The Echo of Contemplative Suffering

This never-ending cloud of dread above my head will not leave me.  My body aches all over and my eyes are closing at every opportunity.

I have barely any energy.  I just want to sleep.  My stomach rumbles and I know I have to eat, yet I have no motivation to actually move to the kitchen and cook something.  Each night I fall asleep hoping tomorrow will not come.  I wake each morning wishing the day would end.  I wake with panic in my chest.

The only thing getting me through the days is going to appointments.  I feel I have lost the desire to want to live life.  I do.  I so badly want to be well and function.  I feel misunderstood by people.  I have tried to tell myself that mental illness does not exist, that it is made up by psychiatrists so that they can feed pills to people and get money.  Mental illness…I just can’t get it to sink in.  Illness I understand…when ‘normal’ functions are temporarily disrupted.

“You just have to be happy.  Get up and fight.”  Can you tell that to my guilt.  My shame.  It might be easy for you to say…that might be where you are and how you got through.  I’ve been fighting with this since I was about 5 years old.  That empty hollow, loneliness and vulnerability hasn’t been filled.

“You have to fill it yourself, with your own love.” Teach me how.  I can’t do it on my own.  I’ve been trying and I’m still in the same place.  Maybe not as extreme as I have been…I’m still in this feeling.  Did it ever really go away? Is it always going to be with me?  I don’t want it with me.  I want this layer of dullness to be peeled away.  I so badly want to believe that I can get better.

I have depression.  The shame in admitting this.  “I can’t have it.  Depression doesn’t exist.  It’s a label.” I have it and it is debilitating.  Depression.  That dark cloud that pours on you, drowns you, freezes you and gives you no warmth.  The pain that stabs my stomach when I speak to people.  Why are they happy and I’m not?  Depression.  The dark room with one screen showing repeats of all your failures.  Another room filled with missed opportunities.  An echo of voices telling me to get on with things reverberated back with “useless.  Look where you are.  You’re never going to make it.  You have no money.  You’re afraid to talk to people.  You’re afraid of what people will think of you.  You’re going to fail and disappoint everyone.  You’re going to hurt everyone and make their lives miserable.  You can’t have responsibilities-you panic too much.  You don’t listen. You don’t apply yourself.  Who would want to employ someone who doesn’t care.  Someone who doesn’t think about how their behaviour can impact another person.  You’re selfish.  Nobody likes a selfish person.”

…But how can I give to others if I can’t even give to myself?  These voices don’t want me to care about myself.  These voices seem to have more power over me.  That voice of love and compassion…where is it?  I feel so young.  I’m 27 and feel like I’m about 14.  Incapable of looking after myself.  No…capable of looking after myself, but I need help.  Where are my guides?  I feel so out of focus.  I feel like I am barely keeping afloat.

Am I waiting for my moment when I realise that it’s up to me and only me?  Am I even trying?  I mean, I think I am.  I went to the doctor and told her I need help, I applied for Universal Credit to keep me afloat, applied for some jobs, made a new CV, I went to Redhall Walled Garden for people with mental ill health to see about getting a place to do horticulture, I’ve phoned Samaratins and trying to meet friends and I still feel like I should be able to function like a ‘normal’ person.  I feel so ashamed of my own life and where I am.  I wish I could be happy or express this and somehow know that I’ll get through this.  I feel like part of me is resistant to taking help because that shows that I’m weak.  I need to be strong and do this alone.  I’m tired of feeling empty.  I want to make my own decisions and feel empowered instead of feeling like I’m sleep-walking through life.  I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin.  I hate the feeling of helplessness, but that is how I have been feeling lately.  I need someone to take my hand and be with me while I get my life back together.  I so badly wish I had faith, that I believed in the divine and be in touch with spirituality and I have felt that I have, but why don’t I now?  The skepticism and cynicism dulls me.  GO AWAY!!!

GO AWAY!! FUCK OFF!! LEAVE ME ALONE!! WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE?!! WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE ANYWAY IF NOT TO TRY TO KILL ME?  HOW IS THAT EVEN A GOOD SOLUTION???? WHY WOULD YOU RATHER I DIED THAN LIVED?  WHERE DID YOU EVEN COME FROM ANYWAY? I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW A LACK OF NURTURING AND LOVE WOULD AUTOMATICALLY LEAD TO THE IDEA THAT I WOULD BE BETTER OFF DEAD.  Is it because life seems too painful?  Life has been painful but it doesn’t have to continue to be.  It will be painful at times, of course.  And I know it hurts to hear that.  That life won’t be perfect, it won’t all go smoothly, but then where is the lesson in it?  How would you be able to appreciate the good things that came along if you hadn’t experienced the hardship?  Aaah I hear the anxiety ‘What if I don’t make it in life? What am I supposed to be in life?  What do I want to do in life?  What are my passions?’ How about you listen to what you need to do for yourself right now.  ‘But what about the flat?  I need money incase I need to move out.  What if I get chucked out?  What if Davinia gets so sick of me or doesn’t enjoy living with me that she would want me to leave and replace me with someone better?’ Wooah..ok, slow down.  Again, take care of your own needs just now.

What is happening?  One minute I’m feeling completely helpless and surrounded in dullness and now I have this disappearance of it where I feel like I’m acting more in the moment and don’t even see the need to think.  This is where I wished I was away camping, where I could appreciate this in its full effect.  Complaining seems pointless…what do I do with the emptiness now?  Is it space? Surely my depression can’t suddenly disappear…


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