Running For My Life

After surviving years of serious chemical dependency and the near fatal suicide attempt by hanging that accompanied it, I fought tooth and nail to turn my life around in 2004. I got sober, started eating right, getting more sleep, and I also started running. Running breathes life into my soul. It helps me stay physically fit and mentally balanced. It also helps me stay clean and sober.

With life under control, I went back to school. I finished my college degree and got myself a good job. I thought my toughest battles were behind me. But, then a new foe came along. One that I never even saw coming.

In 2006, at the age of 26, I started having pain in my shoulder while sitting in my chair at work. Nothing seemed to help. I couldn’t function. As the months went on, it grew so bad that it forced me to call in sick and leave work early. At first I thought it was the aftereffect of an old shoulder dislocation injury rearing its head. I went to a shoulder doctor, who thought it was much more serious. Turns out, it was.

Still Breathing

Stop.Be very quiet. Stay very still. Just listen. Can you hear it?

It’s the sound of your body breathing. Can you hear your heartbeat there in the silence? See the rise and fall of your chest as it translates air into life? Do you feel the blood pushing and pulling as it rushes through your veins?

Stop. Just listen. It’s there. It’s your life, in your breathing.

We take it for granted, the air we breathe. The natural processes happen subconsciously, but even when we become aware of them, we can’t will them to stop. No matter how still you are, your heart will keep pumping. You can try to hold your breath, but you’ll eventually respire. Whether or not you are aware of it, you just keep breathing. We all keep breathing.

I am still breathing, but I shouldn’t be. I killed myself and I died.

I took my last breath. I saw the other side. Yet, here I am, alive as a soul in this body. I am Still Breathing.

From Merriam-Webster’s Thesaurus:

Entry Word: breathe Function: verb Text: 1 to inhale and exhale air, breathe Synonyms: respire Related Words: expire, inspire; gasp, huff, pant, puff, wheeze; sniff, snore, snort, snuffle; yawn Near Antonyms: asphyxiate, choke, gag, smother, suffocate; garrotte (or garotte), stifle, strangle, throttle