Tuesday, January 12, 2010



There are some people who will never know the complete value of simply existing. I do not know the author of this, but it gives some real perspective to me on the value of things that are often taken for granted.

To realize the value of a sister, ask someone who doesn't have one.

To realize the value of ten years, ask a newly divorced couple.

To realize the value of four years, ask a college graduate.

To realize the value of one year, ask a student who failed a final exam.

To realize the value of nine months, ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn child.

To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one-second, ask a person who has survived an accident.

We place value on our existence.  People live with a sense of purpose that defines their existence. Some people live to be the best mother, some people live to continue their education or to educate others, some people live to contribute to society, others contribute to their line of work, science, or live to make history.  Some people just exist.

Right now, I am just existing. To state that, is not to proclaim a call to action for me to actually live. Right now I am content that I am just existing.

As I think about that list above- the one that gives examples of how we may take for granted all of those things- I can't help but think of the value of existing. I can't help but to want to add one more thing to the list.

To realize the value of existing, ask a person who has survived drug addiction or suicide.

Some people struggle to just exist.  Many people lose that struggle. Every minute of every hour of every day, someone over doses or commits suicide, all while struggling to exist. The very last second before the final choice is made, there is a struggle for life. There is some deep seated belief, that in the grand scheme of things, that this one last hit or this final act, will make life better, either for the person committing the act or the people around them.  Often it is their final contribution in existence. 

I have faced that last second, before my final choice, and I won that struggle with that one moment in time.  Does it mean that I am completely healed, all my pain gone? No it means that I continue to exist, that I get another chance at living.

Right now my life has come to stand still. My existence is that of a hamster on a wheel, progressively moving nowhere with every breath I take. Circumstances have changed opportunities, and doors have closed. Right now, I do not have the energy to go look for open doors, much less to try and open them again. At one point in my past, this would have felt like the end. My lack of progression would have felt like failure. Disappointment would have morphed into depression. I would have taken all of the outside events and turned them inward.

I have learned that the end of life as I know it (change, depression, loss, etc) does not mean the end of existence. Addiction and suicide do not allow me existence. The loss of existence does not allow for me to live.  I value my existence because of the possibility of life. I know that the future always holds hope for life, where there is existence

I am not employed, full time, at the job of my dreams. I am not even employed. I am not returning to school this semester, as planned. I do not tie up my free time with endless activities, a rigorous fitness routine, or making a weeks worth of pre-planned perfect meals for my family. I do not volunteer. Bryson works 6 days a week, most of them nights and our time together is little. Right now, paycheck to not quite next paycheck means, the food bank it is, once a week.  I have two running vehicles, but I still let my 9 and 11 year old walk to and from school. They wake themselves up for school and get their own breakfast. I sometimes forget to feed the dog. I am always 3 loads of laundry behind. So what am I accomplishing?

Right now I am existing. I do not have the means or the emotional energy to set out after my dreams, right now.  I am, however, meeting some of the basic expectations that I have of myself, that allow me to exist peacefully. I am not abusing drugs to exist. I am not addicted to anything. My family is meeting its own basic needs with our own means. I am not lying to anyone and I am not stealing or breaking any laws. 

Believe it or not, despite the signs of the times, our family relationships are not struggling. There is still normalcy in our home. There is just enough of the basic things that we need.  I do not have that, overly jubilant abundance of love and patience, as I do in times of plenty. I admit it. I do have enough  love and patience to nurture myself in this time of less, and to provide my family with enough of me, for them to meet their own needs. None of them are struggling to exist.

Today I am existing. This gives me a chance at life. Coming soon, I will again be living.


  1. This whole post really resonates deep for me. Especially the line "Today I am existing. This gives me a chance at life. Coming soon, I will again be living."

    I adore your playlist btw. I have this habit of bringing up your blog and just listening to it. (:

  2. I appreciate your perspective. We don't generally truly value the simple fact that we exist, or realize when we have enough. Thanks for sharing.

  3. *gulps*

    perspective is sometimes a hard thing...
    we do exist..

    nice post

  4. Just remember hun that nothing in life is stagnant. Everything is changing. People are born, grow old and die everyday. Nobody and I really mean nobody, can stay the same forever.

    People may look the same physically over time, but their heart, feelings, emotion, knowledge may have changed.

    There are 2 possibilities of change. It is either change to the better or to the worse.

    In another words, the changes may evolve or dissolve you. But the good thing is, you have the control over it. It’s your choice. You can choose to evolve or dissolve yourself.

    And by what you have been doing is seems as though you are taking control of yourself and your emotions which is a great thing!

  5. You are a very brave person. You should be proud of yourself.

    Love your music by the way!

  6. Rarely have I read anything that has meant so much as this post does to me. You said SO MUCH here!!! So much that I identify with, but never could have found the words for... Wow, I'm just amazed. Incredible!!!
    Keep existing... until...

  7. If this is you "existing" then I am scared of you "living"! :) You already rock my world with your insights, your honesty and your compassion.

    I love what you added about drug addiction and suicide, two topics near my heart that are misunderstood by people who haven't "been there" in one way or another.

    Thanks for caring about Anthony, I can't stop smiling tonight, my face hurts.

  8. great insights....from one who had fallen so low...never thought I'd see twenty ten....so grateful to be alive...to be free of those awful chains that held me so tight...and free of the darkness. Stay strong....Sarah

  9. Wow, this was great to read! I really identify this with my son's life right now..he is existing. That is all that is necessary right now. I totally get it.

  10. "I value my existence because of the possibility of life. I know that the future always holds hope for life, where there is existence."

    This is beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.


  11. Sometimes when we're in the dark it feels like we are not moving anywhere. But when we come back into the light, we can see just how far forward we crawled.

  12. I can totally identify with all of this, but I am only now coming to terms with what has happened in my life. Actually being able to write it all down is very hard, so I really admire you for being so open. My scars are still raw and open, although I'm not living, I am existing, and that I am still coming to terms with, but slowly, day by day, finding my feet, and my way in the world, on my own.

  13. Wow! How many times I could have written something similar about existing. I see existing much like I do "surviving". I've spent more of my years in "survival" or existing mode then I have in living. But, the thing is, like you said, existing is better then abusing drugs. So many times there was a fine line between existing or surviving and putting my life at risk with the choices I made which could have lead to death. I teetered on that line a lot. Ugh.

    Even now, I can find myself slipping into existing mode...it's like an automatic turn on button goes off when I am overly stressed. I think it's my coping method.

    I really enjoy reading your honest. Thank you. XX Lori

  14. You are very intelligent.

    Thanks for saying so much.