I really had no idea what to write about tonight, but as I was driving home from Napa, I got to thinking about a time, not too long ago, that I was driving on a similar road. It was dark and winding—a little rainy. So much had been going on then. At that time, I had come to know two things: Christianity was a lie and I couldn’t deny it anymore, and my marriage was over. Everything about the life I had known for so very long had fallen out from under me and I don’t think I could have felt more scared or alone and pain engulfed me like fog on the Bay.
That night as I drove, I remember a thought came to me. “I can just close my eyes, doze off, and just let it all end.” I was tired already, and couldn’t have been more war-torn, and although I really didn’t want to kill myself, I just didn’t want to live anymore. At one point, I actually closed my eyes and released my grip on the wheel—like I was practicing. It would be so easy and everyone would be so much better off. Thankfully rationality won the day, and I saw the flaw in my plan. There would be other people driving the car that would hit me. They probably had everything live for—a spouse, who loved them and maybe kids, or someone’s son or daughter. I decided that I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone else. So, I came to my senses and gathered my resolve and carried on. I’m so glad I did.
I mention that night, because for the life of me, I can’t conjure up those feelings now. I know I was in immense pain, but I can’t feel it now. Even though I can’t, I know I must have been desperate and in a lot of pain to consider checking out on life and hurting those who loved me—mostly my kids. That night would not be the last time I entertained checking out, and it truly was my kids that kept me from doing something extremely stupid.
That horrible night is just another reminder of how we can’t judge life by a snapshot moment, or even a chapter that is several pages long, because the story of our lives continues, with many twists and turns and we just never know how it will all turn out.
Even though that time in my life was full of heartache, fear and uncertainty, I don’t think I would go back and change it if I could. I learned that no matter how desperate and hopeless things may seem at the end of Act 1, Act 2 is coming and it is so much better. The other thing I learned was an understanding of what it feels like to not want to live—that pain. If I had not dipped into that darkness, I would never been able to love and understand people who struggle against that dark, dark place.
Tonight, as I drove home and thought about how differently things could have turned out that fateful night, I took a deep breath cranked up “Some Nights,” by Fun, and drank in life–wonderful, ever-changing life.