Monday, June 20, 2016

Some Days It Would Be Easier If I Wasn't A Fighter

There's a saying from ... somewhere that goes (paraphrasing), "Don't worry when I fight with you. It means I still care. Worry when I stop. It means there's nothing left to fight for." 

I'm a fighter. I'm a scrappy, Sicilian women who likes whiskey and football better than drinking cosmos and getting a mani/pedi (no offense if this is your thing). I've always been a fighter. I've had to be. I've had to stand up for myself, a lot. Against others, against stigma, against my depressive brain that tells me I'm no good and should just give up. There are days I have to fight against myself, so that I don't lose the battle permanently. I fight tooth and nail. I'm determined and persistent. Ironically, I don't actually like conflict, and generally I'm good natured, caring, easy to compromise and understand. And I am absolutely open to learning, to hearing other perspectives, to apologizing (I'm an over-apologizer), and to saying I'm wrong, if I feel it's warranted. There are certainly times when it is. Or at least where a compromise and truce, even if it's with my own brain, is the best solution. But when I believe in something firmly, I fight for it. And I fight for it. And I fight for it. I don't quit. Until I exhaust myself to the point of being physically, emotionally, and mentally unable to. I've drained myself to the point of acquiescence, at least temporarily. The way my dog does when she is barking and barking at you to play with her for an hour and suddenly picks up her toy and walks off to her bed and plops down. She gives in to the inevitable, as do I. 

Some days, it would be easier if I wasn't a fighter. Life would be simpler if I was a placater. If I was more emotionally and mentally flexible. It would be easier if I could just accept the reality that is instead of what could or, in my mind, should be. Life would be a lot more pleasant (for me and probably those close to me) if I learned to be content enough with everything as it was. Maybe I'd be less anxious if I could just say, "Eh that's life. Sh*t happens." If I would just accept how life is, how society is, how people are, I wouldn't be frustrated with those who refuse to stop stigmatizing me, those who can't accept me because I'm not like everyone else. I would stop being angry that everyone goes with the status quo because "that's how it is" instead of making waves to change things that they don't like. I'd stop fighting with myself, my brain, my illness. I'd stop fighting with other people when I feel horribly hurt at the things they do or say (or sometimes don't do or say). Life would be calmer, and lord knows that with this brain of mine I could use some more calm in my life. 

And sometimes, this is almost enough to make me say f*&# it and stop fighting. Almost. But I'm not a person that swims in gray areas. I don't do, "Oh it'll change eventually. It'll get better someday." I don't do "just wait it out". I don't do those because I don't believe that's how life has to be, and we're on this earth way too short a time, even if we live a long life, to let life and circumstances control us instead of the other way around. Maybe some people are content with an OK life. Or a "not so bad' one. But I'm not. Because I fight every day to be still living this life and I'll be damned if it's going to be simply OK when it could be otherwise. I'll be damned if I fight tooth and nail with my brain to stay afloat so that I can just complacently accept everything else that happens as "that's how it is".

Despite this, there's that little part of me that says, that has always said, "maybe what you think is rubbish and everyone else has it right. Just listen to them. Maybe they have your best interests in mind. Sure, it benefits them, but maybe it is also for you."  And I try. Even if it doesn't look like I try. Because I promise for every time it looks like I've failed on the outside, I've tried 100 times on the inside. And my brain physically, emotionally, and mentally seems to refuse to be made like that. I know people think this is choice.  But it's like saying an asthmatic can work on breathing better. They can treat it, take medication, they can pay attention to the signs that they're starting to struggle and try to intervene. But they can't will their lungs to work a certain way. Nor can I will my brain to work a certain way.  Trust me, my life would be a hell of a lot easier if I could. Because that would mean I didn't have this shitty condition. But I do, so it doesn't happen. Here, instead, is what happens:  severe anxiety, panic attacks, hypomania, severe depression, exhaustion from all of the above. If I could not have these, I would. And the way I can not have these, besides a spontaneous cure, is to fight against the circumstances that result in them. And so I do. Because I don't expect anyone else to save me. I need to save myself. And besides, I don't want to stop fighting. It means there's nothing left to fight for.


  1. Oh my Dear, you speak my heart

  2. I'm glad to hear there are others who understand!