This is where the hard stuff starts. It’s easy (well, relatively easy) to say how I am Disappointed By Humanity. But since posting that a few days back, I’ve realised that a much deeper disappointment is in myself. I don’t plan to beat myself up through this post, begging that you feel sorry for me. Rather this has to be about finding a way to forgive myself for the times I do disappoint me. Forgiving myself for my weaknesses and shortcomings has to be the key to being able to move on. Anything else and I’m inclined to think I would be wasting both your and my time.
It’s been a difficult week. Actually that’s an understatement. It’s been absolutely heartbreaking, and I’m sorry but I’m not in a position to be able to tell you about it. The week is not over yet, and I admit that I wake each morning to see what has happened next, because it’s highly likely that I will have lost something, or someone, more. Go on, tell me that it reminds me who are my real friends. It’s true, but trite. Actually it just hurts like hell and right now I don’t want to hear it.
It’s occurred to me since my last post that whether I call it depression, sadness, grief, disappointment… or something else I have yet to name, doesn’t really a matter. It’s just a name, and for a while I thought it was helpful to be able to label it for myself. I’ve changed my mind. The reality is that my mental health has taken a huge dive. That’s what matters.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this bad and I hate that. Sure, I always knew and said that my mental illness would come and go, but I still hate that it’s back with a vengeance. It’s hard to stop myself thinking I’ve failed. I know on one level how ridiculous that is, but I’m only human (much to my disappointment) and that failure feels strong because I’m struggling with hope.
The blogger who chose hope is struggling with hope. Feelings I haven’t had for years, are back and it scares me senseless. It scares me because I fear where it might take me. I so don’t want to go back to the places my mind and body have been in the past. That’s why I’m disappointed. Because I thought I was strong enough to fight this and now I’m bloody terrified.
What to do about it is hard. I have no therapist now, my doctor doesn’t appear to care, Mental Health Services discarded me as ‘impossible to help’ years ago. I think this is why I am missing my Dad so much too, because he was the person who backed me. He didn’t fix anything but he helped me to work out what I needed. He helped me think straight when that seemed quite impossible. I miss that.
So right now, all I can do is go back to my own words. Borrowed Hope. Sometimes when we struggle to have hope ourselves, we need to borrow it from someone who has hope for us. It’s what I did. My Dad always had hope for me and I used that to keep me going. When he died I had to find another place to find my hope. It’s not that Dad’s hope didn’t count anymore but I needed a physical representation of that hope. I found that in my youngest niece L. She might be only nearly three, but she gives me so much hope just by being her. She has no idea of what she does for me but she’s always pretty excited to see Aunty Cate, and that does the world for me. It keeps me going, literally.
It’s disappointing for me, who is a bit of a perfectionist, to find myself having to return to someone else’s belief in me. But if it works, then what does it matter? I know that depression comes and goes, so I know it will ease again and I will find my own hope again. Meantime L is like a back-up for me. And she is better than any mental health service I’ve ever encountered. I just need to let it be. I need to let myself off the hook. I need to forgive myself for being human.
“Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night’s sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting, in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake somebody else up, so that they can feel this way, too.”
— Lemony Snicket (Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid)
- Disappointed By Humanity (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Borrowed Hope (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)