Just “being” is great, too.

We always imagine that there’s got to be somewhere else better than where we are right now; this is the Great Somewhere else we all carry in our heads. We believe Somewhere Else is out there for us if only we can find it. But there’s no Somewhere Else. Everything is right here.

Brad Warner, Hardcore Zen

I came across this quote few years ago and the other day, I stumbled upon a similar post from The Artidote (see the post here). Unconsciously, my mind just went on a whole film reel of the past few months of both struggles and victories, all of which I am starting to see in a new light.

(Trigger warning)

Not only few months ago when I was suicidal. Not a day passed by that I would not conjure some plan to end my life. For several years now, these thoughts never left my mind, but it got particularly worse in those months for many reasons. My chest physically hurt, just breathing was excruciating; thoughts filled with painful memories and so many unanswered questions and doubts and anger and sadness. It was summer but I remember being surrounded by my dark room and my blankets which I would admit, became gross from weeks of being a hankie for my tears. Few concerned friends called yet I could not take them for their kindness. For all I knew, it was out of pity and guilt they felt for whatever reasons.

I am not sure at what specific point in time I began to breathe without that unbearable pain again. It felt surreal. The days I started to reply to messages which I left seen, afternoons spent on coffee or tea as long as I had a book to read, nights I would have fun and laugh at the ridiculous jokes of my friends, or was it the liquor.. I am uncertain when, and why and how I managed but I did.

At first, the normalcy of it all was so sceptical to me I was genuinely waiting for my own trigger. From this fear, I deleted all photos that might serve as a reminder, muted everyone I had no desires of hearing or seeing and did what a hysteric would do. I was so wary that somebody or something would destroy all my efforts of picking myself back up. Despite successfully leaving that dark room that summer, my heart was still so vulnerable I was so afraid it would just shatter again and that would just really be the end of me.

Again, days passed by. Sometimes like a flash, sometimes just what a 24-hour day would normally feel and just too slow for my liking on specific days. I kept doing what I could but instead of cramming everything all at once, I consciously reminded myself to work and breathe at the same time. I stuck tons of sticky notes in my head saying that if I want to enjoy what I do and work at the same time, time was necessary. Detailed schedule still places a heavy pressure for me to this day, so I vaguely note the tasks and hobbies I wanted to do for a day. I am not sure what it took to balance self-discipline without busting myself.

Fast forward to when I stumbled upon the post from The Artidote. This felt like a trophy of sorts. A prize for coming this far. Inhabit your life completely. Sink fully into the wealth of your existence. Without fully realising how far I have come from that summer, I am living the now with so much gratitude and joy. I dare not to say happiness because it’s a word I associate with fleeting and one time moments. Though I stay at home most of the time, I find myself basking in my reflections which I am glad I can better express now. The weekly hikes with friends who so willingly offers their time to accompany me fills my heart to no end. The time I spend on hobbies and studies are not at all fun, but the occasional eureka moments I have after agonising on a theory reading or brainstorming for a research paper triumphs the countless times I almost threw my laptop out of frustration.

This is not to stay I ceased looking forward to the future nor I have completely abandoned thinking about it. Of course, the future will always be there. However, it’s the idea that my now, just being, is not anymore based on building and creating that future. My existence and actions and words today will not just be for the sole purpose of creating that Great Somewhere. Being in itself is already the Great Somewhere. I am living it.

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