I’ve been in a funk lately. I don’t know for how long… I just had the thought sometime last week that there was a time when I was happy, and that I haven’t felt that way for a while now. Actually, I don’t remember being myself consistently since I hit my head. Cognitive faculty has returned, and I’m starting to pull my life back together, but I just feel estranged from the world.
I try not to talk about myself too much on here; I try to present my perspective on issues that may be interesting to other people. I think the “diary” approach to blogging not only gets really boring, but it’s also too close. I don’t want this to become a reflection of my identity, and I certainly don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that every single bowel movement I have is going to be interesting to readers. That way leads to an echo chamber, and an unproductive pit of self-gratification, and that limits or outright prevents any growth in terms of craft. And that’s what this was put here for… for writing. Not for wallowing in self. I can assure you, I do enough of the latter in my spare time.
At the same time, it’s difficult to know exactly how to cope with this long period of dissatisfaction. I feel like I don’t even have the right words to describe what’s going on, which results in confusion and frustration on the part of the friends that I’ve tried to talk to, a feeling of regret on my end, and no resolution.
I mean, I’ve had a bad day or two before. Hell, I’ve had some really bad days. Days when I just wanted everything to go blank so that I could at least get some rest. Days when I’ve wished that whatever part of my brain that was causing me to feel what I was feeling could be carved away, even if it left me a drooling idiot for the rest of my life. But I could almost always count on myself to wake up the next day feeling better, or maybe the day after that.
Lately, though, I’ve been feeling like I’m just going through the motions of everyday life. Output has slowed. I feel distanced from those closest to me. I feel hollow inside. I feel disconnected from the world.
It wasn’t all that long ago, maybe last summer, that all it took to bring me out of myself was a particular shade of green on a tuft of grass, or the smell of wild stocks blooming by the roadside. I could spin like a dervish through night-long revels, and wake up feeling bruised but refreshed and satisfied. But even now, as I look out the window at this place that I usually love, with the new spring leaves of the red maple swaying in the breeze, I feel like the movement itself is a welcome distraction, but it brings me no joy. My days are colorless, and most food tastes like ashes in my mouth. Even the warmth and fluidity of drunkenness seems to have paled down to just a minor respite… which is a shame. Being drunk used to be almost a transcendent experience for me.
The world turns and I am on it; each day is much the same as the last, and there is seemingly nothing to look forward to, or to move toward.
I have largely stopped reading the news, as it just weighs me down further with problems that can’t be solved; injustices about which something both must and can never be done.
And there are times at which I want to unleash my anger and sourness on everyone around me, deliberately, to drive them as far away as possible. Not because I dislike them, or because they are a part of this problem, but just to protect them from the chaos, and to protect myself from the potential guilt and shame of involving them.
Which is insanely self-destructive. I am undeservedly surrounded by some of the most brilliant, loyal, and supportive people that I have ever come to know in my whole life. Without my friends, I am just an idiot, sitting around and chewing up my own brain, and staring at my navel. Without my friends, I am nothing… a strange, unnoticed obituary.
As much as I need that contact, whenever I try to reach out, I fail to make contact. I fail to feel that connection in my chest that tells me that I’m not all on my own. I’m not sure why. This thing, this contact, is what I do. It’s what makes me happy, to be able to connect with people and offer a smile or a joke, or whatever insight or foolhardy advice I might have on tap that day. It’s what I do to bring value to my little community.
And I just can’t do it, for whatever reason. Not right now. It’s like hands almost meeting, but separated by a pane of glass. The desperation and the yearning are there, but the comfort of company is not.
I think it’s folly to expect that someone else can lead me back to my old self anyway, but I keep hoping that if that feeling happens, that feeling of connection, maybe I’ll remember.
It’s so self-indulgent, this unhappiness. It’s so much like sitting in my own stink just for the safety and comfort of it.
I want to push all of my belongings into a pile, and set that pile on fire. Then I want to walk out into the woods, and find somewhere to sit until the tree roots and the scavengers take me. It is taking so much effort just to be a participant in my own life that I hardly have the energy to write anymore. Even watching television, a common escape strategy, feels hollow and ridiculous. I feel like I’m locked in a prison, the manufacture of which I recognize as my own, but that I neither remember constructing nor locking up.
Maybe it’s just that this has been a cruel and hungry winter.
Maybe I’m forever changed by one blow to the head.
I’m writing all of this down, not as an outlet, not as a cry for assistance, and not as a plea for attention. I’m writing it out perhaps as a way of being able to reach out and grasp my own hand; to make some kind of contact, and maybe to find that little light that used to be me, that used to carry through my days with a buoyancy that I faintly remember but no longer feel.
God help me.