Bardo is a term used in Tibetan Buddhism. In its simplest definition, bardo can be described as the time period between one life and the next. Now, as I can still draw breath and my heart still beats, one might wonder I’m talking about bardo.

On the first day of summer, back in 2008, I was involved in a vicious hate crime. I was left bruised and battered and broken. Although the outer scars have healed and faded over time, I’ve never truly dealt with the inner issues, the brokenness within me.

It’s the first day of summer, 2017, and I’ve been doing my quarterly self-inventory. I’m in a dark place. I’ve been trying to figure out why. If I trace the threads it’s all aftereffects of the attack. I never allowed myself to address what happened. I pretended that I was okay because I felt that pretending everything was alright would lead to the reality that everything was alright.

The truth is my life forever changed that night. That’s where the concept of Bardo comes in. The Bradley I used to be died that night. I’ve been living this sort of half life. I get up and I go through the motions but I’m rarely fully present. I’ve pretended to the point that my half life resembles a full life to the outside. But I know it’s not and I know that I’ve hit a point where I can no longer continue this charade. 

I’m tired. I’m tired from lack of sleep and lack of options. The energy I use to keep up the ruse needs to be channeled into something useful. I’m tired of being a fake. I’ve been trying to write but it’s difficult for me to lie when writing.

My journal is supposed to reflect my authentic self but I can’t write knowing my life is an illusion of smoke and mirrors. I’ve not been able to write because I’m like the Wizard of Oz telling you to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. 

Lao-Tzu wrote that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Admitting that I need help is my first step. Where I go from here is up to me.


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