Lack Luster, Lack Luster how can I muster

7 12 2010

I am too much and not enough in my head.

Too much: I am pinned in my chair, un-able and un-willing to do what is minimally necessary to take care of my life, much less anything beyond that.

Too little: I have lost my concentration somewhere in a cascade of anxiety and passivity, un-able and un-willing to think myself past my self.

No, this isn’t a crisis—or if it is, it’s a low-grade one.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is to note that this is happening, and to write that I won’t be writing much about this. I have to get some things straight with myself, and straightening is, frankly, boring for anyone other than the person undergoing the untwisting.

I remember when I was in the depths/throes/clutches/appropriatelyalarmingsynonymhere of my depression—I wrote and wrote and wrote about it, and little else competed with it. Once I got past the worst of it, however—once I was no longer nailed to Hamlet’s post—I gradually lost interest in noting every last blip in my emotion.

I’m not criticizing my past self—such self-monitoring was, in its own way, necessary; nor do I consider the loss of interest lamentable, as I am no longer so oppressed by my moods. The point, really, is that a record of the grind really only matters while one is being ground: after that, well, it was enough to be able to walk away.

That I’m a little ground down now is worth noting, but every damned detail of what I do to haul myself out, not so much.

I like writing this blog, and will continue to do so, but that this has become a place where I sort some things out doesn’t mean this is the appropriate forum in which to sort everything out.

But once it’s sorted? Oh, hell, I’ll jabber away.

Judas my heart

12 10 2008

I’ve done it. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

And thus have failed.

Backstory (partial):

I have my moods. I know: don’t we all. That said, I have to pay attention to them, to make sure they don’t spin out of control. For a very long time, all they—I—did was spin out of control, but about 7 1/2 years ago I got hold of them.

(Seven and a-half years. Jesus. Has it really been that long? Even as I’ve gotten used to this equanimity, it still feels new, not yet broken in.)

The hold remains. Still, I swoon on occasion. This is normal, I tell myself: bad days, better days, days and days. But too long a swoon and I have to start looking to where the ground is, to make sure I don’t, once again, go spinning off. And I haven’t. The hold remains.

Still, I swoon. I recognized today a particularly wretched form of swoon, one most likely to occur in the fall: the wistful swoon. (Unlike, say, the spring swoon, which is irritable and full of dread of the upcoming heat, or the winter swoon, which is contemplative and not wholly unpleasant. I suppress summer swoons: summers were my worst times, before; I take no chances.)

So, the wistful swoon. This is where I consider the choices made and find them wanting. It is not so much about regret, as that would suggest that I actively considered, before rejecting, better alternatives, as it is an acute awareness of my lacks. What did I not think, not feel, not do. How did I fail to engage in my own life, to secure myself in this life. What have I wanted and not wanted, and what have I done with these wants. Have I allowed myself to want.

And this is where I pick up the story of failure: No, I haven’t allowed myself wants.

Yes, I’ve wanted chocolate and beer and coffee and more sleep, and gotten those. Things I could get for myself.

But wants from others? Nooooo. Hence, the accomplishment, and the failure: For too long I wanted from others what seemed like too much, a want that seemed outsized and overwhelming and frankly all out of proportion to what any reasonable person should want. Thus, I began to remake myself into this reasonable person, to separate my wants from myself, to pare down want and need until they were small and hard enough to expel from my being.

Not for me. That’s all. Not for me.

Thus the jokes about my bitter little heart, my small life, my unwillingness to date, how unsuited I am to long-term (romantic) relationships, my skill at getting in my own way. Ha ha ha.

Mostly I find these jokes harmless, or even a good way to keep myself from Taking Myself Too Seriously.

But there are days I turn that bitter little heart over in my hands and think, What a waste.

(And here I pause, uncertain of whether to proceed. All of these things, Not For Me, how can I discuss them? I can barely say the words aloud, knowing they will dissipate in the solitude of my room. To write them, to be read by others? Could I take them back. . . ?)

Contraband, these wants, smuggled back when my attention flagged. And so begins the swoon: surveillance weakens, and I am pummeled by desire.

Riding shotgun to desire is uncertainty: Was I wrong to banish such wants? Perhaps a fully human life is one less strict with desire, more generous regarding, even gentle with, the wish for others. Perhaps self-discipline, a means to an end, has crept too far into the end zone. Am I missing my own life?

Thus, the wistfulness: what am I missing?

And the swoon: I miss what I don’t even know I’m missing.

Sorrow floats

29 08 2008

Existential sick day.

Of course, that’s not what I said when I called out. Migraine, I believe, is the term I used. So it was an affective, rather than cerebral, headache. . . .

I have had trouble with my moods in the past, and while those troubles are mostly past, I do have to pay attention. A plunge isn’t necessarily bad—everyone has bad days—but I can’t let it get out of hand.

So I took a day. I’m not much for homeopathy, but there may be something to it, mentally: allow the badness out a bit, as an inoculation against a runaway mood. I moped around in my bed for a few hours, then, having sufficiently indulged myself, got up to take advantage of the free day.

Mental homeopathy. It just might work.