This throwback was originally posted on December 9, 2013
Survival is not Enough
Maurice and I drove home from a funeral on Friday when the old Gloria Gaynor classic came on, “I Will Survive.” For those who don’t know, this song is considered to be a gay national anthem and one of my personal favorites. It beckons to those of us who have successfully survived deep personal hardship, which would be just about everyone at one time or another. For the first time the song bothered me. It put me on edge, actually. It wasn’t enough. Survive? I will survive? I don’t want to survive, because I want more than that. It’s just not good enough. I want to live.
Born To Be Alive
I remembered the Patrick Hernandez 1979 hit “Born to be Alive.” I’ve done a couple of posts before about how special that song is to me and why. To retell the story, Maurice and I were dancing at our favorite nightclub not long after I got sober. Obviously, it was a difficult time and my depression was kicking my ass on a regular basis. We were dancing and smiling and I found myself filled with complete joy. When “Born to be Alive” came on I realized what was happening. I realized why I was feeling so good…finally, I was feeling alive and that’s what I was placed on this earth to do. I had tears rolling down my face.
I’ve been in a good place lately – balanced. I just came out of a long bought of depression, so it would be easy for me to stay stuck in that rut. Survival may seem impossible, but the depression passes. I survive, yet it’s comfortable staying home with the blinds shut, watching TV and eating my way through the day. Doing this can easily catch me off guard and extend my depressive period by going from chronic to situational. Deep depression is not an option, it’s a part of my life that I accept. When it passes I can be thankful that I survived, but it can’t stop there…I need to embrace these moments and remind myself to live. I need to remind myself that I was born to be alive. It’s much easier said than done, but I’m grateful to know it can be an option
6 comments on Survival is not Enough – Throwback
Survival is just getting by, treading water but sometimes during and after a severe depression that is where we find ourselves. At least we are alive with the option of trying to move forward to lay hold of our goals and our true selves. But I agree with you, survival is just not enough. No matter how tempting it is at times, I refuse to give up. Thanks for the reminder and stirring my thoughts.
Yes, you’re right. Sometimes survival is all we get, but I strive to remember to celebrate that I am alive and deserve to make it a good one. Some days are definitely much more of a struggle than others,
Great song. And I second you there – survival is not enough
No it’s not, and knowing I can really live, even if it’s in short periods, it’s what keeps me hanging on when all I’m doing is hanging on.
What a beautfully written, poignant post.
Re: “I Will Survive”, it reminds me of one of my favorite films, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, which you BETTER have seen, my friend – but I agree with you that survival isn’t enough.
I’m so happy that you embraced that belief that you were born to be alive, because some of us in the Black Dog Tribe or whatever you want to call it become so hopeless & complacent we think survival is our Mt. Everest.
We come to believe we aren’t worthy of more.
You are. I am. Everyone is!
So let’s sing ‘Born to Be Alive” at the top of our lungs whenever we get the chance. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll sing that song in my car and spare everyone else the trauma of hearing my booming off-key notes! 😉
Glad you enjoyed. Are you kidding me? To even suggest that I may have not seen Priscilla is blasphemy. “Too Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” is pretty high up there too.
I’ll sing with you anytime, even when we’re both off key.