Friday, August 28, 2015

The discomfort of looking forward.

During my last session with Dr. Rishi, he mentioned trying to look forward, something I've not done in nearly a decade. He mentioned trying to plan a trip or a vacation, something that I can look forward to.

So, I officially booked tickets to (and from) Victoria to visit C. I can't technically afford it with money, but to my surprise I was able to trade-in airmiles, which covered about 85% of the cost. So with service charges and insurance, and the missing airmiles (about 300) it'll cost me about 300$ instead of about a grand.

When I told C she seemed super excited, which is nice. I know she's been homesick out there, and it'll be great for her to show me a bit of her life, as well as the area. I'll be there for a solid 7-8 days, so when she's at work I'll be able to walk around Victoria and sit by the water. That'll be nice. I need a break.

I didn't expect the lack of vacation time to affect me so much. I'm tired. I think about running away and sitting in the woods more than I probably should.

These days though, I can't get enough of The Noonday Demon. I've been burning through it. It's as if it was written specifically for me. It's a brick of a book, which initially put me off, since I was worried about my attention span, but it's been a really poignant, fucking spot-on relevant book for me.

I'm currently listening to one of his Ted talks. It touches on some of his work, but it's under 30 minutes long, so it's not as thorough. Here are some highlights for me:
And one of the things that often gets lost in discussions of depression is that you know it's ridiculous.You know it's ridiculous while you're experiencing it. You know that most people manage to listen to their messages and eat lunch and organize themselves to take a shower and go out the front door and that it's not a big deal, and yet you are nonetheless in its grip and you are unable to figure out any way around it.And so I began to feel myself doing less and thinking less and feeling less. It was a kind of nullity.
Nullity is a great word for expressing the sensation of being absent and despondent.
One of the first people I interviewed described depression as a slower way of being dead, and that was a good thing for me to hear early on because it reminded me that that slow way of being dead can lead to actual deadness, that this is a serious business. It's the leading disability worldwide, and people die of it every day.
It is a disability, and I feel so unsupported by the structures of my world.
Depression is so exhausting. It takes up so much of your time and energy, and silence about it, it really does make the depression worse.
This is a big part of this blog, and why I write here. It's my way of voiding my thoughts by letting them all out and purging my brain from these experiences and neurosis.
It's a strange poverty of the English language, and indeed of many other languages, that we use this same word, depression, to describe how a kid feels when it rains on his birthday, and to describe how somebody feels the minute before they commit suicide.
Preach Mr Solomon.
What is the mechanism of resilience? And what I came up with over time was that the people who deny their experience, and say, "I was depressed a long time ago, I never want to think about it again, I'm not going to look at it and I'm just going to get on with my life," ironically, those are the people who are most enslaved by what they have. Shutting out the depression strengthens it. While you hide from it, it grows. And the people who do better are the ones who are able to tolerate the fact that they have this condition. Those who can tolerate their depression are the ones who achieve resilience.
I think this is part of what I'm working with now. This being conscious of my depression, of what it means, of what living my life means, of what it takes from me to get by. I am no longer in denial. I think for years I was in a state of despondent ignorance, and I've moved through that.

Looking forward is very difficult for me. It's just a muscle I haven't used in a very long time. It feels dangerous to look forward, as if I'm tempting fate to expect things to go a certain way. If I'm looking forward it means I'm expecting things to go well, well enough to plan and to move towards that plan with possible excitement and maybe even glee.

With Victoria, I'd be going in February of 2016. So of course this does pick at certain strains of anxiety, namely financial stress and body stress. They're things I'm trying not to focus on. But they do carry with them, some fear and resistance to the idea.

I don't really know how to look forward anymore. I don't know how to be excited about my future. Right now, all it does is make me pre-emptively tired.

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