I have a triumph song – Green Day’s “Still Breathing”. I’m sure there are much “better” songs, more accomplished instrumentals, better lyrics… but Green Day is perfect for me because their songs have spanned my entire teen and adult life. They are just juvenile enough to take me back to easier times before I ever experienced bipolar disorder, political edginess that reminds me I’m not the only one struggling with modern American, and songs like “Still Breathing” that strike all the right chords. Yesterday and today I have found myself blasting that song in the car, sing-screaming at the top of my lungs. I’m struggling right now. I have that foggy “what am I doing here?” feeling. The “I’m not being true to myself and failing those around me” inner monologue. “When I die, I will have regrets because I’m too chicken shit to drop everything and find out what else is out there.” Then depression and the low-energy, unproductive days it brings with it. I’m typing this at work because I just can’t force my fingers to minimize the window and open the work I need to be focusing on. I’m the manager… I need to pull it together.
But, I will. That’s the glorious certainty I have to hold up, like a trophy declaring victory. After roaring to the dashboard over my lunch break, I’m feeling the burn of my heart again. I’m still in there. That song drags up out of me, past the repressive clouds of uncertainty, the truth I know for sure – I am the strongest goddamn person I know. My personal hell has been mine and mine alone because, no matter how close someone else is to you, no matter how much they care and how much their support is critical, they still aren’t in your head. They can’t do it for you. No one can. They can stand on the edge of the cliff cheering while you hang on by your fingertips, but they can’t reach out a hand to help because you and your thoughts are light-years away. You have to grab the edge of that cliff yourself and pull your body up to the sunlight, safe from the fall. I have. All of you have… and we will again! No matter what the dark voices in our heads may try to tell us, we are indestructible.