A warning about the content of this post: even if I don’t describe any events in detail, in this piece I mention thoughts around suicide that some people might find triggering.
I’m not a morning person. I’ve never really been one. I can’t remember many times that I woke up in the morning and felt excited about the day ahead. Perhaps it happened when I was 16, on a schooltrip day. Not being a morning person makes socialising in the mornings pretty hard. Most friends or lovers know that and leave me to it.
I have a morning routine that works quite well. I wake up, make a coffee, drink it in silence and then I meditate for half an hour. After that, I can start my day.
I dream a lot at night and I usually remember my dreams when I wake up. I love sleeping and I love dreaming. The first thing I think about when I wake up is “Ugh. Here’s another fucking day without much to look forward to. Not many things to be excited about. Not enough reasons that make it worth being here”. Yes, it’s true that most mornings I wake up and I don’t want to be here. I’ve been proud of being such a great meditator, but there’s not much to be proud of really – it’s been a matter of survival; a way to reset my brain from its default state of dread.
When once I was at home having a difficult emotional time, I tried sitting with my feelings. It was all too much, it felt like I couldn’t take it. I really didn’t want to feel that pain anymore. Suicide crossed my mind many times, but it never felt like an option. But then I happened to ask myself, how would it be if I disappeared and it was as if I never existed? I visualised it all in detail. I saw all the people and the world as I’ve known it without me. I saw how non-existing was what I really wanted. I saw how the reason I hadn’t taken my own life so far was because I didn’t want others to suffer. And I also saw how I thought that the world would be a happier place without me. I burst into tears.
A few months later I took part in a two-day 5 rhythms workshop. After a day of dance, I woke up to another depressing morning. This time my depression wouldn’t go away, even after meditation. I went to the class, still feeling depressed, lied on the floor and listening to the music I waited for the dance to start. I felt paralysed. Even when the other people started to dance, I didn’t want to get up. I felt so desperate that I asked for a sign from somewhere above, for a reason to live – something which is very unlike me, mr Rational. As I was lying there expecting nothing but turning my attention outwards nevertheless, I started sensing the earth vibrating. When I tried to see what it was, it was nothing but the dancers, stomping their feet to the rhythm of the music. I could also hear their bare soles of their feet making squeaky sounds on the floor, the sounds their clothes made while moving in space, their heavy breathing and laughter. And I thought there and then, this was the sign I was looking for. This is what’s worth living for. Dancing, connecting with one another and having fun on our way to death, which is what all of us have in common.
I wish I could say that I haven’t felt sad since, but it wouldn’t be true. I still feel these morning feelings and I’m learning to live with them, while doing anything within my power to make things better. I see how for me a certain amount of selfishness is not only healthy, but necessary. This is something I struggle with day by day; it’s hard stuff when you’re wired to be in service for others. I also struggle with allowing myself to have fun just for the sake of it. While writing this I realise that I haven’t gone for a dance in quite a while.
I want to believe that there will be a day that I will wake up and feel happy about where I am and excited about what’s to come. But looking at the state of the world, that’s too much to ask. Maybe it’s also a lot to ask because life requires effort – and effort is not always fun. I don’t mind. I can do the work, as long as it’s for the purpose of connection, pleasure and joy. And if that’s what it takes, I’ll settle with feeling in the mornings just OK.