For the past week or so, I've been thinking about my darkest days and things people told me about my condition.
One thing I heard again and again was that I had to get better because people needed me. Refugees here need me. People at work need me. I have an obligation to be there for the people who need me.
Some time ago, I balked at this notion of me owing anyone anything. I don't owe anyone anything. Just because I'm generous or the kind of person who seems to have a pathological need to help others or people are accustomed to me being there as the go-to girl doesn't actually obligate me to do any of it.
I was thinking about this and the notion that some have shared that I was obligated to stay alive, to get well because people were counting on me being there to help or simply to be interesting. Really? I always contended that I was merely a convenience that would be missed--not a person whose absence would be mourned. I still think I was spot-on in this conclusion.
While taking a shower one day this week, I thought about this bizarre concept of being obligated to keep giving, helping, and sharing simply because people are used to it. Then I thought about it in terms of me. I wondered who would feel obligated not to give up on him or herself because May would suffer.
The truth is, the people who know me, both those related and not, just expect me to be OK, to get over it, to soldier on, to survive my own thoughts. I can't think of one person who would ever reach the depths of misery I have and then think, "No, I must hold on-- May won't be OK without me."
The truth is, there is not one person on this planet who would hold themselves to the standards of survival and resilience to which I have been held. In fact, I believe I'd be the last person anyone would consider when taking stock of their own life.
It's a lonely life.