How far have you come? Do you think about that? We tend to focus on the future, but the future is unknown. It’s just a huge smudge in the distance. The only recognizable features in the future are the ones we pretend to see.

The past is permanent, for good or ill. It is unchanging. In fact, it’s the only thing that doesn’t change. Everything that happened to us is forever and we can’t do anything to undo it. This is both depressing and comforting, at least for me.

In the permanent past we have, usually, some pretty terrible stuff. There are things done to us, and some things are done by us to ourselves and others. There are also, hopefully, some good things, and those are done to us and by us as well.

One thing I have had to learn as I recover on my own is that the past, while it can be depressing, offers at least one perfect hope.

I lived.

When I was 11 I began a long struggle with suicidal ideation. It was a daily struggle, intensified by the abuse of my family and, most of all, by the very real fact that my mother wanted one of us to do it solely for the sympathy and attention she would get.

What? Have I not emphasized how psychotic my mother is? Hmmm, maybe I should. Nah, that’s really depressing.

After leaving my mother’s home, I married a man who was exactly like her. I didn’t leave him until he finally put real words and actions into his desire for me to kill myself.

But…ok, I have to say it this way…

I lived, muthafukker. 😀

Yeah, I did. And of all the things I’ve accomplished in my life, this is the single most important one. My mother wanted me dead, she would constantly tell me how worthless it was for me to live because god was just going to make sure I ended up alone and then, of course, my ex just liked the idea of me dead because he’s a sick bastard.

Fuck ‘em. I lived.

There comes a point in your attempt at recovery, in fact, there will be many points in this attempt, at which you will have to struggle with the idea that things are just too bad and you will come to the edge of that place and when you look over, it will look better than the fuzzy future.

But consider where you are.

You are here.

That means something.

It means that when all the other shit happened you stayed, you struggled, and you came through.

I get how hard it is. For me and my kids it doesn’t look as if it will ever end. As soon as we conquer one hurdle, the next slams us back. Hell, sometimes we aren’t even through one thing before the next hits. It’s honestly a living nightmare.

But, fuck it. I’m here. I made it this far. And I’ll be damned if the fuzziness of the future takes that away from me.

And when I come to that precipice, and I still do, that is the thing that pulls me back.

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