All For Naught

The biggest fear that I have in this life, is waking up on my deathbed, and realizing it wasn’t worth it. That all these years I have lived have been a waste of time. That I should have ended it may years ago. I am so terrified that my life will mean nothing, that I have given up on living. Not in the context that it sounds, but rather given up on hope, joy, attaining my dreams, love. I am too scared that if I try and fail at these things, that it will be worse that never have experienced them.

I know that this sounds incredibly immature, as well as in direct contradiction to my article about failure, Why You Need to Fail, In Order to Succeed, but I did mention that failure scares me to an immense extent. Also, I think it’s time to stop seeing myself as this wise old man, that I might become some day, and look at myself for who I really am. Some guy in his 20’s that is never going to make it into the history books, will deal with mental illness all my life, and am currently very immature. Agreed that I might be wiser than most my age, because I feel that people with mental illness live many lifetimes in a short span of time.

Life is just this long journey where some lose their way. I most certainly am amongst the lost in that I have no idea what the future holds. I know that is actually not possible to know the future, and even if I did, it would create so many paradoxes, or maybe not depending on how you look at the future. Yet, it would still take so much of this anxiety that I feel away. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a house, starting a family, being a good father, getting a great job, making enough money to pay the bills, the list is endless. I would have to worry about any of these things because I would know if they happened or not, and could give up on the things that just won’t happen.

Unfortunately, life is not as kind to let us know how it unfolds. That’s doubly unfair on those with mental illness. We got the short straw in life, and the odds are entirely stacked against us. I know that this defeatist attitude is solely the fault of my depression, but it still just makes sense that there are some things that are unobtainable. I want to make it clear, that I’m still doing well with medication, not as well as I had hoped, but still better than not on them. However, I feel that if I write from the heart, and from my head, it’s inevitable that some of the depression and anxiety works its way in. I feel that this makes my writing feel more genuine, and I hope that you share the same feelings.

If I can sum up the ramblings of a mad man that you just read, it would be to go for your dreams. While I’m here spewing negativity, you most certainly can achieve whatever you want. Despite its best attempts, my depression cannot convince me that I will fail in life. For as I’ve said before, failure is just the building blocks for success. I hope that all of you, as well as myself, can get the most that this one life has to offer. While I can promise you it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows, the highs and lows are unavoidable. So take solace that the lows give so much more authenticity to the highs, where as the highs let you know you have something to look forward to in the lows. Above all, take everything with a grain of salt, meaning you only have so much time on this earth, only focus on the important things and forget the rest.

With love,



20 Replies to “All For Naught”

  1. Such beautiful and deeply philosophical writing. I love reading pieces on here that delve way deeper than your average rant or ramble. Excellent work. Keep the wonderful content coming.

    Best wishes,
    Liam Cross

    Owner of Liam J Cross Writing & Editing

  2. I think many of us who have tried to manage mental illness feel the same. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up, and doing it almost daily takes a toll. I’m trying now to stop putting pressure on myself to be “normal.” Heck, most people think I’m normal–I work hard at covering it up, and that’s a lot of pressure. So, it’s a life of semi-isolation for me, doing what I can do and feel safe in my own skin–that’s the way it has to be. It’s not what my idea of happy used to be, but feeling safe is the next best thing. You have great awareness, Alan. Very good post. Thank you. ~ frankie

    1. I feel for you Frankie, we all go through struggles in our own ways. I hope that what I write helps you some, and if not, well I send my hope your way.

  3. I don’t think that I know of anyone who hasn’t had the same thoughts as you have described in this piece. It may not be to the depths that you are sharing with us all but, they are such common worries that while they may be attributed to your depression, they are also part of everyone’s thinking patterns to some extent or another. Being in your 20’s is a scary place to be. It’s a “pinnacle” for most people let alone those who have a diagnosed condition that can make one feel as though they are on a merry-go-round or rollercoaster. The one thing that you did say that none of us have, is assurance or foresight as to the future. Even those who aren’t dealing with the type of disorder that you’re battling with, can fall prey to addictions, accidents, illnesses, disablements etc.. None of us have any assurances of anything in this life.

    I read something a little while ago today. It was speaking of the idea that all of us come into this world, not knowing what Life has in store for us and yet, we all have purpose no matter how little we think of it. You are but a thread in an entire tapestry. Remove that thread and the piece unravels into threads. I’m summarizing there but, suffice it to say that as much as you worry about what the future holds for you, we all do it to some degree or another. Only those without a connection to their emotions, don’t worry or think about it to some degree or another.

    I hope that you realize how much you are giving to the world in many ways. One of them is this blog. Keep up the good work. You never know when something will be discovered that will put you onto more solid ground than the emotional swing that you’re dealing with constantly. Never give up hope.

  4. I was very moved by what you wrote. Fear of failure has had a strong influence on my life too. Even now, at 67, I fear leaving my house. But it is fear of people, knowing how dangerous they can be, that fuels my fear now.

    I used to think of myself as a loser in life. When I was in my fifties, I evrn had a blog called, “Tales From A Loser.” Lol I thought I was a loser becuse I’d had two mental breakdowns anc couldn’t work. Also, I regretted many of the choices I’d made in the past. But I’ve learned I’m not a loser. I have been a help to many people, especially family members, all through my life. I now believe what I have accomplished is worth much more than what our society deems a success story.

    Since you folow my blog, you know I believe in God. Looking back, I cn see God’s hand in my life. I see in his eyes I have learned and loved. I see the reasons for my so-called failure and how they have helped me grow into a better person.

    I used to hate the fact of my mental illness, now I see it has made me compassionate and thoughtful. It was incredibly painful, I won’t deny that, but I made it worse by rejecting myself and not accepting who I was. I like myself now, mental illness and all. God helped me do that. Sharing my life with him has saved me in ore ways than one. Jesus told us to live one day at a time, the best advice ever given.

  5. Great post. I think of all the negative emotions I’ve had, regret is the one that sticks around the longest. I like to think I’m now a little bolder.

  6. “I feel that people with mental illness live many lifetimes in a short span of time.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. And regarding your mental illness, don’t lose hope. I know of people who have gotten better after years of mental illness.

  7. Each of us has our own life to live. None of us will feel that we have done everything we wanted or should do. It is also important to realize that each of us has our own lifespan. Mine might be 80 years and I have watched children die ( in my job as a nurse) and have had to remind myself that they had their individual lifespan and their life, short as it was, was not without meaning. I guess this is philosophy I developed to keep from obsessing over those with a short time on this earth. We each have value and though I may regret things I am convinced my life and all others have worth.

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