The Middle of Everything

Anyone who says you can’t open the book of someone’s life up in the middle and start reading is wrong. Look, you’re doing it right now.

I’m in the middle of everything. It’s the middle of my life, the middle of overwhelming changes, the middle of the night.

In some ways, things have gone to hell in a hand basket. My 24-year relationship is currently swirling its way down the universal toilet, taking with it half my lifetime and my best friend. My octogenarian parents, generally unkind people with whom my dealings have always been strained, are suffering from various forms of mental illness and need looking after. I’m selling a small but bright and beautiful home, the first I’ve ever owned, in favor of what promises to be a dimly lit and cramped apartment I can ill afford.

In other ways, things have never been better. I’m healthier and more fit than I’ve been at any point in my life since high school. I don’t suffer from mental health issues like so many people I know. I am free. I am going into the rest of my life with my eyes open. In spite of the last paragraph, I am optimistic. I am very lonely, and so, so heartsick, and things are happening very quickly now that the path forward has materialized, but I can see a time ahead when I’ll be able to breathe again and feel something besides raw misery.

There are constants. I have my job, which may be the most important thing right now. I have my dog. I have my cat. I have art and music. I have running and cycling other outdoor pursuits. If I proceed carefully, choose my destination wisely, and avoid complete self-sabotage, the wall at my back will continue to be solid.

At the moment, though, grief feels all too near. I can distract myself for a while, but it all comes rushing back in the span of a millisecond, knocking the breath out of me and filling me with a kind of despair that threatens to cut me in half. This part is what scares me most. It has to start to fade, or things could get very bad for me. Ripping this particular band-aid off as quickly as possible seems to be the answer: create separation and space, and eventually a place to heal.

Life right now feels as though I’ve been shot out of a cannon, and as I’m catapulted, terrified, over a vast and bottomless pit, I’m thrilled that my velocity appears to be such that I will reach the other side. It looks peaceful over there. Hopefully I’ll find friends.

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