This Too Shall Pass

“It’s funny, isn’t it? The things that matter? The truth is none of it matters. And the truth is all of it matters tremendously. It’s a wonder any of us ever get out of bed at all. And yet, we get out of bed.”

I’ve been watching the show Bojack Horseman, which is one of my favourite animated series, and this line hit me pretty hard because I actually rarely do manage to get out of bed. If I have showered or eaten, it’s a successful day for me, even if I end up returning to bed afterwards.

It makes me feel so concerned when I think that literally everyone in the world might be struggling to get out of bed, even the super successful, seemingly happy people – even the most disciplined, hard-working people with incredible amounts of willpower & ambition. It makes me worried because I think, “If even they have a hard time with this, what hope is there for people who literally have to summon all of their strength to leave their beds just to go to the bathroom?”

If people who got everything they wanted, who are living their dreams, who accomplished their goals, etc. still struggle to just live life, what hope is there for people like me whose frontal lobes are underdeveloped when it comes to inhibition, emotional regulation, task switching, etc. Yes, it’s possible to improve these skills & further develop these parts of the brain with lots of time & dedication, but when you’re trying to teach yourself how to improve teaching yourself stuff when you’re already like really bad at trying to teach yourself stuff, it just seems like you’re fighting this never ending uphill battle. After a while, you get tired, and you just wanna stop fighting. You wonder what the point of even trying is when you don’t feel like you’re making any progress, or if you are, they’re such small, slow improvements that are really easily undone if not continued to work at consistently that you’re still just as miserable, but now you’re miserable, stressed, & even MORE tired than you already were.

Sometimes, if you don’t have anything to prove to anyone, if there’s no external motivation, it becomes really hard to keep bothering to care or try. This may just be depression talking, but I think there’s a pervasive underlying apathy in our species that’s arisen for some weird reason. I think it’s part of why we all struggle to get out of bed. There’s this profound, “why even bother? What’s the point? What’s the use in trying?” I’m not sure how this happened or when everything changed to such an intense degree. Maybe it’s when we started having too much time on our hands so we can sit around and pontificate about this kind of stuff to begin with. Statistics have shown that people who have to work harder to just survive have lower rates of depression & suicide than those who have the privilege of lots of free time. It’s like free time is BAD for us. We need to be busy or our minds will turn against us.

It just sucks when that basic core survival mechanic of mustering the strength to push on through all odds & adversity seems to be lacking & the only reason you’re still alive is because you have people who are willing to care for you. Sometimes, it feels like you shouldn’t be allowing people to care for you when you don’t even want to be alive, but you don’t want to hurt those who do care. You don’t want to be so selfish, but you feel like just allowing people to care for you is also being selfish. It’s this horrible mental trap that just makes you feel worse. It all spirals out of control & you keep trying to distract yourself or reframe things or tell yourself that this is just negative thought patterns you’ve conditioned yourself into defaulting to for years. And yet, still, the idea of trying to bring yourself to do something else, to do anything at all sometimes, is just so painful it feels like every atom in your body is screaming this resounding, “NOO!!!!!”

It feels like every part of me is throwing a giant temper tantrum in unison & the force of it is keeping me stuck, frozen to the spot. I try to open myself up to a greater power, I try to let go of whatever these fears are, I try to release the attachment to being in control I know I still have on some level & embrace my powerless ness, but still, I’m paralysed. I try to surrender this sense of self, this idea of separate interest, I try to go deeper, but nothing changes, nothing shifts. I’m still stuck here, rooted to the spot, feeling the same emotions & bodily sensations, thinking the same thoughts. I feel like I’m trapped in a prison of my own skin, body, mind.

Ruminating on all of this isn’t helpful, but I’m told to not run away from it, either. I’m supposed to “sit” with my feelings. I’m supposed to be present & to simply observe without judging. I’m trying not to yell at myself for feeling how I do because that never helps. I’m trying not to chastise & berate myself for falling back into the same patterns as I always inevitably seem to do. I’m trying to be gentle, compassionate, & understanding with myself as I simply acknowledge that I’m having a hard time. I don’t need to make this into a bigger thing than it already is. I don’t need to give myself any more reasons to be distressed.

