The long dark night of the soul

My family deserve better than this. They deserve better than this dessicated husk of a person I’ve become.

There’s a deep bitterness to being diagnosed with something that can’t be tested for with a blood test or a brain scan; something that sucks all of the colour and joy out of life, but is quite literally “all in my head”. There’s a deep burning anger at myself knowing that I live in one of the most privileged societies on the planet, and have a life that people long for, and yet have to fight myself to just keep going.

Maybe it is “just” depression again. They doctor tried to convince me to go on different anti-depressants. They have worse side-effects than the last ones I was on. People report that they’re harder to get off as well. Another doctor once described anti-depressants as a crutch to use to get well. But after the prescription is filled and the tablets are taken, there’s no process of getting well beyond that. Not that I can afford, anyway.

Besides, call it cynical, but it’s not in the best interests of the pharmaceutical companies for someone on anti-depressants TO get well; then they’ll stop buying the product.

So I’m resistant to the ideas of the meds. Even moreso than the last time I was convinced to take them.

What’s my alternative? I refuse to give in to the darkest impulses. I won’t do that to the people who love me.

I’m not living right now, I’m just existing. Anxieties piled on top of anxieties. A literal headache that I’ve been unable to shake for five weeks.

I’m not supposed to think like this; to write like this. I, who call myself a follower of Jesus? I’m supposed to speak of joy and peace… of hope. But… this is also the truth of who I am right now. Should I only speak the truth when it’s nice and friendly and happy?

I’ve lost hope that things will get better. The good people are taken away too soon. The wicked prosper, destroying people’s lives for the sake of profit or power. The voices of the idealogues grow increasingly strident demanding that they get their way, and damn the rest of you.

Perhaps I should abandon my faith and try to find meaning in dogmatically tearing apart and ridiculing those who disagree with me. Somehow, I don’t think that will work for me any better than my teenage fundamentalism.

My current reality is that I can’t trust my own brain. Maybe I’m seeing the world as it truly is, or maybe the chemical soup in my head is missing some vital ingedients. I don’t want to be like this. Who would choose this over the alternative of actually living? It drives away the people who care for me, and earns the kind of attention people pay to chewing gum stuck to their shoe.

Whatever the answer is, it’s beyond me to find out right now, and beyond my ability to hope for an answer to come.

Tomorrow I’ll do the same as I do every day. I’ll drag myself out of bed and take weary step after weary step across the parched desert of my current existence until darkness falls once again, and another night of dreamless sleep returns me to the start of the cycle.

Maybe, for me, this is as good as it gets.

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