I could feel it as it was happening.
I was slipping. Slipping through the cracks, slipping like the sand through my fingers.
I was, with ill-intention, trying to convince myself that this was simply the reality of who I am. Throwing caution to wind, ignoring any consequence and living so much in the moment that I lost myself completely. I convinced myself that I enjoyed it. Every painful, yet free, blurry minute of it.
The hurt, the destruction, the spiral, “this is me, and maybe it’s time I just accept that,” is what I would tell myself while only half believing it.
You know, when it’s not all bad, I can almost justify that the balance is okay. Grasping with white-knuckles to the times that are better than the rest, where the happy is actually honest and true, as if those moments are somehow more heavily weighted than all others, although they are only fleeting.
It’s harder when you’ve had years of practice. Practice, which of course makes perfect.
Expertly I plaster a fake, yet convincing, smile across my face. I hide the fall-out, showing only the scripted, curated version of the “good times.”
Why do I do this?
And more importantly, how much is finally enough?
Maybe there is no finality here, but the reality is I have to face it differently. This wild little devil in me who wants to mess me up, kick me while I’m down and tell me that this is as good as it will ever get, ignoring the collateral damage and impact on other truly meaningful relationships in the process – that’s the part of me that needs a massive redirect.
That’s the part of me that needs to learn how to not get swept up in the allure, the promise of numbness or the guarantee of euphoria because the inevitability is that the fall-out is getting harder and harder to bounce back from each time.
Teaching yourself that you matter is a lesson I haven’t concretely mastered in my life. It’s hard. Like learning a new language, not only literally in the sense of the words you say to yourself, but in the nuances – the thoughts/thought processes, the relationships you keep, the situations you put yourself in, the self-care you work towards or neglect.
I’m getting better at it, but sometimes I can so easily say, “Fuck it,” and dive head-first off the deep-end without a second (correction, third) thought about the consequences or how hard I’ve worked up until that point to not do whatever it is I’m about to. More realistically, I try to disillusion myself into thinking I can manage while I’m in it to mitigate the damage, or that I can stop whenever I choose.
One last dance with the devil.
There is no space for that last calculated time, it simply does not exist. The harsh truth is that sometimes you have to walk away from what you want, in order to find what you deserve.
Though I don’t yet know the exact destination, step by step, I’ll keep moving. I may continue to falter or misstep, but at the very least what’s enough for now is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It’s enough, simply, to try.
After all, all that is gold does not glitter, and not all those who wander are lost.