Second part of that title is not true.
This post is about two things:
- My perceived lack of (positive) emotion, empathy and affection
- My dependence on non-prescription drugs (not as bad as it sounds, honestly)
This isn’t going to be easy but here goes.
This weekend was tough, and it had started so well. After my post on Saturday I felt somewhat better than I usually do. In fact since starting this blog last week I had felt noticeably better (in terms of mood) as I felt that I had taken a positive step towards mental recovery, no matter how small. Then the reset switch got flipped.
My wife also suffers from depression, and has done for longer than I have. When she got home from work on Saturday evening I knew she was down straight away, we can tell just by looking at each other. Still, I remained upbeat (because I felt ‘good’) and tried to use my positivity at the time to cheer her up. I suggested we start the jigsaw that my brother had bought me for Christmas; a 1000 piece puzzle of the Carta Marina, my favourite ye olde style map.
About an hour or so in to the activity I tried to get what was bothering her out in to the open. The way I see it these days is that it’s always better to try to talk about it rather than bottle it up, no matter what the subject is. I could be wrong about that.
The subject on her mind is children. She wants kids and I do not, and it is starting to become a problem. I had made my decision regarding offspring a very long time ago, before even meeting her. I do not ever want children for several reasons which I will now try to explain.
I just straight up would not be a good father. I am selfish and I value my free time too much, I simply do not want to invest the time in a child. Even if there are aspects of parenthood that are attractive to me – the chance to teach a living being and try to raise it correctly, carrying on the family name etc, there just aren’t enough reasons to make me willing to sacrifice the next 18-20 years of my free time. Even though my time these days is largely spent being miserable, I still would rather have that time available to me.
Even if I did want a child, I am in no mental state to care for one. Nor am I financially secure enough to provide it with what it needs. These may seem like cop out excuses to some people but I really do not want to bring something in to this world that I am not able to care for adequately. It is not fair on the child, which needs a loving, stable and secure environment.
Speaking of environment, children get in the way of the environment that I wish to maintain, i.e. me and her. I love her, and I want nothing to get in the way of that. When a loving couple have a child the focus switches from the relationship, the two of you, to the child. The child becomes the number one priority and it’s no longer about you and them, and when it comes to the crunch the relationship will be the thing that gets abandoned. I cannot accept this, and why should I? Society says go to school, get an education, get a higher education, get a job, get married, have children, retire, die. This paradigm that people seem intent on perpetuating is part and parcel of why I am depressed. I look around me and I see drones, countless numbers of them. Drones that cannot break out of this lifetime of servitude and obedience and the quest for more. More money, more children, more stuff, more bullshit. Drones that say “well that’s just the way it is” without a hint of irony. Drones that go to school, get an education, get a higher education, get a job, get married, have children, retire, and then die. I may be miserable, and I may not know where I’m going, but I know where I do not want to go.
Finally, and this is where you’re going to think I’m a horrible person, there are seven billion people on the planet and there is no room for any more. I believe that anyone who actually sits down and plans to bring a child in to this world has something wrong with them. The world is not in good shape at all. Massive economic disparity, endless war, corporate dominance over politics, preventable illnesses that kill thousands because they cannot afford healthcare, Justin Bieber. No matter which way you swing it, we are not doing well as a species. The fall of the Great Western Empire is in the mail. It happened to the Romans, the Ottomans, the Spanish. It’ll happen to us too because we have not learned from our mistakes. We worship money instead of the earth that gives us life, religion instead of science and progress. We’re doomed, so why the fuck would you want to bring a life in to such a scenario? Are you fucking cruel or just blinded by your own selfish desire to procreate no matter what the cost?
OK that last sentence was perhaps a bit strong. I know my wife is not cruel or selfish. She want’s something that is a bit of me and a bit of her and that is completely understandable. This does not however change my view. I still don’t want children and I still think it’s wrong to want to bring a new life in to such a fucked up state of affairs as the world currently is.
So we are at an impasse and I don’t know how to deal with it. I am not ruling out that I could change my mind in the future, given some mental health improvement. Sometimes I think of my brother and his wife who have an (almost) 2 year old and think “Yeah, that would be nice” which is something that a couple of years ago would never cross my mind. But until I feel 100% better mentally it’s just not something I can consider. This makes me feel cold and uncaring.
Which….is what I was supposed to be talking about right? Point one on the list: My problem that I currently have with showing affection, empathy or any real positive emotion. It’s tearing me up inside because when all my wife wants is a hug to make her feel better, I physically withdraw and I don’t know why. Well I do know why, but I don’t know why it has to be that way. I’m pretty sure it’s the antidepressants. They don’t just help control the bad mind, they zombify the rest of it.
Some days I’m fine, able to express affection, able to hug etc. She tells me it’s very confusing because one day I will be super affectionate and then two weeks will go by without so much as a hug. I don’t know how to solve this problem other than coming off the drugs, which I absolutely am not going to do just yet. If anyone else knows a solution to this then please, answers on a postcard to: WTF Brain, foo’s head, Planet Earth.
OK second thing….maybe that should wait for its own post actually. This is a bit long and I don’t want to bore you any further. I’ll get to it soon I promise.