June 21, 2007

Spring the Wode New

The Summer Solstice is upon us, moving the hemisphere from semi-official to official summertime and drawing out the daylight to its breaking point. We've had a weird mix of weather here, alternately springlike and unbearably hot; Heaven only knows what the actual summer's going to look like.

For me, the last few weeks have also been marked by several waves of decidedly un-seasonal depression of the frustrated-with-my-useless-life variety, which may be the most fun of all of them. This is one reason for my latest echoing silence around here and in correspondence, not that anyone would have had any fun reading the sort of thing I was likely to write during that time. It's better now, though it continues to come and go. Nonetheless, I think this year, and this last unpleasant relapse in particular, have sent up a red flag for me that something needs to give. I suppose what I'd really like is some new brain chemistry so that being in my nice house with my sweet doggie and kitty and the wife who still seems to like me despite several compelling reasons not to didn't bum me the hell out, but, failing that, I think a couple of things need to happen.

One, I am obviously not equipped to handle the Condition with the tools I have. This probably means it's time for some kind of therapy or other, though exactly what I'm not sure. I had several years of mostly mediocre talk therapy that probably did some good if only by accident, but I think if I'm going to go back to that sort of thing I want it to be as helpful as possible. I'm not sure what's feasibly available to me right now, and there's a phone call or two I haven't yet been brave enough to make, but it's obvious that avoiding it is fast becoming a non-option. (I remain cautious and skeptical about pharmacological solutions, though they're not out of the question; my biggest fear is that the side effects of whatever I take are going to mess with my creative abilities, because, well, see next point. If this is something I can cope with by getting more exercise and better cognitive tools, I'd rather not complicate it with happy pills that run the risk of putting me further into creative limbo than I already am.)

Two, as one of the triggers (or at least the manifestation) of this seems to be anger and frustration about all the writing/music/what-have-you that I'm not doing or not finishing, I obviously need to refocus on some things I've left fallow too long. For one thing, I've pretty much made the decision that I'm holding off on NaNoWriMo until and unless I finish a novel, because it's frankly too tempting to save it all up for November and then let myself burn out on that project and never get back to it. I've done it five times now and proved to myself I can; I think I need new goalposts now. (Also, I'd like to write a bunch of new music, as I'm going through one of those phases where I'd like to play out more but loathe most of my old material, but there are some blocks I need to work through before I get there, one of which is probably to quit beating myself up because I'm not Colin Meloy/B'eirth/Michael Cashmore.)

Third - well, this is the tough one. It's hard for me to even write it, because it's more vulnerability than I'm usually comfortable with even here, and because it feels so... selfish. But it's become clear to me that much of my problem is tied up with good old loneliness and need for attention. This is probably one of the reasons I'm prone to spending a lot of time on the Internets, even if it's a pale and second-rate stand-in for the kind of socialization I wish I was having. I suppose it should be no real surprise to learn that my angst is, at its heart, the angst of a six-year-old: I have all these wonderful toys, but no one to play with. I doubt there's any real solution to this, since going out and trying to meet interesting people in the usual ways leaves me more frustrated and sad afterwards than I started, as I'm hoping for a miracle every time. I probably need to more or less suck it up and make peace with solitude, lest I descend into the kind of puppy-eyed desperation I surely gave off during my single days, and no one will want to hang out with me at all.

Jeebus, I sure didn't intend this post to be quite so self-indulgent. Um, happy Solstice! Next time I'll try and write about something other than all Me. And about damn time, too.

(Image curtsy I Can Has Cheezburger, natch.)

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