All I can do is take refuge in the one thing that’s consistently given me just the tiniest flicker of hope. It may not be a lot of hope, but it’s the one thing that I know is always true no matter what the situation is, no matter how bad things get, no matter how I’m feeling/what I’m thinking. The one constant in existence is change. The one thing that I know is always certain is that whatever is now will no longer be in the future. I can’t say what will be. I have no way of knowing. It could be better or worse than now, but it doesn’t really matter because all I know is that it WILL be different than what is right now. Every single moment in time, every single event, every single situation & experience is fully & totally unique. No two things are fully the same. Everything has its own slight variation from the other.

Because I know that the one thing I can count on is that everything is always changing & that every single thing is distinct from every other thing. If I can count on things always changing, this means, no matter how slim the probability given previous patterns & history, even if it’s a 0.000000000000000001% chance of it occurring, it’s still IS possible that maybe tomorrow, things will have shifted enough that I DO end up finding the strength/motivation to get out of bed & do something. Maybe, just maybe, later this same day it’ll happen. All I know is that nothing is static. All I can count on is for things to be different in each moment of each day of the rest of my existence. Everything is ever changing & just because I am not able to find the will to keep going right now, today, doesn’t mean I won’t eventually find it.

I can’t in good conscience close myself off to the possibility of a positive shift strong enough to reframe my paradigm in a life-changing way occurring because that would be the same as saying that I can predict the future. Maybe it feels like it will never happen given previous experiences, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. Even if it doesn’t happen, I still owe it to myself to remain open to the possibility because I never want to become THAT arrogant. I never want to be someone who says that they know what will happen. I never want to say never again heh. I’ve lived my whole life in an extreme place of absolutes & rigid thinking. It’s been limiting myself with this warped interpretation of reality that’s helped cause me to get to this feeling of being stuck in the first place. I can see that now. So I am trying to do something about it. It may not look like much on the outside, but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying my hardest to make changes. I’m just working on trying to effect change from within since that’s all I can do right now. Please forgive me. Please be patient with me.

I’m trying to be patient with myself despite feeling like I’m wasting my life away. I’m trying to not be upset with myself whenever another day passes, & I wasn’t able to get out of bed. I’m trying really hard to help encourage myself gently because decades of trying to “just do it” & overly stern self-talk made it all worse. I know I need to find a balance where I live even more in the now so I can “just do” things & not guilt trip myself if I fail at achieving my objective. I know there’s a healthier middle ground where I can push myself out of my comfort zone without overdoing it to the point where I have a meltdown & end up needing to recuperate from it for MONTHS at a time. I know there’s a better way, & I’m TRYING to get there.

I’m taking a long time trying to get there, but I’m still trying. I’m just going at my own very slow pace because I need to take steady, surefooted steps. If I’m not careful, I can misstep & fall, and for me, this has the same impact as straight up turning around & hightailing it back to where I came from. I’m so tired of regressing. I’m doing twice the effort & work to get anywhere because I just keep freaking out & retracing my steps in fear. I don’t want to do this anymore, so I’m going at a snail’s pace, which is incredibly frustrating, but at least this way, I can still keep moving forward. Little by little. Slow & steady. It’s all I CAN do, so I need to be okay with it. I have to accept what IS even if I don’t like it. That’s fine. I don’t HAVE to like it, but I do need to accept it if I want to keep moving forward.

I’m trying not to apologise for my limitations & instead just continue to do my best at working with them. I’m trying my best to not be ashamed at not being able to do the same basic things most others can do. I’m trying to not let myself feel all of these horrible negative things because they’re not true & not helpful. These thoughts & feelings don’t serve me, so I don’t need them. I can let them go. I will keep working to let them go. Life can be hard for everyone, but especially if you have illnesses or conditions that increase the difficulty setting when you’re already barely able to survive on Easy Mode.

It can be really, really hard. That’s okay, though. I can accept that it’s hard AND keep moving forward. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Even if I’m not able to walk at all sometimes. Maybe all I’ll be capable of is pulling myself across the ground with my hands. That’s okay, too. I’m still moving forward. And as long as I just STAY IN THE GAME, I still have a chance. I still have a chance to change, a chance to improve. Because there is ALWAYS a chance to change. That is the one & only thing that I will always have at every moment for the rest of my life. I know that anything is possible when the one constant in existence is that EVERYTHING changes. NOTHING can stay the same. And that, actually, is something that I can ALWAYS hold on to ❤

Published by Jax Bayne

Autistic artist, writer, consultant, researcher, analyst, and systems engineer. Occasional axe thrower, model, cosplayer, gamer, & streamer. Latinx ace/demiflux masc enby. SpIns: #autism #bhaktiyoga #comics #fantasy #games #horror #linguistics #moths #neuropsychology #scifi

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