Archive for March, 2011


An off day

Feeling sad this morning.  It started, I guess, after meditation, when I got online.  I’m not sure what sparked it, honestly.  A couple posts about dumb shit going on in government.  A message from my dad’s best friend about maybe retiring outside of the US.  Facebook.  A reply from one of my credit cards that they can’t lower my APR at this time — no specific reason given, and my pre-emptive query about what qualifications I need in order to facilitate such a change left unanswered.  20 bucks says it was an algorithm designed to look for keywords and spit out an automated response based on what it finds.  I mean, if you’re gonna make me call, just be honest and tell me up front; don’t pretend we can process this kind of request online if we can’t.  *shrug*

You know what I hate?  Those automated phone answering systems that make you talk to the machine to navigate to the right place.  I would much rather punch digits than talk to a fucking machine and have it tell me “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that” over and over again because what I really need is to talk to a customer service person.

I hate how impersonal everything is.  No, scratch that.  Sometimes I love it.  I love that I can process almost every thinkable bank transaction without having to talk to a teller or even park and enter the bank.  I love that I can check out my own groceries and not have to worry about smiling or saying “hello” to a disinterested cashier.  I hate when I’m in the self checkout and they ring up my vegetables for me from their little kiosk.  Dude, I’m in the self checkout.  I will find the proper code eventually, just let me be.

Maybe it’s just PMS.  5-6 days until the floodgates open, so I’m well within range to call it PMS.  But dammit, what’s the purpose of making my moods go crazy for a few days just because of that??  I’ve never understood it.  I know (or at least I’m pretty sure) that it has to do with hormones, but can’t we find a fix for it already?  I mean, half the population of the world has to deal with this on a monthly basis.  I bet they would make a killing on a drug that evened out our moods during this time.  And that’s where all the research money goes — into things that will net a big fat profit.

 

I also went to sleep feeling pretty sad, even almost got teary.  I was thinking about how we’ve got it so wrong.  How money is just tearing apart our psyches, how greed is destroying what makes us remarkable as humans.  And I don’t have an idea for a better way to do it — this society has developed over so many thousands of years that to think of some system that would work better would take more than just one depressed little girl waxing unhappy in an online journal.

All of the things that I have that make me physically comfortable I have because of money.  A place to live, plenty of food to eat, clothes, etc.  I have this computer because I paid money for it.  That money I earned doing work.  All my books, dishes, bedclothes.  Artwork.  All in exchange for money.  We live our lives, are trained to live our lives thirsting for more money.  When we don’t have any, or don’t have much, we want more because we can get more things, can improve our lives.  If we make a little bit more money we can move into a slightly better home, or eat better food, or wear nicer clothes.  At some point it seems to change.  It’s a point I’ve never come anywhere close to so I don’t know where it starts, but at some point money becomes a tool with which to make more money.  Buying new things to improve our lives becomes secondary to investing aggressively, seeking higher and higher returns.  But why does it matter??

I’m just going around in circles in my head.  Needless to say I don’t have high hopes that this will be a good or particularly productive day.

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BF

One thing I have been deliberately not acknowledging here is the impact my relationship with my BF (4 years as of Jan 1, 2011) has on my symptoms of depression.  I haven’t said much about it (except vaguely) mostly because I knew that as soon as I started talking about it it would become more real to me, and then I would really have to take some kind of action.  Which could mean hurting his feelings, getting in a fight, or even splitting up (depending on how intense things got).  Because of course I imagine forward to the worst case scenario, which involves a nasty breakup, me moving back in with my mom to save money, etc.

I have made this declaration a couple times to some trustworthy folks: BF is wracked with his own set of emotional issues that stem (I believe) from a childhood with disengaged parents and a mean older brother.  He values the independence he was allowed through that solitary upbringing, which is something I can appreciate — my family stressed personal independence in a way none of my grade school classmates likely experienced.  And I do appreciate the experience I gained from that.  However, my impression is that BF grew up in almost an emotional vacuum.  Playing alone, no one reading to him or engaged with him much at all.  No impulsive and enthusiastic hugs.  In short, little that would resemble love expressed at all.

