Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Living With A Troubled Spirit

Living With A Troubled Spirit

Living With A Troubled Spirit Photo

For some months now, my quite regular dips into depression have become one long mass of struggling. My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has really been kicking my backside, and my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder feels like it has glued my mental gears in place. Actually, I want to change that imagery. My CFS is like being buried up to my neck in quicksand, and my OCD has come along and decided to sit on my face until I can’t breathe any more. That feels more accurate. Oh and depression has been standing on the side-lines shouting at me, telling me at some moments, that I’m not trying hard enough to improve my situation, and at others, that I should just give up and that I’d be better off dead. Three versus one isn’t exactly a fair fight.

To partly quote the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, I know that I’m living with a “troubled spirit amid abundance”, that even though life is pretty restricted by my health issues, it’s comfortable. I don’t have to worry about so many things, yet when the benefit/payoff of any action that I might take is dwarfed by the payback in symptoms that nearly always follows, it seems quite understandable to me that I end up in a place where I don’t see the point in doing anything. It takes a long time to bring myself out of this state, even though I’ve had to many times before. Experience has shown me that there is no one to turn to for help outside of my parents. I’ve tried, but when the various bodies/institutions/charities that are set up to help people say that they have nothing to offer you, hope doesn’t just fade, it gets brutally murdered in a stinking alley and has its shoes stolen.

I’d dearly love to turn my writing into some way of supporting myself, to find some independence in whatever way, but after years of being a freelance writer, I find myself longing for work that I can’t find, or that if I do find it, I can’t cope with. I can glean some small measure of enjoyment from the process of writing, and from my short stories being accepted and earning a fiver here and there, but that often just ends with me feeling empty and hopeless again afterwards. The day my most recent short story was published in an anthology, I could barely muster the enthusiasm to tweet about it. I just felt like “Who cares? I’m not even sure that I do, so why bother!” I almost left social media the other day for the same “Why bother” reason, and also because I can’t help comparing myself to others and coming out on the “I just suck!” side of things. Yes, I’ve had therapy, and yes, I still keep falling down the same old holes.

I don’t know how much I will be online in the coming months. I have a couple of reviews that I said I would do that I will complete, but beyond that, who knows. I certainly don’t expect to be on social media much, if at all, save to post about said reviews when they are done. Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read. I hope you are making a better job of things than I am. :)