The Three Horsemen of my Apocalypse arrived. Yes, I did just say three, not four, horsemen. Things are unconventional in the Wolff-verse.
They arrived shortly after my 40th birthday. They represented three fears: turning 40, arriving at that age without a plan and the loss of a job. A mid-life crisis by any other name had arrived.
Some men buy expensive cars, have affairs or get work done. All of the above coping mechanisms and many more are employed to soften the blow to a man’s ego. We choose what we choose to self-medicate based on the hope that something outside of us will cure us. Unfortunately, my Band-Aid was a drug. It was a temporary solution to an impossibly complex problem. There was, under the surface of it all, a lesson to be learned—but I was not yet ready.
Meth made a bad situation worse far more quickly than envisioned. I never thought it was a good plan long-term. We never do. I fooled myself that I was coasting horizontally, waiting for the next opportunity to present itself. If that opportunity ever came, I missed it.
A horizontal coast rapidly became a vertical spiral. Everything spinning out of control. Vision skewed. Body, soul and spirit nailed to an unseen wall. All that I was, sliding into the chasm beneath me.
While in the vortex of the spiral, I had to find a point of reference. Throughout my life, I tried to focus on countless “points,” none of which ever stopped the ride. The ride was killing me, and for a long time I would have welcomed death.
Fortunately, my experience on the ride had become as unpalatable as finding a way off. Only then could I notice the light on the other side. I focused on it with everything I had left; which wasn’t much. It entered me. In so doing it made me slightly less dense than the force pulling me down.
The ride slowed as I began to rise. In time, I was placed on solid ground. A glance at my surroundings confirmed I had been there before. The ground makes up a hill. Halfway up, there is a small plateau, a resting place, if you will. A closer inspection revealed a signpost I had not noticed before. The message was clear. “This way up. This way down.” I chose the path leading up. I already knew where down ramp would lead.
Today, ‘over the hill’ no longer exists. The ‘horsemen’ no longer exist. There is only me, a light with which to banish shadow, a path with no specific destination and the stamina to navigate the steep parts.
So I continue to climb.
Wolff Scott is a freelance writer living in L.A. and a member of The Tweakers Project.