You can live happily for a long time without even the desire to live. You can.
Unless that fatal moment comes when the specific monumental happiness you had given up, for which you had abandoned all hope (as the only means of moving on) rears its head. And you reach out your tentative hand. And you don't dare touch it at first, for fear of bursting it like a bubble. Then it solidifies, and your hand rests on it. (Pause. Breathe.) And so suddenly, the tar and ashes in your veins turn back to blood. And the blood turns into light. And for a horrifically glorious moment you realize what ALIVE can mean.
Then, just as you begin the ultimately presumptuous act of making plans, it backs away. Your eyes are closed. But you feel it withdraw. Just to the edge, just beyond your furthest reach, to almost. To just around the bend. To just where it was all those years ago when you decided to turn and face life head on without it rather than reach pitifully into the space between it and you. You spend a moment in denial. You tell yourself you were ready at last. It was your turn. You deserved that specific monumental happiness. Your time had come.
The denial turns to childish gouts of tears. Sobbing like an infant as you hover over the verge of acceptance again, the vision of it lingering for a moment in all your senses, you know. You know with torturous and perfect precision how it would feel, what it would be like. The full and complete comprehension of it's tender glory washes over you like searing knives of flame.
But this is not the first time. So you can stop short of craving death. Again. You know what must be done.
Slowly, because it hurts to move, you withdraw your hand. Turn in the direction of living. Face it head on. You remember it now. The first few steps are tainted with cowardice. You keep looking back, although every time you do it breaks another bone. Eventually it trains you. You move. You are moving on.
The dull ache is back. Only now you realize it never left.
And this time you know you can live to a point where carrying it feels possible. Half dead will become half alive.
It was worth it. It wasn't. You'll pay--dearly, daily. But you'll walk. This time with hope.
Hope that this will never happen again.