Hospice / “Better”

jny published on
4 min, 621 words

Categories: Mental Health

This will, I hope, be outside of the area of “Those Feels”. I do this partly so that, if I ever do get “Better”, I can be sure to never make light of how bad it could get with rose-tinted hindsight. But also, I avoid writing “feely” posts because they tend to be very fleeting, and this particular topic is something that does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.


I’ve made a lot of progress in the past 2 years. Those close to me and my therapist would say as much. But if you grabbed me on any day of the week, nearly any time of the day, I’d say I’m just kind of waiting around. At this point, depression for the rest of my life is a matter of degree, and I accept I’ll always have it, but I don’t expect to get better. Yeah, I’ve gotten “better”, but I’m not going to get “Better” with a capital “B”. To be functional or “normal”, where mental illness is a person’s attribute instead of a definition.

I’m well aware that this is equal parts hopelessness and an “inability to construct a future”, and while I did write a prior post about dealing with that sense of futility, I guess on a very broad sense, it’s still like a god for me. I can maybe deal with specific thoughts about an event that went on during the day, but on a macro scale, there’s not an argument, because it’s just fact.

Everyone knows they’re going to die, but most people can put it out of their mind for their day-to-day life. I feel like I have this constant reminder of mortality hanging over my head. Only it’s not “death” that looms, it’s more like “missing life”. It feels like I have some horrible terminal disease and it’s only a matter of time, and that I am constantly reminded every day with intrusive disturbing sensations, feelings of despair, and thoughts. That it will be this unpleasant for the rest of my days, 5 years down the road, and 10, and 30; it’s going to be just this and I can’t (shouldn’t) bow out early so I just need to let it run its course. To make enough “progress” so that I’m not a burden to those around me and then sustain that level until the end.

But it’s not like I bear this “hospice” feeling proudly; on top of sounding super emo, people just don’t want to hear it. At least that’s my belief. People don’t want to hear, week after week, how abysmal things are, and for no visible reason. It’s my norm, it doesn’t change, it might as well become the new baseline.

So when the people close to me ask “How are you doing?” after I’ve had a rough period, sometimes I’ll say “better” which gets them excited. I mean “better than I was”, not “I had a cold but I got Better” (with a capital “B”). Judging relatively is the only way I know how to present it to others because, otherwise, every single answer every week would be between “horrible” and “really bad”.

Sometimes, for just myself, I actually forget that I’m judging relatively. I think I have to if I’m ever going to make any progress, but sometimes I think it causes some disconnect from the “Wise Mind” . I’ll wonder to myself why I sleep in or “waste” my free time, then I remember: “Oh yeah, I [emotional mind] believe that self-sufficiency is all I can and should do”.