I’m really hesitant to post this, because I don’t want to give people the wrong idea, but I’m going to anyway.
So I had an interesting experience last night.
I’ve been thinking that my fatigue problem might be caused by sleep apnea—since the other three people in my immediate family all have it, and there have been a couple of times this year that I’ve woken and couldn’t breathe. And I was lying in bed last night, trying in vain to get to sleep, and I thought, It’d be really nice if I just stopped breathing in the middle of the night and died quietly in my sleep.
Now here’s what’s interesting about this little macabre thought: I’m not suicidal. My depression has been doing much better. In fact, I’ve been keeping a little health diary lately to see if my mood/fatigue is affected by my menstrual cycle, and for the last two weeks I’ve averaged a mood of 7 out of 10—almost every day. I’m not sure it’s dipped below a 5. I still shy back from the very idea of suicide, and I would feel too guilty about the people I leave behind to ever think of planning it.
AND YET, I think it would be very nice to just die, at this point in my life, as long as I could do it quickly and pretty painlessly.
So why is that?
I think the problem is that I can’t imagine a future for myself.
I used to imagine dying, and think about whether I was ready or not, and my answer was always, No, I have other things I want to do! I have books I want to write, I want to get married, I want to find a good job, I want to get a place of my own, I want to paint…
The problem is that now, I have either done those things and found that they didn’t fulfil me, or I don’t think I’m going to ever do those things.
Now, if you ask me to rationally tell you whether I think I’ll ever get a job and a place of my own, then I’m sure I will. The problem is that I cannot imagine it at this point, and if I imagine it, I might believe it rationally, but I don’t BELIEVE it emotionally. (Just like in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.) I’ve been so unsuccessful in my job search—and I am currently so unsure of what kind of career I would even want to go into—and I actually cannot really imagine myself getting a good job and being able to move out of my parents’ house and support myself and have a happy and independent life. The job hunt has simply burnt that hope out of me.
At the age of 31, knowing that I have never had a boyfriend and am on the asexual spectrum, I think it unlikely I will ever find anyone or get married. I have published two books, and neither of them have brought me anything like the happiness or recognition—or even money—I dreamed they would. I have spent this year painting and embroidering, and though I enjoyed making the art, I’ve reached a point of boredom and lack of ambition to do more. So all the things that might make me feel like my life is unfinished, I either have no desire to do anymore, and no hope that I ever CAN do. So just quietly, with no guilt, finding a quick and immediate end to everything just sounds really nice right about now.
This is the problem with taking “one day at a time.” My mood has certainly improved, and yet my hope for the future has not. And it’s hope for the future that makes further life desirable.