Breath in eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Hold one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Breathe out: eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
When you want to die, life happens eight seconds at a time.
What do you do in those next eight seconds? I bathe in silence.
Filling the tub with deliciously hot water, armed with earplugs, plunged into darkness. I breathe. Deep long breaths to start. Loud filling the space until I am ready to listen. My breath goes from healing my brain with oxygen to calming it with silence.
This is where depression tends to come knocking loudly into the mind. I am not here for debating, for recaps, or what-ifs. This is the time to practice being silent.
Most of us are terrible at being truly quiet. We fill our minds with songs, tv, scroll endlessly online, and it's empty chattering. Or we go out and socialize with those drowning out our existence with chemicals of dependence and disassociation. Waving glittering masks at each other while partaking in the ritual of happiness. Endless nights in conversations about television shows and ephemera robed in costumes of someone else's idealizations. Waiting always to fill the space with the noise of our anxieties.
The gift of eight seconds at a time is that if you get here then, in theory, nothing matters anyhow. You stamped your card expired. As such, you have every right to tell your mind to shut the fuck up. And you might as well listen.
Silence in water is darkness tangible. A weighted blanket of nothing. Not the clawing madness of devouring nothing that rends the soul like a black hole. No, if truly quiet, it is the kind of nothing that Christopher Robin and Pooh seek out after a long day of adventures.
The primordial state of our initial existence in the womb. Wet, ever-changing, with eyes that can't see and ears that haven't formed. In here we were held and nourished. We saw unexplainable disruption of our world in every divisible second we grew. We came from a place of volitility, and it is a myth that we are meant to live our lives out in pastoral sameness. Forever always becomes nothing. All the pain that you think is forever will too become nothing.
If you listen, you will know that life is a thunderbolt in the darkness that shocks us into being. It is the storm raging that feeds the earth with her water. The fire burning down the dead to bring on new grass. We were made to sustain such trials conceived in our private universes. We were always alone suspended in the love that grew us and brought us into the world.
Sometime in all of the darkness the divine lets you know that you are still held in love that surrounds us in ways we never fully understand. One cell into two trillion, we have had lots of practice filling bodies with being.
Floating in the cooling waters so profoundly alone. Love was the answer to all the questions. Every why? What next? How? Was anything real? Does hurting stop? Does any of it matter? Love.