I’ve never liked the heat. My siblings called me a Polar Bear. In the cold things are silent, peaceful. In the heat the air is heavy. A subtle discomfort that refuses to go away. I can describe my life that way. No matter what I do there is always that small frustration, a feeling that I am doing something wrong.
There are endless weights on a life. Small voices judging you. “Lose weight, make money, clean, do something…” They cause pent-up frustrations. Anxiety, Depression follows. Anxiety and depression only make the voices louder, and myself more lethargic. That endless spiral, down, down I go.
It never truly stops…I know that. Wounds Heal but can reopen. It is always a matter of enduring, building mental muscles to lift the same weight like an old man who felt the same pain in his leg for so long it no longer bothers him. I write to let out my frustration because I know that it will always be building. The weight of life is always building if you don’t learn to carry it, or let some of it go it will crush you.
Spring has come late this year, winter did not seem to want to stop. Seasons can change moods. Perhaps that is why I want to speak about something I rarely talk about on this blog, hope.
It is no secret that I had very little friends growing up. Some of the worst times in my life was sitting alone at lunchtime in School. The anxiety and loneliness weighed on me like lead. I have friends now. The anxiety still hurts before every meeting, but it’s worth it.
Depression can put blinders on you, make you lose track of the things around you. That is why I feel the need to point out that I have so much more then in my youth.
If you want to know what my anxiety is to me, it is being unable to make a new psychologists appointment after my old one left. Letting my pills run out rather than make a phone call. It’s avoiding a therapist for reasons I’m not even sure. It is a pain in my gut every time the phone rings. It’s finding excuses to push people away. Being unable to sleep in fear of anything that breaks my routine, anything new. It’s having high blood pressure because my heart races every time someone gets close enough to take it.
My depression is a call to the void. It is staring at train tracks and wondering what if. I hide in a hole building a wall of trash around me like a castle wall. I think of the past and never the future. I feel a call that leads me deeper into the dark. I find sad story’s and music and weep to myself. But sometimes I find someone who is worse off than me. I use what experience I have and try to help them, not for unselfish reasons but because it makes me feel better as well.
Hiding and pushing everyone away would be so easy. Even doing things I enjoy bring on painful feelings. I’ve done it before, I dropped out of school, grow fat and suicidal. I wrote on my skin with a knife. As painful as it all it, it is easy. I slip down a similar hole all the time. But I still slowly crawl out.
Recently I finally have gotten around to reading something that has been on my “to read” list for a long time. Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. A fascinating short story about a man who becomes a bug. However, there is something about the story that has gotten stuck in my head. The main character Gregory, and his family rely heavily on societal expectations and pleasing them. Gregory’s very first thought upon turning into a bug is that he is late for work. He near kills himself to try and go to work, despite turning into a giant beetle, for fear of being fired from his job even though he has never been late in years of working. His family hides Gregory away as a shameful thing. To make up for the lack of his income, they all get jobs and rent a room out of the house to make money. They go to insane lengths to please the renters of the room. Meanwhile, Gregory hides away and makes a great effort not to upset his family despite being mistreated and dying. He places the needs of others so far above himself that he dies not to upset it. His family only grow contempt for Gregory and wanted to get rid of him near the end. They decide that Gregory has no intelligence from his formal life because they never try to look and Gregory never tried to show it. In the end, Gregory dies alone, and the family gets a happy ending, calling out of work for the first time, kicking out the renters, and firing the rude maid. They realize they can do what they want with their lives and have an open future ahead of them.
So why is this story so stuck in my head? Gregory dies alone with his family seeing him as nothing but a giant insect with no intelligence. This is depressing alone but it’s Gregory’s nature that hits me. I used to be a lot like him. Haveing so little self-worth that any action was taken by the people around me always held more value than myself. I was prepared to die alone in my room trying to cause as little trouble to others as possible. Perhaps like Gregory, I saw myself as an insect. I would live and die a short life avoiding the lives of others.
Self-worth is just so very important to a healthy life. Somewhere along my life I never learned it, and have been trying ever since. If you don’t have the confidence to take a single sick day from work, to take care of yourself then you are barely living. It’s okay to be selfish, your existence is important enough that you can slightly burden others.
PS. I like to thank my brother for letting me rant about Kafka for a night.
An old story that I have told many times now. I stay up late, it is my birthday, and am lost in my head. I’ve said this before, but I think it is important to say, again and again, I did not expect to live this long. I am almost thirty, I truely believed without a doubt in my mind that I would be dead by now. In that respect, every moment I still exist exceeds my childhood expectations for me.
I grow older, but in many ways, I am still a child. I suppose I am not unique in this. We are all still learning, and growing and changing as people. The change is so much more subtle than I thought as a child. Depressed, happy, thoughtful it is all still me. As a teenager, you strive to be unique and even I often wondered who I would be without my depression. While my depression may never go away completely, I have learned to manage it better and better. I understand now that am still me, no matter how I change.
I had a dream that I felt I must write down. I was on a small boat with my brother and sister beside me on a completely calm and blue ocean. It was dark and there were no moon or stars in the sky. We pulled the boat up to a tiny rock island. On the island was chained a lion. The lion was sick and malnourished. Its ribs showed through its skin and patches of hair were gone, instead was rotting flesh. The lion was in its last moments of life. I called it a Revenant, because “It is already dead, it just has not accepted it yet.” We tried to step onto the lions Island to release its chains and perhaps try to put it out of its misery but the lion pulled on his chains trying to strike and bite any that approach. As he pulled on the chains that wrapped around its neck his skin ripped like paper and fresh blood pooled around him. In the panic, we fell onto our boat and caused it to tip. I woke up as the boat started to sink into the motionless sea.