Personal jesus

Feeling pretty good today despiteā€¦ life? 2020? The “end of days”? Of course, jokes like that last line or about the apocalypse are made humorously as I always found certain religious beliefs to be a nice way to lazily skirt responsibility. Why work on yourself as a person when you can just pray your sins away? Why try and fix the world when you can just shrug and pretend that things are going to end anyway according to some ridiculous old text that most believers barely read or understand on any sort of personal level? If you can pretend that god is coming back to save all the believers and destroy the world, it gives you the perfect out so you don’t have to be part of any REAL social, political or environmental solutions. Personally every time I see another meme shared by someone referencing the “end times” or suggesting that prayer can solve any problem, I feel a bit bad for their mental state of mind and a bit annoyed by their lack of initiative.

But those are just the opinions of a slowly aging, semi-grumpy atheist.

I’ve reached one of those strangely aloof periods of relief from depression. I’ve spent a lot of time over the months wondering if depression is always a genuine mental illness or just the normal reaction to a world that has always been full of horrors, real and imaginary. It seems to me that depression is *sometimes* stage one in real change, if you are ready for it. If you are heartbroken or just broken by the world around you, you then can recognize that the world needs to change. Step one in many recovery programs is admitting there is a problem, yes? I know that some people are born with mixed-up brain chemistry or legitimate reasons for feeling the blues, but I have to wonder when depression needs to be solved from the inside as a singular person and when the problem needs more of a larger-scale social fix. Can any of us truly be well-adjusted in a fucked-up society without having to resort to fantasy, intoxicating substances or delusion?

I see many online posts made by strangers and old friends about feeling sad and hopeless these days. It hurts to read and yet I have no real answers to offer either. As an elder depressee, I’ve only discovered that medication, doctor prescribed or self prescribed, only soothes the symptoms but never removes the problem. Real change has been my only savior in life, whether it be a physical move to another location, exiting a toxic relationship or giving up an addiction or harmful vice. In situations like what people are witnessing this year alone, I’m at a loss as what to suggest other than “Hang in there!” “Bad times can’t last forever, right?” and “VOTE!”

Strange though. For most of my life people have tried to convince me that the issue was just my attitude about life, not life itself. That with the right pills and outlook, I too could be normal and well-accepted. There were times when people I loved made me feel poorly for not being (acting) happier. I’ve been accused of being a bummer and have had friends and loved ones cut me out because they wanted less negativity in their lives. Now sadness is burning through the population like a Californian wildfire and I have to be more compassionate about the feelings of others than many were with mine in the past. I don’t know how to make any of you feel better, but I truly do want you all to have reason to hope again. Because a world without hope can only self destruct.

Rambling on about heavy thoughts even though my original point was that I’ve been feeling better lately. And I have been. Still dealing with some personal gripes but nothing overly stressful. Stalkers gonna stalk and try and hack accounts from my old state of residence – been occasionally dealing with that BS over the months. Some people will never willingly heal or change so all that can be done is to keep documenting it and then move on with the day. Also had to cut another alcoholic temporarily out of life for my own mental health and for the well-being of my household. I do not want to be a cynical recovered drunk who now denounces alcohol like some sort of demon – the demon is never at the bottom of the bottle or box, it is in your mind. However I have seen that substance in particular ruin more lives than any other drug I’ve ever heard about.

Once again, all you can do is recognize that there is a issue, take appropriate precautions and then move forward with your day. Some people will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, and this is on them and nobody else. Some will burn every single bridge in their life and then still bitch and moan when a boat does not show up to save them, never admitting that they were never willing to save themselves.

I had to learn that the only person who was going to save me was myself. Yes, people will love you and be there along the way for as long as they can, but at the end of the day it is on us to make better decisions in our own lives. We are all responsible for improving ourselves when we recognize a personal flaw. It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but a good one. And if I can learn it, others can as well. I fully believe this. However I will no longer be handing out forgiveness over and over again like Get Out of Jail Free monopoly game cards. From now on people will have to earn my help, trust, love and respect.

So strange to feel so balanced when everything around looks to be unraveling. Perhaps the panic button finally wore out; too many pushes over forty plus years and now the mechanism no longer works. However I feel prepped for any outcome in life, good or bad. I have this slightly improved mental health I’ve been shining up over the years if things go well. And if not? Well what did people think the weird activities and training was for, bragging rights? I don’t want to have to use some of these skills, tools and weapons, but they are there if needed.

Preparation is my religion if I ever had one. And I’m more dedicated to the “religion” every single day. There is no time or room for selfishness and tail-spinning, only opportunities to keep learning if I am willing. I hope I am always willing.