It always brings the demons back. Sometimes I can hear the memories in the floorboard, slipping along the sunsets like a burnt out cigarette end. I can feel the pulse of the restless creaking, for it does not lull me to sleep any longer. It only signals the rising unrest felt between the sheets at night. Been this way for a while now—life has been all too frequently resembling something like poison-laced heroin. Oh god, it feels so good going in, rushing around the stem of my brain like the most beautiful sludge of ungodliness, until time settles in. Until I remember that I don’t know what I’m aiming for, all I know is the vision of the future and I don’t know how to get there. And my toes curl at the joy I feel until I remember the choke of depression, tight on my vocal cords, shutting out the desire to speak. At all. To anyone. It has always been this way. It’s like a rhythmic pulse of the underlying current in my life. For a while I can hold my head above the wreckage, until my bones become dry from not being plunged beneath the water. Sometimes I play around with my sanity, listen to it clanking boldly against the inner workings of my brain and realize deep down that, thankfully, at least I am not much like this world. I don’t need to breathe in the pollution to know what fresh air looks like, but maybe I’ve just been trying this whole time, too hard, to not feel senseless. So I fill myself up with all these memories of happiness, try to hallucinate on images of star filled skies and childhood laughter to make up for the deep sea of bad flashbacks I sometimes find myself consumed with. I remember when my mom used to tell me that some suitcases were too heavy for me to carry as a child. Would shut me out when all I wanted was the truth, and she used to explain to me that sometimes children aren’t meant to know everything, we just have to wait until we are older to understand those burdens we carry around with us like boulders. Then a wildfire consumes my soul and I am reminded that she gave me the greatest burden of all to carry, and I wonder if she even saw the luggage she kept piling on my heart in the darkness. The irony life sometimes tosses our direction. It’s like an iron being pressed on your heart to smooth out all the wrinkles, but finding wretchedness in every corner, and you are left to wonder why it takes so much starch to make things right in your life. The realization that sometimes it takes a lot of heat and pain and suffering to make something beautiful again. To find the masterpiece that is found beyond the imperfections. Such a wilderness we find sometimes in the crevices of our brain when we delve into why we feel such wreckage at a sound. Curious things we find behind closed doors, or traps we thought we closed a long time ago. And then I remember that last week, God told me that he never meant for me to carry those burdens, but they were given to me, and He was sorry. And I wept, deep into my lungs I felt the heavings, the mending I have attempted a million times with friendships, late nights kissing necks in the dark, and desperate failed realizations that the bottom of a barrel of vodka isn’t a healing agent. The tears on my cheeks felt like rain in a desert, a well that needed escaping from the confines of life to burst forth and be free. I laid that baggage down at the cross, my last desperate attempt to be removed from captivity as a slave to the mind.
I can’t say that healing has been found completely. Or that I don’t look down at the insides of my heart and don’t see a little super glue still oozing from the stuck-together shards of my recently formed being. I still wake up a lot of mornings and try to pick up that familiar luggage again, hoping to breathe in the scent of pain again so I have an excuse to hold close when life is too hard for me to handle. So I can lean back on these past wars deep in my veins to explain to others why I sometimes struggle, as if struggling isn’t somehow innately human. I guess that somewhere along the search for healing I began the quest for everlasting perfection. I’m not the only one who has done so. The more people I meet along the way who have a checklist of pain sprawled in their sock drawer, the more I come face to face with the understanding that perfection is often looked at as a substitute that might suddenly be the beginning of an immaculate, beautiful existence. Suddenly. Why do we try to find such wholeness in attempting to complete ourselves with a mixture of insanity and impossible, unattainable goals? It’s just one more thing my mind haunts me with at night when I squeeze my eyes tight and try to rid my spinal cord of the weight of a million pressures I waged against this afternoon. Another scream flinging itself at my ear drums violently, hoping to make me aware of the hundreds of ways I fell short again. Today.. Somehow, our humanly feeble attempts at finding flawlessness in a world oriented in hate, only makes us more desperately cognitive of how far we fall short. I have to believe somewhere inside of me that God knew we would try to find healing in the way we run our lives. That we would try to find grace in the way we handled ourselves in public and that deep down we would hope it would fix those charred remains of our forests just before the fire. And He knew he had to make us imperfect, or we wouldn’t need help living our lives to the fullest of it’s capabilities. We would think that because we could win the war, we didn’t need people or relationships or to feel connected to anything else in the world that wasn’t neat and orderly and perfect puzzle pieces of sanity to tie in with the beautiful white floor in the kitchen. Maybe when we all stop trying to attain these unnatural expectations of beauty and health and imagination and just start being something other than insignificant, is when we actually begin to be memorable. And maybe at that exact moment when we allow ourselves to be set free from all of the unnatural expectations placed upon us from the moment we shot out of our mother’s womb, we are able to find ourselves amidst the rubble, we are able to expand our minds to accept the necessary connectedness each one of us is made for. There is music in your voice and the only way it can be heard is by unlocking the shackles around your feet and dancing amidst the tribes. Joining in the call of nature to love and to end the hate we see all around us like a virus. And there is beauty in admitting our inadequacies, slamming our fists along the pavement, and finding life in the revolt. I dare you, to live walking against the current, even if that means coming close to being run over by traffic. Because at least, honey, you dared to live a little.