Because of this he is somewhat detached himself, but also dreadfully afraid of being alone, of not having someone to love and to love him.  But when he has that person (in this case, me) I think he really doesn’t know what to do next.  He doesn’t know how to be loving, because he never had an example of it growing up.

Not that I was impressed with a great idea of romantic love.  I was shocked at my father’s death to hear my mom express how much they had loved each other.  I never really thought they had.  It certainly was never apparent.  Maybe it’s because I’ve dealt with depression and spent a lot of time crying into my journals and picking apart my feelings, thoughts and motivations with therapists, but my yearning for love and affection seems much more in the fore of my psyche than his.  Not only that, he is also extremely hesitant, I think even a little afraid, so start talking about how we can teach each other to be loving.

But back to the main point of this entry.  I can not allow myself to pretend that this is not affecting my progress.  I am living with someone who I care about, and who cares about me, but we don’t know how to express it, and don’t seem to be making any real effort to try.  It’s frustrating.

 

I’m not completely despairing though.  I know that he does care, and I think that, very slowly, he can learn (if he is willing) to open up some and deal with his own pain so he can get on with his life.  I just don’t know if I have the stamina to last the whole process.  Or even to get to a point where real change is taking place.  I am trying to think positively about it — I have to — but I really don’t know what is going to happen.

People

I start thinking sometimes, especially on the weekends when I’m feeling listless & unconnected, that I need to reach out more, get involved in more groups, meet people who have interests in common with me, make new friends.  I feel dissatisfied with my social life, with my current relationships.  But then I start thinking about actually going places, hanging out with people, and it stops seeming so appealing.  I am such a homebody, and seem to be even more so as the days go by.  Going out, spending time with others, it’s all so draining.  I could be at home doing crossword puzzles, curled up with a purring kitty.

It’s something of a dilemma, because we really are social animals and my cravings to connect with others are natural and instinctive.  And it’s much more difficult to connect, to find good friends, when you’re an introvert like I am.  When talking, socializing, being engaged (and trying to be engaging) is so damn exhausting.  No wonder I always talk myself out of it.

It’s a problem with no simple solution.  It just occurred to me that I could start a group geared toward introverts, something lower-key than your typical social gathering.  But the fact is that a room full of introverts probably isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.  So that idea’s out.  I don’t have much in the way of hobbies, and I don’t have enough dedication to the interests I do have to pursue any group on a regular basis.  I’m even disenchanted somewhat with the atheist group; even there (I don’t know why I always think it will be different) people are loud, talking over each other, inattentive, self-absorbed.

Maybe I’m just leading myself back to the mindfulness meditation group.  But I don’t want to be a Buddhist.  I don’t want to revere Thich Nhat Han.  I don’t want to discuss the eight fold path or whatever it’s called.  I want thoughtful, kind, interesting company, people with a sense of humor, people who value intelligence, people who are compassionate, nonconformists, or if they conform they at least think about it beforehand.  I want to be around people I can be myself around.

To some degree that’s my fault.  I’ve taught myself, over the years, to yield to the other.  To be an attentive listener, to basically mask my personality, withhold any true engagement out of some warped belief that I was serving the interest of the other person.  Somehow I taught myself to believe that simply nodding and sympathizing was what everybody wanted.  Maybe just because it was easier, easier than putting myself out there, easier than getting hurt, easier than risking sounding stupid, or being laughed at or rejected.

This is one of the things I discussed with my therapist this past week.  How bad I hurt when I feel rejected.  I mean, unbelievably, ridiculously bad.  And it’s been like that for my whole life, so I can’t even imagine what it would feel like if I were somehow able to value myself regardless of how others treat me.  Regardless of what others think, or what I think others might think.

 

Ahahahaa, battle music from Shinseiki Evangelion started playing.  If ever there was a theme that really brought to mind my fucked-upness!  How I used to relate to Shinji.  I had to distance myself from that whole experience because I related so bad.  Can I just say right now how lucky I feel to be not that depressed anymore?  Sure, I have my days, my moments, but back then was something else.  I called myself an “emotional masochist” because I kept watching that stuff over and over again, and it hurt me so bad, made me feel so shitty, and I loved it in a way.  It was like a huge “fuck you” to myself.  Sometimes I can’t believe how much I hated myself then.