We all feel trapped. Well, a lot of us do. No one wants to admit it, though. We walk around, erecting facades to cover our emptiness, hiding our fears and our doubts behind the guise of ego and masks of cool confidence.
The walls of our minds close in around our thoughts, and with each passing day, we attempt to ignore the fact that the weight of our circumstances and the crushing pressure of everyday life is slowly squeezing our souls from our bodies. We live with a constant feeling of paranoia, of depression, and claustrophobia.
What is it, though? Has every generation felt this way, or is this a unique phenomenon among us today? Are we too weak to live? Are we too sheltered to exist? Have we been so diluted that the cold winds of reality are simply too much for us to bear? I don’t know, but I certainly hope not.
I can’t honestly say that is the whole truth. Perhaps there are those who are too weak, too vulnerable, to withstand the onslaught of each passing day; it’s not my place to judge, so I can’t in good conscience say that is the underlying issue.
Experts say that people with higher IQ scores experience higher suicide rates, more frequent bouts with depression, and more reported cases of mental health issues. far be it from me to say that we are a generation of geniuses, but I do believe intelligence, or at least awareness, is a part of the problem.
We are smart enough to see that the game is rigged. We are told that we have potential, that we have the power to change the way things are, and yet we are never told how to unlock that potential and enact that change. We are either just too stupid or too uninformed to do anything. Our hands are tied, and we are trapped.
We are faced with global problems that are seemingly insurmountable. We are asked social questions that seem to have no satisfactory answers available to us. Our relationships with the world and with each other are daunting enough, but on top of it all, we have our personal worries and woes. We still have bills to pay, we still have responsibilities, and we have to address them with diseased minds.
Our thoughts never sleep, and even in our dreams, we are haunted by the demons we bury deep down inside. We recognize that we are cogs in a broken machine, and despite our desire to fix it, we have no idea how.
So, what then? Do we continue on, seething and imploding, trying to find our way in the dark? In a word? Yes.
I’m not one to give a Braveheart-esque speech, so I won’t try. I won’t try to rally your spirits, or lift you up. I don’t have the answers. I am just as blind as everyone else; possibly more so. I am shadowed by my mental monsters just as much as you.
What I will say is I cannot stand to live in a world where I don’t have a card to play. I cannot accept the possibility that there is no hope, that there isn’t a chance that things will get better.
I can put my bitterness to bed, but my anger…that, I can use. Even when my soul is on its knees, the fight inside me refuses to die. So, for now, I snarl in the face of my struggles, and I use my weaknesses as strengths. I take my next step, and the one after that, and every one until my heart gives out, knowing that at some point, something’s got to give. Sooner or later, I’ll find my moment. Eventually, the monster will blink, and that is when I’ll strike.
Perhaps I am delusional. Perhaps I hide my reality within the tapestry of elegant words; minimizing my worries by viewing them through the lens of metaphor and analogy. If that is the case, so be it. Whatever it takes to get me up every day is worth it. At some point, I will be able to put these words to bed; I’ll be able to put down my crutch and live in a better reality than the one I live in now. Until then, I fight. I struggle. I survive. Eventually, I will succeed. Eventually, I will be able to do more than simply survive; I will be able to live.