When should dreams die?

Today was Therapy Thursday, and in the course of today’s session, we ended up talking a lot about my inability to accept my life as it is now.

Why can’t I relax and accept my current circumstances and, like my brother told me a long time ago, just try to build some kind of life for myself?

Short answer : dreams. .

Specifically, the dreams of a future in which I am gainfully employed and contributing my substantial talents to a worthy endeavour. A future where my life finally begins and I become a contributing and fully intergrated member of society instead of being a socially isolated burden on it. A future where I am worthy of respect.

Right now, I am nearly impossible to respect. I’m easy to like and to appreciate and to admire for my gifts and things like that. But none of those things are respect.

Because respect comes from doing things. Substantial things. It comes from having a way to justify your existence. From having a real answer when someone asks what you “do”. From having accomplishments and achievements. From being somebody.

And it does not come from being a home-bound invalid who plays Skyrim all day and can only justify his existence by pointing to a blog only friends and family read. [1] It doesn’t come from having a VFS degree but being too timid to look for work. It doesn’t come from being so damaged that it often takes me half an hour just to work up the willpower to go get a drink of water or get up and go to the bathroom.

So in a very literal sense, I am not respectable. I am lovable. I am admirable. I am even, on a good day, enviable.

But respectable? Hardly. Nobody truly respect an invalid unless they are productive in some substantial way, like say being a novelist.

In which case they are not, in my books, an invalid. They are merely disabled.

I explained ot my therapist that if I met someone just like me, I would not respect me either. I’d be sympathetic to my plight and wish nothing less than a swift and total recovery for myself.

But respect? :Like, real respect, like the kind people who can actually do things get?

Forget about it. When a full acount is taken. I am,. in fact, a loser. A 44 year old man who has never been in a relationship, held down a job, made any kind of name for himself, and who barely has the competence to keep himself alive even though he is in a situation where 90 percent of the work of life is done by others. Someone who, despite a prodiguous intellect and substantial creative gifts, still finds himself needing to pathetically turn to others for help in the simplest of situations.

Nobody could have true respect for someone like that. Not the kind that counts.

So I need my dreams of a better life. A decent and respectable life. Not this deadening doldrums of media consumption and bathos.

And to keep those dreams alive requires that I refuse to accept that my curent situation is the best that I can hope for. If I truly believed that. I would kill myself, because I would see no point in going on with life.

So sure, I can see how it might seem like the best course of action is to accept everything about my life as it is right now.. .but only if you ignore the need to have some reason to go on living.

Healthy people have life momentum. They get it from their jobs, their families, their relationships, and even their hobbies. They don’t know what it is like to have your life come to a full stop.

Even if they have been unemployed for a long time, they don’t get it, because they still had the rest of their lives to keep them going.

I do not.

So to keep myself going and maintain my will to live, I have to stay restless and ambitious no matter how much it hurts.

And make no mistake, it mostly causes me pain. Wanting so much when you can do so little is brutally painful. Staring across the existential void at all that you have even dreamed of sitting there. waiting for you to reach out and grab it, but knowing that your arms are far too short and too weak to hold onto them, is horrible.

But it also reminds me that I am still alive. I haven’t died inside yet. I haven’t given up. I am still kicking and screaming and biting and scratching and trying to escape this prison of my own devising.

I suppose that’s why my inner conflict is eternal. I cannot and will not accept that I should just give in and make the most of being worthless.

And it’s not like my dreams are unattainably ambitious. I just want what most other people already have. A job I can do, the ability to support myself, a decent wardrobe, a boyfriend, maybe some self-initiated social activities, close tied with family. Nothing outrageous or unrealistic. Just a normal life.

And I am going to keep fighting myself for as long as it takes.

I think the great and mighty Al says it best :


On a good day, I can accept the facts about my life.  That I have serious mental and physical issues, that I have a long ways to go before I can finally be a part of the world instead of always being on the outside looking in, that I have suffered a great deal because of things that were beyond my control in my childhood.

I I will never be able to say “Well I guess this is it. Better make the best of it. ”

If I did that, I would want to die.

Because it would mean I have already died inside anyhow.

So why not finish the job?

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.




Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. By the way, thank you so much for reading this blog that I write for my own psychological reasons and not in an attempt to entertain anyone.

    It means the world to me.

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