Wanting is a burning. A yearning, somewhere between your ribs and spine. For me, I want to want to get better. That is the most difficult part of recovery, in my eyes. Once you want to get better, you can begin to do so. It is the push, the labour of forcing positivity and work from you that is hard, but it is the wanting of the beginning of that, that is even more difficult.

I do not want to get better. That may sound as if I am sitting contently in the unhappiness. As if I am allowing myself to be this sick, this miserable. People often compare mental health to physical ailments; imagine if you had a broken leg to compare your depression. This analogy does not always work. Someone with a broken leg surely wants it to be fixed. Yet you will find with the mentally sick that the trial of trying to want to get better is exhausting. There is a reassurance when you are depressed, clinically depressed, diagnosed and certain of your ailment. That reassurance is one that you can get better. That this, what you are right now and what you are feeling, is not who you are permanently. But, if you try to get better, there is that uncertainty of whom you may become. What if, when you ‘get better’ (because there really is not ‘better’, just like there is no ‘perfect’) you are still as terrible and sad as you are now? This fear consumes me day and night. I am on antidepressants, anti-anxieties and another array of medication for my mental health. I was scared that they would change who I am. But who I was, was not working. I could not get out of bed, concentrate on a movie, read a book or eat dinner. I could not wash myself, or move the mouldy cups from my bedside locker to the kitchen sink. It was then that I conceded to try anything that would fix me. In all honesty, I did not want to be fixed. I knew how horrible I was doing, and I was not content in the horribleness, but at least I had the certainty that things could be different. As long as I had that hope, I could survive.

Trying to be better is draining. Recovery is the hardest task I have ever faced. It is scary, shakes me to my bones until I am drowning in self-pity for the person I had lost and the person I could become if only I wanted to. I am scared this is going to last forever. I am scared that I am going to last forever, as in the forever that humans have on this world. I am scared that when I am told by a doctor that I am cured, that I can go about my life as normal, nothing will have truly changed. I am terrified, the most terrified of all, that my best is not good enough. I want to want to get better. I place a false face and false hope upon myself and do all the things that someone who is trying would do. I start from the bottom, with the foundations. Going for walks, eating, exercising, talking, therapy and taking my meds. In some ways, I am trying. I must give myself some credit. But it feels fake. I am puppet on my own strings and some cosmic being is yanking me to-and-fro, attempting to keep this meat vessel I inhabit alive.

I want to want to get better. And that wanting is a burning. If it was not, I would not be here. I am allowing myself to be scorched by it so that I rise in the morning. I accept the flames, feel it in the pit of my stomach. I try to shape it into something that I can control and endure. That is what I must do. Endure. I must want, and keep wanting, until the wanting turns to doing and the flames turns to life. I must try. I must yearn I must burn.

A young writer from the middle of nowhere in Ireland. Poetry lover, Irish speaker and Guiness drinker.