Op-Ed
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Op-Ed

Sharpening the Point

I find myself amongst the philosophers, and they might be the only people keeping me sane.

Photo by Samuel Rios on Unsplash

I’ve been depressed the past couple of days. Deeply depressed and melancholic. I think it has a bit to do with jet lag, as I took a red eye from Seattle home to Florida this week. I took off at 10:30 PM and landed at 6:30 AM. When I got off the plane, I hoped to get a little sleep on my two hour shuttle to Columbus, Georgia where my car was parked. Instead, I ended up talking to the driver the entire way home because I was the only one on the bus that day at that time. He even told me at the end of the trip that most people go to sleep and part of me winced at the realization he’d kept me awake. I then drove four hours south to my camper in my grandparents’ backyard in Florida. That, I think, is also part to do with my depression.

I’m thirty-one and have a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and yet, here I am feeling stuck. I feel stuck because I feel a great obligation to my family and frankly, no one else in the world has been nearly as good to me as my folks. They’ve taken care of me. There’s a cynical part of me that wonders if they do this so I will stay around. I don’t whole-heartedly believe it but I know it is partially true. My dad has said to me “My biggest fear is that you walk into work one day and say you can’t work here anymore”. “Why is that your biggest fear, dad?” Because you left my mom abruptly? Is there some angry part of me that wants to do the same to him? Probably. I don’t necessarily like that idea but I think its completely valid. My mom is a part of me and her pain is mine. So have I healed even if I have that spite? Am I ready to fly the coop when I still have that immature pettiness swimming about in my mind?

And my grandpa- words cannot describe the amount of disgust I have for him. He makes my blood boil just thinking about him. But that is me, that is an anger I have toward myself. My inability to care for myself, to feed myself. He hides his coffee from me so I won’t drink it. Despite the fact that multiple family members have had to live in my grandparents’ backyard with no restriction on their food or coffee intake. It takes me, the baby, to be so indulgent that I am not allowed to dip into grandpa’s coffee stash. He’s got a box of 96 Keurig cups of Maxwell House but doesn’t want to share. Its the hiding part that gets me. It enrages me when people are sneaky instead of forthright. He’s a fucking coward. So am I a fucking coward?

What is it that I hate so much? That I’m not living for me. That I’m not happy. Genuinely why am I not happy? I’ve done so much work on myself. I’ve spent so much time alone. I’ve been out of a relationship for over two years now and I haven’t even had a hint of a new one emerging from this ash pit of shadow work. Sometimes it is a deep existential question of “what the fuck is the point anymore?” I ask myself this question more frequently than I’d like to admit.

I’ve stopped smoking weed. It’s allowing the feelings to come in. Its forcing me to see the dark suffering I shielded myself from temporarily with each puff. That motivation to make quick changes is settling in. I am no longer numbed to the dissatisfaction. I am uncomfortable with so much comfort. I am smothered. I am stifled. And I’m doing that to myself. The fact that this is self-inflicted pain is the toughest pill to swallow. Why do I remain where I am not happy? Helping others when I am not happy is no help at all. It just reminds them of their suffering too. It appears the best thing I can do for my family is not acts of service for them but to reimagine myself as a self-sufficient and joyful person.

Originally written in Collective Journaling at Katy’s Google Meetup

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