Memories From the Balcony – All Rise

When there is no room left for excuses, then there’s no more reasons to make up the lies.
There’s no more time for half-hearted words or the empty promises to yourself. When there’s nowhere left to turn or there’s no place left to fall, then there’s no more room left to hurt.
This is it. You’ve hit the bottom.
Or maybe you’ve hit a wall; but either way, when there are no more turns and when your choices are only down to a few, there’s only the here and now.

There’s no one left to call. There’s no exit, no windows or no doors. There’s nothing left but the moment and the realization of where you’ve been or what you’ve done. There’s no point in rehashing the mistakes. There’s no point in trying to find accountability but, of course, the mind is always searching for this. Isn’t it?
Who’s at fault? Who’s to blame?
So long as there are emotions and unanswered questions or the mystery of feeling, the mind will always look to find out why.
So long as there is pain, the mind will always worry about the origin of it; however, worrying about where the pain comes from or wondering about the symptoms does nothing for us.

Even if we find fault or even if we find out who’s to blame, does any of this actually change the feelings or the emotional dialogue in the mind? The answer is no.
This answer is no because the mind will always analyze and dissect each item of uncovered information until we burn ourselves out. But either way, when you find yourself in the corner or with no possible exit, it doesn’t matter who’s fault this is. All that matters is what we do from here.
When you’re down – you’re down.

By the way, this is why millions of people find God or religion in jail. This is why people turn their trust to the Lord because while they find themselves in the guilt of their consequences, all they want is their redemption and to be absolved
(or free).
Like I said, when there’s no more room left for denial, then there’s no more room left to deny that we are the prime mover in our life. Everything we do, starts and ends with us.
Sometimes we react. Sometimes we bitch and we argue and we quarrel.
We shake our fists at the sky and curse the world around us.
But when there’s no one left to curse and there’s no one else to blame – then what?

Suddenly, you wake up.
You see where your steps have led you. You look in the mirror and struggle with the image. To be clear, when you’re here in this hole or locked in the so-called shell of an otherwise wantless mind, it’s hard to think that you’ll ever get out.

When you’re weak or too beaten to move and you’re stuck; as in stuck in this place; as in stuck in the traps of your own mind and caught in an otherwise prison, all you can see are the countless warning signs that you passed along the way. Suddenly, every mistake or misstep or misspoken word is now highlighted. When you’re dealing with the thoughts that kick you in the ass for not listening in the first place and find yourself asking, “Why didn’t I listen?”
Don’t worry.
Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t tear yourself apart.
Don’t whine or quibble. Don’t debate.
Better yet, don’t keep the conversation in your head alive.
No, none of this helps.
Fault leads us to find fault and blame looks for accountability. Lastly, guilt does nothing else but spin the thought machine into high anxiety or red-alert mode, which does nothing else but degrade us more.  

Regret does nothing but cause more regret. Shame does nothing but dig the hole deeper.
The wheels in our head spin too much and keep us down when in fact, all we want to do is rise above.
All we want is to think and to feel better.
We want a better life. We want a happy ending.
We want to be the comeback that only a true underdog can pull off. 
But the fear, now this is the real bitch.

When there’s nowhere left to fall, then there’s no more need to worry about what else can happen.
There’s no more fear about the consequences.
There’s no more reason to concern yourself with the outcome and lo and behold, if you’re down in the hole or if your down on your knees or even if you’re on your face or on your back; then don’t worry because there’s only one place to go from here.
And that’s up.

I will say this to you because, by now, my history is no secret. To be transparent, my history is not simple, at least not to me.
To me, there was nothing simple about the stagnant idea of being lifeless.
I swore that nothing about me would ever be “good enough.”
No matter how hard I tried or how hard I worked, my success would only be average or mediocre. 
I saw myself as tainted or somehow idiotic and slow.
I believed in the definitions of learning disabilities which meant that I would never be smart.
I could never be an accomplished person.

There were times when the idea of getting out of bed was too much. Just waking up was enough to stir my anxiety. There were times when, I swear, I was at my end.
I can recall commuting into work and braving or dealing with the everyday fiascos on the train, I made my commute which took more than an hour to get in.
After emerging from the subway beneath the ground on 57th Street, I started to walk over to the building where I earned my living. Along the way, I kept thinking to myself, “I don’t want to do it.”
Or “I can’t want to do it.” if that makes sense.
I didn’t want to go in. I didn’t want to deal with the toxic nature of my work environment.
I didn’t want to undergo the thinking that came with how I needed to survive while I was on duty.
I didn’t want to deal with my boss, who hated me by the way, which was fine because the feelings were mutual. 

Keep in mind, the most important conditions of our life are broken up into three parts. These are our living conditions; otherwise known as our home or wherever we lay our head; then there’s our love life, otherwise known as our relationships and our different levels of intimacy. But lastly, there’s our work life.
Each of these three items contributes to something known as the 4 L’s.

The four L’s are something that I learned about when I was taking a mental health first aid training class. 
This is the way we live, love, laugh, and learn. 

Anything that affects the 4 L’s is something that affects our mental health.
Let’s see, my home life was unhappy. My work life was miserable and my so-called love-life and relationships were unrewarding on a good day, let alone the bad days which were when I was most alone or sad
(or weak).

I may or may not have told you this before, but I think now is a good time to tell you this again.
Movement is the enemy of depression.
Movement defies the depressive narrative which resound in the whispers that speak out in your head.
In fairness, these whispers can be louder than any scream. 

I do not tell people this as if moving away from emotional territory is simple or easy.
I certainly do not assume any of this is pain free.
I can say that with all that weighs us down and with all the doubts that circulate through the mind, movement is always the enemy of depression. 

I don’t know what made me choose life.
I really don’t.
I don’t know why I chose to create this idea and come here, each and every morning before I leave home.
I don’t know . . .
All I know is I’ve been doing this since the summer of 2006
(because I’m still alive).

I can’t say that I have honored all of my commitments.
But this one is mine. This one right here; this idea to come to a place in my mind, which is a room that I’ve built in my imagination.
This is my workshop. This is my dream academy.
This is where I come to release myself.
I allow myself the vision, the models and the ideas of a life that is unhinged to my fears or my worries. 

I can recall the downfall. I can clearly see the room I was in.
This was to be my last time with this emotional tussle.
This was my last big battle between good or evil and life or death.
I can see this exactly as it was and I can remember the concepts in my mind.
I can remember the closeness between myself and a line that could never be uncrossed.
I had been there before. I have been on my knees more times than I can count.
I had fallen on more occasions than I’d like to consider. While this time was no different, the bout was too much for me this time.

I am a fan of a line that comes from a movie known as The Shawshank Redemption.
Either get busy living or get busy dying.
I chose to get busy living.

I chose to put away my weapons of self-destruction.
I chose to put the shotgun away.
But more, I chose to come here and work on this dream of mine.

I have more to say and more to do. I am not done, not by a long-shot.

Rather than achieve the irreversible and commit the unthinkable, I saw myself in a room with no exit.
There was nowhere left for me to fall.
There was no one left for me to call and nobody else to blame.
There was no more room for excuses and no more room left for lies in my head.
When there’s nowhere left to fall, then there’s no more room for hurt.
This wasn’t pain free but when there was nothing left, then there was nothing left.
There’s nothing left but the chance to get back up again . . . and rise. 

I have not come so far to only go this far.
Here’s a little secret I’ve been holding onto for a while
Neither have you. 

So, rise and remember.
Movement is the enemy of depression.

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