I've been through Hell on Earth and back, and I wouldn't wish that fate on my worst enemy. Preventing others from suffering that long, and preventing their tortured path being too long to get out of, or of that desperate loss that I was so close to experiencing when I attempted suicide several times--to help others avoid going that deep into depression, and instead filling them with hope--that is my purpose in life, and that is my purpose in my passion for writing. That is why I write now. But I had another purpose when I first started to write.
My first love was music. Then came crushes, some of them overwhelming my ability to see straight. The escaping from them took the first hope. The first hope was to create something as important, as emotional, as deep, as intense, as powerfully affecting in making people feel emotions like love, through music.
I had one time in my piano lessons growing up, arranged the most emotional tiny snippets of Scott Joplin music that I could find from his ragtime collection--namely The Easy Winners, Maple Leaf Rag, and some of The Entertainer. The notes poured out all the love that I have in those presses of my fingers on the keys, it was an extension of my soul. I had no where to go with my passion, my life, except to seek a way to express it. It's what moves the artist mind--to have something so important that no normal plain ordinary life could fulfill that hunger.
A few years passed, I dropped high school to get my GED and go to college to get out of the environment where I felt too much longing for unrequited love, and I was diagnosed with some stigmatizing conditions related to my depression, gained weight among the side effects, and felt alienated from everyone, especially my overprotective (I felt, at the time) parents. I hit rock bottom the first time, with an overdose suicide attempt, then admitted what I did to get to the hospital out of fear of what the consequences would be or perhaps just on autopilot, and got some help that I still resisted because of what I defined my existence around. It was because I wasn't in a love of what I thought love "had to be", and that need for my life to have meaning and to not be insignificant in its moral, finite nature, that drove me there.
It took a few years after carrying the torch for someone that I turned to writing--at San Joaquin Delta College, in a rock as a literature class by Anna Villegas, about 1995. She recommended I try poetry, which I had previously dismissed as frivolous and unimportant. I was wrong about that assumption, I realized after giving it a chance in a little leap of faith.
In 1998 or 1999 I gave a leap of faith in abandoning the carrying of the torch, to try a real flesh and blood relationship, in seeing if I could woo a headstrong lady who was in my environment for years. She took to my offer out of the blue for her to wear an engagement ring, when we were just friends. "Just take it," I persisted, and she did, accepting my vulnerable assertive heart. We replaced it with an actual engagement ring each soon after with my savings, and then after six months of engaged living together--my parent's recommendation--we broke it off and I got my heart broke, in the process breaking her heart because of my immature visualization of what love was, still caught up on dreams of the past. That was the time that I was feeling that I was motivated to be more humanly compassionate, changing my previous ambitious, surface-level checklist of perfect love into more of an open heart.
In 2001-2002 I met the love of my life at last--the story of that meeting and leap of faith is in two or more previous blog posts a way back here. I was in a rocky relationship from 2002 to the final realization in 2014 that I couldn't live without her, whereas I married her. I had realized this in moments in that time period, but the timing was off--there was a time after an argument where I had realized I couldn't live without her, but at which point I felt (wrongly so) that I could never be good enough for her, in 2008, at which I again had turned to suicide attempts--overdose again, this time on a large bottle of Aspirin. Before drifting off I had prayed to God to take me and do what He willed with me, I would surrender to whatever He had planned. I had thrown up the pills that night and called for help, and that was the turning point of going back to my faith in God. God called me, He did that, as an answer to the prayers of the one I had given up on, for she had made her Cursillo and was wanting me to turn toward a more Holy lifestyle too. Her transformation is a whole other story of faith and miracles, which is for her alone to tell. On my side of that transformation, after looking for God to show Himself with a contrite open humble heart, I went through therapy that helped me escape from that all-or-nothing fixation. If you look at it simply, I had to admit to myself that even a plain ordinary life had chance to keep living and possibly make something of that life, whereas an end to life would not only be pain but also would be a loss of chances to make something worth happening to happen, whether or not I was at that time ready to admit faith in divine creator and afterlife.
What puts this into perspective at this moment in time is hearing the Shallow (A Star is Born) song and feeling the connection of what that movie had going through, that love at which we think it's all or nothing, but at which it's really all or all. It's just a matter of opening the door to life, and seeing the light. I don't want anyone to have to go through the dark longer than they have to, and if it's in God's plan that these words reach someone and they connect without having to experience it first-hand for themselves, then that purpose has been fulfilled.
Donald R. Anderson. Aspiring writer. Amateur philosopher and amateur writer of Apologetics (i.e., the Catholic reasonings). Faith-driven kindred spirit.