Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reasons to Live

It's that time of deepest winter when it seems like the sky has always been steel gray and everything visible from here to the horizon has always been shades of brown and death. It's also that time when hopelessness is at its worst and the "Seasonal Affective Disorder" has piled so thickly onto fifteen years of ongoing clinical depression that it's hard to remember why I bother living.

While searching the All-Powerful Internet for reasons to live, I realized that no one else's list is going to do me much good. Sadly, the first two I pulled up listed sex as at least one of the authors' reasons. Sorry, not going to work for me.

I had such a list in high school. I was reading a Dean Koontz book and the main character had one which, among other things, mentioned a certain burger from a fictional burger joint. After a moment's wondering whether a food item could really be worth living for, I thought of one that I actually considered enough of a reason to make it another day or so. Unfortunately, Pizza Hut's triple-decker, stuffed crust, deep dish, heart-attack-of-bliss no longer exists, and the stuffed crust alone isn't enough. Plus, I can't afford fast food.

I'm living on $150 per month. I live at my grandmother's house, but that's still less than two hundred dollars per month, and I use half of that on gas driving my daughter places. School, mostly. The library. Wal-Mart.

I spend a chunk of it on Internet because the place I live contains some houses, a hardware store, and a bar, none of which I'm interested in, and the nearest town is fifteen miles. I have to buy my own toilet paper and whatnot, so that leaves me with nothing. But I digress.

Reasons to live... Not leaving grieving family members used to be a big one on my list. I think they'd get over it, though. They'd be horribly ashamed of me being so weak, but I'd be dead, so shame means nothing. Ditto for leaving behind debt and a storage unit full of most of my belongings.

Fear of Hell is on my list, but it's not as powerful as it should be at the moment. When in the throes of misery, when you feel nothing inside but seemingly endless self-hate and misery, eternal suffering doesn't look like much of a difference. You must keep in mind, of course, how very important perception is, and that logic doesn't work against persistent, irrational thoughts.

I hate you.

No, you're just miserable. You know you're smart, you know you have artistic talent, and that you're a good writer. You know people love you.

So? Everyone hates you for that alleged smartness, and I don't care if that's a real word, because you know how it pisses off your dad any time you mention anything he thinks you might have learned in college, because he assumes you're talking down to him.

But you can't help what people think or assume, and you know he loves you.

So? He doesn't like you. If it wasn't for your daughter, he wouldn't care if you visited.

Probably not... But my sister likes me.

Yeah, and that does you a lot of good. Everyone's already ashamed of you for being such a failure. You can't get a job in two years of unemployment, and everyone's sure that you're not really trying. In fact, you're not! When was the last time you filled out an application?

...I'm sorry! I'm sorry, but every time I try to, or even think about it, I just think what a failure I am, and what a waste of time it'll be to fill out yet another application for another job I won't get! It's a waste for me, and for the hiring manager who has to look through all that crap already!

You don't even TRY, so stop pretending.

I'm suffering from long-term depression! I need to give myself an emotional break, forgive myself a little. It doesn't have to be perfect...

If you're only second-best you won't get the job, so yes, perfection does matter!

So does luck! I could get lucky!

People don't get places with luck, they get it with hard work!

I try!

Liar. You don't try. You nap half the day on the couch because you don't want to think, and because you hope desperately that your grandmother's cats will sleep on you and maybe you'll feel worth something.


You're worthless! It's no wonder everyone says "I wish I knew how to help you," but no one ever actually does anything!

They try to give me advice...

Because "You need to get a job" is advice. You didn't already know that?

Well yes, I did, I want a job, but...

You're a f~ing loser and you always will be.

But I went to college!

Pretentious bastard!

No, that's not what I meant! I meant, I went to college full-time and I graduated, and I had a part-time job and an internship, and...

And you couldn't get your bills paid. You realize it's been two years, and you still owe hundreds of dollars to the utility companies before they'd hook you up, even if you WERE competent enough to get a job and find your own place to live? And your grandmother doesn't even want you in her house anymore because she can't deal with the noise of a child, and because you aren't social enough to be the companionship she needs.

No! I'm smart, and I have proof! I graduated college! I learned common sense that I didn't have when I was a teenager! I have friends! I have a friend who loved me enough to fly me halfway across the country to see her, and another friend who would gladly do the same if she had the money! They love you, and they think you're smart and clever and they like you as a friend, and if you told them that you desperately needed them...

They'd apologize for leaving and promise to talk to you later.

Because they have school and jobs...

Which are more important than you.

Which is how it's supposed to be.


Actual mental conversation, there. Not really a dramatic reenactment. Oh yeah, I was supposed to be listing reasons to live. Number one about half an hour ago was that my friend told me I have to keep living, whether I want to or not. If I manage to think of a number two, maybe you'll get a better blog post next time.

Reasons to Live:

1. My friend told me to.
2. Because there has to be more than one reason, or making a list was pointless.


  1. I love you! You're not worthless, besides I'm still waiting for the smut novels to be published! You're looking in the wrong place for help (family are rubbish at 'helping' and I so wish you had free medical care in your country that could help you get back on you feet. xxxx

  2. It would be nice to get to a real psychologist. The one at school was amazing, he could read me better than I read myself. And I've nearly written a blog about wanting out of this country more than once. Darned child protection laws...