(Content Warning: hints at suicidal ideation)
This is one of those times when you can judge a book by its cover–or in this case, a post by its title. The moment does not carry a vibe of jubilee. Part of me is apologetic; the other part of me says, meh. This is the yin to my yang; by showing you this, I show you all of me.
All I know is that it’s dark. I don’t even know if it’s depression. I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly even-keeled person, resisting the embrace of the highs so that I might be spared the lows.
Most of the time, that strategy has worked for me. Every so often, however, an unseen darkness sneaks up behind me and grabs me around the shoulders and neck, before I have the chance to scream.
Usually, it’s not even one pin-pointy, identifiable tentacle, like a scorpion’s tail; it’s more of a murky, vague ache originating from multiple sources, that settles in when I’m most vulnerable.
And I have indeed been vulnerable.
I’m given the play-by-play of my aunt’s inevitable passing, and I’m detecting what I can only explain as my mother’s pain as it happens, for this is her only sister.
And I’m not even dealing with my true mother. The essence of what she was seems to have died in the car wreck; she has not been the same after that horror. She suffered mild brain damage, just enough to rob her of her youth and innocence, and some of her memory and reason, taking it away from her…and from me.
That gets lonely sometimes.
I’m reminded every few hours that my cervical (neck) disc is still severely herniated, as the pain creeps in and winds its way into my shoulder and arm, and that I must take something for it so that I can feel like something that resembles me for a while. I dread the evenings because that’s when, inexplicably, the pain sets in the most and I can do the least for myself.
I’m reminded then of the surgery I will most likely need, the scariness of going under the knife again, the uncertainty of what life will be like on the other side of it, the Undo button I cannot press if I end up unhappy with the results.
And then there’s the fact that I am one of those Americans who remain uninsured. Unfortunately, the so-called Affordable Care Act didn’t help everyone. It did, however, drive up health insurance premiums to levels I can’t reach, because it required me to purchase coverage I’ll never use, just as I was beginning to think I might be able to afford a major medical/catastrophic plan.
Which then reminds me of our financial situation. We’re maxed out. We can’t seem to get ahead. I’ll be putting said surgery on a credit card and hoping to pay it off before I die. Credit cards can become like mortgages, but without building any equity. I should know.
There’s so much I had to forgo; we thought we might have a house again, since we live in a semi-affordable area. But that didn’t happen. I really need counseling for the two types of PTSD, and thought last year that I may be able to start care in January. It’s June. Maybe I can shoot for next January. Maybe then I could sleep.
The apartment is too small; it’s in shambles because there’s no space to put anything. The rent we pay, however, is more than our previous house payment. We even fork over extra every month for a garage space. It’s all full. And it’s chaotic and overwhelming to live in. And there’s no money left over for an extra storage rental.
When did life get so complicated? With my loved ones dropping one by one, what’s the world going to come to look like as they disappear? Where is the way out of the conundrums I feel so stuck in? Why do tears have to sting and burn?
Believe me when I say that I’m still here because I make the decision to be. If I wanted to leave this life, I know exactly how I would do it. It’s painless. And it’s a sure thing.
And believe me when I say that if the end came for me a little sooner than expected, I also wouldn’t fight it. I wouldn’t be angry, and I wouldn’t be scared.
I’m not quite 40, but I’m tired.
I’m tired of trying to adjust to a world that doesn’t make sense. I’m tired of trying to accommodate a world that doesn’t bend or give back. I’m tired of being expected to know exactly what to say or do. I’m tired of grief and pain. I’m tired of curveballs and games. I’m tired of being stonewalled by fate, never quite able to get ahead, despite my brains and effort and energy. I’m tired of the medical mysteries my body and brain seem to derive great joy in tossing into my path. I’m tired of taking pills every day just to try and deal with various issues. I’m tired of being awake at night. I’m tired of dealing with bitching at work or drama on social media (the latter of which I’ve minimized, but it still rears up every so often). I make juvenile body sounds because sometimes it’s the only way I can laugh.
Oddly enough, I don’t usually consider myself a depressed person. But then I start to wonder…
Is it a rip-roaring case of alexithymia, where I’m feeling something (like depression, for instance) but don’t realize it?
Am I masking so well that I’m masking myself to myself?
Do I get so hyperfocused on my interests and projects that I’m successfully able to blot out the darkness that might otherwise overtake me?
I’m not sure of anything. Except maybe that I don’t handle change well. I don’t handle stress well. Little things that may or may not seem like much on their own add up occasionally and bite me in the arse.
I also know that my life is a giant semicolon; it ain’t over till it’s over. But when it’s over, I will go quietly. I will make no fuss. I won’t struggle or resist.
Until then, I have one day at a time. I’ll put one foot in front of the other, if that’s what it takes.
Part of me says, don’t mind me; I’m just having one of Those Times. Part of me says, yeah but this never really goes away. Part of me feels guilty for saddling others with this burden, the burden of my own pain that is really mine to bear and no one else’s; others have their own pain.
But another part of me reminds myself that everything happens for a reason, and, as with other posts, there might be someone who needs to read this and know that they’re not alone. There might be people who need to know I’m real, and not just a shiny, Happy Aspie all the time. That part of me says, publish.
I’m still here.