“Every man must look after his own soul; you can’t lay it down at another man’s door like a foundling, and expect him to take care of it."
--Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
I'm feeling better these days. I'm not jumping for joy or skipping down the street, but I am feeling gradually better. Life is manageable. It has plenty of challenges and ordeals to endure, and there are countless things I could probably complain at length about. But life is too short, and we only get one shot at it. And more than that, I really don't feel the need to complain as much as I used to.
I have spent a lot of my life, especially the last few years, being angry or depressed. Some say that depression is rage turned inwards, and I think that makes sense. I have raged against the world, against myself, against others. I have spent so much time finding reasons to look down on everyone around me, as well as myself. And then I've been angry that, surprisingly enough, people don't seem to want to spend much time around me meeting my emotional needs.
I am still a work in progress. But I think at the root of a lot of my frustration has been the fact that I've wanted to find other people to fill some gap, something missing inside myself. Humans are social creatures, and we crave human contact. And where the line between healthy need and unhealthy need is, I am not sure. But I have definitely spent a lot of time on the unhealthy side of the line. And what I needed, other people were not capable of giving. In hindsight, I think they recognized that, and moved away accordingly.
But I think there has been some shift within me. It has probably been caused by a number of different things. Part of it is probably diet and exercise, and forcing myself to get involved in more social activities. Part of it is writing this blog, and reading about the struggles of others who have been through similar things, especially Takashi. Mental illness is not something that one can openly talk about with a lot of people, and finding something of an online community of people who know what it is like helps.
And I am gradually moving closer to being okay with myself. I am caring a lot less about other people's opinions. I think I'm done walking on eggshells.
I am gradually feeling more confident in life, more accepting of my flaws and limitations. And I am able to see the flaws in others now, not as a reason to condemn them or look down on them, but just as part of their humanity. I think we are all as good as we are capable of being at any given time, getting by as best we can.