Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Thursday, April 18, 2024

One More Brick

I put my armor on, show you how strong I am
I put my armor on, I'll show you that I am
I'm unstoppable
{Sia, "Unstoppable"}

Shit at work. Shit with friends. Shit with family. My reflexive response is to self-isolate, disconnect, turn the anger inward. Build the wall higher and higher while pining inside for connection.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Pushing Through

In my negative self-talk, I tend to beat myself up over things I didn't get done while not acknowledging what I do accomplish. My depression and motivation have been quite low lately, so I want to appreciate how much I was able to a get done over the weekend:
  1. Walked 14.2 miles
  2. Did my strength training both days
  3. Cleaned my place from top to bottom
  4. Replaced some shower hardware
    & fixed a broken tile
  5. Touched up the groat around my tub
  6. Repaired some worn spots on my sofa
  7. Got my tattoo re-inked

My Tattoo – Before & After

The Old Saggy Blues

As I've expressed (repeatedly), I've been frustrated that all my effort at exercising and moderating my eating hasn't transformed me. In spite of losing more than a foot around my waist, I still look nine months pregnant. But what also bothers me is how my 50-some-odd skin is going to look, even if I do manage to lose the weight. I'll look better in my clothes, but I won't really look "good" in spite of all the work I'll have put in. And forget about being shirtless or naked. It's just demoralizing.

At my age and the fact that I need to lose about 100 pounds from when I was at my heaviest, I don't think there's anything I could do to address the excess and loose skin short of surgery, which terrifies me (like everything else and life itself, for that matter). I may be able to address a few problem areas with non-surgical skin tightening: the sacks of adipose under my armpits that disgust me, my saggy tits and – even though my lower body is (thanks to genetics alone) not too bad – my upper inner thighs. But the area from my sternum to my junk is probably a lost cause without Mr. Scalpel.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Fantasy Ruined Me

I wish I had someone to talk to. For years, I wore out those closest to me by constantly talking through my unhappiness. My mental illness ebbs and flows, but never actually gets better, should be obvious from looking through almost two decades of my blogging. (I didn't even want to write another whinging post after looking through all the endless complaints of my previous entries, but I needed some outlet.) So I never really talk to my friends and family about what's really going on with me anymore, while (of course) simultaneously being resentful that they aren't there to offer support. I had a therapist so that I had one person to actually "see" behind the fa├žade to what my life actually is, but I've stopped seeing her for a combination of reasons and wasn't able to even get any callbacks when I tried to find another one.

I know it's mostly biochemical, but I don't really have much in my mental arsenal to counter the narrative. Instead I have a lifetime of emotional baggage weighing me down like millstones tied around my psyche. Today it started off with superficial shit: I've been working so hard for so long on my weight – and I've lost 40 pounds and added a little bit of muscle – but I'm still obese and so disgusted by what I see in the mirror. Then I got haircut, but I can't find anyone to cut my hair who will take the time & effort my wonky hair requires. I have so little self-esteem to cling to that a bad haircut pretty much destroys it.

But it was lust, fantasy and a bitter longing for the intimacy I've never been able to achieve that really finished me off. My unfulfilled dreams litter my existence like dead gods in a decaying cosmos, eclipsing the path to making peace with my life of empty mediocrity. It started with my obsessive fixation on an extremely hot man at the gym, trying to force myself not to be a creep and stare with obvious desire. Then there was adorable policeman in the barbershop waiting room. He flashed me a wide smile that I actually managed to return instead of getting stymied by my socially-awkward introvert's reflexive retreat from eye contact. That meaningless exchange of polite acknowledgement completely set me off into achingly fantasizing scenarios where we connected, leaving me bitter and hollow over reality versus the stories I construct in my head. In addition to the pathetic pathos of unbridled, unrequited yearning, what guts me is that I'm about a decade too old for the guy at the gym and probably two decades too old for Officer Hottie. It's all just too late and my time – and hope – has run out. Sorry not a winner. Better luck next life.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Bright Spots

As yesterday's post made clear, I've been all in with the gloom & doom of my depression lately. After the never-ending mind fuck of going off and on medications to try new ones and maybe find one that works better and doesn't chemically castrate me, I have gone back to the two I took for years. Even though it's been five weeks or so, I'm still dealing with a profoundly low mood, lack of any motivation, anxiety constantly bordering on panic and almost total anhedonia. I recall this combo as not being great, but not being terrible, for antidepressant-induced anorgasmia, yet that's been dishearteningly bad as well (even faking my last "orgasm" with someone since I knew it absolutely wasn't going to happen).

In addition to work and life stress I've been dealing with, I was feeling particularly low yesterday (to the point of taking long, lingering looks over the highway overpass on my walk) because I think I ruined a potential friendship with someone I really seem to hit it off with by coming on too strong and needy like I've been doing my whole life. I managed to torpedo that possible connection in less than 24 hours, which is fast even by my standards, leaving me feeling even more lonely and isolated.

But in spite of all that I've been trying to practice gratitude as a strategy against succumbing to the negativity of my mental illness, and there are some bright spots I can appreciate, even as I struggle to cope. For one thing, my employer was kind enough to approve my request to temporarily work from home full-time. The constant changes in medications – while still having to work and produce at my job – had me on edge, and something had to give. A respite from the added stress of commuting to a not-so-great work location has made everything more manageable. Also, while I haven't seen a lot of improvement in my symptoms, I'm so relieved that my constant irritability has all but gone away. I absolutely hate myself when I get that way, getting irrationally angry over meaningless first world problems bullshit and lashing out at the world. So it's been a pleasant change that I'm managing to not overreact and handling things as they come with some measure of equanimity.