubber band epiphany. That rubber band yo yos and the precipice beckons regularly but hitting rock bottom is often the way to climb, albeit painfully and slowly, to a higher place where the edge and ledge isn’t so there and wobbly. I was in a dark, uncertain cave with no end but my blog helped pull me out by giving me a space, the Septimus Space, to channel the dark with some creative light. Glad you found a non-abyss-ful escape where seconds snowballed in blissful years…

  77. I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder for 10 years now and this especially strikes a chord with me. It takes knowing some of the worst that life has to offer to be able to appreciate it.

  78. “What I’m really trying to say is that you don’t know what you want until you’ve got nothing left to lose. Take a man everything he has, and he’ll turn his gaze towards the stars. He’ll do his best to make his dreams come true.” So true. Thanks for the inspiration.

  79. I came to thank you for writing amazing stuff that resonates with my thoughts; but then I chanced upon this post. Explains well why it all makes sense now.

    “Until you have something to fight for, you simply exist.”

  80. It is amazing how many people have been to the abyss and didn’t take the plunge because they learned about life while standing there. Very interesting post and one I am glad you shared. Everyone needs a purpose in order to make it all worthwhile. Standing at the abyss it was my children that gave me hope and purpose. Then as they left home, creativity and the ability to change and become whoever I wanted to be opened before me and I stepped in to this new world. Light and Love!

  81. It’s not everyday you find someone who felt the same or even experienced the same feelings as yourself at one point in your life. I guess we are scattered or maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but it’s always reassuring to find someone who has gone through the same feelings. Thank you for posting this. I loved, thank you.

  82. hi Cristian,

    This one was an amazing post.You really have very deep and wonderful thoughts.It was a great post just like all your other posts are. Also, your perception towards life is great. love the way you write…..

    -shivangi

  83. The curious thing about hope is that it can get stronger as things get worse- when you have nothing to lose, you’re free to risk everything in the pursuit of happiness. All you need is to believe it’s possible and have the courage to act without knowing whether it’ll work. Maybe it doesn’t matter whether you fail. Maybe it just matters whether you want to.
    It is the harshest part of depression to be unhappy, and yet not want anything. Usually, you’re sad because something isn’t what you want it to be, or angry because someone didn’t do what you wanted them to, or afraid because you don’t want something to happen. Depression’s habit of making you miserable without wanting anything at all probably makes it more hopeless than anything else is. When you’re depressed you can’t see any circumstances in which you’d be happy or satisfied again.
    I think that’s why building up things that you want is so important in getting better. It’s not really about the thing itself at the end of the day, it’s about the courage to believe that there are things in this world worth fighting for. The more you can want something- the more its possible for you to be happy. We’re used to thinking that if you risk, you risk being hurt. But in my experience, the people with the most hope are the most resilient. It wasn’t really based on evidence. It was a gambit.
    Thanks for sharing, and well fucking done for getting as far as you have. Lift your eyes up to the dawn and keep fighting.

  84. Thanks for this post. This really resonated well with what I’m currently going through. I just recently started (actually, re-started) writing. I always had this idea that my thoughts never really meant anything to other people. I mean, this might be true, but hey, I’m still going to do this.

    But what I don’t get is what finally pushed me to do this. I guess, these are the kinds of things we won’t understand until we give it some time to, kind of, percolate within us.

    Great post. Thank you.

  85. I am new to blogging, and never, for one moment, would have thought that the first blog post I would read could be so dramatic. I say dramatic because it could be a mirror image of my own life for many years. It took me 33 years to face my own dilemma, and turn my life around. I wrote a book about my life growing up, and those words on the paper helped me to focus and move on in my life. Writing helped me release the pain, and walk away to a new strength. Thank you for being the first blog that I have read, and more so for making me understand that we do have similar stories to share with strangers, who through words can become friends.

  86. I’m short of a few days to a month in WordPress.com. I just had a few readings of blogs, yours are the best so far. The depth and beauty are remarkable. Pessimism is spelled in this blog, but it’s so understood as one goes through depression. I’m a depressive type too, but belief in the Supreme Being sees me through each time I walk through the valley of death. Writing has been a catharsis for me. Love, hope and faith in the Almighty have been my greatest inspiration. I hope you can have the same inspiration.

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