The excerpt below is from Austen’s ‘Journey Through Sobriety,’ a journal he started in 2014 as he valiantly dealt with his addiction and depression. He understood that ‘suffering is a key tenant of life,’ that ‘life is something to endure.’ He saw the beauty and magic in the struggle. He tried to ground himself in the present, to keep focused on the things that matter. He believed in a greater universal construct and the temporary, impermanent nature of things. He saw the grandness of life and the limitless opportunities. In short, he saw the big picture. From May 29 and May 31, 2014:
I walk through the pitch black with only a candle, and it cannot burn forever.
I’m starting to glow. … My wealth of experience is a guiding light, and my distant knowledge and wisdom is a limitless well. Go forth into the darkness Austen. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Beauty and spirituality. That’s all I care about. Enjoy yourself. Literally enjoy being you. You are one in a few billion. The only one of your kind. Life is good. Or it could be. It’s close to being the start of a magical ride toward everything I want. Life is something to endure though. Acceptance of this fact is essential. It doesn’t mean one can’t live and love beautifully, it just means suffering is a key tenant of life. The beauty is in the struggle.
The depression is not me. I exist outside of these bodily defects. My soul is untouchable, though the drugs tried to take a bit out of it like a great white shark. My soul is strong, it is weaving itself back together, just as my brain heals. It was exposed but the light never went out. I never lost track of me, Austen. As long as I have my intelligence, love and a beautiful spirit, I can make this work. Every day is another opportunity. Every second is another time that I can find a way to start existing in the moment. What happened yesterday is meaningless, we have this moment and the next one and that is it.
There will be problems until the end. I have to persevere. Again, this is part of life. An integral part of the journey. One day I will move on into the infinite soul of the universal construct. But today is for shouldering the burden and smiling in the face of agony. … I accept this and continue to live. … It’s all temporary. That’s what makes life beautiful. Who cares? You get fucked up on the journey, but it’s not forever. I will one day die and return to where I originated. Why not enjoy what I have? Why not jump into the deep end? I can swim after all, and if I can’t then I’ll drown until I grab a life raft. Fill me with love and bless me with health.
Austen Berj Brooks, May 29 & 31, 2014
Fill Me With Love