Piece By Piece (For All Those Who Struggle)

Piece By Piece (For All Those Who Struggle)

I hang over the barrier staring at the white-tipped water so far below. Whether capped in froth or an army of gulls who flex their wings upon it, the muddied waters rage towards the sea. The whole experience gives me vertigo; I don’t like heights, never have. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t even approach the flimsy, caged divide between an obliterating fall and the bridge I stand on, but today is not one of those days.

My stomach has dropped away to be replaced by a granite rock. The thing churns because it knows what I contemplate — jump says the voice, jump — and I might. As The updrafts chill my face and a car speeds from left to right leaving another knot twisting in my gut, I want to do it. I so want to do it. Just to see how it feels. Just to see if I would ever feel it again.

This is not an unusual occurrence even though it is wrong and I tell myself to stop being stupid. What is wrong with me? What is wrong with those who do not understand? Breathe.

Not today, I tell myself. A glance each way and I realise I have a half-mile walk towards one shore or the other — that’s an awful lot of time to think. I don’t risk walking, I run. But no matter how fast I do so, and no matter how far I leave the bridge and the river behind, I know I’ll never outrun myself.

For all of you who struggle, know this: you don’t struggle alone.

31 thoughts on “Piece By Piece (For All Those Who Struggle)

  1. I know so many who can relate. Thanks for the courage to write and share this message. It’s something which has been a part of our family this year…and we didn’t know they were struggling alone. Yes, to those struggling, please let people know you need them.

  2. Such a beautiful expression of this unrelenting malady Richard. You are a courageous soul and that’s very appreciated.

  3. This post is so moving, Richard. I’m sorry to hear that you suffer in this way. I do too. Courageous people like you make such a difference, literally between life and death. Thank-you!

  4. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    Read this…Richard Ankers describes briefly but oh so vividly a man contemplating suicide…which reminds me of what a psychiatrist friend told me long ago in DC – that every human, at some point or another, considers ending it all…and that contemplating this final act (of revenge against life and living) is not uncommon. His words shocked me at the time, but today I believe pain and angst have a brilliant function….which is to make us even more alive – IF we don’t succumb to that deadly dark inner voice that pushes us towards self-destruction. No, we are not alone in our darkest urges. Indeed, our number is legion. Thank you, Richard Ankers, and Wallace Peach for leading me to your work…

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