Twenty-nine years ago, pulling my car at high speed off the road and into a tree seemed a better alternative to being openly gay in a world that hated me. Twenty-seven years ago, alone on the sand, a long swim deep into the ocean seemed a better alternative to living with the feeling of being so completely alone. Twenty-four years ago, a single bullet to the head seemed a better alternative to the feeling that my being gay meant I had failed myself and my Marine Corps. And twenty years ago, a return to that same spot on the beach, again wondering if descending to the depths of the ocean was a better alternative than feeling like I had somehow destroyed another life.
I have known truly dark times. I have struggled with a broken heart and a crushed spirit. I have felt like there was nothing ahead of me but more pain and more sorrow, and I have been so close to giving up that just thinking about it now can still bring me to tears.
But I am older now, and I hope a little wiser. I know that there is a solution to most every problem that I face. Action 111 - Give It Time. What feels overwhelming in this moment will present its own solution tomorrow and be but a memory soon after. The struggles of life are not greater than my life itself, and a single look at the love that surrounds me proves that.
Time, the great healer. Each year that passes moves me further from the darkest moments in my life, but only because I stayed. Because I didn't give up. Because I trusted that, given enough time, life would again be a beautiful and joyful experience.
Troubled? In pain? Struggling to see your way out of a dark place? Give it time. It does get better.