Friday, August 30, 2013

The Hard Goodbye (Part Four)

I talk a lot about struggle, and in a sense each of our individual tribulations are also ours. Not that all of them are identical or we experienced them together, but as we come together, those experiences are shared. Many of you have praised me (much more than I deserve, by the way) for the work I've done trying to keep people informed and communicating. That support means more to me than you can ever imagine.

But that's not the thing I'm most thankful for.

It's you. I'm in the unique position of airing my life and trials--sometimes literal ones--out where anyone can see them. If I've helped anyone out there, believe me when I say each of you has given back a hundred times anything I've done for you. Despite my luck in The Fall, despite my slight foresight in seeing it coming, and despite all the blessings I had where others didn't, none of it would have been enough without you.

Sounds crazy, I know. I got through The Fall with most of my immediate family intact. I was in my own home, a safe place in all the madness. I had food and water and shelter and love, and that's so much more than most of you. I know it makes me sound like an ass to say it, but I think because of all that, I needed something to occupy me. While many others fought tooth and nail to make it day to day, I was hunkered down in my house. The weight of knowing how lucky I was brought guilt. Crushing, powerful guilt like matter from a neutron star draped around my heart.

To carry on, I needed something. I needed work, a mission. I needed to ensure those less fortunate had every opportunity and scrap of information they could get. Yeah, my weird guilt complex isn't rational or sane. I know that much, I deal with it every day.

And weirdly, being out here where things are much more dicey is helping me deal with that very anxiety. It's strange to think how much more trouble we could get into this far from anything, but it's oddly satisfying at the same time. For the first time, really, I'm dealing with total unknowns. Even during the long periods of time I was away from home, it was never like this. Never an attempt to build something permanent in a new place. It's scary and amazing and as I said, freeing.

Knowing I won't be posting nearly as much is almost like a breakup or a divorce. Not a bad one, just a separation that will forever change the nature of the relationship. I still feel bad for getting so much out of all of you, support and satisfaction at being able to help in some small way. It's a debt I can't pretend to be able to pay. To continue on from here as I have done would be pointless and insulting. You're probably better survivors than I've ever been, at this point. And it would be the height of arrogance to assume you'd want or need daily updates on my life out here in the sticks.

Words are something I hold very dear. They're a love as deep and wide as any I've ever had. Yet right now, in this place, they fail me. I will never be able to explain what you've meant to me all this time. I could keep trying, but I'd rather just end here with perhaps not the best words, but ones from the heart.

Thank you all so much. You saved my life more than once. Despair is an enemy more insidious than any flesh-and-blood foe we face. Without you, it would have defeated me ages ago. Thank you, a million times.

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