September, 2012. I am lying alone on the floor of my bedroom for the fourth consecutive day with thoughts of suicide becoming more frequent, Fleet Foxes’ “Helplessness Blues” album blaring into my ears (“Helplessness Blues” is a phenomenal album, by the way, regardless of whether or not I choose to contemplate suicide while I’m listening to it). I have a gun and a bible. I am exhausted. The lifelong pendulum swing between exhilaration and depression, between laughter and anxiety, between peace and hopelessness, has finally brought me to this place.
After a decade of total independence, I’m forced to move into my parents’ home for financial reasons; I have finally graduated nursing school, only to flunk the nursing board exam, which shoots down any chances of regaining independence in the near future; my kids are slated to move to the opposite side of the country with my ex-wife and her new husband, a recent sickening reminder of the still-lingering fallout from my unexpected divorce two years ago; and child support and medical expenses aren’t taking a vacation while I dance in the vicinity of complete psychosis. I look into the future, where I routinely go to find possibilities for happiness, and see nothing. For the first time in my life, I have officially thrown in the towel. I’m through with trying, through with caring, through with dreaming. I’m done. I’ve resolved to stay here until I grow some balls and figure out how to end it.
I envision a probable end to this way of being as the orneriest old codger in the nursing home, giving royal hell to every nurse, clerk, aid and co-inhabitant on the premises, infamous for my ability to rabbit kick, scream obscenities, and fling creamed corn at the nurse who is trying her damnedest to administer the last in a series of sedatives, which two doses before would have put a full-grown wildebeest into a coma. And in this rigid state of bitterness would I spend my last days, with still-burning anger at my ex-wife for deserting me, at my kids for whatever path they chose that wasn’t the path I imagined for them, at my parents for whatever I decided they did wrong in raising me, at the bill collectors for tirelessly demanding back the debts I chose to incur, at my nurses, at the world, at God, at myself, and so on, and so on.
My friends, the probable future has changed. Those who have known me in the before and in the after will tell you I am unrecognizable. Those who have only known me in the after routinely make the assumption that I’m naturally this upbeat about life, which I find slightly amusing. In fact, I’m quite naturally inclined to hate my life and to live with regret, a condition of chronic dissatisfaction as manifested by my dropping out of (and reentering) college four times, moving ten times, and changing jobs over twenty times by my thirtieth birthday. The majority of my days have been spent as a victim of circumstance. This victim’s identity would breed a fatalistic mentality early in life, and I would begin to routinely interpret all life experiences as hopeless dead ends and traps. But like a great cosmic puzzle coming perfectly together, this was to be a prelude to several particular events which have served to permanently reshape my way of being, with a life-altering transformation beginning somewhere around 2012.
I am creating the possibility of using this blog as a vehicle to share, freely and openly, the events and resulting insights that have brought me to this place in life. Dear friends, when you find yourself within a realm of such peace and joy, which your former self would have considered utterly impossible, you want nothing more than to give it away, to be a privileged witness of that kind of transformation within the life of a fellow human being. It is for that reason that I created The Impossibility Movement.
To vitality, my friends.
14 thoughts on “A Prelude”
Nicely written. Great form of expression & thanks for sharing. Listening to Fleet Foxes as I clicked the link.
Thanks, man! Fleet Foxes is rising to the top as one of my all-time favorites. I appreciate the feedback!
WOW! Thats was full self expression. Tripp your post was great, you got the vivid share thing down. I was really able to see and feel the dark place you were in at that time. You then let your reader know that you have since left this dark place, know please tell us how did you do it. You said that you really want to share it with other, then start sharing buddy. I want to read more of your transformation, I want to hear more about how great your life is now. I want to hear more about how you now make a difference for others. Also I thought it’s no coincidence that you once thought of taking your life and now you work in a job where you help save lives. Though your writing you will discover something about yourself, for yourself. Keep writing, tell your story, feel your life. GREAT JOB!
Thanks for the feedback, Mike! It was you who gave me the final kick to stop talking about it and do it. I sincerely appreciate your confronting me with creating a deadline and meeting it. Again, thank you.
Bravo. For the first time in my life, I feel someone truly gets what it’s like to be me. The job changes. The college routine. The moves. The circles of blame. Do not be embarrassed to put it all down, because reading it is the only way some people are ever going to understand there’s a way out. We don’t talk about these things, the failures, because we’re embarrassed. We talk about the way we feel, but we never really say why, or most often we just skirt around it, and talk about the alcoholism or the drugs or whatever we may have self-medicated with, and while those things do lead to more problems, they never address the underlying issues. This is a most excellent start to something that I feel is going to change lives, quite possibly my own, and yours too. Again. BRAVO.
I would also like to add that you are absolutely, 100% correct, when you talk about the realm of peace and joy. It IS attainable. It IS within reach.
Caroline, I’ll always remember your Facebook message about working on the blog. It was so random and perfect. Thanks for the feedback and continued support!!!