This post is a pity-party of misery. You probably don’t want to read it, particularly if you’re feeling low yourself.
As of 8.15pm yesterday evening, I have existed on this planet for 10,593 days.
It means I’m now 29.
I remember once as a child, a friend and I talking about blokes we fancied. I genuinely don’t remember who I referenced in the conversation, but it was someone over 30 (I’ve always been attracted to older men. Indeed, The Man is 10 years older than me.) My friend posited that “30 [was] really old,” was I mad?! (Quite probably, but for entirely different reasons.)
I didn’t see being 30 as “old.” Much as still do as an adult, I’d sit there and imagine myself at the age I now find myself as someone successful, happy, witty, everything going for her.
Not as an overweight Venlafaxine addict with no career struggling with bills and state benefits and bi-fucking-polar disorder.
Entering my 30th year could have been a good thing, but since my 20s have been a complete write-off, the opposite has become true.
What a waste of a life. What a waste of a brain, of potential. Of a once-upon-a-time personality. Oh look, I have an education. Big deal. Oh look, I can allegedly write things well (not that anything on this blog would attest to do that.) So what? What has any of it got me?
I had my last (individual) session with my therapist the other day, and he told me that I have more value than just that of a career. I beg to differ. Of course any human being wants a contented private life, and in the sense that The Man and I are in a long-term, happy relationship, I’ve achieved that. But that was only one part of what I wanted. Okay, you can’t always get what you want and that’s fine, so let me rephrase; that was only one part of what should have been. Am I narcissistic to think I should have done better for myself? Probably, but my current existence is so diametrically opposed to what I ever expected it to be that I don’t really care.
Anyway, even if my therapist is right to assume that I put too much emphasis on vocation – and I assumed I would have a vocation, not just a job – what is the value I supposedly bring to others? That he says he’ll miss working with me, so I must be “a good person?” Ha. Let me see just how much value I bring to others. I take tax-payer’s money to keep me breathing. I moan and complain on a blog I can’t be arsed to frequently write. The Man or my mother or whoever have to support me financially, even with my soon-to-be-non-existent-if-Gideon-and-IDS-have-their-way benefit claims. I sit on a sofa or lie on a bed all day staring at walls or iPhones or laptops, without doing anything remotely useful to or on any of them.
People defend me on the grounds of my having a severe and enduring mental illness, and I accept that to be true. Whilst failing to imagine my life without it, I nonetheless resent greatly all that it’s stolen from me. But regardless of whether we lay the blame at bipolar’s door, the facts remain indisputable; I am nothing, ultimately. Just another one of seven billion people on an insignificant little planet orbiting an insignificant little star in an insignificant little corner of an insignificant little galaxy (and, should we subscribe to the likes of M theory, quite arguably in an insignificant little universe.) Insignificant even in an insignificant little city in an insignificant little country of said insignificant little planet. At least others go out everyday saving lives, or protecting others, or changing history, politics or science for the human race – insignificant in astronomical terms, but making a difference here.
But I’m just a woman who hasn’t done very much with her life and the matter between her ears.
It’s enough for some people, but narcissistic or not, it’s not enough for me. Is this to be all there is to look forward to for potentially another 50-ish years of a natural lifespan? What is the point of that? It’s elementary, my dear reader; there is none.
PS. Don’t worry, I’m not going to off myself, so don’t ring the peelers. Cheers.
PPS. Don’t be surprised if this post randomly disappears. I don’t like writing complaining rubbish like this but I had to get it off my chest.
Picture credit: who knows? We asked some random in the pub to take a shot of the entire group, though it was me that paid for the thing to be developed. To be developed. That in itself is a sign of my age!!!
Sweetie, I’m gonna be narcissistic and ink to something I wrote a while back:
Your writing has helped people. Your friendship helps people. The Man is preumably glad you exist. I am glad you exist.
You wouldn’t be this mean to anyone but yourself (and maybe IDS :P)
Also: friendly reminder that how things are now is not necessarily how things will be forever.
What a lovely post. Thank you – both for sharing it and for your kind words 🙂
I can’t see how an employment gap of my length + experience in crappy roles can lead to a dream job in the future, but I suppose we never can know!
Thanks again honey. Love to you.
