It is only Wednesday and the week has already torn into me. The stresses of mental and physical chronic illness are not easy to handle any week (Click this Cheatcode to learn exactly what I suffer from), though I try my best, but every now and then those stresses, plus life stresses, plus everything else equal a broken, frightened Eleanore.
I tried for hours yesterday to film my video for the week, but the lighting was all wrong and I didn’t look right and the words just would not come out of my mouth correctly. I went to my job and pretended to be normal, came back home, and after a day of numbness, suddenly felt everything.
As the numb hopelessness descended upon me yesterday, I kept hearing the words of one of my very closet friends in my head.The week after my grandfather died, I was losing my mind because it was filled with not only the regular anxiety and depression but also intense, heartbreaking grief, I was crying to him about how I just couldn’t seem to handle my life anymore. I told him a phrase I have said constantly in the past year:
This is all too much for just one girl to handle.
When words are insufficient to describe my pain, and I feel as if I am rotting away, this is what I tell people. I don’t know how I formed the phrase, but it has been useful.
My darling friend, a sweet and endlessly compassionate person who has several times cried for me himself, replied:
I don’t even know what to say. I feel like life gets better for everyone, and it has for me, but with you, things just never seem to improve. It never seems to get better for you.
I think anyone telling me this would feel far from great, but it hurt even more coming from someone so close to me, especially one who is ever the optimist. I broke an optimist, you guys.
I know he didn’t mean the phrase to hurt me, he was simply being open and honest as I always encourage my friends to do. Yet these words have since been on repeat in my head, and get louder the weaker and less capable I become.
I have said this a thousand times before and I will say it a thousand times again. This past year my life has changed more than ever, and a good deal of that change has been for the worse. Much of the change has been for good, too, but because I am a ridiculous animal called a human, the negative must always outshine the positive in my brain. Being a puppy would be so much easier.
If someone asked me to name everything wrong with my life, I would easily list off at least a dozen reasons. If I were asked to do the same with everything right in my life, I would falter. This doesn’t mean that I am not grateful for the goodness in my life or that I am insatiable (I actually wrote a whole post about this and I encourage you to read it here when you are finished with this one). It does mean that I am suffering in several very large ways.
In the times that I feel hopeless I am discouraged and blinded by darkness. I tell myself that no matter how hard I work, I will never be good enough, and that all that I create will never be accepted or appreciated by the world. I tell myself I’ll never be as healthy as I’d like to be or as pretty as I dream of looking, and that I am perpetually doomed to be miserable no matter what I do. What I am saying is, to myself, I’m a total asshole, which is sad considering I am very different towards others.
Despite aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall that, I still refuse to believe that I really am doomed. As I said in my last video (again, if you haven’t seen it, watch here, because it’s great and I am not bias at all) in the past year I have began to see my life as an extremely odd video game. long, long ago (as in the 90’s), in a galaxy far, far away (as in The Bay Area), I played a game called Pitfall!
In the game you play as this little asshole named Pitfall Harry, who has to run through the jungle to collect items, but a range of obstacles get in the way. Tar pits, water holes, creatures, you know, jungle things. At one point, I remember 8 year old me wanting to throw my PlayStation One out the fucking window because I could just not get across this one particularly massive tar pit. It was one of the most infuriating things 8 year old me had faced in a video game; however, I just kept jumping again, and again, and again and againandagainandagainagainagainagain okay I think you get the point.
Now 17 years later after tiny Eleanore played Pitfall! on the very first Playstation, I surprisingly find adult Eleanore in the same situation. This past year I feel like I just keep trying to jump over the tar pits but I never reach the other side. I just keep failing, falling, then trying again.
There is that famous phrase that says that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. In many ways, I agree with this reasoning, but in many other ways I also don’t. Sometimes you’ve exhausted all your options and there is only one way left to go. Other times, the hardest way still is the best way, and every now and then, you really do have no other choice but one single option. Not having options can make a person feel helpless and hopeless, as if they’re never going to succeed because there’s no logical way to do so.
Currently, I’ve either run out of options or never had any to begin with in terms of dealing with everything wrong with my life. And so, I just keep jumping and falling, jumping and falling, until finally, one day, I hit that other side and begin running.
For all my hopelessness, all my fear and all my pain, I really still do believe that things will get better. They just have to, even if it takes a million more falls.
Psh. And they say video games don’t teach you anything.
what’s with those eyes, what you been thinkin’?Hey girl, spreadin’ your wings,
The world’s awaitin’ to let you in.That smile, a mile away, the colors collide.Hey you, pick up the reigns,
And come through my window, and don’t be shy.