Hey, all. Whew, been a while, hasn’t it? Wish I could say I’ve been off setting trends and making big exciting changes, but…well, that just ain’t the truth. Truth is, I’ve been stuck in a rut in my life. Fun fact: I suffer from low-grade depression, the kind you think you can deal with until you wake up one morning, too apathetic to want to do anything but roll back over and sleep. And no, if you like to do that on your days off, you’re not depressed; you’re just comfortable and screw adulting for a few hours! Ahem. Anyways!
So yeah, over the past few months I’ve been doing what has become, unfortunately, my usual: just struggling to get through the day. Just…existing. Now, me, I’ve always believed that there is a major difference between Living and existing. Living means you’re full of life, there’s that spark in your eyes and things are more than just ok. They’re fantastic! You’re in love with being alive, you know? But existing…existing is just drifting, unmoored and directionless, and the world is just…gray. Not fun, Christian Gray gray. Bleak, gray. Numb. Void. No hopes, dreams, goals or ambitions to speak of, because life has been reduced down to numbers and figures and monotony. Your spirit is crushed out of you by the slow drag, the little fears that get fed into something far worse, the heart breaking torment of sitting alone in a darkened room, wondering dully what happened to the fire in your soul. That’s been me for a good while now, and lemme tell ya, it’s just the bee’s knees.
But, cheer up! You see, when one knows the problem, one can tackle it, no? So, here’s what I did: By the grace of God, I stumbled across this website, called NerdFitness. It was set up by a glorious hero known as Steve Kamb, who has this mad idea that life can be treated like a videogame. That when, say, you run up to the store and choose to talk to a checker rather than just use a self-pay booth and head off, you get xp (experience points, for the uninitiated). Every 100 xp nets you a level, and then you get to reap the benefits of being a leveled up hero of your own life! Which, by the by, is what brings me back here: I’m trying to get back into writing, so my deal with myself right now is that 20 minutes of writing gets me 20 xp for today. And baby, it is working!
So, yes, I would highly recommend checking it out if for no other reason than it’s an interesting concept. No pressure, though 😉 But, quite apart from talking about that, I wanted to bring up something that I just read the other day, a quote I wrote down to remind me of how important my own attitude to getting better is. Read on, boys and girls:
“Incurable diseases may on day have a cure; that is why doctors and nurses continue squeezing their brains in search of knowledge…Yet what is needed above all is the willpower of the patient. If the patient does not want to heal, it will be impossible to cure him, no matter how many doctors there are. I will cure you. I will cure you so that you can move at will. I will cure you so you may whisper your love to your wife. I will cure you so you can hold your sword once more. For that purpose, what is needed above all is for your body, your cells, to be determined to be healed. If you feel you are losing your willpower, you must cheer up. Otherwise, I’ll kill you.” -Florence Nightengale, Fate/Grand Order, via Tvtropes.org (Fate/Grand Order characters, Berserkers)
What is needed above all is the willpower of the patient. We aren’t talking grit your teeth and believe so hard you make yourself well, people. You just…have to prioritize your well-being. You have to want it. Want it bad enough to take your medicine, even when it’s awful, and change your habits, even when it sucks. And you need a why. I love where Florence says why she’ll cure her patient: so he can move. So he can whisper sweet words to his wife. So he can fight. My friends, depression cripples all of these. Fear and sadness and self-loathing take your essence from you, they beat you down and make you a whimpering dog, or so full of anger you can’t imagine living without it. You become helpless to stop it, or to do anything about it without some kind of intervention from outside of you. But here, there is hope: “I will cure you.” I will.
I believe in a God who says much the same thing. But even the Bible says that once, Jesus was in Nazareth, His hometown, where the people didn’t believe, and He couldn’t do much (Mark 6:1-6:5). You have to want the healing. If you’re feelin down, cheer up! If you need to cry, vent, rage, spend hours listening to sad music or beat the stuffing out of a pillow, do it! Whatever it takes to get back on an even keel, a fresh start, do it.
I know what’s like to be beat up by life, don’t worry; been there, done that. But I shall make a gift of a secret: I still believe that life is worth the living, and that you’re worth saving! Sure, life can have some rough patches, but you know what? Those rough times make the good times better, and sticking it out gives you the ability to hold your head high. Live well, brothers and sisters. There is a cure for what ails you.
And if you found yourself wondering how Florence Nightengale was put into the same class as Hercules, I’m baffled too.