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  • Writer's pictureAdam Roszco

There Are Days I Suffer

blog post by Adam Roszco. Photo from Tom Pumford.

Some days I wake up and I feel like a weight is sitting on top of me, making it nearly impossible to move. I lay there and collect my thoughts, all a jumble of harshness and barbs. I know instinctively that the morning is going to be a tough one. But I've been through many tough mornings. I know how to navigate this storm of suffering.

I wade through it often as anxiety and depression have become common companions. I know what it feels like. I know what it looks like. I recognize my beaten down reflection in the mirror. And yet, I muster the same strength as the day before and put myself together and charge through the murky sadness that envelops me day in and day out.

Why do I suffer? Why does my head take me down the slopes of the dark corners of my mind? Why do I have to concentrate to find the more pleasurable memories, the lighter ones? And yet, these dark ones swamp my mind and sometimes overwhelm it.

I've had several breakdowns. The most recent being in November 2023. Since then I have felt all the emotions and then some. I have had happy moments where I wake and feel amazing and confident in who I am re-building myself to be. I see my reflection in the mirror as I tightened my tie and I smile and think, you handsome devil. As I walk to work I bounce to the beat of the music in my ears and smile most of the way. On these days I know I don't just shine, I am radiant!

And then, just as quickly as a storm settles in, a day of dark thoughts and suffering. I don't understand why the good days can't stay. Why must they be so fleeting? That desperate thought piles onto the muck of misery that I will inevitably find myself living in the next day. My mind goes in circles tormenting me, reminding me of my flaws and shortcomings. How I have failed. How I have become unrecognizable; even to me. This mad flurry of troubling thoughts presses down on me and holds me down. On these days, I suffer.

And just when it gets darkest and the thoughts get the loudest I find some strength and pull myself up and out of bed. Perhaps I change my clothes. Perhaps I prepare a meal and then banish the thoughts while I cook that meal. Perhaps I sit down to watch a comedy show that will make me laugh and ease my mind. One way or another I pull myself out of it.

I share this with you because this is a snapshot of a day in the life of mental illness. I have a horrible time talking about it in conversation. In fact, there are days I put a lot of effort into pretending I am 100% perfect. It's a vain effort as I am no where near the textbook definition of perfect. However, I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I am better than I give myself credit for. I am re-building myself in the image I want to see. I am fixing myself to be the person I want to be. And in order to do so, the bad days have to be embraced just like the good days. They exist together in some kind of bizarre harmony that makes us whole at the end of the day.

My dear reader, be brave enough to walk through your troubled moments. Know that the light is always on the other side. Those darkened minutes are nothing more than minutes. They always retreat to the shadows and when they appear again, you'll know just how to deal with them because you did it for a couple of minutes the day before. You are stronger than you think. You will get through the suffering.

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