“You’re like the calmest person in the world,” she said to me. She isn’t the first person to say it. I’ve often been described as stoic, unemotional, non-responsive, et cetera, sometimes in a less-than-flattering way.
It’s true that I come across as immovable, though. I take what life gives me with little complaint, just as I rarely let my excitement show. But I’ve always felt like my emotions were mine. They’re personal. I may not show them, but they’re absolutely there, just beneath the surface, tearing away at my calm exterior. There’s no sense in crying about a misfortune because crying doesn’t fix it. And there’s no reason to celebrate because joy is fleeting. And so begins my annual blog update on the state of my mental health.
This year has been hard for me, harder than previous ones. Why? I couldn’t say. It’s not like any major events have triggered a new round of depression. No fresh wounds to nurse. No old scars re-opened. It’s just been worse, for whatever reason. As always, I step outside and look at myself, and see that I have no reason to feel this way, but still… that feeling is still there, just coursing along in the undercurrents. That overwhelming blackness that paints every aspect of my life just a little bit darker. It got to the point where I would wake up, every morning, and decide to live. The alternative might not have been suicide, but at the very best it would be going back to sleep and avoiding the day entirely. I had stopped responding to texts, phone calls, and emails, because I didn’t think I could talk to anyone about it. How do you explain it to someone else who isn’t affected by it? At best, they’ll just quietly listen to you and give the “If there’s anything I can do…” line. (And even then, there’s nothing they can do, so all you’re doing is making them worry about you.) At worst, they decide that maybe you’re a danger to yourself and lock you up. (And I can promise you that I would become a danger to myself if they put me in a cage, no matter how pretty that cage is.) I kept choosing to live, and kept telling myself that it would pass, and things would swing upwards again. One morning, I decided I no longer felt safe with my pistol in the house, so I asked someone else to hang on to it for awhile. That was almost two months ago, and then the upswing started.
I’ve started exercising again. There are still days where I skip it, but I don’t dwell on them, and just focus on the day after. I haven’t started eating right again, yet… but I think that’s coming soon. One of my co-workers has been eating the most boring salads I’ve ever seen every day for lunch, which could make is easier to order something healthier and eat like a girl. All of the weight I lost way back during the Renaissance is back, and I want it gone. Just the fact that I feel motivated about it has improved my mood a million times over. Will I slip up and eat shit? Of course. But I think I’ll be able to pull myself back up again and focus on the next day. We’ll see how it goes. For the past month or so, though, I have my confidence back, and that feels fucking amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I was able to start flirting again.
But this isn’t a relationship blog. I learned my lesson with Strutter. Some things are personal, and not meant to be shared with the Internet. For now, I think we’ll just take it slow… and be happy for awhile.