Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Edge

"The Edge...there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." - Hunter S. Thompson

I subtitled this blog "Surviving the Edge" because I do feel I've been "the edge". It's not something to brag about, and it's definitely not something I would want anyone to envy. I used that term in a conversation I had recently, and I was asked what I meant by it.

It can mean the brink of insanity. "I was almost pushed over the edge." That could be the edge of complete loss of control...physically, mentally and emotionally.

It can mean whatever the hell Aerosmith wanted it to in that fucking song of theirs.

The obvious meaning of "the edge" can be the line between living and being dead as hell. This is part of what I mean when I use the term because of almost dying, but I think it has a bigger meaning for me.

You get to reflect on your actions, thoughts, decisions, mistakes and more as you sit in jail and/or rehab. And it became pretty damn obvious to me that the self-destruction that I consciously and subconsciously attempted to do through heavy drinking and heroin almost ended me completely. And I don't mean death...although, of course that almost happened multiple times as well.

No, what I mean is, I came really close to not being able to come back. I think if I had not agreed to treatment and instead said "no, goodbye" to my family, that would have been it. I would have gone over "the edge" and buried my soul deep inside as I continued to shoot painkillers.

You can see this in the eyes of heavily-addicted street people. They're just shells of themselves, hardly recognizable to their families and dead to the world around them as they grift to get their next fix. They no longer want help. They're way past trying to get high. They just want to continue to not feel.

Losing my mind...losing my life...losing who I am. I put myself really close to all three. And that is what "the Edge" means to me.

I'm able to recognize some people who have been to that edge and somehow made it back. They have a slight hollowness in their gaze like something or someone took the naivety or ignorance-is-bliss portion of their being, and they haven't healed the wound or filled that space.

However, I think the longer you fight and the more you move forward, the less and less you have that scarred look in your eyes. For me, I find myself becoming stressed about trivial aspects of life and irritated about absolutely ridiculous things on the Internet. And that's awesome, because it gives my mind a break from the heavy shit.

It's the trivial and the ridiculous that can save us from constantly dwelling on the harsh, brutal reality of life and pain.

I need to remember that.