the personal eclipse
when the pessimist comes out, the entire world is covered by his shadow. sink. sunk. fed to the wolves of the night.
there are many different ways describe one's emotional state and it is amusing (to me) that i always have so much more to say when i am feeling negative (in a conventional sense). i used to think that it is hilarious to look at introductory level language books. around some random chapter, usually anywhere between chapter 2-4, there comes the unnecessary greeting parts. the words and context differs at times, but basically it goes something like this:
A: how are you?
B: i. good, and you?
ii. it's alright, and you?
iii. could be better, and you?
no textbooks i have seen so far goes into the actual reply for less-than-optimal situations. and i figure it's probably because i. no one is expecting you to possibly take a stab at discussing one's darker feelings- in a foreign language ( ! ), or ii. the words and syntax that may be required to describe situations would be simply over the basic grasp of stuttering new speaker.
i do not think i would say that i am a depressed person, a bipolar, a panic or other anxiety disorder sufferer. i have been called with many different labels from funny to kind of serious, but at this point, i try to not to let it get to me. for awhile (well a big chunk of my life since im only 30 this year), many educated guesses were stabbed on monkey back regarding what the problem may be. as a young person, you think: well, these are professionals and they must know what they are talking about- if they would tell me that i suffer from condition A, then it must be true.
so then we do a simple flow chart. psychology, psychiatry, counselling, naturopath, school advisor, friend, your next door neighbour's plumber, they all have a very good idea how this problem should enfold and solved:
identify - discuss- isolate problem - introduce rebalancing agent (usually in form of ingestible chemical agent) - monitor --- (eventually) ---> back to norm.
it may involve years of therapy, behavior modification, taking many potent tictacs, tying down on bed, a rowdy night out for drinking and general debauchery, chocolate, bath, whatever goes really. and if one remedy does not work, ooh there are so much more.
at certain point, i gave up on trying to follow my labels as it made no sense. who cares what it is actually called? fuck it. it is a nuisance (or a problem or a temporary situation) and it needs to be resolved. i dont care what it is called, but the fact is that i cannot let it ruin over my life. especially if i take it as 'my' life, not some joint role with this mr. pessimist.
i often wonder if it is correct to call this entity mr. pessimist. pessimism has a grand root of 'something at its worst,' from french pessimisme (on the model of optimisme, optimism), from latin pessimus, THE worst. but the silly part is that once pessimism sets in, it's not just at it worst, you are on the slippery slope of getting to the worst part! it gets worse, you arent even at the bottom yet! one of the things that used drive me to point of real annoyance is when people ask: well is the glass half empty or half full?
smatass monkey would then think: dont you see? if it is less than half, it's half empty, if it is more than half, it will be considered half full. if it is at exact half, then you cant really classify it in either way, but to call it a half. a half is a symmetrical division, equal part to another, what do you mean the empirical quality of those halves can be further negotiated? gaaaa!
then monkey vocalizes: well, do you want the glass or not? can i drink it? let's get rid of the contention all together.
person: ha you think you are clever, blah blah--
monkey: (drink the water. ahh. life giving water)
however, with jokes aside, there are times when i feel obsolete. gone. stale. useless. absent. usually i am in company of mr. pessimist. i wonder where he lives most of the time. when things are high, it is difficult to even pay attention to him, as he is the probably the least noticeable character in my life. you cant even grasp him usually. then comes the real weird part. once he is out, however, not himself, but just the shadow of him is enough to cause a total eclipse of my world. colours, vibrancy, the depths of shades, they all disappear and nothing is left. it's just a black hole and monkey is scrambling to not to get sucked into the black hole. teeth clenched. jaw squared. nails dug in. feet extended.
is that a depression? is it a panic attack? well, doesnt matter does it? applying any of those fancy labels never helped anyone to figure a real solution out. i stopped going to the doctors at one point. i never was keen on pharmaceutical solutions. i dont like riding things out, but it seems that it would be the only solution really (not to mention these chemicals arent free- some side effects are quite nasty. enough to turn you from acute depression to suicidal case) and at some point, i found all need to do is not make any larger deal of it, but work through it. working through it- well it could be millions of different things from ingesting a large quantity of candies to self- prescribed isolation (mostly out of guilt so that others in contact wont have to deal with babysitting a basket case monkey).
today is an isolation day. i dont have much to offer to the world and i do want to take much from the world. now, that seems unfair. why should i make other peoples lives awkward just because i am having a shite moment? when i dont even really know why mr. pessimist creeped out? and seriously, what could they do?
i feel terrible for hiding out. i even had a rehearsal scheduled. but see, the other wonderful thing about feeling shit is that usually my shoulder/neck goes into these intricate knots that would make celtic knots blush. one of them goes... twing! then the other, then more. by boxes. and by the time you know it, you cant even lift your arms above your shoulders or turn to the side to check your traffic. brilliant. what do i do in a rehearsal? play piano with my arms/shoulder. well. for someone who really never had a playing injury, these occasional spells of crapness renders me completely useless. inapt. i hate it.
i cant hide forever, especially if i am an intern, if i am a musician and i play with others, if i am a friend, a community member, a (whatever really). at some point, i have to get out there and do stuff. and i really shouldnt be so concerned anyways- monkey usually plays shite anyhows, on a good days even. why would she play any better on shite days? i never was anything spectacular as far as being a musician. so why even use it as an excuse to defend my weak playing?
anyways. i smell a great deal of self-loath on that last paragraph. perhaps i should stop.
im going to book a massage therapy appt first thing in the morning (there goes more precious resources, gawd), and perhaps try to eat and sleep to a somewhat normal pattern. and show up and work. be responsible if im not going to be creative or helpful, at least. dont be a deadweight. i certainly do not need to accumulate more wealth of guilt, failure, disgrace, shame, weakness, uselessness (i can really go on. this may really be why those conversation chapters are so all about happy people!)
mr. pessimist has much power for someone who doesnt really exist.
this is not funny.