Caveat : It’s a rhetorical question,. Please do not answer it.
That said, lately I have been wondering what exactly mky major malfunction is. The eay answer would be “depression” but that is a functionally meaningless label at this point in my life. Yeah, I’m depressed…. and…?
It was very important when I was first diagnosed and put on Paxil. Before that, I was only vaguely aware that there was a mental disorder known as depression and that some people suffered from it. but if I had thought about it at all, I would have been imagning people on ledges with cops trying to talk them down, or people in mental hospitals who aren’t allowed near anything jagged.
I certainly wouldn’t have thought of it applyinjg to myself.
But that’s how my particular flavour of depression operates. It hides itself under distractions and diversions and a superficially bright and cheerful mood while on the inside, I am in terrible pain and falling apart.
The problem is. I rely on that game of pretend to be happy to make me happy. Fake it till you make it, I guess. When I have an audience, I can escape from myself and pretend to be the person I want to be.
So to me, it’s not entirely fake, or entirely real. Instead, this persona I project exists in the grey area between real and fake, and I’m very comfortable there.
Reality is too much of a commitment. Fantasy is too ethereal. Things that are in between are perfect for those of us who like to have our options open so that we always have more than one escape rouite.
Otherwise, we feel trapped. Even when we are perfectly safe. Because we’re crazy.
All part of the deep down inability to feel totally safe that comes from early childhood trauma. The world has always seemed hostile and dangerous to me. I’ve always thought that my only defense was my ability to anticipate and control events. I’ve always considered my brain to be the only weapon I had against a cruel and rejecting world that had no place for me in it.
And that’s no way to live. It’s bad for any mammal to have that kind of permanent, long term stress. Physically, stress damages people because it causes our bodies to act like it’s an emergency and to make decisions as though it’s in a fight for survival.
That’s mpore or less the recipe for poor long term decisions. The stressed state is not meant to last. IT’s meant to save you when the saber toothed tiger is about to eat you. Then it’s supposed to go away.
Psychologically (and neurologically), the situation is even worse, because a haunted mind like my own never truly rests. And that makes the psyche inherently unstable because it can never fully shut down for maitenance and repair.
Not even when I am asleep.
So that’s one thinjg that’s wrong with me. Another, and this one is key, is that I do my best to keep from being alone with my thoughts.
That mind sounds odd coming from a thoughtful person like me, but that thoughtfulness is just one of the ways I keep myself distracted.
When there is no other option, I think about stuff. This began when I was a hyper bored bright kid who spent most of classtim, shall we say, unengaged. Listening to the teacher took only a tiny bit of my massive mental bandwidth, and when we switched to doing the classwork, that wouild divert me for a very short time as those mental muscles of mine made short work of this stuff that was far, far beneath my abilities.
That’s one thing. But for some insane reason, I was not allowed to read when I had completed my classwork. Can you believe that? Telling a kid NOT to read?
What harm would there have been if I had read quietly while the other kids did their work? I was perfectly willing to be a happy little bookworm and fade into the woodwork while I escaped into a book, But no, it was important that I sat there with nothing to do, bored out of my gourd, as punishment for being too smart and making the other kids feel bad. I guess.
Anyhow, my response to that situation was to travel inwards, so to speak. To disppear into the world inside my skull and think long and hard about things, mostly on a subconcious level. It was like a rather cerebral form of meditation, and it made the time pass a lot faster.
Remember that, because making the time go faster has been my pattern for my whole life. That’s a big part of why I am addicted to Skyrim.
When I am playing it, the hours go by withoiut friction or fear. It solves the problem of what the hell do I do with myself so well that it’s become the default thing I do.
And why wouldn’t it be? When I am playing, I am more or less happy.
That reminds me of another issue : being kind of dead inside. By that, I mean that I go long periods without amy real motivation or awareness of my situation or curioisity about what life is like outside my cage.
I am not a lively, healthy animal. I’m lethargic, incurious, and passive.
And I know this is not right. I can feel the wrongness of it all. I want to be a more lively, vital, engaged person,
But I am too addicted to that inner anesthetic that is depression to be able to reach my life-spring on a regular basis.
It’s just so much easier to stay asleep and let the days go by. I’ve been out of VFS for five months now, and I have done very little with my education and qualifications from there. The one really good opportunity I had was with Secret Informant, and I let that die on the vine, and since them I have been sliding deeper into the abyss.
And some days I have the energy and the wherewithal to pulls myself further out.
But on others, it feels too damned good to just…. let go, and let gravity take over.
And then I have to find the nerve to start the climb again.
And that takes a very long time.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.