Fuck you, Adversity

 

I know it looks like I complain a lot on here, and that’s probably because I complain a lot on here. This place is where I can vent, and for those who are witness to this car wreck in slow motion, perhaps it gives you an idea of how my mind works, and what kind of person I am. Whether that is good or bad for me depends squarely on your own personal experiences and moral foundations. I am often exhausted, exasperated, frustrated, driven to boredom, madness, and the desire to either burn things or let things go until they collapse under their own decay, but I don’t do these things for several reasons. Firstly, I don’t value entropy and wish not to assist it in its slow takedown of our universe and, secondly, I haven’t yet given up the fight.

What? What’s that you say? Did that appear to be a spark of positivity from my posting? Why yes, yes it did. Believe it or not, I am actually quite the positive person. My outlook is positive, my personality is optimistic, and my goals in life are to leave the world in a far better place than it was when I arrived. I don’t do it out of a sense of altruism. I mean, I love to help people better their lives without benefit to myself, but in all honesty it has more to do with being left the hell alone. If I can feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, give rest to the weary, then I am one step closer to my own personal peace of mind. You don’t realize the value of one’s peace of mind until you don’t get to experience it for months and years at a time. It is more precious than gold or diamonds.

“So what you’re saying,” you so callously interject, “is that you only help people so that they’ll leave you alone.”

Yes.

“Doesn’t that make you selfish?” you ask, not realizing this isn’t a fucking Q&A session.

Yes.

“Don’t you feel bad about that?” you continue, not noticing the signal I gave to the two large men behind you.

“No,” I reply as they drag you away.

See, I believe that to truly help others, you have to be a little selfish. If you really want to understand why someone is hurting, you have to put yourself in their shoes, but to do so you need to start with empathy, and empathy derives from how we feel about ourselves and that relation to others. When I see someone who is very ill, I feel bad for them. Why? Because I would feel bad if I were ill, and I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. So I turn that empathy into action, and I offer that person some measure of solace, or possibly a remedy for their illness if it is something simple and curable.

Empathy is such a nagging problem. I take care of my mother, who is unable to walk, amongst other maladies that she deals with every day, and I get many comments along the lines of “you’re so sweet!” and “that’s such a noble thing to do for your mother.” Yeah, I appreciate that, but it’s nothing so noble. I help her because I want peace of mind. My empathy is so strong that I have no other course of action to take. I must help her, or my conscience will badger me into submission day in and day out. You have no idea how often I envy people who have lower levels of empathy, because those emotional chains don’t exist on them. They can smile in a room full of sadness, and mean it. These are people who can visit an ailing relative, and then pop on out for dinner or a movie, and totally remove the ailing relative from their mind when they do so. Oh, how I envy that ability.

I’m not saying having no empathy is good, because it isn’t. Without empathy you get sociopaths who destroy lives because they simply do not care what happens. I like to call it the majority population of our current Congress (I live in the United States, for you first time, and probably last time after this, readers). Empathy is very good, as it enables us to connect to others with the basic premise that if we were in the same position, we would also hope for aid from a friend, or even a stranger, because a stranger is the potential friend you don’t yet know.

Did you know we haven’t even made it to the point of this post yet? Oh ho, you fools. Well, here it is. The point is that I am an optimist, and that even in the face of constant weariness, numbness, boredom, disillusionment, and ennui, I still believe I’m going to come out on top or die trying. For those of you who don’t understand, the fact is that depressed people can get this way. One day you’re on top of the world, and you’re fighting to make a better life and you believe in yourself, you know you’re going to succeed! The next day, life is kicking you in the proverbial balls (or ovaries if you prefer), and crushing you under the weight of time and circumstance. I swing back and forth this way all of the time. Some people say I might need medication, and they may be right, but I already know the source of my depression, and while a medication might ameliorate some of the effects of the depression, it will not remove the source cause.

So I keep fighting every day. Today I’m okay. Tomorrow may be a different story. I do know that I will sink back down into bitter depression and despair, knowing my life is finite, and that I’m approaching the back end of it without having accomplished anything I dreamed of doing. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to fulfill the basic dream of “don’t die poor, broken, and alone.”

I try not to let it bother me that some people get an “ever after” that’s longer than others. There are those who say that as long as you find happiness, you’ve achieved something, but I disagree. Finding happiness isn’t that difficult. Obtaining it, and holding onto it? That’s godfuckingdamned next to impossible. Moreso when every avenue is blocked by people who are supposed to help you up rather than hold you back. Just because other people failed at something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed to try.

So fuck adversity. Some people grow in it, some people die in it, others languish in it until they find no more reason to struggle, which is almost the same as dying, except, you know, they’re not dead, and that is a rather large enough distinction that I feel it warrants mentioning.

So until next time, this is me being me as I’ve always been.

John

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