30 August 2010

I Have No Dream

Remember when you were in school and you were asked what you thought your life would be like?  Five years after graduation, then ten, and so on?  I always sat in awe of how quickly my classmates put pencil to paper.  They knew what they wanted.  I'm sure few of them have actually gone on to achieve any of those ideals, but that's irrelevant.  What matters is, they had gone to bed the night before and dreamed of the life before them.

Not me.

I have never had any lofty goals or envisioned myself accomplishing a single thing.  That's not an exaggeration.  Shiny cars?  I don't even like to drive.  Being rich?  I've had my collections over the years, but with few exceptions I never valued anything enough that I cared if I still owned it tomorrow.  For the longest time, I attributed this apathy to my being clinically depressed.  I began taking anti-depressants about ten years ago.  They helped with the depression, but at no point did I ever start caring about tomorrow.

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.  I'm glad I'd already accepted being depressed, because Crohn's exacerbated it.  The frustration of constantly missing out on events with friends and family has made me feel even more insulated than ever--which is saying something, given that I've never been what you'd call "a people person."  I don't say any of this so that you'll respond by saying, "Awww, you poor thing."  I'm telling you because it's led me to have an even greater appreciation for how overwhelmed people can be by things that you may not be able to see.

If you see me out and about, chances are you're catching me on a good day and there may not be anything to call attention to me.  But those instances aren't often.  Gone are the days when I relished being amongst large crowds (like at, say, concerts) because I live in fear of needing immediate access to a bathroom.  I frequently only make it to the bathroom in my own home in time; you know how obnoxious it is just getting up to go to the concession stand in a venue.  Imagine having to make a mad dash to a bathroom.

What all this has taught me, I think, is that the absence of dreams has nothing to do with my physiology.  Treating my depression didn't give me ideas of what I want to do with my life, and Crohn's has taught me to appreciate whatever it is that I'm able to do on a given day.  It's entirely contrary to what we're taught in our youth; that we can be or do anything we want.  I'm reminded of that line from The Shawshank Redemption:
"Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'."
I suppose I should get busy.

4 comments:

  1. I should probably be comforted by knowing someone else is wired this way...but instead it just compounds the bleakness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I should probably be comforted by knowing someone else is wired this way...but instead it just compounds the bleakness.

    ReplyDelete