Last week I wrote that I had retaken all the weight that had encumbered me when last in the city. This was mostly true. And though it was a bit of a shock to so quickly revert to bad habits involving toxic people, I was proud of myself for quickly recognizing my internalizing habits and how they make me feel about myself. I took a step back, re-centered, and returned to myself. And so I learned a lesson about how change isn't quite as obvious as I believed it to be and realized that I will always have to face these things about myself. But face them with more awareness, less self deception and more willingness to ask for help. But after getting the health insurance squeeze, and attempting to ween myself off of my anti-depressants, I have had for the past four days, the kind of relapse into depression that I haven't seen since before my dad died. I realized there's a final piece to the landscape of my mental health that I have been painting since returning. Chemical imbalance.
It may sound weird, but anti-depressant Greg is the real Greg. The Greg who is interested and curious, who is patient and contented by little pleasures. These feelings remind me of my time in Austin, or of how I often felt in high school. I used to access these things freely and often, but currently my brain chemicals are blocking that. But to don my new, self-awareness glasses, this can just be another fact about me. No moralizing necessary.
But to be clear, remembering what it is to feel worthless and alone in a place where your friends aren't close, where your family is farther, where you can't imagine love because you just aren't able to be light and project anything but the anti-matter energy you can feel billowing off you. It's somewhere I've been off and on for three years. And I've learned what I can from it, but I'm done with that place. And going back there this week really demonstrated once again that exercise, diet, pet projects, friends, family, money, nothing can make you feel right when you feel wrong deep in your soul.
I lost sight of my future, and just saw a stream of days, exactly as sucked of meaning as this one. I saw myself serving forever at places that continued to leave me financially insecure. I saw myself unable to even take a step forward with Shipwreck. I saw myself alone and calling out at 50. This bout wasn't as bad as my depression was at its worst. I was able to pay bills, send emails, read, exercise, cook for myself. But without a strong sense of why or an ounce of enjoyment. I see now just because I am better, does not mean I am at my best.
I have a new schedule to figure out at my new job. I have a new period of emotional availability to offer to a potential partner. And I have old promises to Shipwreck, to my mother, to myself. Most importantly I have my health, my youth, my mind, my body and I want to take it out in the world into new places and people, times and business ventures. And so I'm promising to take the best care of myself I can, to try and make it all happen. And try as best I can for the rest of my life to remember the landscape of my brain that I've worked so hard to paint these past years. And pose in front of it. Maybe try to smile.
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