In 1995, I wrote “My Afterlife Theories” for a college humanities class. In it, I stated my theories weren’t concrete and may change over time, because anything is possible until there is proof. This is a pretty fair statement that still applies to how I feel today. There were other things I wrote 26 years ago that are relevant to my feelings now.
“I can only hope there is a heaven or something similar. I think it is like earth, but more beautiful and pleasant. It is peaceful and perfect.”
One can only hope.
“I am also convinced that if there is a hell, this is it. Life is not a pleasant thing, and there is enough torture in this world to justify that earth is a hell. Being in the flesh is a trap of free will. I’ve always felt I was ‘locked up’ somehow and can’t escape until I die. I feel limited in my actions; and time is another major factor – another flesh ripoff. Yes, good things happen, but not often. I feel like being in the flesh is a punishment. This is my hell.”
My instructor, whom I respected, responded with some kind words; and “I worry about your pessimism. You’re too young, smart, pretty [illegible] to have that attitude.”
But it’s how I felt – my true, raw feelings revealed, only to be told I shouldn’t feel that way. This is a recurring pattern in my life – being told I shouldn’t feel a certain way or that my feelings aren’t valid. I can’t help the way I feel. When people ask, I’m not going to sugar coat it. Why bother asking if you don’t want to know the truth? And even today, I still feel this way.
Do I want to feel this way? No. It would be much easier to have a fantasy of this big, beautiful never never land filled with eternal bliss lying ahead of me. But when life is filled with lies and deceptions, who can logically believe in anything without proof? I like to think of myself more as a realist than a pessimist, because let’s face it – life isn’t fun for everyone. I see really shitty people living a great life while really great people suffer, so that isn’t much incentive for me to believe otherwise. I’m sure depression doesn’t help my theories, and vice versa.
When I do feel good, I bask in the good feeling, because I know it won’t last long. This week was a particularly difficult one for me. With having the stomach virus and the after-effects of the Covid shot, I was two weeks into being ill. This has immensely increased the depression level to about an 8 out of 10. Three times last week, I almost suddenly passed out. The first occurrence happened while I was driving. I hadn’t felt completely recovered from the other illnesses; perhaps I was dehydrated. But what came with it is what scared me – tingling down my left arm. I wasn’t even in a spot where I could pull over and thought, Oh shit, I hope I don’t black out at the wheel! The second occurrence happened while I was in the grocery store. A strange feeling came over me, and I thought, How embarrassing, I’m going to pass out in Publix! I took some deep breaths and the dizziness subsided, and I got the hell out of there. Also, I was hungry, so I ordered some takeout. While I was waiting and talking to someone, the same thing happened. It started with a weird feeling and tingling, like I was going to pass out. It subsided after a couple of minutes. Once I went home and ate dinner, I was fine.
Saturday morning started with coffee that ended up tasting like shit. The issue that I’ve been dealing with when I twisted my back suddenly became a pinched nerve while I was stretching. I think that could be why I’m getting dizzy and having tingling sensations. Due to the pain, I could barely move all day, my entire weekend ruined. Today, I’m slightly better and able to get around. Already broke as hell, I’ve lost two weeks from illness and am super stressed. Add chronic and now excruciating pain to an already-depressed person, and this is why I don’t own a gun, because I wouldn’t be here writing this.
I do not – and have not – enjoyed life in a really long time. Every fucking thing has been a complete disappointment. Every plan canceled or fucked up in some way. As much as I like to try to tell myself that everything is going to be okay, I also feel there is nothing for me to look forward to. The other day, it occurred to me I have lost all hope that my life will improve, because I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. That’s not to say I don’t fantasize about how I imagine my life being. I feel like I have worked so hard for things only to be ruined, misunderstood, or taken away – and I’m too tired to keep starting over. When I turn inward, the only thing I hear is “keep writing,” which seems like the only thing that comes naturally to me anymore. But it’s not exactly keeping me afloat.
I have no interest in any of the things I used to love and must force myself to at least try. Physical limitations have affected that as well, which is extremely frustrating when I’m normally an active person, and even more so when I have no one to help me. I hide from my neighbors, because I just don’t want to talk to or be seen by anyone when I feel and look like shit. When I have appointments or absolutely have to go to the store, I try to look my best, but it’s not how I feel inside. Most of the time, I can’t wait to get back home so I can lock myself inside and cry. And all the while, I’m thinking, is something seriously wrong with me? Am I crazy? What the fuck? Why am I crying all the time? Why do I feel worse now than when I used to drink? Really – what the fuck?!!!
The other day, I forced myself to go to the beach, because it always makes me feel better. As soon as I arrived, I said to myself, I should have stayed home. I didn’t expect it to be so packed on a weekday, and right when I got on, some guy started mouthing off to me, and I still don’t understand why. Because there were so many people, I felt panic setting in; I was surrounded, couldn’t turn around, couldn’t escape. I called him a weirdo, then found a way out and far away from him. Right then and there, I almost had a panic attack while attempting to have a normal soothing day at the beach. Once I found a spot, no one bothered me, and the rest of my stay went fine until I got home. I felt extremely exhausted, and then body aches and chills, but I wasn’t running a fever. So I went to bed.
Incidences like the beach one make me not want to go to the places I love anymore. Although I’d love to find new places, my limitations in this vehicle we call a body, doing things alone makes it difficult. So I can forget about doing anything at all, which is exactly what I’ve been doing. I feel safer not going anywhere, which is completely unlike me.
All I wanted to do was relax and have a peaceful day, but the way it started out sucked. I thought maybe the sun and fresh air would make me feel better, because they usually do. And the opposite happened. Every single thing that used to work for me to heal and that I enjoyed no longer works and is no longer enjoyable. I no longer take myself out to eat (except takeout), mainly because I’m broke, but also because I don’t want to be alone after the restaurant incident. I haven’t kayaked, because I can’t do any lifting. And now the beach isn’t even a place I can enjoy. I no longer feel safe doing anything anymore, and for an independent person like me, this is a fucking prison sentence. I don’t know what to think about it except that I’m not meant to have a normal, happy life. I suppose I can either accept that or go on living with false hope. Both suck.
And this brings me back to the beginning of this post. I feel like flesh is a punishment. Free will is a myth and a fantasy, because other humans – particularly the millionaire patriarchy – govern our so-called “free will.” I mean, am I wrong? So many things dictate our lives that we don’t even think about, and it’s all bullshit. If life isn’t hell, prove me wrong.
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