There was a time I lived for the dream of being so popular and successful, strangers would cross the street to high five me. I thought if I could help others they’d love me. Well, we know how that goes.

Now I live for small, huge things, like the basic morning light coming through the window, that first taste of coffee in the morning, the support of a chair against my back, or that first sight of green grass upon leaving the house. I’m so in awe about being alive, pain just comes and goes like traffic.

We all know grief takes all forms, and mine, since my family is gone now, and has been for quite some time, makes death so present to me it’s like we’re brothers now sharing the same bedroom. This is how I take care of myself.

I know I’m not alone in this weirdness. There are countless out there who’ve lost like me, who’ve lost family, unborn children, friends, dreams, but who still get up and greet the day with a thermos and a wave. And that’s comforting, ironically. Still, it’s me and this feeling that I have to live and learn to play fair with.

Yes, there’s always this sort of after-feeling in the background that follows me around now and that sort of feels like I’m about to die. I know that’s not a very happy way to live, and it’s not something I want to feel. It’s just that when you’ve lived and been alone for as long as I have that anxiety is what visits you day after day, night after night, and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about that other than change how you interact with and perceive death anxiety and being an adult orphan. In fact, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at making a space for that, or at least that’s what I tell myself all day long.

As for whether or not I might be depressed well, it’s not that I think all is hopeless and that there’s no future out there for me. It’s that I know if it’s my choice there will always be a future, but that I may or may not be a part of it, depending on what brand of impermanence decides to visit me on any given day, and this does color how attached I let myself become to anything, since I now embrace how it is we often fall through our own hands. 

But to be fair, my concerned friend, that just sounds like someone who’s just woken up from the dream of thinking he could live forever, and who’s now looking in the mirror and being both rational about the always-changing nature of life and open-hearted, not someone who’s depressed.