I’m sitting here, staring at my computer screen, knowing, more or less, what I want to say, but not quite sure how to begin. It’s been just over two weeks from my last post and I think it’s pretty clear that I’m not in a good place right now. I went to my therapy appointment the following Tuesday and told Deb a lot of the same things I said here, then. At the end of the session, I handed her my check, and started to stand up when she said, “I feel like I have to ask you where you are right now, with your depression.”
I slumped back onto the couch and sighed. After a long silence I simply said, “I don’t know.” It was the end of the session and in truth, her question is the start of another conversation we didn’t have time for. I really didn’t know quite how to answer her because I haven’t really figured it all out. I’m sure, at least in part, I’m in denial about the whole thing, but what I know for sure is, I refuse to go back on medication and I’m not willing to go back to the Intensive Outpatient Program I did a couple years ago. I’d like to think that this whole thing will pass, but I just don’t know.
“Do I need to be concerned about you?” she asked me. I didn’t understand what she meant at first. It took a minute to realize she was asking me if I was thinking of hurting myself… or someone else. I have to confess that I was surprised by the question. I would have thought that after four years she would know me better than that. I told her she had nothing to be concerned about.
I don’t remember now what she said next that prompted me to say what I did, but I followed it up by saying, “I’ve had a few dreams in the last couple weeks about not being here anymore.” No sooner had those words escaped my lips before I realized that in the context of what she had just asked me that didn’t sound very good.
I’ve thought a lot about this blog over the last two weeks; what I should write about, when I should write, whether I should write… The thought of just disappearing from the blogosphere has crossed my mind more than once. Someone I follow on Twitter and who follows me back sent me a Direct Message that I assume was a response to my last post:
“Kev, your gift is writing. You are thoughtful and gifted.”
I didn’t tell him how much I appreciated the comment because, while I did appreciate it, I couldn’t think of anything to say that didn’t include something along the lines of, “Fat lot of good that does me.”
See, and this is going to sound arrogant but, I know I’m a decent writer. I know that when I write it’s pretty good. I also know that it’s not the kind of writing I would like to do and that I’m often hard pressed to find something to write about and that while I may be a good writer, the six people who routinely read my writing don’t make for a way to support myself or a significant improvement in my life. (This is not to say that I don’t appreciate each and every one of you, because I do, but the six of you were around before my last post and my last post still happened so… I hope that makes my point, because I’m lost now.)
The point is, I may have a gift for writing, but since I’m not able to support myself writing, having that gift doesn’t make my job better, it doesn’t make my job search better, it doesn’t make my personal, spiritual or romantic life better. It doesn’t make me lose weight or give me motivation to go to the gym… It doesn’t make my life better. It’s just one thing that I do sometimes that gives me a modicum of pleasure, but at the same time it’s something else about which I’m dissatisfied.
I’m doing a really bad job of this. What I think I was trying to say is I didn’t tell my Twitter friend how much I appreciated his comment because I couldn’t fully accept his compliment. I’m sorry for that and I do appreciate it.
Considering the way my last post ended, and the fact that I haven’t written anything in the last two weeks the thought has crossed my mind that maybe those six readers have begun to worry that maybe I really did hurt myself. Maybe I have just disappeared and that is that…
Except, for most of you, there is some other form of communication whether it be Twitter or commenting on your blogs. For most of you, in one way or another, I have proved through other means that I am, in fact, still alive.
Those dreams I’ve had about “not being here”? They weren’t dreams or fantasies of killing myself, or even of being dead. They were about running away, disappearing, ceasing to live this life and somehow finding another one instead.
In the first, I dreamt that I went to a family reunion of some sort, I don’t really remember much, but I was very surprised when I met one of my cousins that I didn’t even know about and she turned out to be a famous actress/host. In the dream we spoke for a long time and while I had the sense that I was making a fool of myself, big surprise, she was very kind and reassuring and really seemed to enjoy our talk and getting to know me. The dream ended before anything specific happened, but I awoke with the sense that I was going to move to LA, live with her and her family, work for her for awhile and develop a whole new life for myself.
The second dream was actually the very next night. The details of this dream are quite hazy but what I remember is that I was in England on vacation by myself, but fell so completely in love with it that I decided I wanted to stay. The basic content of the dream was me waiting to find out and ultimately learning that my visa had been approved and I had to find a place to live and a job. (It doesn’t work that way, but it was a nice thought anyway.) I remember a sense of wonderment and excitement. There was no sense of fear of failure or worry about how I was going to make it. There was just excitement about the new adventure and a strange certainty that everything would be fine.
Since then, I’ve had a sort of on-going fantasy, of what it would be like to just disappear. Being the way that I am, it doesn’t take long to snap back to reality and start thinking of all the logistic impossibilities, but I dream…
I’ve written the beginning of that blog post in my head over and over again:
My bags are packed, my phone is charged and the gas tank is filled. Backing out of the driveway, I take one last look at the house I’ve called “home” for the last three years and then I hit the accelerate, refusing to look back. I’m going in search of me. I don’t know where I am or how long it will take, but I’ll find me. And I’m not coming back until I do. A modern day wanderer, I’m hitting the open road, searching for adventure. Who knows what I’ll find? This is only the beginning…
And then I open my eyes and look around. I see my possessions, my debt, my bills. In my minds eye, I see my family, to whom I’m still connected, despite all the differences and complications. I see logistical entanglements and issues that make the fantasy impossible.
I just bought a brand new car in November. It’s a hybrid, which could make the journey a little more fuel efficient and it has a navigation system which could make the drive, yes, somewhat less spontaneous, but certainly safer. But I just bought it. I still owe… a lot.
I wonder what the supposed wanderer’s of old would say about all this. Those guys that drove along route 66 stopping in every town to work odd jobs and stir up trouble didn’t have laptops and iPhones, let alone hybrid motors and navigation systems. David Banner didn’t have a car at all while he wandered from town to town trying not to get angry (’cause you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.) And here I am wishing I could pack a few things into my Honda Insight and hit the road looking for adventure while surfing the net and writing blog posts, always a phone call away from safety and comfort should things get too hard.
There are numerous logistic impossibilities, but I dream…