Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Problem With Lost Belief

8 years ago, in the middle of my first major depression/ agoraphobia episode, I figured out that God has very little to do with how events play out in the world. I had spent my early 20s doing everything i could possibly do to be good. I worked impossible hours at 3 different jobs. I gave up friends my own age because I was a mommy, and fun wasn't something mommies were supposed to have. I lived a miserable small existence hoping my sacrifices were enough to spare us from the horrors of poverty.

Fat lot of good that did. And as the failures kept piling up, I found it harder and harder to understand why God hated me so much. I was near suicidal. But back then I still believed there was a better place somewhere. Thoughts about slicing my wrists open were almost comforting. I had elaborate suicide fantasies concocted in my head. In the end, it was the Kid that kept me from following through. I knew that if i were gone he would always be a bit more broken inside than if i was there.

Now I am in the same dark place. But this time there is a bit of a difference. I gave up on my Santa Claus ideas about god. There is no jolly fat man in the sky who doles out rewards to good children and poverty to bad ones. I keep trying to remember that this is cyclical, that it will get better eventually. The problem is that it doesn't have to get better and there is a 100 percent chance that it is about to get much much worse. Just like those other things we tell ourselves that aren't actually true. There is no perfect person for everyone, people don't get what they deserve. There is no secret divine plan or purpose for everyone. Not everything happens for a reason. Things don't always get better. And sometimes they don't get better fast enough.

But with this elimination of fairy tale beliefs came one other problem. I can't think of suicide as a way out. I suppose this is actually a good thing, but it really is adding to the hopelessness right now. If there is nothing on the other side of death, then suicide becomes much less appealing. So I am stuck in this place with no out. I either get horrible awfulness that may or may not improve or I get nothingness for all eternity. Might as well stick with what you know then.

I know this is a horribly depressing post. But I also know that a large number of you faithful readers have been in the dark pit of depression yourselves. Not talking or writing about it in such gory detail hasn't helped so far, so I haven't got much to lose by explaining my little existential crisis. Besides, every time I try to talk to my real life friends about this they just get too sad and uncomfortable. I don't have to look at your faces when you read this.

So I have been trying to find tiny ways to make awfulness more palatable than nothingness. Happy girl movies help some, I watched both the Sisterhood of the traveling Pants and Bend It Like Beckham today. In the next few days the shit is seriously going to hit the fan here and how I get through it is entirely a matter of luck. Wish me luck. I need it now more than ever.

ETA: I once heard someone describe people like this- depressed people aren't overly pessimistic, they are realists. Their problem is that they see the world exactly how it is, flaws, hopelessness, randomness and all. Happy people are the ones who live in a fantasy of overly optimistic creation. Now if only I could create my own little optimistic paradise. But I'm way to much of a realist for all that shit.

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