Why Am I Alive?

by Mark Ivar Myhre on July 21, 2006

(Or – Growing Up With Shame)

Why am I here?

I came with such high hopes and aspirations.  I was going to save the world.  Or at least live a good life – full and rich and true.

But instead I learned pain and hardship and struggle.  I learned what it’s like to suffer.  I became isolated.  My innocence and goodness somehow disappeared.  I doubted myself.  The doubt grew to fear and panic.

I started to hate myself.  Then I hated the world.  Then I hated God.

I blamed.  I grew more isolated.  I began to lose touch with myself.  I lost touch with my soul.  I think my spirit died.

Like a shifty turtle – I hid I ran I dodged I lied.  I lied to myself.

“I’ll get through it.  I’ll make it somehow.  And if I don’t – so what?  Screw everybody.  I’ll die on an island.  All alone.”

I drift in pain.  I can’t see.  Where is my flicker of hope?  I didn’t realize at the time – a glimmer of light always exists.  I wasn’t mighty enough to kill the flicker of hope.

I prayed.  I cried.

I almost died.

I sat inside…

Where I could hide.

I can’t believe I never died.

And nobody knows. And nobody mourns.

And nobody comes and I say I don’t care.

And I still wasn’t mighty enough to kill the flicker of hope.

A change did come.  Many changes.  Many small changes.  Inch by inch I took a mile.  Not in a blinding light – but a blistering crawl.  A gritty grueling crawl  I crawled through my sewage and up to the gutter on the street.  I sat and looked out the gutter.  For years.  In my gutter of shame.

I was safely hiding in the sewer.  But I loved to look out the gutter and into the street.

I could see a robin’s nest in the cedar tree across the street in the neighbor’s yard.  The little boys would play football after school.  I wondered why they didn’t have to hide in their sewer of shame.

Why weren’t they looking out of the gutter on their curb? Why did they get to play in the yard while I had to hide in my sewer?

I’m growing up.  They’re just dumb kids.

One day I stuck my head out of the gutter to look around better.  But I got scared.  So I went back down where I was safe.

Later I stuck my head up again.  I got scared again.  Eventually I could venture out somewhat.  But sometimes I still like to hide.  I don’t wonder as much now.  About why I’m alive.

I know I’m here to become more of myself.  And to get rid of the damn shame.   As I learn to enjoy the process of living…

Everything else is just gravy.

I want a world where it’s safe to love.



JB July 25, 2006 at 11:48 pm

Ouch – I see reflections of myself in your writing – painful but true – you spur me to explore.


bleuyonder2 July 26, 2006 at 5:42 am

been there done that…still doing it…lately, i've found a larger glimmer of hope from karen bishop at
she's also been there done that and has a much more interesting story to share, i think…for all of us. a much larger picture of things than just "poor poor pitiful still trying to be me but who am i really". which has its purpose. but, it's time for a bigger reality.
capricorns tend to be loners by nature. but, as you say, it's all in the foundation you've created in your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. i'm not a capricorn, but i tend to live a lot like you do. and i had the same dream about being a songwriter as you had about being a copywriter. fortunately, i never had any dingleberry's in my life. i love to sing. and that connects me to a higher reality. the nature thing totally does it for me too. lately i've started to think, feel, sense that i, as a small ego, don't even exist anymore. i exist as a connection to everything else, which makes me feel less alone. and that every breath i take, somehow, matters, in the big picture.
i have a good friend who is also a "monkey"(1956). has been homeless most of his life. has had all of his aspirations crushed since he's been a child. was told he was never wanted…etc…karen bishop makes much sense of that sort of thing…and more. and it's probably not what you are thinking…wishing you well…enjoy your solitude, lonely guy…from a lonely girl.

RKA July 26, 2006 at 5:49 am

Our life is God's gift to us — what we do with this life is our gift back to Him. He doesn't make mistakes. We all have a purpose and it is just a matter of realizing that and living up to our full potential. Sometimes it is difficult figuring out who we are and what we are doing here – but that is part of the journey down the road of life. (A road with no curves is boring.)

Anonymous July 26, 2006 at 6:28 am

Thank god that flicker of hope is so strong! otherwise this would be a very dark world…darker than we could ever imagine.

Pat July 26, 2006 at 10:18 am

First I read in this that the pain has been aquired where there was once innocence. Further down I read , "I'm growing up". It all comes together in life if you think about it but…it does make me ponder that we are who we are from a very young age and…from the description of this writing, it seems as though it is a shy person. I am one that does not try to find a problem with peoples differences or strange behavior (unless it's too strange). I believe in positive reenforcment. I tend to use the word shy instead of antisocial for example.
But I need to read on for the emotional healing, for the flame that is just flickering inside of me. Thank you for helping the people who read these writings from you to realize that there are other people who are similar to them, that they are not alone or abnormal. Differences are what make us all unique and gifted but understanding that lifes challenges bring us all to the same places at one time or another is what some need help with, like me, when there is no other support but ones own mind telling them that, "this too shall pass".

Niki July 27, 2006 at 6:45 pm

Im in thats state now only i wont venture out i dont see the point, everything seems so much easier when no one is involved when everything i do wont effect any ones life, so when i screw up its me to blame and hurt

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