So often it happens that we become so consumed by our minds, we are unable to see past all the things we don’t want to deal with. If we could just give in and surrender, we wouldn’t have to worry about paying next month’s bills, fixing the broken stove, affording groceries for the week, finishing homework, going to work, dealing with loss, trying to find love, and a million other things we just want to escape from. If we could only just give up the fight, there are a million things we would never have to deal with again. These thoughts fill up our minds when we are at our lowest, when we are a breath away from letting go. So many of us have been here, that it’s hard to fathom someone who hasn’t. We have all been enticed by the sweet release of death.
While it seems second nature to come up with the list of things you would be free from, I can’t help but think about all the things I would have missed if I had given in to my mind, and just let the world fall away. When the want was so desperate, I could hardly breathe. When all I wanted was for the world to stop. If only I had given in then, there would be so much I wouldn’t have to deal with now. But then again, I would have missed some of the best days of my life.
I would have missed chanting songs with my team and dressing up in a group costume with my friends. I would have missed countless nights on the couch, watching movies and T.V. shows with my roommate. I would have missed teaching my dog to dance for a treat, and all the times she jumps with joy from seeing me walk in the door. I would have missed helping my little brother with his history paper and congratulating him on passing his driving permit test. I would have missed the hours I spent talking to my mom on the phone. I would have missed the family dinners where we laughed until we had tears in our eyes. I would have missed watching my plants grow from freshly planted bulbs to beautiful, blooming flowers. I would have missed a night out with my friends where we drank too much and laughed too hard. I would have missed sitting in front of a mirror with two of my best friends, as we all did our makeup together. I would have missed a friends Thanksgiving, where we all ate until we were ready to burst. I would have missed laying on the floor watching bad American Idol auditions with two people I love. I would have missed cowering in fear from a scary movie with my roommate, as we sandwiched the dog between us. I would have missed countless days at work, while I felt happier and more alive than I had in long time. I would have missed meeting my coworkers, who are some of the best people I know. I would have missed ER coming to Hulu, and finally being able to binge watch one of my favorite shows. I would have missed the second season of Stranger Things, and discovering a coworker who likes Game of Thrones as much as I do. I would have missed the countless Will & Grace references my coworker and I share. I would have missed the Minneapolis Miracle, and the amazing season the Minnesota Vikings had. I would have missed hilarious text messages and Snapchats. I would have missed the Wonder Woman movie and Pitch Perfect 3. I would have missed Taylor Swift’s new album and seeing Queen in concert. I would have missed Christmas with my friends and Christmas with my family. I would have missed the excitement of a new crush and the warmth of a new friend. I would have missed talking about football games, plans to be made, movies we’ve seen, and nothing at all. I would have missed my entire life.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the things we wish we could make disappear, but we forget about the things that make our lives worth fighting for. As bad as today may seem, the best day of your life can always be just around the corner. It’s exhausting to keep fighting, but our lives are worth it. The hardest battle you will ever fight is the one you have with yourself, but it is also the one we must never surrender to. Just because things are bad now, does not mean they have to stay that way. I know how hard this can be, believe me, I know how exhausting this fight is. I know how it feels to be constantly at war with your own mind; to have your own brain convince you that your life is no longer worth fighting for. But it is these moments in which it is vital that we don’t give in, that we fight back no matter how tired we are. Because someday, you will look back on this battle, and be unbelievably grateful that you didn’t surrender; that you didn’t give up on yourself. Whenever you think about giving up, remind yourself of all the things you would have missed if you had surrendered the last time.