Trigger Warning: Mental Health, depression
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Bene Gesserit lithany against Fear - from “Dune”
My mental health has been a mess lately. I struggle with winter depression every year, and this year it has been hitting me hard. This didn’t really come as a surprise considering the year I’ve had, and I’ve already requested to get light therapy. Right now the mental health care system is overloaded though, so I’m waiting for my therapy to start.
Depression shows itself in two major ways for me: hopelessness and anxiety. I start to feel small, weak and worthless. My self-esteem takes a huge hit and all my anxieties get amplified.
In my last writing I talked about the fear of being left behind. These fears all came rushing back in full force, and then some. Add to that the fact that my love might be moving into a more serious relationship and it all just reached a boiling point. I tried so hard to just be happy for her, to feel compersion. On some level I did, I do think it’s amazing that she’s forming more connections, have the chance to have more love in her life…. but I couldn’t feel it. All I felt was this cold feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. A heavy stone sitting there, dragging me down.
She’s been amazing (as always) in reassuring me, she’s been considerate of my feelings. In short she has done everything humanly possible to support me. It helped a bit, but the fear kept nagging at me.
This morning I had a moment of clarity though. I asked myself one question: “What if all my fears come true? What happens then?” My mind wanted to recoil from the answer, cower in the corner like a scared child. I’m no longer a child though, so I made myself look… stare the fear in the eye. What if the worst happens? The answer was simple really: I’ll live. I’ll be in huge pain, I’ll need a long time to recover, but I’ll live. I’ll still be me. I really want her in my life, having her with me is a huge positive influence and brightens up my days, but I don’t need her. There are no certainties in life, and whether I like it or not there are numerous ways in which this future where I’ll still be beating her when I’m old and grey might not happen.
We tend to shy away from looking at those possibilities, to accept that they might happen. I read that Buddhists say that all suffering comes from attachment and you should let go of them. To me a life without attachment seems a life only half lived, but I do think we should hold those attachments loosely. It is so easy to let fear of loss make you lose sight of what’s right in front of you.
So, my stomach settled at this realisation. This isn’t me giving up, but it’s me accepting that in the end it’s useless to worry about things you cannot predict and control. All I can do is be a whole person by myself, a self-contained entity. Be complete, and accept whatever comes my way. That’s enough. I’m enough.