The ongoing struggle of my brain damaged life, as documented here, has been to find the silver lining in it all and I’ve been fairly successful in that endeavour. I’ve tried to get past the turbulence of my experience to find something useful for the life I have now, principles that were relevant for life in general. I’ve salvaged what I could to justify my optimism that all would be well, that my eternal hope would be vindicated, and when this momentous occasion arrived, that I would celebrate with my loved ones the completion of this arduous and, oftentimes, lugubrious journey.
It appears, however, that I’ve been mistaken, misled, and misinformed. Apparently, that’s not how it works. I hope you have a pen and paper handy, because I’m going to tell you how it works.
You exhaust everything you have and everything you are to better yourself, to become the best you can be with what you have left. You do this first for yourself, to reclaim a self-image you can respect, and then for those around you, to minimize the burden your new self is on others, but it’s not enough. It is never enough, there is no enough.
You fight the persistent and relentless anxieties that hound you, hoping that your efforts will be rewarded with some kind of release, but there is no reward. Nothing you do will keep the life you’ve shakily pieced together from hailing down around you, and there is no limit to the kinds of hell that can and will befall you in the most unexpected ways.
All that stuff I said last week about not carrying it all – fuck it, you do have to carry it all. In fact, you’re better off that way. At least then you’d be spared the shock and sudden weight of having it all dumped unceremoniously on your back when the going gets tough. Why? Because at bottom, we are all the stars of our stories, everyone else is just a supporting character. Your inestimable difficulties, when even your brain has turned against you, will not trump people’s tendencies to look out for themselves first, no matter what they’ve told you.
You get people involved in your troubles and they’ll hold it against you. You take up people’s time and they’ll want it back – with interest. They may say otherwise, that they want to help because they care, and they will swear as much with the strongest oath, but don’t be fooled. All you’ve done by accepting their help is provided them with an easy scapegoat; you’ll become the reason for their every missed opportunity. They’ll be preaching ownership and accountability for decisions, while denying all responsibility for choosing to get involved. If you involve others, more people will get hurt, and you will no doubt be hurt the most.
But here’s the damnedest part of it all: you will stubbornly believe that things will work out. Even when the carpet is pulled out from you by the person who was standing on it with you a second ago. Even when your blog of hope becomes a blog of what-the-hell-just happend. Even when tears sting your eyes because you haven’t slept all night. Even when you want to throw up but are denied even that relief.
Fuck, I don’t see it, but I hope you’re right.