An Anatomy of Hope

Despite having this (it seems we have it rather than being it) for 35+ years, when I have a day, or a few days (rare) during which I feel almost fine, I still allow that thought to creep in: I might be better. Cured.

Cured by what, or whom, I don’t know. I’ve never examined it that closely; the absurdity of the thought would soon show itself, for sure.

Despite being in yet another stressful situation out of my control, when I’d expect to be fluctuating wildly between hypomania and depression – with a heavy dusting of anxiety, insomnia and OCD – I’ve felt fine the past few days. That’s unusual for me; very. Of course, often I think I’m ‘well’ but it turns out I was just high, or the high side of mixed.

During those moods I kind of lose touch with reality. But then again, maybe I actually touch base with ‘reality’? Who knows? I don’t.

So.. a few days of feeling as fine as I ever get to feel. Managing, coping. No over-stressing, no morbid thoughts driving / driven by obsessive behaviours (no waking up from 1am repeating sequences of numbers over and over lest something horrid happens to my son). No ‘black dog’, no buzzing nerve endings and lead-heavy muscles. No nausea.

As long as I redefine ‘no’ as ‘not much at all.. for me’.

So.. cured! Without medication (psychiatrist’s secretary never got back to me with an appointment, now I’ve finally decided to begin Quetiapine). With six months worth of CBT recently ended. Well!

But then, in the flick of a finger and thumb, in a single movement of the clock’s second-hand, in the blink of an eye and the gush of air into a single deep breath, it was back.

What happened to cause it? Nothing. Nothing at all. I was making a sandwich. Like when I put my back out for 3 weeks while brushing my teeth. It just happened. There were no thoughts, no worries or concerns. No stress. No nothing.

My mood simply dropped, like a rock from a bridge.

And now my skull is crammed with damp grey cotton wool; tons of the stuff. My muscles have been replaced with concrete. My skin is sagging (my posture has slumped, totally). I’m typing this but running numbers through my head – up, down, sideways. Breathing deeply in an attempt to compensate. Confused and.. well, I can’t really be bothered to even think about it.

All that hope, wasted! All this fear, returned!

‘The rejection of hope, in absurdism, denotes the refusal to believe in anything more than what this absurd life provides. Hope, Camus emphasizes, however, has nothing to do with despair. One can still live fully while rejecting hope, and, in fact, can only do so without hope. Hope is perceived by the absurdist as another fraudulent method of evading the Absurd, and by not having hope, one is motivated to live every fleeting moment to the fullest. In the words of Nikos Kazantzakis: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”’ (Wikipedia)

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2 comments on “An Anatomy of Hope

  1. Beautifully written post. The curse of the good days thrown in just to remind us what we’re missing just in case we forget for a moment.I hope for nothing and get it. hugs.

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