In Japan they have this extremely ugly little doll and it’s for wishing for success. So say you’re me and you want to be able to trail run a year from now. The daruma has blank eyes, as you can see. So I would write the kanji (Japanese character) for my wish/goal over the left eye of the daruma and then a year from now when I run my favorite trail and come back sparkling with joy to ice my aching muscles, I fill in the other eye.

The other reason I wanted to talk about the Dharma doll (it’s a buddhist goal doll), is because sometimes I see that daruma as a doll of resistance. You write your wish on the one side with the expectation that someday you are going to fill in the other with the kanji for victory.

I can think of a few things I would speak to a Daruma. I’d want my injured leg to heal. I’d want to be able to sleep at night and not have panic attacks anymore.

But you know what? Sometimes in life, we don’t get what we want. And that’s okay, because this is the moments of our lives when we feel closest to our own being. In the hurting, we pull inward to heal the wrong and in that introspection we learn our greatest lessons.

I’ve talked before about loss. Everyone knows loss. Loss is a shared, universal sorrow, and it hurts like hell in that moment when you wake up and you know that things will never be the same. I’ve had a lot of those moments over the past two years and freak, I think I kind of suck at pulling it back together after one of those moments. I get so angry or so hurt and I screw up relationships with people who love me and I punch things until blood drips down my arm or I cut or I scream at someone who doesn’t deserve it and sometimes I just “forget” to eat… But even though I suck at it and I suck at handling all these emotions and feelings that come with losses…

My best advice to myself and to anyone else who is missing someone right now, who is looking for something they just can’t find, is that it does get better.

It might hurt like hell for the one, two, ten year that it’s fresh. But even in those moments when part of your soul is cut out and shattered and you can’t speak for agony just know that it does get better. Things are going to get better.

If you had told me two years ago what would happen to me in the next two years. That I would lose my best friend and my dog and my grandma and get PTSD and depression and anorexia nervosa on the same day, that I would attempt suicide five times, that I would get assaulted the week before I went to rehab. That I would be here feeling totally depressed and alone and missing those gaps in my life where people I loved and things I loved would be taken from me, that I’d have this two year old injury that makes it so I can’t run… I probably would have asked for cyanide on the spot.

Yeah, I would have.

But here I am. And some things are a bit better. And I feel a bit better. It’s not easy. There’s not a damn day where my life is easy.

But my life didn’t end with theirs. And one of the truths you’ll find in life is that if you never quit, you will always triumph.

Tide pool


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