I used a phoenix because it’s a symbol of perpetual rebirth. Any of us, sufficiently motivated and with the help of friends and loved ones, can turn a new page. It’s never too late. Addiction and habit makes the strongest among us weak and focused on our lesser selves. My sister can stand and testify.
I started this when my brother made it clear that he was going to stay out on the diving board. He was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. Intelligence, though, often provides an even greater lever with which to push away people who love you.
I finished it recently when I found myself helpless to give useful advice to someone else who found herself in the bystander position.
It’s not the most well-written piece in the world; but you’ll find no greater honesty, reflecting the horror of being unable to help someone.
There are no bystanders.
And none of us truly lives a life just for ourselves.