It’s rather sunny in Philly today and unseasonably warm. I know I need to take advantage of it and take my walk, but it’s still difficult for me to do anything. Perhaps the days are still too short and I’m still lacking the energy which the spring and summer bring. But there seems to be something else. There was a time when I would study programming books and write programs even when the days were shortest and the coldest. There were times when I wrote all day, from the time I took my son to school until when I picked him up. I was always contemplative and would write down thoughts and ideas on any scrap of paper I could find, receipts, napkins anything. There were also times when I would read. I used to love to read and at times when I wasn’t reading, I thought about all that I had read.
But things have changed since 2014. I’ve always struggled with CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder), but there were times in the past when I had a passion and a fire which helped me push through and continue to make an effort towards things. But starting in 2014, there were a number of intense re traumatizing situations and I just haven’t been the same since then. I’ve lost my passion. I have no fire.
I’ve lost my curiosity of things. I’ve lost my desire to achieve mastery with skills and tasks. I’ve lost my ability to dream and the determination to chase those dreams. I’ve lost my passion to find a way.
I have to force myself to do the most basic tasks. Just doing dishes takes intense effort and I’m emotionally writhing the whole time. This has nothing to do with my thyroid / adrenal illness. When I had that passion and “spark” I could still go about household tasks. I would have to take frequent breaks because of my lack of strength and stamina, but I didn’t have to try and force myself to do them.
I drop my son off at school and I pick him up. I’ll be helping him study for his trimester exams (which are next week), but even with this, I don’t have to take the lead and guide him through his studies. My role is merely support and as cheerleader.
But for anything else…all I do is try to fend off the anxiety and emotional pain. The anxiety I understand. It attaches itself to certain things and there are meditative and cognitive techniques which can be used to deal with them (if not dissipate them completely). The emotional pain is a nameless, faceless creature which won’t give up the meaning or origin of itself and spends each day grimly lacerating me. I’m having trouble defending myself against something I can’t see and am unable to confront directly. This emotional pain is an amalgam of all the difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life. It’s more than a perspective, it’s an assumed way of living. For much of my life I was able to grit my teeth and put my shoulder into my efforts in orter to move forward and make progress. I was able to push myself along even when I hated what I was doing or where I was with all of my soul. This isn’t the best way to go about things and I missed many opportunities and choises because I my eyes were closed and I was so focused on pushing my way forward. But I did what I could and made the best use of my stubbornness, determination, passions and dreams.
I haven’t felt any of that determination or passion for a very long time and any dreams which occur don’t inspire me at all.
I don’t know how to get any of that back. I don’t know how to make or force myself to care. Illness is one thing, but that’s not the problem. I’m sick within my soul. My heart is heavy and troubled. Perhaps those situations back in 2014 were the final straw, the last of many experiences which have finally made it all too much to carry. The thought of this possibility fills me with a profound sense of sadness. I just don’t know what to do about it. This emotional pain is in some deep, dark corner of the labyrinth I’m in and I can’t find it’s source, I can’t find a way to confront it directly. It’s just an existence of suffering, just a way of being.
Perhaps, with the spring, I’ll be able to rekindle that fire. I was a mess at the end of my 2014 tribulations and I’m not struggling as I first did. But the effects of those challenges, as well as a lifetime of what came before, are still dragging me backwards. I haven’t quit, but I have to say, honestly, that I don’t know what to do and am feeling rather frustrated and low about it all today.
Yet, even if the only thing I can do is shake my fist at all which ails me, I will “sail on.” Even if I’m drug down into the depths, I scream out as Captain Ahab did in Herman Melville’s book “Moby-Dick”:
“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee”
Getting myself to write was helpful today. It reminds me of who I am and what I’m capable of, damn all the rest of it.
Never surrender my friends!
Be Well, My Friends