Today has been, in a word, painful.
Not solid agony or chronic physical discomfort. More like a deep down ache that settles in and stays.
Partly it is the weather, which is grey and cold and rainy. That kind of weather is always pretty harsh on my mood. I like to think I do not have any kind of seasonal affective disorder, but I can’t deny that winter does wear me down and it has a lot to do with the amount of light.
I remember living through El Nino when I was living in the Los Gatos hills in Silicon Valley. Months and months of heavy, unrelenting rain and skies dark enough to confuse day and night for the poor little birds and flowers.
I become intensely depressed. Not in the self-loathing way, thank goodness, or I would have killed myself. It was more like the blues, where I just felt down and sad and brooding all the time.
Not even cuddling with Zane the White German Shepherd made me feel any better, and at that point in my life, cuddling with that big sweet snowbank of a dog was just about my favorite thing in the world.
Still, I am older and wiser now, and I am slowly learning that being down and being out are two different things. Sometimes you feel up and energetic and other times quiet and contemplative, but it is only in the valuation that either of those states becomes sadness or gladness.
And valuations can change.
You can choose to view the down times not as a slide into the pit of despair but simply as times to relaxed and think about things, knowing that the big mood wheel will bring you back to perky and active soon enough.
Feeling bad about not feeling like doing certain things gets you nowhere.
The missing ingredient, sadly, is faith. Faith that whatever you are feeling at the moment will pass and the sky will light up with sunshine once again.
This is obviously true from a logical point of view. A glance at anyone’s life will show parts that are better and parts that are worse, and therefore no one state is permanent.
But in the battle between reason and emotion, emotion always wins in the end. If you feel something strongly enough, you have no choice but to believe it regardless of all evidence and logic.
Those belong to the sane realm, and you don’t live there any more.
Where was I? Oh right. So, it could be the rain that is bringing me down.
But I am also a sick person. I need to remind myself of that as often as possible. I have a serious illness called depression, and so every day is a special kind of struggle for me.
I am disabled. Everyday (see, that’s how you use the world correctly, Internet!) tasks are very difficult for me because my disease saps my will and drains my energy and makes me think I am incompetent at everything, so why even try?
I know I keep repeating that in this blog, but it is a lesson I am still trying to learn. It is important in my fight against that massive mountain of misery inside me, which cannot be shifted, only…. melted.
Viewed from this perspective, that of a person struggling with a crippling illness, I am doing OK. I have written three novels and a bunch of other stuff. I go out now and then, hoping to do that more in the future. I write a thousand words a day on this silly ol blog no matter what. I ain’t dead yet.
Any yet, the self-loathing always comes back around again, and I think I know why.
Deep down, I crave pain.
Not, I think, as the expiation of some deep down guilt, though I could be wrong on that. No, this craving for pain has a lot more to do with catharsis in a primal form, using one form of pain to drive out another.
A lot of people have used physical pain to release emotional pain. Cutters, for instance, or religious flagellants. But this bizarre transaction can take place entirely internally. You become both the abuser and the abused, and thus you create a very dark and tortured world whose only saving grace is that it blocks out the real world entirely.
And some of us will do damned near anything to keep from having to deal with the real world which frightens us so with its risks and dangerous and noxious intensity.
But it can’t be a delusion. It’s unpleasant. Delusions are all about happy rainbow land for Pollyannas, right? Therefore you can always trust that anything dark, painful, or horrible is honest to goodness real, and the worse, the realer.
But darkness is no less delusional than light, and at least the Pollyanna types are happy in their delusions, for a while.
So today was not a pleasant day. So what? There will be sunshine again. I have been out of my diabetes meds (besides insulin) for around a week now, so I am not exactly at my healthiest. I have been very thirsty lately, and peeing a lot, which is a good indication that my blood sugar is too high and my body is working overtime producing lots of urine to try to take the excess blood sugar away.
I will be getting my meds refilled on Friday, after therapy, so there’s that.
Until then and for the near future, though, I would be best off making peace with the fact that I am very ill, and my main job is to try and get better.
It is a boring job, and one that looks a lot like doing nothing at all to any outside observer. It is a very hard job nonetheless, made all the harder by the disease’s knack for isolating you emotionally.
So no matter how many people you have around you, you are alone, just like a deep sea diver who never gets wet.
I think it is time I went back to bed to further convalesce.
Good-bye, my friends.