"Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous." ~Anais Nin

19 July 2014

Learning how to deal

So, I figure I've been dealing with a fairly serious case of depression for several years now.  And by "several years" I mean over a well over a decade.  Considering that I'm only 33, that's a pretty huge chunk of my life.  I've not been formally diagnosed, of course.  I live in Kansas, and fall in that not-so-sweet spot that precludes me from social services including mental health provided by the state - I make too much money, you see, but I don't make enough money to, you know, pay for that stuff myself.  If Kansas had accepted medicaid expansion . . . Well, we won't go into that.

Anyway, my depression.  I'm 99.999% sure that depression is a problem for me, one that I haven't been very good at dealing with.  I withdraw, compulsively buy books, sleep way too much or not enough, I have no energy for anything.  Sometimes it's worse, sometimes it's better, but it's always there; and, from what I've read, it's fairly typical, my depression.  Textbook, even.

I've never really recognized it as a problem.  I knew I had it, but I thought I had it handled.  I mean, I didn't think I suffered from it.  I am not now and have never been suicidal, you know?  Other people had it worse.  Lately, I've been thinking that I've been looking at it all wrong.  I have suffered.  I haven't been suicidal, but I haven't been living.  There is so much that I want to do that I haven't done, and I think it's because of my depression.  I've let it take over my life.  It has been my life or at least most of it since I was in my late teens.  Hell, it conducted a hostile takeover in my early twenties and has been the driving force of my life since then.  I think I can safely say that it's behind the sad fact that I haven't actually done anything in the last twelve or thirteen years.  There was a time I actively pursued my goals, but it surely hasn't been any time lately.

A couple of weeks ago I had something of a slow epiphany.  It'd been building for years, but with the death of my cousin it really kind of struck home.  Life's too short for me to waste it like I have been.  I need to get out in the world and do things.  Live, you know?  I need to find a way to stop being miserable and move.

I say that this realization has been has been building, but that's not the entire truth.  I've known it for a while now.  It's one of the reasons I went back to school a few years ago and got not one but two degrees (a bachelor's and a master's).  My degrees are not enough, obviously.  I need to continue moving forward in my life.  I know what I need to do, I'm not really sure how to do it, but I'm smart, I can learn.

I have goals.  The same goals I've had for a long while.  Some I've had since I was a child, like becoming a working writer.  Others are fairly recent, like losing weight.  I've basically proven to myself that I can't be trusted to work on these goals one at a time.  I'll come up with a way to put everything off that way, and time is so short.  I've got to bundle things.  Work in stages, maybe, but work at it all, and focus as much as I can.  I've come up with a schedule of sorts, so that I can work towards these goals.  I think I'm going to have to be fairly strict with myself for a while, until I fall into the habit, or back into the habit, of doing things I have never done, or haven't done in a long, long time.

And things are going to be slow for a while as I find my footing.  But things are going to get done, which is the point, and more than what's happening in my life now.  I'm going to learn how to deal.  I'm going to learn how to live.