21st of august 2021
Depression has been eating at me for about 6 months now. I lose track of the time. I am not sure if 6 months is the right number. But I know it isn’t off by much. There are good things happening. Really good things. The kind things I need to remind myself that life is good and worth living. But it doesn’t last. There is no lasting impression of the good things in me. I come home from a good thing and feel empty, wonder why I am alive, find no meaning in being so and wonder how to bear it all any longer.
I went to pride today. It was good. Good things happened. I talked to people. I am finding my people. People who are like me and understand me and want similar things in life to what I want. But I am sitting alone in my apartment now, it is late and I am tired, and I am unsure how to live with the pain in my chest.
Death is on my mind a lot. The hooks death have in me are different to what I am used to. I used to feel my whole being being pulled toward the end of things. Life was so painful I couldn’t imagine a reason to stay. But in the few years leading up to the pandemic I had experiences of life being the kind of adventure I would want to explore. And some part of me knows that there are some parts of life I would like to live. If I can. If I am allowed. If I can find a way. The pain in my chest, the emptiness, parts of me that is depression and not me at all, are making road blocks. And despite my best attempts I cannot overcome them. Reading is helping me understand the road blocks and the many ways I will ned help and support to get through them. They are not imagined or unreal, but they are not permanent structures that can never be taken down, even if I cannot do it by myself, and even if doing so is a tremendous work. I feel the hooks of death and I feel the pull and it is both so familiar and so strange. Familiar because death has pulled at me for almost as long as I can remember. Strange because some of the hooks are gone, parts of me feel the pull and can imagine life. This is a progress I presume. But it feels sad. Suddenly my death is full of grief of all the life unlived, because maybe it could have been lived. Something I couldn’t even imagine 5 years ago.
I wonder if I will make it. A strange thing to wonder. I manage to wonder it with calm detachment. The future is so unknown to me. I am not less ok with dying. But I am more ok with living if it is actually living and not survival. I worry I will stay stuck in the last part. Survival. Most days I think of it as its own special kind of hell. Where living isn’t possible and death is in the opposite direction. But I haven’t found another way to search for living. The only thing I want more than death. I know there is progress here. But it doesn’t feel like progress. It feels like grief.
I must be so filled with grief. But mostly I feel angry, without knowing why or at who or what. Grief isn’t safe yet. Grief is a feeling for safety, for calm, for reflection. I am not at safe. I am still at surviving. And in surviving there is no safety, no calm, no time or space. In surviving there is only surviving, whatever that means.
I have been surrounded by the wrong people for so long. Kind people. Nice people. Good people. But not my people. I have been a stranger amongst them. Feeling out of place. Wanting something else. Wanting what felt like more. To be honest I looked at their lives and thought them small and boring and limited. And I wanted more, I wanted bigger, I wanted adventure and freedom. And amongst these people I felt limited. There wasn’t room to dream, because dreams scared these people. I know there is beauty in the lives they live. I know there is a very different kind of greatness and that they aren’t small. I think they feel safer in their lives. I also think survival is a big part of how they live. And I hate survival. I feel suffocated in it. I want life. And I have been surrounded by survival. The thing I am so desperately trying to escape. I am willing to die to escape it, even if I am not at death yet. And then I have spend years surrounded by people choosing survival, cultivating survival and safety and the comfort zone and building their lives around it. And I didn’t even know there were other ways to live. Or of course I knew. People do it all the time. Other people. In other places. People I could read about or watch on screens, but not people I know. Not people I could talk to or interact with. I believed another way to build a life had to be possible. But no one around me could understand it. I am tempted to say they didn’t know how to think that big, but I do not want to sound judgemental. Even though I think I might be. I do not want to judge the choices others make. But it felt like the choices they were making made it impossible for me to break free and choose differently. I am not sure why or how.
I am meeting people who choose differently. I am meeting people who crave adventure and freedom and living. And I wish I could feel the joy of that spread through my life. But the truth is my depression has eaten so much of me away that I am not sure how I am still here. I don’t know how I am still standing, moving, talking, doing. Of course I am not doing a lot of anything. But I do enough for it to look on the surface like everything is somewhat ok. Only on a very thin surface, but most people I know are willing to let that thin surface fool them.
