Thursday, December 01, 2005

Illness? Depression? Boredom?

"You see that glass there? Yes that one with water in it... If that were to be handed to me at no cost or obligation, it would be half-empty. If, however, I were to purchase said glass of water, trading effort or something of value to earn it, it would be half-full."

I've been diagnosed as being many things, and accused of a number more. As I have a tendency to appear outwardly cold a lot of the time, especially when under stress, I have been diagnosed as a sociopath. As I tend to be a creature of habit, and to not be terribly fond of unnecessary changes in my circumstances or lifestyle, I've been diagnosed as being agoraphobic. And I'm openly and repeatedly accused of being a pessimist in light of my ability to find something bad in any good thing that happens.

A rough quote that I believe fits under the circumstances, comes from "Wayne's World"

"Once, a doctor said I had mono for like 6 months. Turns out I was just really bored."

I believe that while certain aspects of any of these disorders/illnesses/states of mind may at one time or another apply to me given proper circumstances, I also feel that we are all more than the sum of our bent psyches and neurotic behaviors.

For instance, while I'll be the first to admit that the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear "road trip" is "stranded in the middle of nowhere on the side of a deserted highway", when something bad happens I don't say, "yep, that's right". I try to focus on the positive in bad/stressful circumstances. Such as when I used to work in restaurants and we'd suddenly get slammed all at once with orders. The first thing I'd say is, "Well, this means they won't be able to seat anymore for a while. We just have to get through the tickets we have, then we can take it easy for a few." But when we were slow, or at least not particularly busy, I'd be constantly on edge waiting for that rush to hit and overwhelm me. I don't seem to be able to allow myself to relax and enjoy a good thing because I'm not used to it. I'm much more comfortable with crappy situations; I feel that I've had much more experience in that regard, so I'm more familiar with how to handle it. But everything seems to even out, the more perfect something is, the harder I look for flaws. But the more messed up something is, the more endearing I find the positive qualities of whatever it happens to be. I don't think that I would necessarily say that I'm a pessimist, but would agree that I tend to lean that direction.

I feel, sometimes, as if I have accrued some massive debt to the universe in some way. And that my life is an ant farm in the hands of some sadistic little shit. They watch in silence, and wait for the perfect moment to lay waste to everything I try to accomplish. I don't feel as though I've been spinning my wheels. I feel more like Sisyphus. Allowed to feel accomplishment and advancement only to have my life crush me as it makes it's inexorable descent. I feel this way very seldom actually. Usually sometime in the middle of a week, as I make my sorry way back from a bar. Having played pool by myself for the evening, I begin to wonder if I truly have a place in this world. I'll feel sorry for myself for perhaps an hour or two. And inevitably the pendulum will swing, and I'll begin to question the value of the world itself, and honestly wonder why I haven't been crowned god-king of all. Which will also fade quickly, and balance out to where I'm back to my standard sense of being perhaps a bit above average in some ways, and sorely lacking in others.

Oddly, the majority of the time, I sort of drift through life without feeling any great impact of emotion one way or the other. I've had discussions with a number of people that have commiserated with my sentiments in this matter. I've spent a considerable amount of time and effort ignoring or debasing emotion itself. Trying to see past it or simply be objective in spite of it. And in having done so, sometimes, I find it difficult to have natural emotional reactions. It's not unlike having extreme calluses on your hands. You might get cut at the same spot and depth as the guy next to you, but while they're clutching a gaping wound, bleeding all over, you're looking at a bloodless painless laceration over dead skin. I think that a majority of people have an inclement fear of showing how they really feel. Even if they CAN acknowledge it to themselves, it's very difficult at times to trust others with raw emotion. There's a sense of powerlessness, and at the same time fear of ridicule. While I have felt this, more often I simply feel a lack. It's as if I pull the bucket up from the well and I find that it's been filled in.

I would say that the most common reason people with-hold sentiment is fear of ridicule. Deep down they doubt their opinions/feelings/emotions are valid or worthy of notice, or at least that someone else would think so. And they can't risk having someone confirm that.

The aspect of myself that deals with being afraid or paranoid of change, is pretty obviously tied to a need for stability. Or, in other words, I lean towards being a control freak in some ways. I don't try to control other people; people, oddly enough, don't actually play into this paranoia. I'm happen to be more concerned with the circumstances of my living situation. Where I live; I hate to move. Where I work/what I do for a living; I hate that "new job" feeling, where I'm not sure exactly what to do. Spending time with groups of people I don't know very well; at a bar you can remain anonymous and therefore need not invest yourself into anything, in a large social gathering you're expected to "get to know" people. If it's one-on-one, or a small group;3-4, I can handle it. Large party, 10+? No way. Mind you none of these "preset patterns of behavior" are by any means set in stone. I have, on at least one occasion for each, broken away from the mold of these apprehensions. And while I may not have actually ended up enjoying the experience, at least it WAS an experience.

So. My outlook on everything that I've said here. Is that, while I'm certainly not perfect, *(WARNING)I may not agree with this statement in a few hours* I'm certainly not as messed up as any one of these individual traits might make me sound. Because, in the end, they actually add up to make a reasonably adaptable and functional human being.

Therefore, the next time you see something about yourself that you don't like, or that you regret, or that you think needs improving. Just consider all the things that are wrong with me..;) I seem to get by okay.

Thank you for reading. And for writing me telling me to write. And for being my friends. You may all have imperfections and quirks, but along with your qualities they add up to make you something far more beautiful than any single virtue could ever be.



At 4:40 PM, Blogger MOM said...

All these feelings we go through are a way of making us strive for something else spur us on ..I also set and analize eveything I do . and say..wonder if in the long run it will hurt someone or myself I retreat to my safe world at home where I ended up confronted with a storm sence I have once again made a nasty choice to Live with another Person and sometimes I hate it only because it keeps me FROM punishing myself HE gets the pleasure of making me miserable NOT myself..cause I can really make myself feel bad I dont need any help form anyone to do it..LOL..sorry you havent felt good Im hopeing we can have dinner together soon and take pleasure in one anothers company..I nees some laughs it makes me feel up beat for awhile.. call mom


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