It is hard to remember sometimes (most of the time) that there are people in this world that like me and that are happy to see me. There are not a great many of them due to my natural propensity to be a miserable prick but I am working on learning to like myself. (That is something that came up in therapy a couple of sessions ago.) The idea being that being able to like myself will show others that I am a person worth their friendship.
In the meantime, I am practicing being that person, meaning that I am faking it. Regardless of how far I have come, Yours Truly is still mainly the same person. So until I can “know” that I am better than I think I am (that is a lot of “I’s”!), there is this practice period of pretending to know that I am a person I actually am. It is complicated. My mind technician assures me that it makes sense.
That noise – you know the one – the general din of a group of people in a bar, the sound of billiards balls hitting each other, the white noise of a sport event on the big screen. And over it all the inner voice reminding of all the reasons why I should leave and go home. So here I am – procrastinating – instead of going to the birthday party for my friends because social occasions still cause me tremendous anxiety and feeling of pointlessness because the future old me does not believe to be the person worth anyone’s company.
Oh, well. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
I am at a Christmas party of a local climbing and mountaneering group that I have recently joined. There are exactly zero familiar faces here. One senses this is going to be a rather anxiety filled evening since I am still not drinking.
Forget those of you who are stumbling upon this humble blog for the first time, please allow me to recap the previous posts: depressed for about two decades, got dumped by the love of my life, went into a total meltdown, blogging anonymously as a way of getting my thoughts in order and using this as outlet, getting (A LOT OF) therapy.
Here’s a thing about being depressed for so long without anyone realising the extent of it: this requires not letting anyone in close enough to see what is going on inside me. That in turn means that there is no support, no cheering section wanting me to keep going. I have been trying to be more open with people in my life. Some of them know the extent of my issues but it will take a lot of good will to bring things to where acquaintances can grow into adult and caring friendships. Last night I had the following texting exchange with one of my improv friends:
Friend: Hi, (me).
F: How have you been since we last talked?
Me: Same. Teetering on the edge type of thing.
I had no idea what to say. How do normal adults communicate? What do they say? Where do they learn the right things to say? How do they then parlay that knowledge into forming productive adult relationships?
There are a lot of questions to answer in order for me to grow. My therapist has been advising me to take risks and go to places where people congregate so that I might perchance meet some of them. Except the therapist does not a cheer squad make. There are people who wish me to get better but they are either very busy or do not wish to get involved. I do not blame them. Or perhaps I just do not see them? Yours truly is truly a mess. What I am thankful for is the support of the wonderful WordPress community. You guys and gals have been my cheering section through the most difficult and painful period of my life.
And now I will return my attention to a funky band on stage doing Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”
Two nights ago, while drinking a pint of beer, I thought that I might be regaining my sense of humour. Earlier that morning I had an ironic thought. Like, is there a 12 step program to quit the power greater than me, i.e., the love of my life? Or am I just supposed to drink?
But of course therein lies the problem: this is undeniably “my” sense of humour which is rather on the dark and depressing side. I have always considered my sense of humour to be one of my greatest assets even though I have not always used it for the power of Good and have managed to alienate some people. That sense of humour based on my rather negative worldview has been my “dark passenger.” In Jeff Lindsay’s books about the serial killer named Dexter Morgan (I believe there was a mildly popular American television series based on those books as well), the protagonist refers to his inner darkness – the essence that makes him the serial killer – as Dark Passenger. We’ll my sense of humour is my dark inner essence. I wonder if it will stay…
Some times I think that this thing I am living through is actually just a dream, a nightmare. And I think I am going to wake up from this any second now. But, unfortunately, this is one bad dream that I won’t be waking up front. I will be dealing with hot sweats and sleepless nights for quite some time.