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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14 thoughts on “Over the edge

  1. Absolute truth spoken openly honestly with knowledge and understanding. May your words not fall on deaf ears, and may those who feel they have nothing left to live for, have an opportunity to read your blog or have someone read it to them. It was beautifully written and heartfelt! Thank you for sharing such a touching and vulnerable moment and what you learned from that instant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an important article. Thank you for not jumping, by the way, and sharing with us this story. I could say something inane like “Oh, we’ve all been there,” but I think not quite like that. You are a survivor and all the better for your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to read it over several times. I wanted to remember your words. Yes, you certainly have helped me. I have only started sharing my thoughts to the world Along with my photos. You’ve provided confirmation that I’ve been going in the right direction on multiple posts. Let me take the opportunity to just simply say thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally recognize that feeling. I felt this way from the ages of about 16-18. It changed some when I read Richard Bach saying something along the lines of “anyone desperate enough to kill themselves is desperate enough to run away and start over.” (Can’t remember which book, and I’m certain the quote is not exactly right.) That little idea (plus the very visceral fear of facing an angry Higher Self when I’ve just made the most irrevocable decision of all) saved my life. My thinking went from “I’ll just kill myself” to “if it gets too bad, I’ll just leave.” My plots to kill myself turned into plots of escape.

    And the realization that I could leave, created the mental space that allowed me to be free. The most freeing realizations, to me, are that 1) you can always leave at any time, and 2) almost nobody actually deeply cares what you think or do, as long as you aren’t messing with their lives or property.

    Family cares a great deal, friends nearly as much, but beyond that, you’re free. And if your family is where the pain is coming from, you don’t really owe them your presence. At any rate, that’s how I justified my new freedom-grabbing plotting to myself. And in a way, I did escape, giving myself the mental space to actually deal with my problems. Today, all these years later (roughly 35-ish? years), I am free, living my life as I choose.

    People today seem to give so much power over their minds to strangers. It’s incredibly sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. I have been there myself, though for me it was probably more like being near the abyss, it’s over in the corner of the room and I glance over every once in a while, nod hello, and then go back to whatever it is I’m doing. At times I went over and stood on the edge, looked down for a few minutes, but then for whatever reason I backed off. And over the years I have seen others taking running leaps into it. I think I just realized one simple thing. If I fall in or jump in, I will miss whatever comes next, and who knows what might come next? Sure it might be bad, but it also might be really good. Its a dice roll.

    Like

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