By McKenzie James
Some of my friends have been worried about me of late. I appear to be in a depression that is deeper and has gone on longer than I’ve experienced in the past. It is true that I’m not my usual optimistic self and that anti-depressants are not working their magic.
Part of the explanation is that things in my life really are at a low point right now. I have financial difficulties, my best friend in the area is very ill, I am going to have to move again, I’ve been robbed, my heart’s been broken, my job is particularly stressful, winter’s here suck and the holidays bring their usual reminder of just how dysfunctional my family really is. All of these are things I’ve experienced and gotten through before but never in such abundance at the same time.
I remember a colleague telling me years ago that depression is simply anger turned in on oneself. I never quite understood it before but lately, thinking about what’s taking place in my life right now, I think I finally get it. I really am angry at myself for the position I find myself in. Other than my friend’s illness, and the weather, I can’t seem to find anyone, or anything, to blame any of it on other than myself.
I am the one who made the decisions that got me exactly where I am today. I chose to move back to Weird Town, I chose to accept my current job, I have obviously not handled my finances very well (which is especially embarrassing for someone whose spent a lifetime working in Finance and Accounting), I am the one who didn’t double-check whether or not the garage door was working when the weather changed (thereby allowing my burglars to walk right in), and although my lover did treat me badly I’m the one who let him come back into my life after breaking my heart the first time and gave him the opportunity to do it again.
All this said, I want to assure all my friends and loved ones who have been calling to check in on me, that no matter how bad life gets I’m grateful for each and every one of you and I would never take my own life (which I know is what you are all really worried about even though you don’t come right out and say it).
It’s simple: regardless of how hellish my life here on earth becomes being raised Catholic has left me with such an insurmountable fear of the afterlife that I will gladly suffer here forever rather than move on. Intellectually I know that once we die we simply return to the earth and our energy disburses, but emotionally Catholicism has left me with a fear of the burning hell fires that I can’t get over.
Every time I think perhaps life is not all it’s cracked up to be I am reminded of the alternative and I’m fighting to stay alive with a willpower few can surpass. For I know, having been a hellion and rebel most of my life, that I am not likely to find myself lulling around on a bed of clouds playing harp music and eating chocolates. Oh no, if I’m wrong about my atheism I will find myself in burning fires being prodded with a pitchfork every few moments to remind myself of just how much fun I had in my youth. So friends, never fear, I’m here for the duration however long that may be and I’ll be fighting to remain here on this good earth with my last dying breath.