This week has really brought up the question "why am I even alive?"
I believe there is (and was for me this week) a great chasm between the question "why am I alive?" and the desire for death, and a great chasm between the desire for death and the desire to kill oneself.
It's also important to know these chasms can collapse in an instant.
Which means every stage is a stage where receiving loving support is important. There is never a time when things "aren't bad enough" for you to need something, including connection from another person.
As I clawed up from the bottom for just this support, the answer finally came to me.
"I am alive for this."
I am alive to have these conversations about the way that it feels so impossible and hopeless sometimes, and about what to do about it.
I am alive to reconcile, in a thousand ways, the difference between what I want and what is happening, and to do so in community with others.
I am alive to discuss the existential threat until I see it as existential bliss. To find dissatisfaction in a cycle and zoom out to the distance where the imperfection is part of the perfection, the exact thing keeping the whole thing whole.
I am in this to reconcile dissonance through tears that fall on another person's skin, and sobs that fill their ears.
I am in a prison to find the escape route, and to do it with people who become my family along the way, so that when we realize that we've only escaped into a new prison, all we do is laugh and hug each other, grateful that we are in it together.
It's painfully clear who is and is not in my tribe these days. It's gotten to be a very precise line to draw, a standard I'm tempted to call unreasonably high.
But if I can't be unreasonable in pursuit of the wealth of my entire being, why have the capability to be unreasonable at all?
I will feel pain in the direction of my starvation, but only every time. The pain is meant to drive me away from the starvation, to drive me toward my nourishment.
I was told as a child to ignore my pain, that pain was a default, meant to be borne, don't complain, don't annoy or burden others.
This had me moving toward starvation and thinking further starvation would cure the pain, moving away from nourishment because a person in this much pain could only burden others by requesting nourishment.
As an adult I have claimed a new truth, one that feels truer for me—my pain is important evidence that I need nourishment, and the process of addressing my pain will provide nourishment to me and to those who support me addressing it.
Every time I near starvation, I will feel pain. Every time I feel pain, I may turn toward nourishment.
As I allow this to be true, my nourishment wells up, then comes the realization: I don't ever have to walk toward starvation.
I don't have to bounce off the ropes of my pain and starvation like a WWE wrestler in order to get connection with others.
I can stay right at the heart, right in community, right in connection, where the nourishment flows and the pain doesn't touch me.
It's not avoiding or escaping to choose what feels good.
It's not privilege or naievete or conspicuous consumption to request and participate in the love that is here for me.
It's not harder to cultivate skills of connection maintenance than skills of re-connection and conflict negotiation.
It's not something to be earned, the love I feel with others.
My opening and receiving-receiving dynamic with others is mutually nourishing. I am not exacting a cost, I am providing a platform for our mutual nourishment. It is infinitely sustainable.
It is delicious.
It is yummy, flowing bliss.
This is why I'm alive.