Another portion of The Walk…unedited, incomplete…

In the darkness, I blinked my eyes to clear them of sleep. Lying on the floor, my breathing grew raspy and shallow. The darkness of the room encroached closer and closer until it threatened to overwhelm me.

“What is going on? Why am I dreaming about this again?”

Depression is a serial killer. My struggle to find a silver lining is applicable to only me, but there are many who suffer from depression, anxiety, and a combination of the two.

“Lucky me! I am a high functioning addict with various offshoots of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health boo-boos.”

My thoughts turned to my daughters. While driving home one day after picking them up, my oldest daughter confided in me that she had suicidal thoughts, and she had been speaking with a counselor at her school.

“I am destroying my kids. My hatred of myself, and the rest of humanity has seeped into their own lives. Dear God, my darkness has become theirs. How do I correct this?”

My head began to ache, and without thinking, I reached for my pills to kill the pain. I washed them down with the Mountain Dew that sat in my cupholder. The flood of narcotics wiped away my pain, and I attempted to address the issue of my daughter’s depression and suicidal thoughts.

“Exactly how am I going to help her? I can’t even function without the aid of pills and alcohol. You are an addict trying to help someone else. How are you going to assist her when you can’t help yourself?”

Tears burned down my face, each drop a reminder that I was powerless to change my life. Sobbing, I searched for hope, I found none. I tried to pray, but the words would not come out. Frustrated, I punched the side of my truck. Anger, along with the narcotics, clouded my mind, and I am unable to formulate a plan to save my daughter. For the first time in a long time, I am genuinely fearful of what may happen.

“God, why did you leave me alone? Why must I go through this? Do you hate me?”

The only sound is silence, my question received no answer. I angrily wiped my tears away. Twisting the key, I backed out of my driveway, and headed for the mountains.

“Fine! You don’t want to answer me, I will do it by myself! My life has become a pile of steaming excrement, what is the worst that could happen?”

I pulled up to the gravel road that would take me to the mountain range where I hiked to forget my troubles. I stepped out of my truck and walked to the edge. Carefully, I peered down into the chasm that ran off the side of the mountain.

“It would all be over if you leapt off the side. Gravity would pull you down to your death. No one would find you here, they would not find you for years. It is winter, you will be covered with snow. At the very least, they’d have to wait for the snow to melt to look for you. By then the animals would have discovered you and got rid of any evidence that you had been here.”

I shook my head to clear it. These thoughts buzzed through my mind, and I kept seeking out new ways to kill myself. Of course, I had attempted suicide, but a “come to Jesus” moment had kept me from going through with it. Still, the thought persisted.

Tears welled in my eyes as I sought an answer to my pain, and my daughter’s. I got into my truck and pulled off to the side of the road. I got out and grabbed my backpack off the bed of my truck. The brisk wind sent chills down my spine. I leaned toward the mountain and started my ascent. The backpack shifted on my back, and I shrugged my shoulders to re-settle it on my back.

“God, I don’t know what to do. My life is a mess, I am aware that it is my own doing, but I don’t want my daughters to pay for my sins. Please help me overcome my addiction. I can’t do it on my own. This road that I am on leads nowhere but my own doom.”

Between the call of the sparrows, and the wind, I made it to my destination. I sat on a cliff that overlooked the chasm and pulled out my sandwich and water bottle. Sipping on the water bottle, I watched a herd of elk walk along the bottom of the chasm.

I shoved the trash from my lunch into my pack, and I started my journey back to my truck. The sun descended slowly in preparation for the night. I lengthened my stride so that I could cover more ground.

“I do not want to spend the night out here. God only knows what type of creature would get to me first. If the wildlife doesn’t kill me, hypothermia would.”

Gradually, I made it back to my truck. Depression had lifted from my mind, while I hiked the mountain range. As soon as I got back into my truck though, my depression seeped back into my mind. Like unwanted company, it came with no intention of leaving.

“I guess, I will go home and see what fresh hell awaits me there.”

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