Well it is officially one year. Strange it seems much longer than that. Maybe it is because so much ground has been covered here, a lifetime really. I explored areas I had never even attempted to put words to. Found the courage to pull them out into the open and look hard at them. I slowly figured out what worked, and what didn’t. I know when I started writing the blog I never thought I’d still be at it a year later. I thought I would have said all I needed to say, but that is the funny thing about blogging, and life, there is always something more to be said. I know, me? The one that doesn’t talk. Yeah me. I have more to say. As I have said before, I might be quiet but my brain is not. It is always looking and searching for meaning. In the day, in that moment or even in that year. It is one of the struggles I face and often am at a loss. What is the meaning in my life? What is all this struggle for? To what end the suffering? I don’t ever have an answer. Some days I find it easier than others. I find the beauty in a sunset and realize I am glad I am here. Happy to have breathed in that late evening air. It isn’t always the case. Sadly, often it is the opposite. I sway heavily beneath the weight of a mood I cannot shift. The sun nothing more that a glare in my eye. The beauty and the majesty of this world evaporates and I am left in a hard worn place of apathy. How those two poles can exist within the same person is remarkable. It speaks volumes of what our mind can do. To care not about life or breath, yet later find the most intimate beauty of our world. To be moved to tears at the sight of the sun shifting behind the horizon. To be able to see the colors for all their glory. This the same person that on so many occasions walks a fine dark line with death. It is horrifying to me. For to be in touch with those colors and that beauty is to love completely and utterly. To cast away disbelief, and pain. To fall rapt in glory of life and existence. That is not a suicidal mind. That is quite the opposite. A mind that takes in beauty and stills itself to become deeply mindful is one that is open. Open to the experience its sounds, smells and images. The suicidal mind is closed and shut down tight on itself. It is caught within an ever rolling loop of destruction and pain. The world gets smaller and smaller. Sights and sounds become dull and finally cease to register. People in our lives grow farther away till they are merely a blip on the endless grey horizon that stretches forever beyond the cramped confines of our mind. We are so overwhelmed with pain and sorrow there is no room in our sensory systems for sights, and sounds of all that is beautiful around us. That sunset was just as beautiful, it just did not break thru that cold grey trap. There are moments it becomes so mind numbing I seek to strike out or inflict some pain to somehow register that I am still alive. Only so much pain can be endured. Only so much horror can be experienced. The hard and fast disconnect is there to help me survive, but often backfires. In the absence of feeling and conscience the most heinous of thoughts and behaviors are viable. This blog has taught me a lot about myself and my mind. I have learned to see it, just as Virgil and Beatrice see it. Not just from the inside, but from the outside. Whether it is the manic late night rant, or the disconnected icy monologue, they all flash Neon warnings. I am more self-aware than I ever have been. Happy Birthday blog. I love that I have archived a year of my life, and so much more. I have seen health, and achievements I never thought possible. Just as I have seen darkness and chaos. I have learned that this is me, for better or worse. It is not all one or the other. I can have both and not be a worthless piece of shit. I can spend a week in a mental hospital and run a half marathon, or TM. I can excel and grow. For one is not mutually exclusive of the other. I can have the deepest suicidal lows, and still manage to climb up to the steady even plateau. It is okay. There is no judgement for either. The judgement exists only in my mind, and it drags me in directions I need not go. The self loathing and hate so evident in many of these entries only serves to weaken my resolve and muddle the view forward. I have within me the most incredible durable survivor. I have time and again fallen to the most horrific of places. Places I can barely bring myself to think about or describe, yet there beside that horror is hope. For each scuffle with the worst there is the opportunity to find my best. They exist side by side. Always. Sadly there are many times the depression and mood place blinders on me. I see nothing but demise, and decay. I see nothing but my end. My death. I cannot see my Life. My dreams, my hopes, my loves. I cannot begin to tell you how deeply sad that makes me. The tears roll freely at the thought of walking that road again, and the loss of sight for all that really matters. I do not know the answer. I do not know the cure. I only know that I have the capacity to survive if I give myself half a chance. I don’t know that I can ever truly trust myself. I have far too often been seen to make such soul wrenching bad decisions. In the absence of that trust I put my faith in those that care for me. I know that seems like a lot. And I guess it is. I trust they will not let me die, no matter how bad it gets. I don’t know if in time I will learn the skills to do that for myself. I’m not sure if skill if the right word. I do know that this blog has given me a road map. I have seen the road and written about its twists and turns. I know where to put on the brakes and look around. I have been down this road before. With experience comes confidence. I am not yet sure I have the confidence, but I know I can look back here, over my words, and see myself. There in black and white Beth exists. The best of me, and the very worst. When I second guess that the world will once again be bright, and that those sunsets will take my breath away, I need only to visit these pages. Here I am world, one year later. One year wiser. Eyes wide open to the ever shifting axis of my world. To take each day for what it is, and to love myself for my ability to do that. To stop looking backwards, or forwards, but rather to be, in this most beautiful moment, as I sit and breath.