We breathe in an excessive amount of air every single day. Most sources report an average of about 550 liters, but yet many of us forget how to breathe. Life comes at you welding tragedy, suffering, and hardships and the simplest thing, the thing we have been “practicing” all our lives ends up being the hardest thing that we as people will ever have to do. Breathe.
Life is full of intricacies. You have the solar system, the laws of physics, magnificent buildings, and the human body. The human body is built to keep itself alive and do the bare minimum functions to keep it going. The average human does not have to think to breathe. We go through life and our body without us thinking about it breathes for us. Steadily. In and Out. So why when hardships come we find it so hard to do what was so easy for us to do all along?
I have faced many hardships in my life and I know I’m only seventeen and haven’t faced true hardship or whatever and I get that. I believe hardships do not discriminate. At the age of seventeen I have faced: foreclosure, death, an abusive relationship, mental illness, and an uncontrollable dangerous family member. This list isn’t all inclusive and it isn’t meant for you to pity me, just for you to get perspective on why I’m talking about this tonight and why I struggle to breathe.
Foreclosure. A scary word to most home owners who aren’t sitting comfortably and something that I had to learn about the hard way eleven months ago. When you get foreclosed on, you forget how to breathe. Life as you know it is being ripped away from you and it’s scary. You feel the need to find something you can control, something that you thought you had, something you thought you couldn’t lose. That it was guaranteed. You turned to your breath. You long to hear that steady flow of movement draw in and out, but it’s gone. Only a faint whistle sound remains.
Death. An eternal lasting consequence of living in a broken world. When someone close to you dies you feel wrong for breathing, for having something they no longer have. You wonder why and how. Why did they leave you and how does this breath that is supposed to be locked inside their chest cease to exist for them and still thrive for you. You try to stop. You focus so hard on trying to stop it that your breathing gets irregular and rough and you’re not winning. You won’t win. You’re unsure of how this can ever be normal and your chest go back to a slower rate. You are struggling to breathe.
Abusive Relationships. A living hell on Earth. When you are in an abusive relationship you’re told you’re not worthy to breathe. You are not worth the air to sustain you. You are worthless. Every day you fall toward the idea that they’re right. That you walk this earth as a burden and you’re a waste of what was put on this Earth to keep creation alive. You struggle with the concept of what you’re worthy of and this puts a sour taste in your mouth. The taste of failure. You try to breathe in but are constantly reminded of how unworthy you are. You struggle to breathe.
Mental Illness. When your mind takes control of a false reality. With Mental Illness you are not you. Your body is a child’s toy in the hand of your mind, moving and breaking all to the same beat of worthlessness, panic, and failure. You move like a robot breaking at the joints and being stuck back together in a haphazard fashion. Your mind tells you what other people cannot and tells you the truths of a make believe world. Mental Illness throws you through a roller coaster of insanity and lets you reach for that bottle to escape. Allows you to throw those pills back. Allows you to inhale deep and exhale once and for all. Breathing has almost ceased.
An Uncontrollable Dangerous Family Member. You are locked into your house with a person who might as well be Satan himself. He comes bearing knifes and threats, with fists and heavy objects just waiting on you to fall asleep. He’s an outside normality with a built in monster. You’re told you won’t be breathing much longer and you believe him. You count your breaths as you shut the door between him and the knife. You count your breaths at night wondering if they will be taken from you before the next morning. You breathe heavier when you leave the house finally free. You count your breaths because you don’t know how many are left. You are struggling to breathe.