Welcome again to another awesome day, my friends! Do you want to know something nifty? You aren’t dead. I’m not dead. The world continues to turn. Despite all our hurts and all our sorrows, our hearts still beat and our lungs still breathe. Take a minute to just think about how amazing that is. Each day that passes presents to us the possibility of not being able to see the next. Yet we are. We are surviving even though we are suffering. And that, my dear reader, is what I’m going to be talking about today.
Today at church, I was talking to a girl I’ve known for many years. She’s going through a bit of a rough patch and I feel for her. It sucks being a teenager with mental problems and having a parent that doesn’t quite understand. But she’s still alive and she’s trying. I really admire that about her. She’s got a Resilient soul. She’s strong and she’s fierce and she’s very willful. And she’s still going. She has plans for having a Life Worth Living. I think she’s around 15 and this girl seems to have more figured out than I do at 25.
Now, when I got home from church, first thing I did besides eat ramen was to lay down for a much needed nap. I got around 5 or 6 not very restful hours of just laying down last night and I really needed a good REM cycle. As I was laying, eyes closed and blanket wrapped around me so I was a burrito, I thought back on the events of the day. I focused on Pastor’s sermon because he kept talking about resurrection and I equate my sobriety with being reAwakened or being reBorn. I have survived multiple suicide attempts and being in that coma in 2014. I’m still alive and I’m still as Awesome and Amazing as I’ve always been. I think I may even be more Awesome and Amazing than I was before.
Despite everything I’ve done to myself, despite everything other people and life and my various heathen gods have thrown at me, I’m not dead. I managed to get out of the darkness that was depression and addiction and become clean and sober. I got free of very toxic and abusive relationships with not one, not even two, but at least four different men and women. I survived being raped and beaten and drugged and belittled and gaslighted. I’ve survived. I’m Resilient.
I just keep plodding along, trying to make sure I don’t end up dead or seriously maimed or injured. I’ve been told I have a knack for making people smile, even if I don’t feel like smiling myself. I always make time to have a chat with friends. I want to share my joy and happiness and prove to them that if I can do it, if I can be not dead, they can be not dead too.
Oh yeah, sure, there’s all sorts of different kinds of dead. There’s being emotionally dead, like I was when I was high all the time and stuck in a dark place with someone who viewed me as a play thing rather than a living breathing being. There’s being spiritually dead, like when I felt there was nothing to my life and I had no power or control over myself and all there was was pain and sadness. There’s being actually dead, which I haven’t been, thank goodness. Today though, I am not dead.
Today, my heart beats proudly in my chest, a drummer announcing my awesome state of living. Today, my heart’s light shines and brightens other people’s hearts and makes their suffering less, hopefully. Today, I am not dead. Today, I am alive and I am thriving because I can. Seriously, if I can floss, I can do anything. That sounds a lot more empowering and motivating than it should, but it’s true.
It’s hard to believe that a few months ago, I was so depressed I was thinking that I was going to have to kill myself just to stop the suffering. Once I started flossing, I realized I could do anything and that I could overcome any hardship and that I could survive. I can be Resilient.
There’s an Art to being Resilient, however. There are days when I do give up and throw things and just mope around. It’s a conscious effort to go “I am a Flosser. I can do this.” It’s become one of my own personal Mantras, along with “I am Awesome” and “I am okay just the way I am”. There are days when I really have to drag myself around to get shit done because the heaviness of all my suffering just settles around my heart and I want to just hide from all the pain and sorrow and hopelessness of life. Honestly, most days I have to take a couple of minutes every hour to remind myself “I am the Sarcastic Autist and I got this”.
The easiest way for me to practice my own style of Resiliency is to be the Zen. I need to remain calm and logical. If that means being able to spazz to free up thinking space, I do that. Self-soothing and Self-Care is very important for my level of Zen-itude. If I forgo spazzing in favor of acting more neurotypical, I tend to get a lot more amped up anxiety wise than if I let myself just do whatever. That does not allow for the Zen to take place. Without the Zen, I’m more likely to shut down and shutting down results in loss of Authenticity and Self-Compassion. I need those to be the best me I can be. I don’t want to go back to that darkness I used to be in.
Since I’ve started being the Zen and having a higher level of Zen-itude, I’ve noticed my Self-Compassion has been more. Just more, because I wasn’t very nice to myself before. With more Self-Compassion, I’ve been able to be more Authentic. And with being more Authentic, I’ve been able to be more confident and self-aware of my weaknesses and strengths. It’s really quite amazing to remember how I was last week to this week, last month to this month, last year to this year. I’ve come a long way and I’ve grown a lot spiritually and emotionally. If I can do it, you can do it. Trust me. If we’ve survived this long, we can survive anything.
My friends, I believe in your ability to be Resilient. I believe you can do anything you want. I hope what you want is legal and not harmful to others, but I still believe in you. You’ve survived your sufferings so far. You’ve not given up. You are not dead. There is more to life than just being not dead, but it’s a start. It’s where I started and look at me now. I am so very not dead. Dare I say, I may even be beginning to thrive in my state of not-deadness. I’ve got this. You’ve got this.
You are not dead.
-The Sarcastic Autist