Today has the dubious distinction of being the day I realized that merely being able to sleep wasn't going to solve my problems. I will backpedal enough to note carefully that it certainly did ameliorate some
of them, such as the feelings of physical malaise, pain, and nausea that I had managed to convince myself (over the past couple of years) were merely 'normal signs of aging.' Given that I'm 35, that seems excessively stupid.
The operation done with, my sleeping is much improved - except for the fact that the drugs, the ones they tried before the operation and are now trying again because they wouldn't have worked before, are keeping me joltingly awake. So here I sit, night after night, properly obsessive on the computer late at night denying the clock - however, my sleep debt builds during the week. At least this is 'normal' - I have experience with this.
Doesn't solve anything, though. I now have more time of clarity of mind to recognize and scrutinize and theorize about the nature of my disruption. I read a blog today in which the blogger offered the following advice about law school: "If it isn't fun anymore, don't do it." The degree to which that described my last, painful separation from academia is staggering, made more so by the fact that it took me this long to describe the process: it wasn't fun anymore. So I stopped doing it.
That would all be well and good, of course, except that nothing took its place. As I tell all of them when I meet them, "I don't enjoy anything anymore. Nothing is fun, nothing makes me happy. Nothing makes me very sad, this is true; however, I lead a life of quiet desperation now, eking out small victories in managing to distract (not enjoy) myself for several minutes at a stretch. I can feel the small chips of my life fluttering past me, wrenched loose and thrown over my body by the drill bore of depressed time.
I'm stuck. I don't enjoy anything. I have a self-image just slightly less elevated than the Dead Sea, which now that I'm not Doing Anything With My Life manages to cover absolutely everything I do. I'm not smart. I'm not creative. I'm not capable. I'm not fun. Being confronted with evidence of the sort of thing others can and have done with their time and attention, my overriding reaction is to sit there silently with a half-smile on my face and pray that no-one notices the tears sliding down my cheeks before I have a good, excusable reason to wipe my face. I have no excuse for sitting here this way except that I'm not trying to offer one; this is just how and what I am, at this moment.
I can't write (much). Creative writing has been frozen for perhaps a couple years; paltry, last-updates-re-edited have been my only production despite hours spent watching the blink of a line cursor. I feel my life has been dominated by an acquisition of responsibilities (in the sense of things dependent on me) and failed deadlines. Mail unsorted, laundry undone, some small amount of cleaned clothing strewn around the foot of my bed, room unkept, pets occupying the only tiny scrap of 'responsibility' I can muster because the cruelty of allowing them to suffer from my inaction is just too painful to contemplate. That, however, is the lowest external factor which can motivate me, apparently; the smallest reason for doing anything that makes a dent in the vast plain of static and taupe that my existence is.
Please don't think I'm writing this because I want you to feel anything in particular, or even read it. This is a daylog. This is a place for thoughts of mine to be vomited, stored, pressed flat and to wait for me until I come back to them some time later to read and wonder. Hopefully from a different frame of mind.
There is one question which does fitfully bother me: the flatness came about with the antidepressants, perhaps seven years ago. I extolled their virtues at making me functional, while calmly noting some of their effects on my head; those effects have come to dominate. If I were to stop taking the pills, would I become, once again, animated and depressed? Able to frighten myself with deadlines into being that miraculously-productive procrastinator?
I am the blank generation. Choose. Choose who you are. Choose what you are. Choose what you do. Choose again, and change. Define yourself; find yourself, describe yourself. Be yourself. Find a path.
All of these presuppose volition. Without that, there isn't anything to do; I can't imagine doing those things, not because I would look peculiar to myself but because I cannot muster the energy or will to change from where and what I am right now, even in my mind's eye.
I'm getting to old to assume that things will right themselves. I'm getting too old to assume that I won't be alone forever. I'm getting too old to tell myself that I can always chuck it all and find myself, without any evidence of the propensity or ability to do so. I'm getting to old to stay alive, without the support of anything underneath; no props, no bars, no seats, no braces, no fun, no friends, no you. Friends marry, have children, finish things, move on, start new things, come back.
I find myself updating people I haven't talked to in ten years about my life: "Oh, me? Oh, you know."
Tragedy - they do. They do know. Nothing has changed. I have a few more stories, ammunition or fuel for that wonderful alterego who is so much more welcome than I in bars and parties. He can pull these experiences out thin, spinning sugar-fine strands of gossamer memory into a web of glitter and confection for those who listen. He doesn't even have to lie or embellish, although he can and does do that sometimes. The actual events will do, told with a particular point of view and tone of voice. Inside, however, there I am; flat, gray, unmoving. Still sitting on the bench and looking down, the paving stones unchanged beneath my feet.
I can read that now and look at the words written by someone who had (somewhere) a reserve of anger and will to throw against the reader; I have to believe, I wrote. I have to.
I don't, anymore, I don't think.