Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about a topic, that is something we think in our position quite regularly: What life is worth living? What kind of life is worth fighting for?
This was also recently talked about in the general population more often, but it is sadly still kind of taboo. Despite it being a quite important and central question, so let us talk about it.
Recent development in my life has made this question the central point of my life once again, so I saw this as a good opportunity to talk about this topic. I remember well when I had this debate the first time with myself.
It was during the heights - or depths - of my PTSD, when life was nothing than pure agony and literal hell. I heard the sentences “life is so wonderful” and “just take a look around and appreciate life” while I was in pure agony.
There was just this huge disconnect between my reality and those statements. Considering it all, those statements almost felt like mockery and sometimes made me honestly quite angry.
Wonderful that life is so nice to you right now, but for me this is not the truth. And telling people like me to just look at the nice things, won’t take the agony away… let alone the problems.
Which lead me to the question of this episode, starting with “Is this life worth living?” and the answer was “no”, but it was a more “no - not yet”, as I was despite it all still very hopeful in getting better.
I continued and separated the two sides into “surviving” and “living”, as I felt like that was the best way to differentiate between those two. So let us now go into both sides of the argument.
Surviving - Life is precious on its own
The first side isn’t mine, but I try to give you nonetheless the full argument. The side that says, that life is precious on its own and therefor automatically worth living, no matter how much you suffer. I call it “surviving”.
It means you are basically staying alive, but not truly able to live or truly enjoy it, as you suffer through pain, strong limitations - like not to be able to do normal everyday tasks like open a door, being trapped and the like.
You basically just barely scrap by to make it to the next day, unable to grow or do things beyond you daily routine. This is surviving. You can’t thrive, but you live. Life is worth living no matter the cost.
I find people who claim that this sort of life is wonderful and worth living, are usually the ones that haven’t truly been in that situation or are untested. There are always exceptions naturally.
Of course life hasn’t to be nice all the time, but for me surviving or living in great pain is not a life worth living. One should be able to truly enjoy things. But if you feel like it is enough, then good for you.
Living - Life needs to be worth living
The other side is mine, as I mentioned before: I want to live, not just survive, I want to be able to be happy and enjoy things. You should be able to be yourself. Being in constant pain doesn’t let you be yourself.
Neither does always be in fear, stress or the like. That just wears you out and you are not truly yourself. Once you weren’t able to allowed to be yourself, you truly learn to appreciate to be just yourself - in my experience.
The feeling of loosing who you are is a horrible one, that I wish upon no one. The first time I broke out of the PTSD and saw the beauty of life for the first time - one of my biggest fears was to get PTSD again.
It took me a while to get over that notion, but I truly NEVER want to be back there again. You are just left with so little while being seriously sick and just surviving isn’t worth it in my opinion - on the long run of course.
In my opinion going through decades of pain is worth it if it means getting many more decades of a life that is wonderful. That is beautiful. That makes you happy. That has a great quality of life. A life worth living.
Of course this topic needs more in depths arguments and debated a lot - as it not an easy topic and everyone should form their own opinion about it. I also want to reiterate, that PTSD is curable, no matter what it tells you.
And that depression doesn’t let you realistically evaluate your life and takes EVERY BIT of joy away from you. I strongly discourage suicide, as I do strongly believe that life is precious and should be protected and cherished.
But I also believe at some point we should ask outselves that just because someone can keep walking, if they should. Though that question should be asked for each individual again and depends STRONGLY on the situation.
It is better to ask yourself these questions before the situation arrives, if you can that is. This will never be an easy question, which is why it is so important we deal with it early on.
This way we are prepared and can handle it better and are able to make better, more decisive, decisions that might make the difference. Though I hope you won’t have to in your life.
That was it for todays episode. I hoped you enjoyed it despite the rather uncomfortable topic. Please stay safe and take very good care of yourself.
And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.