Karen ❤ xoxox
At 25 years older than you, and a similar situation, I will join your pity party, but only for a short while. In spite of the fact that mental illness derailed all my grand plans, and ECT trashed my once intelligent brain, I have found a way to feel content (most of the time). I am not telling you this to be judgmental, just want you to know it’s possible.
Thanks Sheri. It is encouraging and reassuring to hear that despite this bloody illness you can feel like life is ultimately worth while. I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment 🙂
Hi, it does you good sometimes to get it all off your chest, I hope it helped you at least a little bit to type it all out, I know it does me sometimes. Best wishes.
Thanks MADD. That’s the beauty of blogging really, isn’t it? It’s good to get stuff out of your own mind, but at the same time there’s a often a support system to be had, as these lovely comments attest!
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Wot sanabituranima said ^ — there’s no knowing how the future will pan out. Yeah, now sucks. Kinda sucks for me too, for what it’s worth: thought I’d found my vocation when I applied to be a vicar; that got knocked on the head because I’m essentially a heretic; then I got into bookselling and freakin’ Amazon came along and screwed the trade over and I got a redundancy notice. Now I put cans of beans on a supermarket shelf: 50+ years gone down the baked beans aisle.
So there ya go: that’s what happens when you get a vocation: you enable other people’s farts. On second thoughts, life doesn’t suck: it blows.
Meanwhile, if it wasn’t for you, I’d be far less aware of mental illness, would have less friends and would never have experienced a madup. You rock, lovely, and you’re more than welcome to whatever tiny fraction of my tax goes towards your benefit payments – I’d even say you’ve earnt it. *hugs*
Instead of being bitter and twisted about the shit that’s being thrown at you, you take it in your stride and still think of others miles before you think about yourself. How do you do that, Phil? You are truly a remarkable and wonderful individual 🙂
I’m genuinely glad that I’ve had some positive impact on your life. I think you’re mad (!) but I really appreciate both you thinking this and for you taking the time to tell me 🙂
Lots of love
Karen ❤ xxxxx
Aw, shucks *blushes and hides under sofa*
You are worth far more than you give yourself credit for, Karen: keep fighting, and one day, I hope, it will become less of a fight and more of a walkover — with *you* doing the walkover, I hasten to add!
Lots of love right back xxx 🙂
I’m juggling whether saying something optimistic would sound silly, or telling you that feeling this way is in my opinion, justifiable. It *is* unfair that your life has been severely impacted by mental illness and there’s nothing wrong with feeling that loss and grieving it.
That being said, you make a difference in the world simply by existing. I believe that if you didn’t exist the world would lack a spirit and it would be felt by many people. I know that it matters to me everyday that you exist.
Thank you, C. It does make me feel a little more settled that it’s okay to grieve for what I’ve lost (narcissistic or not!) If only things could have been different…
As for the second part of your comment – thank you 🙂 I always feel grateful that we met and I’m glad I’ve made some difference to your life, as you have to mine.
Love and hugs
Karen ❤ xxx
I totally agree with Sheri, and I apologize for not writing you I do owe you a letter. As you can tell I haven’t been writing anything since September and I seriously need to.
One of the problems with “this illness’ is we tend to judge our lives by others, and that gets us into trouble. The people you know from your childhood and university may be further along the road than you- but they have not had the bumps in the road that you have. And the fact that you are still here- and contributing so much to us online and in real life- that says volumes.
You have given a lot to us and to the world. It may not have been a cure for cancer, but you have given hope to an illness which alludes definition and logic and makes us feel less alone. That is a lot right there. It’s awesome.
Aww, thank you 🙂 It is a big deal to me that people think I’ve raised awareness or given people hope, so thank you Susan (and the rest of you!)
A lot of the comparisons I make are with benchmarks I set myself – but then again, is an eight-year old capable of setting such goals? I don’t know. You’re right too about comparing ourselves to others; I’m not jealous in the slightest of the success my two best friends have had – our friendship runs too deep for it – but I do scathe when I read of the successes of other people I was at school with. It’s not the specifics that annoy me – just the fact that they’ve fulfilled their hopes and expectations.
But then, (a) you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, and (b) as you say, as far as we know they haven’t had psychotic bipolar or schizoaffective disorder to deal with!
I got your email – I will reply, but I’m way behind due to my general ineptitude at correspondence. I haven’t forgotten you (nor you, Ash, if you’re reading!)
Thanks again for this, I do truly appreciate it.
Take care and hugs
Karen ❤ xxx