I always have one question constantly clouding my thoughts, ideas, and mind.
“What’s the point of it all?”
This question is the most succinct way to describe my mental health in the past ten years.
I can not get a grip on the answer. And I’m not a big fan of philosophy, so that doesn’t help. I’m not religious (I have tried that route and I have come out bitter and resentful, although I envy the community it brings together). I don’t see an end point, an end game. That’s why it makes it so easy to transition to thoughts of being better off somewhere else… etc.
Even when I’m not clinically depressed, the question still looms over me. It creates a sort of detachment from the world.
Recently I asked this question to someone I know and love. She has also struggled with depression. Her answer = relationships. I have seen her foster and maintain more relationships in the past ten years than in her first 20. She says that it is the relationships she’s formed that make the “why” so much easier.
Then I started thinking. In the past ten years, what relationships have I maintained? What meaningful ties are there holding me down to the world?
I have always had a very supportive immediate family, to whom I am close with and love dearly. They stick with me through thick and thin- although I do know that they become exhausted of my depression, short sided decisions, and general lack of life management (my words, not theirs).
As I think about other relationships, friendships, romantic, acquaintances, I have done a pretty solid job at isolating myself. If I haven’t deserted a relationship due to complete lack of effort in communication, then I have torched it in some sort of self-destructive, selfish way. The friends I hold closest today I rarely see and rarely speak to, although I love them more than they know.
With the relationships I’ve effectively burned to the ground, how do you recover from that? How do you grieve the loss of those people in your life? How do you forgive yourself for things you’ve done you are not proud of, and have changed the path you’re on? When can you let go of that deep seeded guilt? Another question I have yet to answer. Despite being forgiven by others, breaking those relationships will always weigh heavy on my soul, and my mind will always ask if things had turned out differently had things been different.
When you isolate yourself, it’s particularly hard to jump back in to the social game… especially with a toddler. Not only do I have to battle myself to be social, but once I do meet someone, it’s a challenge to open up to anyone. I frequently think I may not be the same as five or ten years ago, with a quirky sense of humor and a big heart. It seems now that my heart is cold and shriveled and my quirkiness has faded away.
Someone else also told me recently that I am the most “bubbly” and happy person on the outside, but the most discontent person on the inside.
I whole-heartedly agree. It’s been in the past ten years that this discontent has surrounded me. Similar to when I started losing relationships. Similar to when my depression first introduced himself to me (maybe his name is Ron).
How do you break the cycle of Ron, Isolation, and Discontent? Do you truly keep walking through life and “fake” it until you “make” it? Do you make huge life decisions in hopes they bring you true happiness? Do you sabotage yourself? I know there are no right answers, similar to my “What’s the point” question.