Postponing 1989

Last night, I attended my first (and only) Christmas party for this holiday season. I had a full day at work and even went home to get out of the clothes that had the residue of impatient clients and air conditioning. My package came in for the 1989 LP that I ordered from the Ryan Adams webstore. I was tempted (level: Garden of Eden) to stay home and just lose myself in vinyl and Taylor Swift lyrics. There was a blackout at the house so I wanted to get out of the house as fast as I could before I could use it as an excuse. Darkness in its various forms make great excuses to get out of all sorts of interactions. I also wanted to be with my friends.

When I was at the party, I could feel myself leaving so that I can watch myself in the party from a safe distance. I wanted to stay in the room so I just walked around and eventually stayed with the group making ginger bread houses. I laughed and smiled and looked people in the eye. I saw them and they saw me. When I got home, the power was still out and the daytime winds made the sky so clear. Constellations looked down on me and I met their gaze while standing still. I decided that having days like these need to be remembered. Days when the depression was nowhere to be seen because I took my “medication” (SAM-e) and forgot the negative self-talk. Days like this need to be revered, too. They can show up like unexpected gifts. It might be an impetus to make them more common so that they become less like gifts and more like accomplishments. When they become more common, then they pile up and the remembrance and reverence fade into a new normal.

I hope that these days are not far from one another as I proceed into a new year. I’d like to commemorate more of these days when that ended with wonder instead of questions. The music in my room can wait – I apparently have things to do and people to see.

Plateaus in the valley

It’s almost been two months since my last therapy session. I ended therapy on a good note, even though it was an abrupt ending. I went as far as I could. The progress that I made was long and the beginning dissolved in the far horizon just ahead of where I think I started. I went in thinking that I needed to learn how to enter into a relationship with a woman. I came out learning how much I have lost in my early years – even now I still do the grief work of the lost childhood and acknowledging how I made myself invisible. I came out learning exponentially more about myself.

When the weather started getting colder in mid-November, I found myself sinking back into a depressive state. Although it wasn’t as bad as it used to be, it was a familiar feeling. I didn’t know what triggered the descent. Maybe it was a biological response or an unclear memory tied to this time of the year. It was a like an unexpected dip while driving in the fog. I think now that the fog will always be part of the climate of my mind and soul. It will come and go. Sometimes it will stick around and endure even an autumn sun or an ocean breeze. It easy to think that a stint in therapy (or any kind of treatment) will take you beyond the gravity of depression. It’s paradoxical that the ones who truly understand how to defeat their depression are the ones who recognize the bond they have with it. Like the bond that the moon has with the earth, we can experience depression in its weakness when it’s at its apogee, and in its terror when it’s close orbit. During this time, I try to remember to care for myself and immerse myself with things and activities I love.

I’m still working on connecting with people when I feel like this – sad for no apparent reason. I’d like to absorb a sense of their happiness through the residue of conversation or a funny joke. It’s like walking against the wind, though. Do I reach to people when I feel like this? Will they think that I only need them when I’m sad? Maybe the good friends won’t mind. I wonder if they’ll mind the long pauses in dialogue and when I stare off.

For now, the fog isn’t so bad. I can breathe it in when I’m standing still. Maybe I’ll bump into somebody.