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There Must Have Been a Time I Was Warm

I dunno, it's been a mild winter here theoretically, but it just feels like it's lasted forever. Yesterday, I literally could not remember a time when my fingers and toes weren't cold. I know there must have been a time like that, I have memories that I was happy and comfortable or even miserable and hot– but I don't actually remember what it felt like. For some reason, it feels like it's been winter forever, and even though the weather forecast for next weekend is clear and in the forties, I can't manage to make myself believe it'll be anything but cold, gray, and miserable.

For crap's sake, weather, could you be a better metaphor for depression?

I had an epiphany last night that part of my recent issues has been a kind of pavlovian training to not let myself be happy. My counselor told me earlier this week to sit down and make a list of all the stuff that I like and why I like it, and basically try to remember times that I have been just plain happy and what the circumstances were.

When I started doing that, I started having flashbacks to a long series of events as a kid where I was happy, and every single time, something stomped on me for it. I remembered jumping up and down to cheer for my team at kickball, accidentally stepping on a teacher's foot and having her explode at me in a rage. I remembered being excited about a car chase on a TV show, and having my brother sneer and mock what a stupid show it was and what a loser I was for liking it. I remember all the times growing up as a geek kid with often less-than-macho interests, having the things I liked make me open target for being beaten, humiliated, and generally treated like trash by other kids and/or the teachers/administrators at school.

In that context, my recent inability to become enthused about anything is hardly a mystery at all. If anything, the mystery is why I'm not more of a basket case than I already am. If I had to make a guess, I would say that the decision to not move to California just yet, even though it's the right decision logistically, was the final disappointment that broke the camel's back, so to speak. When I described myself as being like Legolas after hearing the seagulls– never able to be truly happy in Middle-earth again, I was more right than I realized. The truth is, the decision to stay here, even for just one more year, was making me depressed.

So I'm going to start working to counter that. Among other things, I now have this list of things that make me happy: besides using it as a self-evaluation tool, I'm going to treat it as a to-do list. If these things make me happy, then FFS I need to do that. And I'm going to focus on the fact that we are moving towards the changes I want, even if I can't have them right away.

Today we're going to make a banzai trip* to Charlottesville, scoping out a couple of neighborhoods, grabbing some lunch, then zipping back here in time for D&D. This is just an initial scouting trip, to see if there's any real point to even looking there. On paper, C'ville has better weather and a noticeably lower cost of living, but we've only ever been there once so we don't really have a clear idea of what it's actually like.

Incremental improvements are still improvements. Being slightly more happy, is still making progress. And that's what I need to focus on.

-The Gneech

*As mammallamadevil used to call them.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
lowen_kind
Feb. 28th, 2015 05:45 pm (UTC)
I know your pain, my friend.

In high school I was ridiculed for my love of trains and not being a "motor head". I felt the sting, but, like Spock, never let it show. I knew who I was and what I wanted. I did finally achieve my dream of being a locomotive engineer. I wonder if those other kids ever realized their dreams.

Funny thing about those motor heads, no offense Mako. Locomotives have more cubic inch displacement in one cylinder than their entire car's engine. I guess I was the bigger motor head. :=3

I did get the last laugh one day though. One of the motor heads raced me light to light, and he didn't know who was driving the other car. I beat him by about half a car length. After we parked in the same parking lot his eyes got a big as dinner plates as he saw who got out of the driver's door. Add to the fact I was very non-nonchalant about the car had him almost gibbering. You see the weirdo who liked trains, me, wasn't supposed to be like that. I was supposed to be the quiet nerd who didn't know a thing about cars. I blew his mind when I described what I was driving with perfect indifference and without thinking about it. :=3

I guess they didn't know me very well, did they. :=3

John, be yourself and accept what you are and focus on the positive. I had a dream and after talking it over with someone I've decided to bury the past, yet treasure the good memories. I am in the process of remaking myself and trying to defeat the self-hatred and self-loathing demons. It is not easy, but with His help I am making progress. I still have a long way to go, but I can do it. If I can do it, so can you!

As far as Charlottesville, I'm glad it is not on the other coast. Easier to visit: both ways. :=3

Edited at 2015-02-28 05:46 pm (UTC)
makovette
Mar. 1st, 2015 03:44 am (UTC)
Heh, no offense at all, bigger sometimes is better :)

Mako
the_gneech
Mar. 1st, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC)
Good luck, dude. :) To all of us!

-TG
mooncat
Feb. 28th, 2015 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yup, I know those feels. Bullying throughout grade school, high school and even into college has pretty much made it difficult for me to get passionately enthused about anything. Oh, I get interested but I can't seem to be able to throw myself into something with the gleeful abandon that I see in others.

Art, writing, photography, all things I like, have all languished and skills have become rusted. In some ways I'm still that little kid who loved reading more than most things, who finds it hard to make friends, even settings with common interests. But focusing on the happy is good, something I should try to do myself.
onidemondog
Feb. 28th, 2015 06:56 pm (UTC)
Man... Life can just be relentless. And it's always kinda funny how there are people out there who just seem to be able to act and do however and whatever they want, and nothing and no one ever comes along to slap them on the wrist like has been done with us. It's not fair! But, you know... life is definitely what we make of it, and, when I'm at my best, I remember that (1)I never asked to be born, (2)we're all going to die, eventually, and (3)considering (1) and (2), we should try as best we can to not let what others' might think of us stop us from trying to enjoy ourselves.

I also feel that making others happy can be rewarding. I used to be bitter and decide against it if I had the opportunity to make others happy in ways that I've never had the chance to, but we can also experience those kinds of joys vicariously, so it really is worth the effort, in the end.

Have fun with your trip, and good luck with trying to stay warm!
the_gneech
Mar. 1st, 2015 11:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :D

-TG
makovette
Mar. 1st, 2015 03:55 am (UTC)
Charlottesville is a college town, so I think that will work well for you both culturally: lots of energy and campus hangouts when you want them and lots of green less urbania when you all need to disconnect from the hubbub.

CYa!
Mako


Edited at 2015-03-01 04:05 am (UTC)
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