It’s always there.
Hovering just beneath the surface of your awareness.
Frequently out of sight, but- sadly- never out of mind…
It pulls you, it pushes you, it whips into a whirlwind of a psychotic frenzy until you can no longer tell whether or not you’re still breathing… whether or not you’re still alive. Your heart races faster than you thought possible, and then slows to the point where you feel like you can see both sides of the line- death… and life.
And all this takes places behind happy eyes. Behind the smile as you hang out with your friends. Behind the easy going attitude you adopt around your family. Behind the faith and assurance you harness as you pray for someone at Church. Behind the cool efficiency with which you do your job and earn your pay. There it lurks behind all of the “I love you’s” and video games and books read and all other placebos designed to bring rest to the inner turmoil of the soul.
Nobody has any idea that beneath your veneer of enduring humanity, there is a dragon setting fire to your heart. Clawing and thrashing at your tenuous grasp and desire for life. And it is this very ignorance of its existence that it feeds on to grow stronger every day. In its infancy it required bad things… traumas… tragedies… negativity of the intense sort in order to flourish. To expand its reach. But now… now that it has abided so deeply for so long and knows you more intimately than friends and family have dared to reach for… now it can feed on the positive things.
The good things.
Anything can be twisted into a dagger that opens up veins and spills the lifeblood of hope and love into a mournful puddle on the floor. It catches hold of the imagination and deafens the ears against external praises, while stimulating dark fantasies of evaporating into a void. Everything hurts and so Nothing becomes escape. There is more solace under blankets than in the arms of your wedded lover. More safety felt in a dark empty room than in a banquet thrown in your honor.
Deeper and deeper the dragon takes you on its kamikaze mission. As it nears its goal it has no problem recklessly exposing itself, because its voice has so much dominating power. Clinics, therapies, prayers, distracting addictions… all bounce off with frivolous ease.
You develop a taste for the unthinkable, a craving for the unnatural, a thirst for the irreversible.
To undo your life.
Not to merely die, no, but to cease to exist. The dragon deceives you not with a lure of good feelings, but with a lure of no feelings at all. Nothing matters… and so Nothing matters. It is the want you discovered inside yourself. One that has been carefully built and nurtured so long by the dragon that you believe it to be a natural part of yourself. After all… the dragon wouldn’t hurt you. The dragon is the only one who gets you. The dragon will be with you in the Nothing.
It doesn’t make sense, but you don’t care.
And then it happens… you get your moment… the dragon points out that THIS is the time… here are the means…
Externally you may wield drugs, weapons, a well-timed misstep, or some other tool of self-destruction… But inside- you’re standing on a cliff. It’s peak is so high that the clouds look like children’s animal pillows, and the sea glitters with the sparkle of far off diamonds in an unearthed treasure trove. There is no wind. This is the most peace you have felt in a long time. It is the peace brought about by certainty. The dragon is behind you, desperately trying to push, so that you do not think and realize that you can take hold of certainty in other areas of life rather than take this dramatic, unalterable step…
There you stand on the mountain top’s edge…
And you choose whether or not you will fall.