It's been just over a year since I moved into my apartment, which I thought was the beginning of my hard work paying off. It seems now that it was actually the beginning of working harder to make the bare minimum but not "enough". I remember feeling so full of positivity then. My apartment was the color of the September full moon on which I bled, I was in love with two amazing new people, I'd made sacrifices, and carved something out of this big place for myself. It feels silly to me now. It feels distant and envious.
I hadn't been to therapy in three weeks before I went last Saturday. When I'd seen Dr. A last I'd just put a cap on my reconciliation with Devyn and I was excited. I was glad to have the anger mostly washed out of me and felt renewed remembering all the things that amaze me about him.
These therapy sessions are good for me, but the idea that I'm going to therapy is still so foreign. In so many ways I feel I'm turning into this dull sitcom version of the person I wanted so strongly NOT to become when I was young and didn't have to deal with the problem of money and begging someone to buy my time for it constantly. My mom did an amazing thorough job of sheltering me from any "grown up" problems which has turned my twenties into a crash course of learning how to suffer without halting life. All sorts of sudden realization come up in these suspiciously unpaid for therapy sessions like the fact that we were living in middle class white suburbia on blue collar income. Growing up poor and not knowing has come around to bite me in the ass. Every well suited and fashionable person walking by me, while I'm wearing thrift store/hand me downs can sometimes feel like a punch in the gut. I'm trying to unlearn a sense of entitlement that I was only fooled into feeling entitled to in the first place.
On August 18th I wrote in my journal that I was "starting to come down after a long up". That down has enveloped me in a shroud of bewildered disinterest. I'm trying to learn my mood cycles, how long they tend to last, and what tends to impact or bring them on. I can't get the thoughts of bi-polar people out of my head for I feel like one who's described what it's like to be on Lithium: no staggering lows, but no sparkling ups either. I'm flat-line and it's confounding me. I keep hoping that it's going to get better soon because surely I've hit the bottom of this well but every day blurs into one same week and suddenly it's October and I didn't even notice the Solstice and greeting the new moon was just an after thought, something I forgot until it had past. I continue to be unable to delve into all the unsatisfactory things I'm surrounded by simply for the fact that it will only make me feel worse. This conscious refusal to over-process my feelings is a stark contrast for me too. At least in the past if I felt I couldn't process the reasons for my depression I could get properly worked up over it and focus on dramatic inner narratives of being "stuck".
While all this gray scale is frustrating, part of me acknowledges several positives too. For instance: it is a considerable success that I'm not over dramatizing my feelings and reactions because that means I'm learning how to pass through difficulty with more grace, it means I have more stamina in depression and don't collapse into existential crises or elaborate escape route planning, and it means I am, in fact, making progress in learning how to take my goals one day at a time, even if it takes many many more days to accomplish things than the pushy part of me thinks it should.
This is all very interesting for you, isn't it dear reader?
How about a list of my favorite things about being depressed: I get to cry whenever the fuck I want to whether it's over the memory of a fall in the North Woods, the song "Sing" by the Dresden Dolls, or the Heart Sutra posted on a blog. I get to have a chocolate bar on my night stand, take a bite immediately upon awakening and feel that rich feeling of self loathing all before even getting out bed. I get to be endlessly self deprecating and smoke a cigarette whenever I want. I get to congratulate myself on my blog on how much better I am at being depressed now than I used to be.
I may be better, but I'm still terribly suspicious. I fear that I'll get so good at being depressed that I'll forget about my mania and ecstasy and come to inhabit the pre-Oz colored world for years before something snaps and I remember, and go berserk, and skip town, and move to Guatemala to live in a hippie commune on the shores of the beach at the edge of a jungle full of howler monkeys and hammocks.
Not that I've thought about it much or anything.