For 482 days, I felt alone. Abandoned. Forgotten. 11,568 hourly circumferences of a clock, ticked and then tocked into a melodic cackling that echoed into an empty room. 694,080 minutes, as I withered away into the spirals of a demanding depression. Every number, every multiplication leading here coated in a sadness, in a sorrow and in pain. In the darkness, sleep ebbed and flowed from the pulse of sporadic and intrusive thoughts. Tick and then tock. Minutes mattered less, and hours mattered more in the midst of insomnia. The bottle yielded a temporary reprieve. The days were numbered.
I would have told you that I wanted it this way. No one could ever want it this way. A thrusting oxymoron of living life on the edge of wanting to leave it. As I wallowed, I grieved and I promised. I pondered and I relinquished. Hope relieved of any expectations. And as I sank, I floated further away. Intentionally and never on purpose. For 41,644,800 seconds I felt this way. 60 seconds later and it may have been too late.
As the seasons of life turned, the clock restarted with a sobering click and a new day. For 1773 days, I lived sober and self-sufficient. A treatable depression and a daily fight for my own sobriety. 42,552 hours of dedication to reclaim a life from the brink. 2,553,120 minutes of showing up to meetings, distracting myself from triggers and making my own amends. For all this time, I felt temporarily proud of the tidy box I had created. Living neatly in a nest, felt like an ever enclosing cage. I was content, stable, balanced and empty. Safe, sober, protected and unsatisfied. For 153,187,200 seconds, I lived this way. Minute to minute free of the darkness, and hour by hour longing for something more.
It has been 629 days since I first told my story of depression and alcohol abuse in public. 15,096 hours since discussing the darkness of those 482 days. For 905,760 minutes I have finally felt free. Unencumbered from any cage and liberated to a truth where hope transcends any expectations. Relinquished of any disingenuous secrecy, intentionally and on purpose. Exercising the muscles of recovery to prove that strength comes from repeatedly lifting a load too difficult to handle. Time after time. Multiplying a voice to echo into the crevices of the emptiest and darkest of rooms. Adding to a calling and calling to a number of those still floating further away.
Minutes matter more. As do hours. And every ticking second of the clock is the dawn of a new day.
For 54,345,600 seconds I have felt this way.
54,345,601, 54,345,602, 54,345,603..….