This post is dedicated to an old associate going through some difficult times… I don’t know if we were ever technically “friends”; but I had a lot of respect for you then and I have even more for you now…
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Ah, the Joy of the Nether-worldly descent that is the trip to rock bottom. For normals, rock bottom sucks but is usually a bit more easily recoverable. What happens when you’re living with mental challenges that make that trip down all the worse? There you lay after hitting rock bottom, and Fate chucks a shovel down into the pit that bounces off your crotch after hurtling at Mach 8 to the bottom accompanied with the call of, “Keep digging asshole, you still got more to go!”
I feel glad for the people that can hit a rough patch or a major life change, make some plans, mourn a bit, and then keep plowing forward. The sad reality is, most people with that capability choose not to do it. Ultimately, it is disappointing and disgusting. And many people, even in bad positions; don’t realize how well they actually do have things. They have no perspective to their situation and ability to exert control and change it.
But what of those living with mental illness? It is damned near impossible to get anything accomplished when you do not care whether or not you make it through the next hour. Striving for anything seems pointless because you just know that it’s all going to come unraveled when your brain gets out of sorts again. But eventually, the clouds would break and sunlight would stream through a bit. You would not get happy but at least be able to realize you had to do something, anything. And then that voice, whispering; why bother? You know what’s going to happen.
You’re going to crash into morbid depression and be unable to communicate what‘s in your mind.
You’re going to go to work and frighten your coworkers by talking morbidly.
You’re going to come home, not talk to the person you care for most in the world.
You’re going to go to bed and either stare at the ceiling and sleep two hours or sleep sixteen hours instead.
And then you know, you’re just going to wake up the next day and do it all again.
I know these things because I’ve done them, several times. And far more much worse to myself. The question is, how do you get through it to get to the other side?
That is one thing I will say that is a positive about living with a mental illness. It really enhanced my ability to separate the crap that does not matter from the crap that does. It all boils down to one very important, singular point. If I’m not dead, I can still fix it. Then I switched my focus to that which was important to ensure I could keep walking forward. If you look at almost any interview with a successful individual, they will credit tenacity with being one of the primary factors of their success. They failed, but they picked up the pieces and kept moving forward. Learned from the experience and moved forward. That’s what I do when my mind slips into suicidal thinking, when I’m considering how much of a burden I’ve been to the people I care about, the loves I’ve destroyed and failed at, the jobs I’ve lost, the opportunities I’ve cost myself, and when my bank account is down to $3.26 combined in checking and savings.
I focus on what’s important. I’m not dead. I can fix all those things. I may fuck them up again but I can keep trying.
I sometimes get from people that I somehow think my situation and experience are unique. I talk about it openly where many people do not because of the challenges they are facing. Or whatever reason they may have. Too painful or confusing to deal with in an open way? Regardless. It is not because I think my situation or circumstances are special; it’s because someone has to talk about these things. I am utterly tired of hearing how people are shocked when someone close to them kills themselves. It is incessantly pointless and unnecessary for those circumstances to be.
Mental illness has been a part of humanity since the brain was capable of thought. I know that because the brain is a very complex machine, and periodically wiring in a machine is going to get fucked up. You can’t create something that complex multiple times and not expect there to be some problems. But still, thousands of years later; people are still wringing their hands over the same dumbass questions.
I can’t feel sorry for, or pity for, the others living with these problems in their minds. There is always hope so long as you are still alive. When you’re dead, I still won’t pity you. Your war is over. I will empathize, attempt to be sympathetic; but pity is not something I’m capable of feeling anymore. Nor would I want to if I could. Life is Hell and people suffer every day for no reason. Doesn’t make any sense to pity the person before you when someone on the other side of the world is going through the same thing.
You are right when you said I’m not the only person with problems. I did not mean to infer that I was. I don’t know your life story or the Hell that you have lived through in your mind. I don’t know the circumstances that caused it to emerge. I don’t know all things, hopes, dreams, and goals that you lost because of it. Nor could I pretend to necessarily understand even if you did tell me. I’m not you.
What I do have is an understanding of the world we’re living in. A world where people like you and I are the oddities to be looked at strangely, whispered about, or avoided. A world where normal people wring their hands trying to understand our thought processes when they make absolutely no sense to us. The same world that celebrates great artists, writers, and leaders who were all mentally ill; but do not record that as it is “disrespectful”. As if somehow managing to live with and manage their mental illness is a character flaw that should be hidden. In actuality, its something that should be celebrated and discussed. So other people walking those paths can draw some inspiration from the information and have a reason to hope for something better.
I came to the conclusion awhile ago that life really has no point unless you give it one. I do not believe there to be some giant overarching theme or goal. There is too much pointless suffering and too many erratic parts in the machine. The point I decided to give the rest of my existence was to try and help make a few peoples’ lives better. People like me, people like you.
And yes I may fail miserably.
Just the same as many before me have.
Never will I let it be said that I did not try.
Those are the simple reasons why I have tried to strike up several conversations or give you an opportunity to vent. I know there are plenty of false and pointless people in the world. People that are not trustable or are shallow, pretentious fucks with no concept of what having real problems is like. The simple fact of the matter is; if I did not give a shit I would not ask. I don’t even bother to try to pretend to follow pointless societal niceties. It got me nowhere the entirety of my life.
Waste of fucking time. I would rather use that time to do something useful, to be a sounding board or help someone out that genuinely needed it.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”
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