We’ve all heard it before. The reasons for doing or not doing something. Lying… cause your nose will grow. Laughing…. and the world laughs with you. Talk about dying… cause you’ll go to hell.
But hell is something that I have lived with for quite some time. In the depths of depression, hell is life itself sometimes. People tell you not to talk like that either, cause they don’t feel safe in their own skins at that moment or as if merely hearing someone else talk about death or dying will cause them to start thinking that way too. Or maybe it is because it is so forbidden. Try to tell someone that you want to die. First you will see shock, then denial, then finally a plea for your soul will ensue. ‘God doesn’t want you to die’, they say or, better, “you don’t mean that.’ It is the sentence about god that gets me. God is the omnipotent one who loves you if you are in line or sends you to hell if you’re not.
Religion and god are things that i hate to think about. Religion was pushed on me at an early age by a man (my father) who had no direction for himself. Instead of embracing it he clung to it like an iron life-preserver. Because he went, all had to go. The preacher reminded me of someone evil. He always wore a black suit and tie and slicked his hair back and he loved to talk about going to hell. Years later, I would see him again and this time he was trying to drum up business for a new church that he was affiliated with. It was funny because he was wearing a tan suit and i couldn’t believe how preposterous he looked. Imagine… the devil wearing tan!
Hell for me is having wants but sabotaging the desire to do the want. The devil is me saying one thing and doing something else. I do these things over and over to people who mean something to me especially my family. My wife is pained by this and worse is used to it happening over and over. The boys too have been disappointed more than I care to think about. I don’t know how to stop and worse, I don’t care to stop. That is hell.
I used to long for clear, clean days of thought that felt good. They happen all to rarely and they are just fleeting moments for me. The only time that I feel really clear is when I am working on something. I can fix most things that I touch as long as it is inanimate. I am not creative but I can build things if I have a pattern to go by and yet, this is not good enough for me. I want to be happy. I’d love to be able to let others around me be happy too. That has been too much to ask so far in this life.
Spending money was my replacement for joy. I thought spending money felt good. It did while I was doing it but the feeling was gone afterward, I suspect it is a feeling similar to that feeling gamblers get while they are gambling. Money gone, nothing left but guilt and shame that it didn’t go toward something more reasonable, like bills. I used to think that the many laces that we travelled to made some difference in me and my family’s life but I never hear reminices about any of those.
It once was that I thought that there was time for me to do better. I searched for answers many places and even inside of myself but cannot find any of the answers that I seek. There is something in my brain that is blocking that from happening. a hazy fog that only lifts for moments in my life. I suspect that my wife would tell me that she told me so…