I saw this on a t-shirt in a catalog recently and I identified with it. But not entirely. You see, I do take a pill for "caring too much," a malady which leads to co-dependence, depression and a host of all sorts of ills. Been on it off and on for nearly 20 years now. But the problem is that it doesn't entirely turn off that part of your brain. Psychotropic drugs are a godsend in many ways, but they're not a miracle. I still care. Sometimes too much. It's much better. I have periods of relative sanity where I can make it through a day without giving up totally, but there are still the "why can't I stop thinking, God just strike me stupid" "I have to go back to bed and pull covers over my head" days. I get a lot of well-meaning advice, some of it from professionals... exercise more, eat better, take supplements, meditate, get around people more, find a way to express yourself...etc., etc. I do appreciate the efforts to help, and I know there is some truth in all of these suggestions, but they're not going to cure what ultimately ails me....ails ALL of us.
We are human, fallible, finite constantly decaying. What an undignified, imperfect, frustrating way to spend a lifetime, but I'm not the one in charge and THANK GOD I'm not. I would have annihilated us all into vapor eons ago. Some of us are more accepting of our humanness than others; some (amazingly!) even seem to be able to enjoy their status. They're called humanists. I have not ever understood their position. The human race no doubt IS capable of greatness, but most of the time, is just MESSED UP. Atheism always seemed a more defensible position to me should I ever give up all hope. Not that religion offers that in spades. Yes, there is hope, but those who argue against religion on the basis of it offering an easy way out of the difficulty of life fail to notice that there is a whole lot of suffering that goes hand in hand with that. Suffering and discipline by your Creator and Higher Power if you will. But there are those like me, and YOU know who you are, who are not able to tiptoe through the tulips smelling the roses and being ever thankful for the smallest blessings we have, remembering those who are suffering so much more so than ourselves. Suffering is suffering in our minds, whether it's existential or physical. We over-think and over-contemplate everything to death. I think we are wired that way.
It has to be brain chemistry. They will discover this one day, with all those brain scans they've been doing. Our brains, unlike those of our more "normal" counterparts, are the neurological equivalent of the old "mood rings" from the 70's, all blue and green, while other "higher-functioning" brains light up with reds, yellows and oranges like a Christmas tree. Those of you with the more chromatically balanced brains who are not one of us, but most often, because God has some convoluted plan to make us into more balanced individuals, often LIVE with one of us. And it is at times an uneasy proposition. You wonder, "Why does everything have to be so serious with you?," "Can't you just enjoy your life?," or "Can I please go to sleep now?" The answers are "I have no idea," and "Maybe," and "After I'm done ranting about the human condition." I have been in therapy now since 2005, and I have a necklace I made with my mantra on it. It says, simply, "It's OK to enjoy your life." That may not mean much to some of you, may even seem OBVIOUS to you, but I came from a family of drama in the American South where the family core belief would have been something like, "Life sucks, then you die. But along the way, what the hell, you might as well be as all-out weird as you can manage, and be damn proud that you are, because others never accepted or understood you anyway." It's acceptance, yes, but I wouldn't say it's healthy. More like an overcompensation for poor self esteem.
Back to the subject. I still care. Sometimes too much. And that dreaded "B" word, BALANCE...I'm still trying to find it, and I feel fairly sure that I will still be looking for it when I leave this planet. In the meantime, I'm taking vitamins, trying to exercise more, spending less time alone, cutting back on red meat, attempting to keep a gratitude journal and doing artwork and writing this blog. For now, that has to be enough; I'm only human.