I have changed a lot over the past few months, I have been to the edge of the abyss and looked into the darkness, allowed it to seep into my soul. For a lifetime lived in hours I wavered between the tranquil depths of the darkness and the rocky mountain I had fallen down, behind me. Staring at each in turn trying to decide which direction I should go. The mountain so vast and imposing, the pain I knew would come with each weary step compared to the sweet sirens call of the eternal abyss.
At the edge of the abyss there is a calm, all decisions but one have been made, life has been stripped to its most fundamental choice. You sit there and you chose, do I die or do I live? That decision is one that is made without discussion, all evidence has been weighed. Had I chosen to go into the abyss, it would not have been because I was taking the easy way out, it would have been because I was already dead inside. Somewhere inside me there was still a spark, a faint glimmer of hope. To be honest I do not know what it was that made me arrange things as I did. Why did I decide to turn around? Keep in mind I still intended to go through with it, even though I turned and looked for help. 2pm 18th May 2015, the day I died inside and turned at the edge of the abyss just for one final look for anything.
Something in me did die that day, the person who walked away from the abyss and started to climb was not the person who stood there before. The person who walked away, lonely, afraid and broken was new. I took hold of a hand from the darkness, trying to escape the hands of my old self trying to drag me back. As I climbed more hands appeared and bloody and tired I moved forward, stumbling and falling. The hands of my old self, all my past and self loathing, clawing at me to drag me back. How dare I try to escape, what right did I have to be free. The more I climbed, the more hands helped me, and as I started to pass others on their way down or up I tried to reach out my hand to them.
Sometimes I stopped, tired and almost defeated, ignoring the hands of those above and below, other times I stopped to hold the hand of someone struggling below but most often I allowed the grip of my old self to pull me back. Often without even realising that I was going the wrong way, down is easy so feels okay. I soon realised however that I was no longer helping those below but passing them. I would sit and cry, the frustration of my mistake breaking me further, undoing the achievements I had worked hard for easily and leaving me to do them all over again. Soon though a hand would be placed on my shoulder and a hand would guide me over old ground. Easier this time as I knew the way.
As I moved up, I would not always have a hand to guide me, sometimes I had to figure the route for myself, trying to decide which advice was coming from above or below, many times I got it wrong. The laughter of my old self ringing in my ears as I licked my wounds. I had now come to despise the part of me that was left behind, but I could detect the flicker of doubt in its cry, it was starting to worry. This gave me more strength to continue and I noticed for the first time that the darkness was no longer a constant, I could see clearer the problems ahead and was able to turn and face those that still chased me.
Now I am starting to enjoy my climb, I am stronger but still make mistakes. I have a lot of learn but I am now seeing so much more. I have started to see the detail in what is around me, started to appreciate life for what it is. I desire to learn more, climb harder and faster, not to escape but to get stronger, better so that I can hold the hands of more people. One day I hope to be strong enough to climb back down, slowly to start but always to help someone. One day I hope to take the hand of someone at the edge of the abyss, to be the one who helps them take their first steps into their own brave new world.