Lessons from 2013 #3. “Life: take it or leave it” is something you might think about, and here are my reasons to live.


Lessons from 2013 #3. “Life: take it or leave it” is something you might think about, and here are my reasons to live.

This summer, I thought a LOT about leaving this unfair deal called human life.

I was overwhelmed and confused by re-experiencing trauma from past years of violence, which had been amplified by more recent experiences. I had hallucinations and my body shut down and shook for days on end, and I thought my heart was imploding. That really fucking sucked, on many levels.

At the same time other painful life stuff was happening for which my reserves to deal with were low. Romantic betrayals, I couldn’t find a job, friends were dying and struggling, I kept having to go to the ER, my beloved motorcycle got stolen because I’d been too sick to ride it… looking back it all seems like a badly-written movie where you think it won’t get worse because that would make the narrative ridiculous, and then HA YOU THOUGHT WRONG, these writers are pure B-list.

It all felt fast yet I was in slow-motion. Was it random or intentional cruelty from the universe? Was I paying for some ancestral travesty? Would things stop spinning out of control EVER? I saw friends struggling and panicked that they were on the edge of the blade, like I was. Perhaps some of you felt overwhelmed at times this year, too?

I weighed enduring the pains against dying, against hollow-sounding “you only get what you can handle” rhetoric. I heard myself saying “Why god, why me?!” in my piece Exorcize and it felt too real. I felt like a failed idealist dreamer revolutionary, like maybe if I just had tighter politics and was better at polyamory, radical visioning, spirituality, and were more autonomous then all pain would end. I became better at all these things and pain endured.

All in, I only did not end my life because of three reasons:

– One, I knew it would permanently hurt other people who loved me, as I had been hurt, and that felt like it would make everything worse.

– Two, I did not want to give those who had fucked with me the easy-out of getting me out of their hair or the satisfaction of taking out another weird, poor, hustler queer.

– And three, I knew that due to the randomness factor in life, something good had to be somewhere out there for me…eventually. I repeated this to myself constantly: everything is opening wide and being taken away to make room for…something, sometime.

I wrote gratitude letters, like this one: *Open Letter To My Heart.* I smoked cigarettes. I held tight. I did not die when I was getting all these intense signals from my body and brain that I was dying, and that I should die. I decided to just fucking keep on in life, and so now I will be louder and more true, be bold in my persistence. Even though it is still a mixed bag. While I might still be waiting on some things, there are experiences that have come in with the new tide which have met my grateful, bruised heart and left me raw with joy at their sweetness.

Take it or leave it is something you too may someday consider. Please consider our collective heartbreak if you “leave it,” and if the concurrent relief or end of your pain is worth not getting to take in the next joy, the one that is absolutely coming on the seas that we all sail.