Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US. My family and friends will be gathering together to celebrate having family and friends. Most of them will probably do so a touch begrudgingly as they deal with the inevitable irritation that comes with those gatherings. But for the most part they will be glad they took the time out of their lives to get together and catch up.
I won’t be there. There won’t be a spot set for me at their tables. I can say with relative certainty I won’t even come up, beyond perhaps a passing mention. I can say this because it’s been the case for the last few years. I get various highlights from those that could participate and someone is always kind enough to let me know how my absence of more than half a decade has led them to hardly notice I’m not there.
Which makes sense. After a few years then it’s just the way it is. It’s not really worth commenting on how much the same things are. People want to discuss whats new. Not what happened exactly how everyone knew it would.
Still, for the first time since I left the world I knew, I find myself facing a holiday season alone. Not completely without company. There are still people who would welcome me, and I am appreciative of their kindness and friendship.
But it’s not the same. Being invited to see other people’s lives isn’t the same as having one of your own. And right now, I don’t.
I just had a lot of people walk out of my world. People I thought I could trust. People I believed in. For the most part it wasn’t just a simple leaving. It was lies and manipulations and cruelty. And I realized how long I had trusted in people I couldn’t trust. How long I had counted on people who would walk away without a thought, so far as they let on to me.
My life could be a lot worse. I have a roof over my head, food in my belly. But it’s just survival. I’m thankful for that. Despite everything, I am thankful to still be alive. But surviving and living are very different. And I am only just surviving.
Most recently I pissed off two very dear friends of mine. One of those cases it was a mutual thing. Two stubborn people adamantly holding their position, both thinking they were more ‘right’. The other was more callous insanity on my part. Either way, I haven’t heard from either since the incidents, both of which happened within twenty-four hours of each other.
The number of people in my world is dwindling. And I’m about to shrink that number even more as I realize how bad some people are for me. Or how bad I am for them.
Thanksgiving. This year I will give thanks for the few bold souls so have withstood the chaos of my life. They are so very few anymore, but they are of the greatest character.
I will give thanks for the miracles I have bore witness too. Surviving the survivable, always somehow having just enough to manage, even when I shouldn’t. The comfort of gods, spirits and patrons who have never carried me, but have pushed me to keep me going.
And, I will be thankful for this hell. The last two years have seen some of the worst days I have ever known. Days I I hurt in ways I had never even imagined. They have seen me in and out of hospitals, with ever failing health and mental breaks. They’ve seen the loss of the many, many people I have loved. Death and insanity and pain.
But through it all I have been free. And facing the darkness today I saw the alternative. Hand my mind and will to someone or something else, find peace in being blind and carried. Give up the fighting and struggle and loss for another power having control of my life.
My life maybe hard. But it is MINE. I maybe subject to the whims of fate, but no more than anyone else and I have the power to adjust my sails, to chart my own path.
So often it seems that you can be happy or you can be free. But even in the darkest hour I keep going because for every new low I remember that there will be a new high. For every hurt there will be a joy, for every curse a blessing. Every dark day I face just means that I will have to find a new light.
So I am thankful for this hell. For the test that makes me more than I was. For the adversaries that teach me in my defeat. Everything weighing me down will make me stronger. Not today. Today will suck. But some distant tomorrow maybe brighter for it.
I hope that all the people I have lost aren’t gone forever. I hope some of them become a part of my world again. I hope that there are new friends not far away.
I may hope in vain…..but I hope. And that is more than I have been able to do is recent times.
So I’m thankful. I’ll continue to struggle. And my days and nights will still hurt all the same. But I’ll be thankful. For all the people and their kindness, for the opportunities and wisdom. I’ll be thankful.