I’ve been offline long enough—more about that later—that when I got into my blog I realized that WordPress had added some bells and whistles to my page that frankly, might take me some time to get the hang of. That being said, forgive me if there are errors present on my page and in my post that you more experienced and/or recent bloggers have already mastered. Pissy will do the best she can.
I wouldn’t be writing at all just yet if it were not for something I read. I hope this post finds it’s way to you, babe. Yes, it’s meant for you! I’m sorry it’s a bit long winded. Pissy don’t do nuttin half ass when she’s passionate about something.
I know you’re tired. It’s the kind of tired that makes you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, leaves your body weak, and prevents you from doing a load of laundry when you need clean clothes, wanting to bathe, making yourself something to eat, etc. It’s the kind of tired that you feel down deep in your bones and makes you ignore taking care of yourself. Far easier to stay in that bed or chair, rather than push your exhausted body again and again, day after day, week after week, to do mundane tasks. You’ve done this for so long. I know how long. It feels like forever, doesn’t it? I know it has for me.
I know you’re frustrated. Every time you muster up the courage to try and take a step forward again, there always appears to be something or someone that knocks you back two steps to remind you your efforts are futile. It’s easier to believe that good fortune is only for those more fortunate, rather than set yourself up for the pain of that disappointment again. Better to accept that perhaps you’re just not one of the lucky ones, things will never change, and that this life you’re now living is all you’ve got and all you’ll ever have. I know what it feels like to wonder every day why some people get all the breaks, many of them less deserving than you, and yet each time you get so much as a grain of sand of hope that things are getting better it slips quickly through your fingers disappearing into the cracks of your life.
I know you’re sad. And I know you’re sad most of the time. It’s hard to live with depression, anxiety, and a panic disorder, isn’t it? No one but those who go through it understands. But we, who do, understand it all too well. You spend every waking moment of every day trying to find little things to make you feel better, give you hope, distract you from your negative racing thoughts, and you’re constantly dodging the triggers that will set off your anxiety. Many times just having to maneuver this emotional mine field is enough to trigger it. Many other times there is no reason at all and it just happens. As you sit there on the floor with your back against the wall, desperately trying to catch your breath as your heart feels like it’s about to jackhammer out of your chest, you find yourself wondering if you’re emotionally/physically strong enough to keep going through this. Maybe nothing has really helped so far and you’re discouraged: Medication hasn’t worked or at best merely took the edge off. Inpatient/outpatient treatment was a temporary fix. You have a stack of self-help books that read pretty well, but in reality you felt you were just too undisciplined and too exhausted to heed the advice it gave, or too damn broken inside to be fixed by anything, anyway. The thought that it may never end, you may never get better, finds you sobbing in your hands uncontrollably. I know what this despair feels like. This despair, this feeling of hopelessness you can’t put your hands on and shake some sense into; it has no easy fix because it’s in your mind. It’s all in your mind: a dark place full of broken old items that you are constantly tripping over and cutting yourself on. You try. You really do. You are constantly grappling in the darkness for the light switch that you know is there—at least you know it once was—but you are too tired to keep looking, and too frustrated to believe you’ll ever even find it now.
I know you feel guilty. Perhaps that is the worst part about being us and living in our skin. And this guilt wears different faces in our twisted funhouse of mirrors. It’s a reflection of our shame, humiliation, embarrassment; too many things to list. We see ourselves as we think others see us: We’re too lazy to clean our house, worry about personal hygiene, look for work, hold down a job; make an effort to move past dead-end relationships, dead-end lives. We are miserable to be around, either because we suck the fun out of everything with our constant complaints, or are unable to enjoy and participate in what those who we are with are able to. We feel guilty when we share our problems with others, because we’re dumping on them. We feel guilty if we pretend everything is fine and don’t, because we’re lying to ourselves and them. We feel guilty and flog ourselves internally after getting angry that others have tired of listening to us, being around us, and chose to move on. How dare we be pissed off that others choose to live when we’re allowing ourselves to die every day? We feel guilty that we choose to no longer live. We own our guilt! It writhes painfully in us!
