“The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.”
Because of depression, I’ll admit this, I fight to survive. I have two sides to me. One side wants to fight. To live. To cope well. To adjust as best I can to the pain and live the best life I can. The other side is tired of suffering. It just has fought this battle too long. It wants to give up, curl into a little ball and wait for it all to end.
I tell you this because it is a struggle for me to make positive changes. For me to cope with the pain. To try and do all the things I hope will improve things.
I get tired of when I mention positive things, methods, strategies or the concept of adjusting to pain and living in the pain gaps people online shoot me down. Do they not understand how difficult it is for me to hold onto just a shred of hope? Maybe they don’t care anymore. But then I know, I’ve been there. That place where hope doesn’t shine through.
But I need to maintain some motivation and forward momentum. I need to fight that side of me that wants to just not. Just not hope or try. I don’t want to sink into a depression and not strive to change my situation. I can’t do that. I want to resist that side. Which is actually pretty difficult.
I get it. I do. We try. We fail. Nothing changes. We try a new treatment and nothing happens, or side effects happen but no positive change. Over and over again. We make compromises for our health. The illnesses takes and takes and takes. We lose ground to it. It makes you want to just stop trying. Just give up and just live with everything as is. I actually think taking a break from things is perfectly normal as well. Just maintaining for a while and resting.
But if I stop trying? I wouldn’t get up and go to work because it is too painful. I wouldn’t leave the house, because what is the point… it always makes my pain worse. I wouldn’t socialize because that aggravates my pain. I wouldn’t live. I would just exist. And I would suffer. And I fear this because I have been there. We all fear what we already know. I am on the cusp of that pain and suffering and depression. And I don’t want to slide back.
I need to pretend if I have to, that there is some hope for improvement. That something I do, or work towards, will make some potential difference. Striving. And that learning to cope, learning new strategies and routines may just decrease my suffering. And by striving I try to work. I try to do activities. I do lifestyle changes and exercise. I socialize when I can. I try to fit some life between the pain. And every damn day I have to fight my mind that this is something I should do. And keep doing, even though the depression wins some days. It just tells me not to bother.
And when I get responses that reminded me so much of that depression side of me, that shoot down whatever I say… I wonder is it depression talking? Hopelessness? Anxiety? Anger? There is no judgment though because I have lived in a dark hole of hopelessness before. Where the pain and depression were winning every damn day of the week. It just saddens me greatly to think… how many people may exist in that survival mode as well. Where they cannot think of how to get out of that existence. With no medical professional actually trying to help them into a better quality of life. Not to say my pain levels are all great right now either, but the depression is so much better managed that it has helped me adjust my outlook, somewhat. I am also in better control over my pain with not working full time. Point is, I recognize the hopelessness. I have seen it. I have lived it.
Or like me do they have other halves? One striving to improve, cope and function. The other, so very tired and frustrated? Each fighting for dominance? Because I can tell you when that beast of depression is winning it is hard to hear anything positive from me as well. I only believe that I can reduce suffering, to be honest. I don’t think the pain will ever be reduced. So to some extent, I still do not have hope. I just believe, desire, and hope to have some sort of life… and to that effect will try different strategies and treatments to cope. And if I come across something that does reduce the pain, well damn, bravo! But you can’t find it if you don’t strive.
I hate to see hopelessness. To see this lack of desire to try anymore because ‘nothing works’. I know that feeling well. It haunts me. But the pain isn’t going anywhere and we have lives to live.
I just think…We need our damn gleams of sunshine. And I want us all to seek out those gleams. Because we deserve them.