Discovering the Obvious
Connecting the dots can be annoying and yet feel revelatory.
I lost one of my hearing aids, which I just got. Will I replace it? This could be thousands of dollars.
But it has sent me into an emotional tailspin. I have enough money to replace it without a problem. I also have enough money to get another car when the time comes. The car I have now is a 2004, given to me and Barry in 2015, probably the hardest year of my life, but that’s another story.
What’s my problem? Perhaps I don’t feel worthy of such an act of self-care.
But I have been thinking about my life lately. I have never had a strong will to live. I have prayed for years to not wake up. Growing up, I felt like nothing was about me. Being a wife, ditto, especially as Barry’s health declined.
Then it hit me: I do not feel like I have ever truly lived. Now, my life is about me and I am back to being in my early twenties, not knowing what I am doing or why I am doing it. But living alone and being widowed, it is all about me. I annoy myself endlessly sometimes, but it is all about me. Why would I defend a life where who I am or what I want has always been irrelevant? Why would I invest my time and energy into someone I have never cared for (myself)? I remember being in my twenties and eating very hurriedly. It was mystifying to me. I felt a perplexing need to get the food in me as quickly as possible before I would get full. Why? I have spent my entire life trying to get things over with, to just be done with this or that.
As a child, I was intellectually gifted. I was able to skip over many normal stepping stones or mile-markers in my development. Guess what? That never works. It was pure survival at the time, but now I am developmentally lagging in basic emotional maturity and assorted little things, such as a will to live.
I have a friend who wants to go on a road trip with me. Why anyone would want to go anywhere with me makes no sense to me on some level.
But I will go with her because I love her. She has been my friend for over thirty years. And–this is the big part–I don’t want to be like Barry when he retired. We had some some money, enough to travel. I told him, “Now is the time. We have the money and you are still healthy enough to travel and that will not always be the case. If you want to go to Aberdeen Proving Grounds and look at the tanks, now would be the time, before the Huntington’s prevents you from doing much of anything. If you want to do this, let’s go.” He said no. I now realize he may have been struggling more than I understood at that time. I really don’t care where my friend and I go. I’ll go anywhere with her.
But realizing that I deeply feel like I have never truly lived explains so much. Why I don’t care about anything. Why everything feels like such a burden. I am not happy to be here. When people say life is worth living, that is a meaningless sentence to me. Does not compute.
My mind is sharp, but I feel that it has never benefited me in the slightest. The intellect is an excellent tool, but it cannot provide purpose or meaning. It can’t make you care.