Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Missing Happy

It's hard to keep a positive spirit when, on your average day, it feels like you are being incrementally and slowly suffocated by a viscous black ooze--like melted asphalt stuck to the bottom of your shoe on a scorching summer day. On the worst days, you can feel it filling your lungs, hardening in your stomach. Trapping you inside. But you still have to keep going. You never know why. Maybe it's like drowning: We struggle to breathe not by choice but by instinct.

On better days, like today, I sit somewhere between misery and anhedonia. 

I'm going through the motions, but I don't feel like I'm really here. Everything, my whole being included, has lost its purpose. My life in is present state has no meaning, and trying to create meaning has been the biggest challenge of the last several months. I feel more trapped than ever. I feel more hopeless than I ever imagined I would. Failure, missed opportunities, stories about what might have been, wasted potential--these are the words whose images torment me all day and night. My heart never stops racing. I never get a break. And it feels like I never will. 

People keep telling me the same things. They say that I need a better attitude, which is probably true, but I've grown too cynical for that to come comfortably or easily. I'm suspicious of every near-good feeling I have, for an actual good feeling is hard to come by these days. I'm not sure I remember what that's like, though less than a year ago, I certainly knew. People also say that things will get better, that something has to work out eventually, and on and on. But I also know from experience that things don't change unless you make them change, and not every story has a happy ending. If life were fair, and we were compensated adequately for the trials we have endured, my suffering would have ended a long time ago. I'm not naive enough to believe that luck will be on my side. I seem to be the only one who understands that the longer this goes on, the harder it's going to be to get out of the situation(s), 

I've been floundering for years, and each day wasted adds to the misery of the next. I have started to fear that this is the new me. I feel like I have lost the person I used to be entirely. I'm losing the fight. I really am trying. But I am not succeeding. 

I've been to the hospital four times since September for psychiatric issues that progressed beyond my or my fiance's ability to handle them. And I really only left the last time because, upon admission, I was essentially assaulted by several staff members. (That's a story for another time and place. I'm not quite ready to reveal those details yet, as they still make me extremely uncomfortable.) It's hard to trust anyone. But I still keep trying. 

Even though I know that we don't necessarily get what we deserve, I still can't stop asking myself what I did to deserve this. Why can't I just be happy? Why does every inhalation feel like a stab to the stomach? And how in the world does anyone else live like this? And will this be forever?

And it might be. That's what terrifies me the most. I've tried almost everything, aside from ECT, which scares me. (Headaches and memory loss? No thanks.) If nothing works, the best I can hope for in life is damage control. What kind of life would that be? What kind of life is the one I am living now? 

I am almost never okay. Even less often am I happy. I don't know how to keep doing this. And the burden I place on those around me is getting to be too much for them to bear. I can't stand being around me. I can't stand how pathetic and whiny I have become. I can't imagine how my fiance feels, especially since he has his own problems to worry about. Real problems. 

I've shut myself away from most of my closest friends because socialization scares me more and more. I'm afraid to leave the house most of the time. I'm afraid of doing things by myself. I couldn't even walk to the hair salon at the bottom of the hill alone today. Things are starting to get much worse, even though they may appear to be getting better on the outside. I'm an expert at pretending to be okay. Since I can't actually be okay, I suppose it's the next best thing. I try to smile for him and show him that I love him every day. But I wonder if it will be enough. Some days, the other emotions overwhelm that expression. 

I am continuing to lose myself. I am again faced with the prospect of several days without him around, and I have no idea what to do with myself for 20 hours out of the day. And sometimes, I am paralyzed by my emotions. I am restless and apathetic at the same time. It's when I scream on the inside without being able to move all day. It's where I am headed at this very moment. 

I feel so left out. So left behind. This isn't me. This isn't my life. 
Yet, somehow, it ended up that way. I want to escape all of this more than anything. 

The other day, I felt like I had received a sign that I was on the right track as far as my plans were concerned. But those plans are ridiculous to me now. Medical school after all this time? How will I pay for it? How will I even be able to take the test and do well? How will someone like me who has nothing to show for the last four years of his life ever get accepted anywhere worthwhile? It probably isn't even possible. I'm drowning in debt as it is, so no one would give me money. It hurts to even think about this because that's pretty much what's preventing me from moving in any academic direction with my life. Am I going to be stuck getting 400 dollars a month from disability and wasting most of my life being in and out of hospitals? Who wouldn't be miserable in my position? All I want is something that gives my life meaning and purpose. And I know what that is. I know what's missing. I just can't get there. And nothing else is going to make me happy. That's the price I have to be for being as ambitious and stubborn as I have been. 

My life certainly didn't prepare me for this. I want out of this game. 

I can't remember the last time I had a decent day. It feels like all I know is pain. But I keep struggling. I keep going. And I am not proud of myself for that. I can't be. 

I'm losing my grip on everything. And I am terrified of the next time I can't handle something. Things seem to escalate each time. There is nothing more that I want right now than to run away. 

Things can't continue this way. I just don't have the strength for it anymore. My life has broken me. I really am just a shell anymore. A warm body. 

Today, I just really miss being happy.