April 14th, 2023
I’m trying to think of a better metaphor besides “living” vs “thriving” but I’m a little stumped right now. I’m not thriving. My life moves on and I stay busy. I play frisbee almost every day of the week. I go to work and do school. I’m graduating early and paying my own bills. I’m thinking about job options after I graduate. I look good on the outside. So I don’t need to change anything right? My medication keeps my depression from slipping into dangerous or debilitating territory. My spiritual and emotional lives fall into neglect and disarray until I have a miniature intervention with myself and decide I’m gonna try a little bit harder - settling for a baseline just below what anyone would consider “good”. How long can I keep it up for?
If I’m happy, then most of the world would tell me I’m living my life successfully. But if I avoid doing anything proactive for my internal health for long enough, I start to see some cracks appear in the glass. Some straight As become Bs and I decide that I’m ok with that for the first time in my life. Work is just a place to get through and leave instead of a place to lead and improve the environment around me. Returning to high-level ultimate frisbee has reminded me of the importance of mental strength in competition, and when I’m in my head I don’t have a strategy to pull myself out. I fall into pornography and binge-watching TV shows to occupy my brain. I suppress any urge I have to write so I don’t have to face my self-destructive tendencies. Without a strong relationship with God, my habits and my thoughts become selfish, and I don’t see myself as a good leader or example to others. So I isolate, reasoning that I can’t be close to people without being a bad influence.
That is where I’m at. Unfortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it), the older I get the better I become at putting on a front. Or maybe it’s not even a front. I’m not smiling and laughing on the outside while depressed and suicidal on the inside. I have been there before. But that is not what I’m doing now. The persona I have now lives day-to-day, new-Mandalorian-episode-to-new-Mandalorian-episode, pretending that a lack of crippling depression equals a happy and healthy life. Most of the time, I shrink down all my demons into a little bubble and try to ignore it, until all that is left is the tiny hint of guilt and unmet potential that my suppressed conscience will not allow me to forget.
Hey, at least I’m self aware...right?
I just wrote all that down, so that means I’m taking a step towards being better… right?
My life stays full of commitments and activities, so ignoring and minimizing my shortcomings is easy. It isn’t until a night like this when I feel upset and realize I have nothing to catch me when I fall. I feel most lonely when I’m with people. I look around and realize everyone has someone they are closer to than they are to me. Everyone else has a person to catch them. It’s my own fault - I’m quite good at hiding if I’ve stumbled at all. I like to cover it up by finding people who are hurting more than I am and helping them.
And I know the heart of the issue. I’ve said it over and over again on this blog and in my journals and in conversation. It starts with God. My heart is the heart of the issue - duh. I hate adding God like a disclaimer at the end of every blog post. Because at the end of the day, more honesty, commitment, worship, and submission to God is always something my heart needs to improve.
May 15th, 2023
Here I am more than a month later. I was so close to finishing up that entry and posting it. Then all the excuses and distractions took effect and I didn’t open this doc until now. Unfortunately it usually takes moments of sadness and difficulty for me to take the time and reflect on where I am. But it will not merit anything to try and describe with new and clever words the same writer’s block and spiritual dissonance I have always carried. I have done that enough. I can only be referential of my own references to the great lengths of time between my posts so many times until it becomes repetitive. Read that sentence again just for fun. If I wait any longer, these words will never reach another person. It's time to finish this particular post whether it's a good one or a bad one.
Even when I am doing the hard work of putting words to paper, it’s easy to tell myself that simply explaining the sorry state of my life is helping to make it better. Maybe it is, but that still doesn’t mean there are no further steps I should be taking. But I can’t decide if I’m trying to write about self improvement or reflect on the weight of emotional life changes. I’ve tried to do both before, but this is already unfocused enough.
You know what?
That’s the end of this post.
I was going to go on, but this just needed to be finished and maybe if we’re lucky I’ll have enough creative juices to write another blog entry in less than 4 months. This is me resisting my urge to have a completely thought-out and impactful conclusion to my writing. That’s not how life works anyways. Boom - Growth.
P.S. I just re-read for the 3rd time, and realized I said a lot of the same things in the April and the May portions. But no edits once I've pasted into the site! So you get what you get.