I find myself unable to take care of my home, sweeping the floors, doing the dishes, washing my clothes. My finanses are not in order. Life as lost all meaning and I spend so much of my time feeling like an empty shell or wanting to end the pain in whatever way I can find. I don’t find ways to end the pain. I distract myself. Watch the same video essays on YouTube on repeat. Play some small stupid game on my phone. Take my mind away for as long as I can. Food isn’t something I can make. I am supposed to care, and I don’t. I am supposed to care about the laundry, the dishes, getting food and not just live on sugar. But I don’t. I am supposed to reach out and tell someone I am not ok. But I don’t. Not any more. I did. Months ago. Over and over and over. Now I know no help or support is coming. Not the kind I need. My mom washes my clothes. I keep thinking I am supposed to care. I know it is better when I do it myself. I don’t care. I am worried by the indifference I feel. But not enough to keep repeating the same things to the same people. I am not ok. My depression is bad. I need help. I don’t know what kind of help. I am in pain. I am not ok. Nothing happens. I can’t give instructions to anyone, I can’t think of what specifically to ask for, and no one does anything. I feel empty and done. There is no more energy left inside me. There is no more anything to give to this.
A good job opportunity is coming up. I am supposed to care. I act like I care. I do the things as if I care. I think I must somehow care. But I can’t feel the care. I feel empty and tired and like all I want to do is sleep. Wake up again when it is all over and the pain is over. The pain has always been there, I cannot imagine it gone, I am tempted to write it will always be there. But I hope not. If the pain stays then I cannot. I know this. I have known this for such a long time. The pain lets me do nothing but survive. I cannot live with it. And like always I am ok with dying.
How did I get here? I want to write about the joy and happiness of a job opportunity. But I end up thinking about not being alive.
I know the grief is there. But I don’t really feel it. It isn’t safe to feel it. I am not strong enough. I want to grieve all that I lost, what I had briefly and what I never got to have.
There are all these new people I am trying to get to know. I am not a good version of myself at the moment. But I pretend to be and for now that will have to do. I want to be a better version of myself. I want to care and be present and be authentic in who I am. I feel so lonely. I have not let go of all the kind people who are wrong for me, and I have not yet found a place amongst the people who are my kind of people. I feel both trapped in what was and lost between what was and what I want to build. And I feel so lonely.
There are parts of what is going on inside me that I cannot write. Not because I do not want to, but because I don’t know what the words are. And maybe words aren’t what the things happening inside me needs right now. But these things too make me questions how I just survive and have done nothing but survive for far too long. Some of my wounds were seen. And when that kind of wounds are seen and taken into the light they can find a way to heal. I am not yet in the light with them. But they were seen. They were declared real and valid and true and I am not alone. And I am filled with sadness and grief and pain and relief and big decisions. I was given a gift, and I wish I could feel thankful or happy or anything other than survival.
I found so many good things. And I wish I had the energy and space to feel them. I don’t. I try to soak it all up when I am in the good moments. But I am not able to take anything away from those moments. I am barely able to be in them. But I am in them as much as I can be. I pretend to be ok, and maybe for a while, maybe I kind of am. But as soon as I am alone again I feel exactly how deep the pain is, how little energy I have, how empty I feel. As if those good moments strip me of my blindness to how accustomed I have become to survive. What little energy I have is spend there, in those moments. Because I need those moments more than I need food or laundry or caring. I need to build a new life, and that is what I am attempting to do. I need new people and new energies and new foundations to stand on. And those things cannot wait for the impossible to happen. I cannot wait for energy to come back, for the depression to lift, for support to come. I have to spend whatever I can find inside myself, and invest in these new opportunities and hope the investment pays of. I have tried everything else within my power.
There are times survival is a great thing. Times it is its own kind of gift. But a life lived in survival isn’t a life lived at all. And I need to live. I need to live. I want life. I have had enough of survival. And I am not sure there is a way out of survival any more. I am not sure I have what it takes any more. I know I don’t have what it takes right now. And I am trying to be ok with that. I am trying to learn that I don’t have to have those things all the time. Because I don’t. None of us do. Moving from survival to living isn’t one step, it is many steps. And I think it is impossible to do all of them by yourself. I have done the ones I could on my own. I will do the ones that are mine to take on my own if I get to them. But I think that right now I am at some of the steps that need outside help. And I am trying to be ok with that. Knowing the help won’t come, I am still trying to be ok with the fact that the steps in front of me aren’t steps I can take on my own.
I am reminded of a line from a book. As I so often am. In the Never Ending Story the last part of the way to the top of The Ivory Tower cannot be walked or climbed or anything else. They can only be given. And that is how I think of what it takes for me to get the next part of my journey. It must be given to me. And there is a strange kind of relief in that. I am not failing because I cannot conquer this. I am not weak or lazy or failing. This is beyond me, this isn’t mine to do. And I think I need that sometimes. I think that is good for me. That something isn’t my job, my responsibility. Even though I prefer if it is.