Today, I wanted to write a tinyletter. I send tinyletters only when I cannot bring myself to publish my thoughts in public. These are far and few in between: since writing the first one in early 2015, I’ve only sent seven of them so far. There is very little I can’t write publicly about.
Yesterday, I cried. My tears are not a rare occurrence. I cry when I read about the terrible state of the world, I cry when I watch TV, I cry when I read. But this was the first time in a long time that I cried for myself.
I cried because my partner was holding me, and I was trying to share my thoughts and emotions with her — something I do very often. But somehow yesterday was different. I was trying to tell her in words, how tired I was. How tired I was that there is practically nothing for me to feel tired about and yet I am still tired, how tired I was trying everything I can to get better but I still feel unwell. I am tired of trying to tell people I am sick but I don’t look sick and there’s nothing wrong with me except fatigue and migraines.
Except fatigue and migraines take away my aliveness, they render me incapable of doing anything of consequence.
Yesterday, I found myself telling the person I love that I can finally understand a little, why David Foster Wallace chose to take his life despite the obvious love of his wife and parents.
I tried telling myself that there’s so much to be grateful for, I am so very lucky to have so much, there is nothing about my life I would change. But what if I have everything in the world I can possibly want, and yet I still feel such a terrible exhaustion?
I wanted to write this in a tinyletter. But I asked myself why, why do I feel like I can’t publish this in public? I guess there is still a lot of internal judgement and fear of external judgement.
But that is the crippling impact of mental disorders. That having a great life by our own standards does not preclude from anyone from its infliction. It creeps upon even the best of us.
At this point in my life, I have nothing left to contribute except my truth. So here is my truth. That I can try to do everything right and have so much to be grateful for, be entirely conscious and lucid about the positive state of my life, and yet I find myself in terrible existential despair.
A couple of weeks back, I decided that all that effort to heal on my own wasn’t enough. I have started seeing a TCM practitioner regularly and am having weekly massage therapy to ease my chronic pain. I am visiting UK/Portugal in a week (yes I still hope to make the trip despite what happened today). Travel has always been healing for me, even if half the time it brings me painful insights to my own psyche. When I get back, perhaps I should get on the therapy train (as a sidenote, everyone should read “On becoming a person”).
When I started this publication on experimenting with my life, the hope was to share both the ups and downs. I hope to keep on having the courage to share my truth despite the mainstream stigma and fear of any long-term repercussions. It really helps to have other people generously sharing their story.