As much as I wish I was floating on a cloud, carried away to the lands of wonder and seas of adventure to meet the winds of my fate, reality has other ideas. I stay strong because I must. I sometimes reach out for help because I must. I sometimes even manage to stop drowning in the despair of my own creation because I must. In the end, however, I always come back to the same thing: this debilitating self-doubt that makes me destroy the things I value most, the fears of failure and abandonment that make me want to swallow myself whole and cease to exist, the chains of loss and disappointment that drag me to the ground and bury me deep. Even when I get a brief glimpse of hope, there is nothing there to sustain it. Even when I think I may have found something valuable, it turns out it isn’t really meant to be mine. The tides of time wash away much of the pain but some scars never fade. They remind me every day of who I once was and never want to be again. They remind me of the bad decisions I made and the choices I wish to make from now on. They ground me in reality like nothing else can. There is no floating away on a cloud for me.
I am strong. I am a survivor. I hate being controlled and love my freedom and independence. At the same time, I am broken in ways I don’t quite understand. I have fractures in my framework and bruises on my ego. I have heard the anthem of my flaws (needy, clingy, dependent, demanding, difficult) so many times that they have insinuated themselves in my psyche. That is how I have come to see myself in certain situations. I know that I am strong, independent and generous. I am loyal and dedicated. I am attractive and intelligent. However, my mind still repeats the string of failures on loop, parades my short comings and lack of ability back and forth, and ensures that I am highly aware of the billion possible faux pas I may commit in any situation. I am drained and empty. My soul itself is tired. The light in my eyes darkens slowly. The fight is going out of me.
All of the events that lead me to this moment in time have formed my perspectives about myself. All of the little moments converged together to make the more outstanding ones. Memories that burn holes in my mind created the strength in me. The memories that melted my heart have tempered me. The memories that I hope to make one day have kept me sharp. What, however, does one do when all hope is lost? When there is no light at the end of the tunnel and when there is no ray of sunshine and when there is nothing but the prospect of lonely death in your future, what should you do?
What do you do when the foundation of your being is as shaky as a house during a major earthquake? What do you do when the heights you once aspired to are no longer an option and the heights you can reach don’t excite you? What do you do when there is only another day to grind, another day to force yourself through, another moment of disappointment, another source of grief? What do you do when your chest literally aches from the wounds of loss and all you want is to curl up in a fetal position and die?
Some people pray. Some people find something to busy themselves with. Some people wallow. Some people go about like the hollow shells they have become, pretending to function perfectly while teetering on the edge of abysmal self hate. Some isolate themselves and cease to function. Some do all of the above. Some people, through their sheer willpower, convince themselves to think differently. They convince themselves to be stronger. They decide to be happy. They have a certain quality of grit that keeps them going, determined to be happier.
Personally, I am in a fog of depression right now. I can’t even think straight. All I know is I don’t want to be afraid and depressed anymore. I want to be free and whole. I want to soar through open skies with ease and never have to look back. It hurts to even attempt to rewire my brain. I don’t know if I have grit enough to do it. I will keep trying though. Maybe someday, I’ll be as free as a normal, un-depressed person. I can’t wait.