Wrong Road

"Road/Bridge" © Dauvit Alexander, 2012. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Road/Bridge” © Dauvit Alexander, 2012. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Green tea and rhodiola. Meditate every night or morning. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. See your therapist. Exercise at least thirty minutes daily. Go running. Lift weights. Don’t drink any caffeine after 2 PM and limit it to a cup or two of tea. Drink 135 ounces of water. Write. Avoid carbohydrates. Don’t smoke. Stay clean. Stay sober. Take your vitamins and thyroid medication. Practice talking about the things that are going on in your head. Make a conscious effort to not follow all those negative thought patterns to their disastrous ends. Stay busy. Connect with old friends. Take walks and talk about how desperate and empty everything can seem. Find comfort in the idea that they’ve felt like you do. Convince yourself that a lot of this is a choice. That you can do it different.

I have running lists of all the things I have to stay on top of if I want to feel moderately okay. A balancing act between keeping my sanity intact and getting so strict that I swing the other way so far I lose it again. I work hard to make sure that I’m doing everything anyone can think of to keep from plummeting into the dark and I’m still never sure it’s enough. Some people just need more help than others. So we start talking about medication for the first time since I was eighteen. 

It’s a regular theme, isn’t it? We’re constantly asking, “When your best isn’t good enough, what do you do?” I guess you try something else. A different tactic. You can run as hard as anyone has ever run, but if you’re in a bike race it isn’t going to help you. I’ve been giving it my all, but I’ve been giving the wrong thing.

I’ve been ignoring the idea that no matter how much I do “right” I’m still going to need something else. I’ve been trying desperately to look past the idea that I’m going to have to begin reexamining the way I think about and approach everything. Start relabeling. Stop calling my “hope for the best, expect the worst” mentality a good attack plan. Start calling it out for what it really is: a helpful way to insure you stay miserable. I don’t need any help on that front. Thanks, though. I’ve got it covered. I’m tired. I’m tired of pretending that building up these walls and acting like if I can’t make myself feel better then there is no hope for me. Tired of sitting quietly with my therapist too ashamed to talk about what I’ve actually had on my mind. Tired of trying desperately to hide how bad I’m actually hurting because I don’t want those close to me to get scared. Tired of feeling like I’m stuck on some road that leads to a place I don’t want to go to, but that I don’t have any say in my direction. Never have. That can’t be true. It’s like letting your mental health fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy. I’ve been living this way for so long I couldn’t possibly do something new.

There’s this old Turkish proverb that I’ve had stuck in my head for weeks now. “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.” I don’t want to go this way anymore. I’m ready to turn around.

5 thoughts on “Wrong Road

      1. No, but you learn a thing or two about endurance and resilience. Your insane ability to go on and on when you thought you’d be dead by now.

        You and I both know that’s truth.



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