So, the reason I started seeing a therapist again last year, after a nine-year hiatus, was the hope that said therapist could perhaps provide me some tools to help me cope with my ongoing depression.
And she has. She recommended some sites for me to visit online, that gave me some practical steps to apply, and I thought the information was very valuable.
Yay, I’ve got some tools, now!
But, as any skilled craftsman will tell you, one good way to keep your tools sharp longer…
Is to not use them.
Why don’t I put into practice the things I’ve learned? Maybe, for a few reasons.
One, making a habit out of anything new is tough. Especially, anything good, right? We’re settled in to all our bad habits and, even though we know they’re bad, we’re kinda slow to let go of them, aren’t we? How many times have we declared ourselves on one diet or other, only to fall in those familiar traps on the path? How many newly started exercise regimens have we abandoned, not because we really wanted to, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to get up and run today, or whatever?
Maybe it’s just me.
Two, on the subject of exercise, you know how it feels when you do something physical, that works muscles on your body you haven’t used in a long while? (Stop snickering, I know what you’re thinking…) It’s not comfortable, is it? And, the next day, maybe you’re a little sore in those places. ( I said, STOP it!)
Well, I guess the mind and the emotions are like that. Let’s say, for instance, I have a “self-forgiveness” muscle, that’s pretty much atrophied at this point. (Hypothetically, of course.) When I ask it to try and function, chances are, it won’t be comfortable. Might even hurt.
Then, how ready will I be to try it again?
Three, I’m the kind of guy who likes to mark time, to hit the Pause button, get everything set up like I want it, then press Play, and continue on.
There is, of course, no Pause button. You would think a fifty-something-year-old man would have figured that out. We’re stuck in Play, all the way to the end. (Feels more like Fast Forward, though, gotta say.)
I guess I just have to do this thing on the fly, which I’d rather not.
Four, and this one may be the hardest to explain:
In a weird way, part of me likes being in this condition, fancying myself the classic Tragic Hero in my own, personal Drama: a somewhat virtuous fellow, nevertheless doomed to suffer. In its own twisted, perverted way, it gets me more attention which, as anyone who knows me can tell you, is a particular lifelong craving of mine.
Now, how screwed up is that, folks? The problem with that is, I’m not the only one who suffers. Which sucks for the other people.
I guess that’s partly due to the artiste in me, grouping myself with the Van Goghs and the Hemingways and the Kurt Cobains of the world. (Not that my work approaches theirs; I’m not claiming that.) Also, my uncle, bless his heart, who was a writer that had depression for years, and ultimately killed himself.
There’s something else, though: the gnawing feeling that the tragic life is the life I deserve. This is what I have coming to me. Nothing good; only bad.
I don’t know why. At least, if I do, I’m not telling me.
Mind you, I don’t like admitting any of this. It’s more than a bit embarrassing. But, it’s the unfortunate, ugly truth.
Dr. L, if you’re reading this, (yes, she has permission) just know that I’m holding steady. I know what I need to do; I know what I want to do.
I don’t know. Maybe I need some tools to help me get started using my tools.
That’s sorta funny, but really not.