Why I Am Here

In the past I have failed miserably as a blogger. The reality of time, specifically the lack thereof, has simply been too much. It hampers my ability to read and research, or with a little help from the topic of this blog, conspires to snuff out my creative fires. This is a topic that I should be able to write about whether I am feeling creative or not. It will require time and therefore I cannot guarantee the frequency of my postings, but the writing will come straight out my experiences from over decade of struggling with depression and anxiety.

The thought has crossed my mind to attempt this topic in the past, but I have been fearful that it would devolve into a simple recording of me feeling sorry for myself. It was recently pointed out to me that there is much to be learned from talking about how people struggle and cope with their internal demons. Whether one deals with some sort of mental illness, post traumatic stress, or addiction the struggles are deeply personal yet the experience is somehow common. When you come in contact with another who has struggled mightily you don’t know what they have been through, but still you understand. It is in this commonality of the struggle that we can share what we have learned, and what we have yet to learn. I don’t really have any hope that I will someday stand atop the mountain having conquered the demons that follow me around seeking every opportunity to sabotage my happiness. I do hope that I can somehow learn to keep them at bay. To recognize when they have crept too close and learn how to minimize the damage they cause to me and my relationships.

I hope to share what I have been through and what I am going through. Eleven years is a long time, and I have been through much in that time. When this all started it seemed rather sudden and I fell far. I don’t really remember the bottom specifically, and I am actually somewhat fearful that writing about it will bring back more of it than I care to recall, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I do remember the irrationality of the experience and some of that will share along the way.

Since my first trip up from the bottom I have fallen and picked myself up many times. The title of this blog comes from the constant feeling of living near the edge of something terrible. I don’t want to fall in and the terrain under my feet is unsteady, but for reasons I can’t explain I can’t seem to keep a safe distance either. It’s not from lack of want, it has simply never seemed possible for any significant amount of time. It is my sincere hope that this blog will help some who may be climbing out of the darkness find their way. It is also my hope that through this blog I will find my own way to a more permanent place on safer ground.

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5 thoughts on “Why I Am Here

  1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so stoked that you did this! ::fist pump of victory:: YOu know something? I didn’t tell a soul for over a year after I started my first blog. And, my “gravatar” was a lotus blossom for almost two years. I still don’t tell that many people. And, the second blog? Thpt…..the very few people who know that I write THAT one act embarrassed on my behalf that I write it. It’s just terrible. They almost seemed ashamed. But, what I have found is that writing has helped me process and rise above rather than sink below. I’m a writer and logophile at heart. Always have been. I am so overjoyed on your behalf! I can’t wait to see where this takes you, and don’t lose heart. I once went 4 months without posting….it ebbs and flows. I’m going to bed tonight so happy on your behalf and proud, too! Go you and your bad self!

    • Thank you for your encouragement. We will see where this leads. I have often thought there would be certain liberation in pulling back the curtain for all to see, but the reality of my circumstances is that would destroy a professional life that has already been turned on its ear too many times over the years. There are a few friends who know some of the details, but only my wife knows most if not all of them. This will allow me to put things out there in a safe place and see what happens. See if it is helpful to me or others.

      • Pulling back the curtain…I know something about that which you probably can see by now. It’s why I’m not wont to tell too many people that I blog. I have an acquaintance that tells *everyone* about her blog. And, I do mean everyone. She publicizes her posts on Facebook, takes blogging classes, etc, and this is all good. But, how does one really pull back the curtain and speak authentically when everyone, including those who know us professionally, are reading about it? So, I completely understand your reluctance to withhold, and I also think that that has been the right response. That’s the healthy response. Boundaries are good and necessary because our pain, brain chemistry, and personal stories are deeply important, valuable, and meant to be shared on a personal identifiable level with those in our inner circle. That being said, what you are doing (what I am doing along with a slew of others) is using the anonymity of the internet to tell a deeply personal story that can then be woven into the much broader tapestry of human experience. In so doing, we develop a voice, process and make sense of our own life experiences, connect with others, and, when we’re blessed, find that those connections make a difference to both someone else and ourselves as well. It’s the process of healing in both directions. I truly hope that your life is enriched by your experience here. An aside, I only recently used my own photo as my “gravatar”. It was the day that I realized that I didn’t care if the world knew who I was. I still wasn’t telling people about my blogs, but if someone found and recognized me, then what the hell. I wasn’t ashamed or fearful anymore. Writing did that for me.

  2. Good luck with your journey! I know what it’s like to almost fall into the abyss . . . I think you make a good point about the commonality yet diversity of our experiences. I’ve never thought about that, yet it’s so true. We can understand the pain others go through even if the way they experience it is wildly different from how we experience it.

    • Over time I have learned that while I may not actually know what someone is going through I still know something about the experience itself. I have had the unreal experience since I began reading blogs of recognizing something intangible in the language a writer uses that gives away a deeper struggle. In one particular case that comes to mind the writer had yet to acknowledge where they were, but the words she wrote dripped with pain. She abandoned her blog months ago, but I still worry for her. It is my hope that this commonality of otherwise diverse experience creates and empathy that allows us to truly listen and learn from others who have traveled these very winding roads.

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