|On "hanging on"
||[Jan. 3rd, 2015|10:14 pm]
was trying to write up an answer for "what do you do when you feel like you haven't got anything to live for? When, in fact, it seems like a hasty exit from life is the best option for you?" One of the things I thought about when Robin Williams died |
And the answer is one of the lousiest, most hideous answers I can imagine - it's the second worst answer I can imagine. And the answer is "don't die."
I won't insult your intelligence by saying what the worst answer is, but I will make explicit that it's exactly what you'd expect I'd say.
What makes it a lousy answer is that it doesn't say *how*. It doesn't say *why*. It doesn't give you a damn thing to hold on to. It's the same kind of bullshit that everyone throws at every depressed person, and it seems selfish. "No, don't die - I won't do anything about the hideous pain you're feeling, but nevertheless, I will put a burden on you - don't die. Keep living."
But that's not what I'm saying. Honest.
The reason I don't have an answer for you is because I'm not you. I can't tell you what will happen next, what you will hold on to, what will make you decide to keep putting one foot in front of the other, away from the pills, the gun, the rope, the height, or whatever method is calling to you. All I can say is, there is an answer.
I don't do misery poker - where a "Breakup with my True Love" beats a "Death of a close friend from cancer" but not a "death of a close family member", and high misery hand takes the pot. There's no showdown, and there's no winning, with misery. But I can say this: whatever misery you're feeling, someone is having it worse, and continuing to live, and considering their life worth living. This doesn't mean that your misery doesn't count but it does mean that there is an answer to "how do you live with it?"
People live with missing limbs, with broken bodies, with neck-down paralysis, with severe brain damage, with severe disabilities of every nature. And sure, they aren't all exactly happy with their states, and yes, they have depression and despair and all kinds of issues too. But there is no non-fatal medical condition that I know of wherein people haven't found a way to live a decent, fulfilling life, though clearly, it might not be what they'd once hoped for.
And that means there is an answer - your answer. And I wish I could find it for you and tell it to you, but if you don't already have it, if you haven't already found it, even if I could find it, and could put it in words, and tell you, it wouldn't make sense. It wouldn't click. Because it would only be a description of the thing - you won't have found the real thing, the real answer, until you've found it yourself.
So: how do you live, when you don't have any reason? You don't die - and keep moving forward, trusting that there is an answer for you. Trusting that I hear you, hurling a variety of angry, nasty, bitter curses at me for saying such optimistic garbage, but figuring you'll keep on kicking long enough to prove me wrong, to prove there *is* no answer, to shove my hideous failure in my face and show me what a worthless, platitude-spouting git I am, if that's what it takes to keep kicking long enough to stumble across one.
There is an answer. You'll know it when you find it. It might just be keep slogging through hell until you get through; it might be figuring out how to accept your life as it is, even though you have every right to feel cheated by what you should have, but don't. I don't know what the answer will be. I just know that it is out there.
And no matter who you are, I do want you to trust that I truly hope you can find it.