The end of August into early September is typically a busy time of year for me in terms of work: my clients, bosses, and websites all need attention as the USA football season begins. I worked hard throughout the summer months into September in hopes of making a lot of money, to help bolster my sense of self esteem and accomplishment. In doing so, I also risked a lot of money on advertising. At the moment, I’m still technically “in debt” to myself for all the advertising of my own websites, and jammed up financially because I don’t have a lot of liquid cash available. This causes me a lot of stress, but I tell myself that you have to invest money to make money.
Towards the end of September, and now into October up to this very moment, I’ve been in a state of depression. I’m not sure why it hit me. It just sort of came out of the blue. The side effects of my BPD depressions usually consist of thinking about the past, comparing myself to others, getting upset over my diabetes, feeling hopeless, feeling worthless, and feeling nothing but boredom to the point that I sleep throughout most of the day. Plus, I’ve also put on weight this year. I’ve never been heavier in my life. I was very physically active as a child, teenager, college student, and into my mid 20’s. Now, however, I hardly lift a finger.
Instead of being positive and hopeful about my life, my bouts of depression tend to revolve around a few themes:
- Regrets about past possible romantic relationships and the bright future I thought I saw from them – Basically, this emotion arises from browsing Facebook and looking at old faces from high school and mostly college. I’ve written extensively about women I adored from afar, and when I see what they’re up to now, I get upset. In nearly all cases, the women I viewed as “perfect catches” are just that: they are now happily married, and some are having children and settling down. This makes me upset because I feel like I should have done something about my feelings of attraction to these women when they arose. I knew they were the type of women that would be productive, happy, and wonderful to grow old with. Now that I see they’re married and starting families, while I am still very single and depressed, I get mad at life and myself for being so socially inept and helpless.
Moreover, I get madder at myself if I somehow wasn’t good enough for them, beating myself up because I failed to meet their standards. Some might say, “Well, maybe their standards were very shallow”. Possibly: but as time has passed, it’s easy to see that whatever standards they had, they were the right ones to measure against because by all accounts, they are happy and resolved to spend THE REST of their lives with their new husbands and children.
- Comparing myself to others – To be clear, I’m almost never happy with myself. I always see people who are extremely successful, happy, and loving life, and I ask myself why can’t I be that way? Now that my peers and I are in our late 20’s and early 30’s, some are standout employees at top companies, or are performing on stage in a band around the country, or are exploring the world and doing charitable work in less fortunate nations, or have just finished their master’s degree and going for their Phd. I feel like no matter what I do, I can’t compete. I can’t measure up. The result is a feeling of utter hopelessness because I feel like I will be damned to a life of mediocrity governed mostly by my chronic illnesses. I’d much rather be healthy, wealthy, and happy opposed to pathetic, poor, and sick. What’s the joy in mental illness or shooting myself up with Insulin every day?
- No Self Worth, Hopelessness – When I, as a Borderline, look inside, I see nothing, and yet feel a wave of negative emotions churning around me. I don’t have any sense of self worth. What makes my life worth living? Why not just jump off a bridge and end it? Why am I who I am, and no matter how hard I work, can’t seem to get myself to a level of living that would be much more enjoyable? My Psychiatrist told me last winter, “Hard work is no guarantee of success”. Well, if that’s the case, what the hell is the point of living on this capitalistic, money-driven Earth anyway? I may not be able to control time, space, my health, others, or misfortune, but the one variable I do control is my effort at attempting to improve. If this effort is “no guarantee of success”, than what is? And why can’t I have what others seem to have by virtue of inheritance, dumb luck, or perseverance that actually DOES produce results? Why doesn’t my hard work pan out?
- Romanticizing other “lifes” and pursuits – The best way to illustrate this feeling is by providing an example. In high school and college, I ran track and had sporadic moments of success, but mostly a lot of disappointment and anger that I couldn’t get myself up for races. It was frustrating for my coaches, too, because they saw me as someone with strong potential – pushing hard in practice and literally going “the extra mile” – but not being able to “convert it” in races. Now that I am sitting at a computer, feeling crappy and typing this blog, I look back at people who were/are successful athletes and marvel at them. Being an athlete is like being a warrior in modern day society: they are worshiped, adored, and highly respected.
Further, there is an innocence of sorts tied to athleticism: it is a career derived not from predatory advertising, snake oil sales, or screwing people financially, but by genetic talent and extremely disciplined training. In other words, there is nothing inherently “evil” or “manipulative” about what they do; while it is quite clear that evil and manipulation pervade modern day marketing, business practices, and the rule of law. If I were only an athlete, I would feel pure, wholesome, and have a legitimate claim to an enhanced feeling of self worth that would be echoed back to me by society. Sadly, this is not the case. I feel the same way about being a doctor or missionary. You can’t go wrong in these lines of work.
That’s it for now. There are a few other emotions I have, but I’m actually getting bored of typing and feel like I want to sleep. I guess my general point is that it can be very hard to accept who and what you are when others seemingly have it better. Why is life like this? I don’t know. Can I do anything about? Not really, since “hard work is no guarantee of success”. So why am I forced to live a mediocre life plagued by sadness and chronic illness? Why must I take 6 different meds to start my day or else I’ll become even more depressed? Why is my pancreas part dead, rotting away in my body as I permanently drag around an insulin pump with a tube injected into my abdomen? If anyone has any answers or wisdom, I’d love to hear it…