Friday, January 01, 2010

Better can't make your life better

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

Okay. So. Yeah.

This is going to be one of those lengthy, meandering, almost-but-not-quite getting to a point posts, so watch out, Future Self. Prepare to smirk.

Yeah, I went back to blogging after taking the summer off, then instantly dropped it again. And although that hasn't exactly left a gaping void in my life that begs to be filled, it's something that ought to be remedied.

Why? Well, certainly in large part the only answer to that seems to be Yes, why? But there's something to it.

When you're depressive like I am, certain things Matter. Actually, no. It's not so much that they --- those things --- matter as that they indicate or represent something that matters. People often make these obsessive little pledges to themselves, especially on New Year's Day, which by no coincidence whatever this is. And whether it's, for example, trying do 20 minutes of elliptical three times a week or logging the mileage and gas costs of your new car or opening bills the day you get them or not drinking soda or blogging about your life every day, it's usually some kind of a connection to the world. Even in the case of avoidance, like quitting smoking or eating meat or what have you, the idea is to replace that bad habit with a better one --- viz., one that builds a better relationship between you and your environment.

You know, I used to be more eloquent. Or maybe things just sound better in my head.

Well but and so what I'm trying to get at is that these obsessive little pledges are, if not meaningful in themselves, indicative of meaning. When a depressive like me drops these habits made with the best of intentions to keep up good connections --- well, sometimes it's because those things were time-consuming and silly and served their brief purpose (like, who needs to log their new car's mileage on a regular basis?). But sometimes the letting go of these ostensibly insignificant things is a symptom. A symptom of an unhealthy disassociation.

To normal gregarious social butterflies, the following may seem an absurd statement, but for some people there really is a slope from quitting blogging (goodbye, introspection) to dropping healthy eating habits (I'm not talking about my eating on the Internet anymore, so who cares?) to cutting out all social activity and retreating almost entirely into the life of a recluse (why should I go out? My mind and body are mush). This is not imaginary. This is not a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is self-destruction through indifference and it is real.

All of which is a very loquacious way of saying that I'd better blog daily again, dammit. It's constructive. Doing is better than not doing. Gnōthi seauton and all that.


Right, so that was awkward! Quick, change the subject! What are your New Year's resolutions, Chance?

Actually, Chance, I never make any New Year's resolutions. Whenever I've been inspired to better myself, I've always been the type that tends more toward "Do it now!" instead of "Wait until some arbitrary moment infused with artificial importance!" However, I hope that I'll live a good story this year. And I would like to think about some of the things I need in my life. Maybe three of them.

One thing I need back in my life -- and this will sound the absurdest of all, but I'll plow on --- is Zen. I need my Zen back. Like most liberal arts college students, I studied Zen a bit and because enamored with some of its teachings. I think my Zen got leaked out of me after my ex-wife cheated on me while studying to be a Buddhist priest. Yes, really. Anyway, I think somewhere I lost a certain serenity, and I need it back. Not only was it better for my mental health, I think it made me a more appealing soul. No one likes an uptight snark addict. Nam myoho renge kyo, people. Let's get metta-physical.

But I must also face facts and admit that while I've lived an aleatory sort of existence, the fatalistic life has not necessarily been good to me. Inaction breeds despair. Why have I had so many shitty relationships? Because they chose me, and I shrugged and accepted it. I didn't actively choose them --- or, perhaps more accurately, I lacked the will to deny them. I am far too old and sedentary and unpopular to let things happen anymore. I need not just to say yes more, but to go and find those opportunities to say yes to. That can mean something as little as answering the phone more often.

Finally, you know what I need more of in my life? Relationships that aren't doomed.


daveawayfromhome said...

Knowing that you are a depressive, let me say that it's good to see you blogging, just because it tells me that you havent taken the ultimate depressive's step. Not that I expect you to (what kind of person would expect that, anyway?), but I've read your blog long enough to worry.
I've heard that excercise is good for depression, but now, after your statements, I wonder if it's not so much excercise as regular excercise that helps a depressive?
Anyway, it's good to have you back.

Chance said...

Wow, I really appreciate you saying that. Thank you.

Churlita said...

I'm glad you're back blogging. I hope you keep climbing up further and further from the depths. Exercise is great for depression, but I know that when you're in it, the last thing you want to do is move and it's hard to see the point of anything anyway. If you're at a different space now, you might give it a whirl.

Michael5000 said...

Cool. Welcome back, bro.

Chance said...

How do you all know I posting again, anyway? Are you... watching me?

Michael5000 said...

Look outside your window. We're all in the van.

Chance said...