Today was the second appointment with my first therapist in over a decade. Describing the state of mind where you feel as if you're existing at a level on the happy-sad continuum that favors sad to a greater extent than where you believe the average person to be, it's kind of a garbage feeling, but it's also kind of fulfilling, as to assert that this is how I live, this is how I function, this is how I see the world and this is why I so often don't want to be in it anymore.
We talked about goals. My goal is to want to be here more often than I don't want to be here. To not think about death so much. To not think about the relief death will bring so much, because I know, rationally, actually, that death is just a light switch being turned off forever. I don't want to be turned off forever. Not yet, maybe not ever.
I exist in this unsettling state of mind where I don't want to die, but also don't want to live. I dread most every activity, even the ones that are ultimately fulfilling. I'm so incredibly paranoid about anyone associated with my job to ever read this, but my occupation is one where you work very closely with other people in hope to change society and make it better than when you first stepped into it. I don't want any of those people, however unlikely, to stumble across this and think, Hey, while we were together, he wanted to die a lot. People always then make themselves part of the cause and effect as to why someone is depressed and wants to die, and it's unhealthy and untrue. I can tell you as someone who has had many daydreams about his own death and the world without him, some sobering and stoic, others incredibly self-serving and narcissistic, that I don't believe anyone ends their life because of any one other person. It can seem that way if it's on the heels of a bad relationship, but it's about a whole complicated network of associations, some are more concrete, like people and the things they say to you and how you respond and who you tell about it and what they tell you and then what happens when you talk to a person you had a disagreement and several bitch sessions about; and then it's more abstract, the feeling you hold, the way your mind processes cognitive dissonance and how open you are to being just a piece of cosmic dust somehow imbued with the gift and curse of consciousness. Committing suicide seems senseless to everyone but, MAYBE, the person doing it. I'm sure rational suicide exists. Don't like living? Stop. For me, though, I'd like to cope with living better. That's where I hope this is going with the therapist.
Even without, I'm doing things to help. Cleaning out my closet, donating 75-80% of what I own. Five garbage bags of clothes. Boxes of books and CDs. A whole living room's worth of furniture and entertainment, all so I can occupy just two small bedrooms and a cramped bath and feel great about it. And I am starting to feel great about it.
I want to live small. I want to live quietly. I'm probably beyond the age where I'd have my own kids and a family (38). Match.com certainly isn't bringing up any new quality candidates. But I want to do things that meet my definition of quality, very much in a Pirsig Art of Motorcycle Maintenance way. Like I want to spend time right here just in some strange stream of consciousness thinking about life and why I should – or shouldn't – still be here. Maybe not the highest quality. Maybe quality is living small and out of the way, but also in being kind to everyone. I just read a convincing letter from Hutch Harris to any Trump supporter basically saying that he hates them as “the other” the same way they hate racial and sexual minorities. I read it and I was convinced that that was exactly how I felt. And yet, that feeling is garbage, it's not good for me, and it means absolutely nothing to Donald Trump, who, at least from the outside, is the saddest of us all; an old man that needs to feel love and obedience from so many of us, who doesn't care about people beyond how they can help him win an election, power cares about power. How can you feel anything but sadness toward him. What is the best thing that could happen? Assassination before he can think up anything else crazy to do? Or, probably with the longest odds, that he wakes up in these years before he dies and realizes all the love he has foregone just to be powerful and look down on others. Criminals often turn themselves around and end up counseling the youth on what they need to do to not end up like them. Could Donald Trump not? But really, probably not. Would it not be the best way Donald Trump could turn out, much better than leaving Joe Biden to the hard work and sniping him from Twitter, continuing to sow discord amongst us all. It's a long shot, like I said, but I'd rather put my energy into the thought that Donald Trump can be redeemed than to the thought that he should be put in prison forever.
When Donald Trump goes to prison, I get nothing. No satisfaction, because he hurt others, hurt democratic institutions, and now is getting hurt. It's all around shit. I'm not betting on his enlightenment, and I'm certainly watching with bated breath as he sorts out his last 10 weeks in office. What else can you do but hope something good will come out and the Biden administration will be out fighting on behalf of...at least someone.
All the politics...they're part of the reason I'm so down, but honestly it's the working from home or working in an empty building part of my existence that really has me functioning at a solidly depressed state. On some scale of 21, I scored a 16, I guess meaning I'm moderately depressed. Nothing new there. Now what will we do about it? Hopefully the third meeting will help me plan what to do about what is frighteningly become my default. On happy-sad continuum, the average person is 6, just on the happy side, while I'm a 3, and it's a very steady. Then, there's the existential dread. My anxiety setting was set just a little too high and then made the default, and I have no idea how to tune it down, besides taking sedatives and smoking weed (soon to be legal!).
Maybe a life vaping and listening to music on Tidal is as good as it gets. I got my animals. I'm starting to make these little zines dedicated to my favorite things. Could be that I've started creating my pantheon in that way.
See, with wide eyes, I want to tell you about this movie that changed my life, or this song I can't get out of my head. I want to head over the dive bar and drink Pabst and laugh, cry, maybe even touch or kiss. Depends on who you are and how drunk I am. Actually, heading toward middle age, it's starting to become a little less about how drunk I am and more to do with how drunk you are. Ah, yes, that turn comes for all of us.
I have no plan to give you a pretty picture. The theme of this blog is “What a mess”. Or, just better, it's just who I am.