The Darkest Point

I wrote this four weeks ago while I was feeling it. It's pretty dark. You have been warned.

Finding strength

How do I find the strength to keep going when all I want to do is give up?

I’m at the darkest point right now. It’s about 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Two days ago, I got my last chemo treatment. Not because I’m cured. It’s because I’ve now received my lifetime dose. I’ve lost 80 pounds in the last year. My hair and beard are gone. My eyesight has deteriorated and there’s now a loud ringing in my ears. I’ve also gone from eccentric to insane. And I don’t sleep anymore.


Three weeks ago, I had waking nightmares about being haunted by a skin walker. A skin walker is a Native American medicine man or woman that dabbled in evil magic and now walks the Earth forever in the body of an animal. Mine was in the body of a white tailed buck that stood on its hind legs.

No matter where I went, it was haunting me from the shadows and saying, “I know you are there”.

Finally, I realized who the skin walker was. It’s me. I’ve been judged by my grandmother’s people, my ancestors, and found wanting. Thus, I’m damned to walk in the shadows. That deer is me. It’s telling me that it knows I’m here, and it knows what I’ve done. Soon, I will be there in the shadows, reminding my former self of this same thing, and so on forever.

Positivity in a dark time

But right now, it’s 3:00 a.m. and there are no waking nightmares and no bucks in the shadows. Instead, I was dreaming of my girlfriend (now wife) and I, as young teenagers, rolling together in clover and doing things here daddy would have shot me for. I used to be ashamed of doing those things while being so young. But now, I hold on to those memories now like a lifeline, and I stand before God, unashamed.

She told me the other day that she had finally come to accept that she may outlive me. I told her to just remember the spring of 1981, when we held each other tight in the back of my Mustang and swore to be together forever.

That’s what keeps me going. Damn the deer. I’m going to recover and roll in clover with my love again. I’m going to live forever, one way or another.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.