Drowning to Survive

7:18 p.m. 

Breathe.

Hold it.

Sink. 

Listen…

Rise. 

Breathe.

Hold it. 

Sink. 

Listen..

Gasp. 

Choke. 

Breathe.

Hold it. 

Sink. 

Listen. 

Breathe. 

7:22 p.m. 

I’ve never tried to drown myself. Tonight might have changed that. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, but tonight I needed a break. I needed to just stop living for a moment. Pause time. Recharge. Then rise again. 

Sleep wasn’t doing it for me. The subconscious never sleeps and mine has a Red Bull addiction. So I did the next best thing, I submerged myself in a tub of practically boiling water and forgot about the world. 

The world isn’t so fond of being ignored. That selfish woman wants to be recognized every second of every moment that ever has been, ever is and ever will be. 

Emails. Texts. Calls. Tasks. To-do lists. Goals. Pressures. Money. Everything that comes with living as a contributing member of society poured down on my life like a vicious waterfall – relentlessly. 

So I sank. Dipping my head into the scalding water I held my breath and sank. I counted 1…2…3….and so on until I had to rise. I gulped a breath and sank again. 1…2…3…4…. and again I rose, breathed, and sank. 

Again and again I sank and rose. On the fourth or fifth time I began to hear something other than the water in the drain. I heard me. I heard my heart beating and the more I repeated my ritual the more I felt my heart beating. I felt it in my legs, my back, even my lips. The drumbeat of my heart made me aware of what really mattered in that moment. 

Air. That matters.

The ability to rise. That matters.

Someone to rise for. That matters.

Cut through all the crap. Cut through the tasks, the money, the politics and the to-do lists. What really matters? 

As I laid quietly under the water I realized…not a whole lot. 

Now, you might be thinking, “Well that’s nice, but I still have to have a job at the end of the day to pay for the tiny humans” or, “Surviving is great, but I want to live” or even, “Jeez Sam. Stop being so dramatic.” 

If you’re thinking the latter, you have a fair point. 

My life is pretty damn good. I’m getting a good education. I have fantastic opportunities. I live in an incredible place. I have more than enough food, more than enough stuff, more than enough money. I have jobs behind me and jobs ahead of me. People who respect me and people that admire me. I was born into a religion I believe is good. I have communities who know me and I have left, and will continue to leave, my mark. 

Take that all away though. Stick me in a tub of boiling hot water with nothing and what do I have? 

Air. 

The ability to rise. 

And someone to rise for. 

The truth is there is a whole lot in this world that is good, and grand, and wonderful, and a whole lot less that is necessary. 

So we do what it takes to get as much from this life as we can. We take from this world everything she has to offer and we give back everything we take and more. 

But at the end of every day, when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of another one ahead, remember what matters. Breathe. Drown a little. Then rise and be grateful you can. 

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