I just painted a pretty bleak picture of your life, didn’t I? I know and I’m sorry. The thing is, you and I, many of us in fact, are way past sugar-coating the truth. And the truth is this: The majority of us are never going to have the lives we desire. Some of us will fare better than others, but a lot of us won’t. Some of us will suffer from mental illness most of our lives with little relief, whereas others may never have more than bouts of minor stress and worry. Some of us will have serious health issues that keep us immobile. Some of us will lose friends, family, whether by chance or choice, and end up alone. Some of us will lose everything and have to start completely over. Some will be lucky and grateful that they are not some of us. Some who are heartless will take it for granted. Really the only thing that any of us have completely in common is that none of us have all the answers and know not what tomorrow brings. Some of us, sadly, will choose not to make it to tomorrow.
I know you feel alone, babe. I know how lonely this kind of ‘alone’ can get. People that suffer from depression are the loneliest people in the world. At least we feel that way. We are constantly stuck inside our heads. We are stuck inside our homes. We are stuck in bad relationships, stuck working crappy jobs, stuck not being able to work at all; stuck, stuck, stuck. We are stuck, because we are weary and fear we won’t have the energy needed to get unstuck. Weariness and fear are the two main reasons we get stuck. But we are not alone. We only feel alone.
We have each other. We also have those who think about us, worry over us, and many times pray fervently for us. We feel alone because we think we can’t be fixed and no one understands. We feel alone because eventually we ostracize all of the people who have supported us. It’s not their fault. It’s human nature to empathize and try to meet a need. But how can you fix a break when you can’t see it? How can you make someone see the beauty around them, the miracle of life, when they insist on looking down at the ground and are repeatedly closing their eyes? You can’t. All you can do is keep hoping and praying. It’s not our fault anymore than it is theirs. It’s scary to look up when all that your journey has been so far has been a path filled with destruction.
I don’t have all the answers, but there are a few things I know for sure: We are not alone. When we feel the sun on our shoulders and dig our toes in the warm sand, God is there. When we walk barefoot in the grass, run our hand over the bark of a tree, God is there. When we feel the relief of cool water on our skin on a hot summer’s day, or the blast of cold air that invigorates us on a cold winter’s morning, God is there. When we sit alone with our head in our hands, tired, frustrated, sad, feeling guilty and stuck, God sees us, hears us, whispers in our ear and gives us one more reason to get off that floor and move forward. God is there! God is there telling us we still have a purpose!
No one can make another want to live. I wish we could. I wish I could. If it were as simple as just wanting there would be a lot less mothers grieving over the loss of their dead children; spouse’s grieving over the loss of their partners, family and friends grieving over a loved one, and I wouldn’t have had to grieve over my beautiful best friend who took her own life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful though if we could just get what we want? I guess it’s this wanting that has compelled me to write again. I know how precious life is.
Every time someone ends their life they rob someone else of them being there. Generations of people are lost because the children they were meant to have were never conceived. Someone wasn’t inspired to live, love, make different choices, because another’s voice that might have given them advice was silenced. A helping hand wasn’t given when needed, because that hand lay still in a grave. A book wasn’t written that reaches out to others and gives them hope, because another’s thoughts were lost to death.
How will you know how wonderful tomorrow could be if you’re not around to see it? Unconditional love might bump into you while you’re walking on a sidewalk. Lifelong friendship may be sparked in a coffee shop. Dealing with your mental illness might be the thing that propels you into writing a best selling novel someday that saves lives. Yesterday may be shitty, today may feel worse, but tomorrow you may find the light switch. Tomorrow isn’t here yet, so how do you know?
I know you’re scared. Facing each tomorrow can be damn scary! Most of that is on us. We set impossibly high standards for ourselves that even a sane, healthy person couldn’t reach, and then beat the crap out of ourselves when we don’t meet them. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap where you feel you should fit into every pair of shoes you see. The beauty of being who we are is that we’re all different. It’s this difference that adds the flavor to life. You don’t have to be perfect. You are valuable just the way you are! What you see as flaws is the artwork that makes you who you are. And nothing and no one should define you. Your only purpose is to experience life in a way that makes YOU proud.
We come into this world with nothing. We leave the same way. We fill our lives with a lot of things and people we don’t need, when really our only purpose is to experience living itself. Sometimes we only find this out when we’ve lost everything else and are laid bare. What comes into your life next is the good stuff, but you may only get it when you are willing to let go of the rest and make room. The only plan you should have each and every day is making the most of it, being kind to yourself, and reaching for tomorrow. Go find your TOMORROW! It’s waiting for you!