Many moons ago when I was mired in a deep and chronic depression, I was contemplating suicide. I didn’t talk about it much, but I did mention it to my BFF. I’ll never forget what she said, though I haven’t quite followed her advice in the meantime. She said, “Don’t kill yourself yet. Give yourself a year to do whatever the hell you want and then see how you feel about it.”
Of course, she wasn’t advocating that I kill myself–far from it. She was trying to reframe the depression that had me feeling like complete and utter crap on a daily basis. Her point was that if I was going to kill myself (and, again, emphasizing that she was not advocating for it in any way), I should go out with no regrets. Her suggestion was that I make a list of all the things I wanted to do, do them for a year, and then see how I felt then.
Unfortunately, I was too far into my depression at the time to actually follow her advice, but I find it on my mind now that I’m in the midst of another depression. It isn’t as severe as the last one, and I’m very aware that it’s external rather than internal, but it’s still rather debilitating. There are several small things I need to do (new glasses, tire change, get a new insurance card), and I keep saying I’ll do it tomorrow, next Monday, etc. Rationally, I know that each one is no big deal, but they seem almost insurmountable in my mind.
I’ve written before how much energy it takes to do anything, let alone anything outside of my comfort zone. It’s easy to think someone with depression is lazy, but that’s because it’s hard to gauge the energy depleted from the outside. When I go to taiji, for example, I start thinking about it the night before. I remind myself when I’m leaving after running through my agenda for the day in my mind. Then, the next day, I have it in the back of my mind the entire time I’m doing whatever else leads up to the actual departure. Then, I get up at the assigned time, go out for a quick smoke, get dressed/shower/brush my teeth/go to the bathroom/do what needs to be done before leaving. I grab my weapons bag, my water container, my canvas bag (for the co-op), and my purse. Then, I place everything in the car just so, pull on my sunglasses, put on some lip goo, before finally opening the garage door.
That’s an insane amount of emotional energy for something so routine. If it’s a new place or something I don’t normally do, then my brain can’t think of anything else for the entire day or days before it. I’ve learned a few workarounds, but I just accept it’s part of what I have to do in order to go about my daily business. It’s not nearly as bad as it was before, but it still takes up way too much of my brain space.
Side note: She recently sent me a postcard that at first glance looks rather cheesy. It has a person raising her arms to the sun, and it says, “Take the road less traveled.” Then, underneath it, it adds, “So you don’t have to wear pants.” I laughed my ass off, and she knew me well enough to know it would delight me. The cheesy framing we both find amusing. The first phrase, which is actually from one of my favorite poems (and she’s an English teacher). The last line that turns everything on its head and involves me being naked outside. The totality is perfect, and she has the knack for picking something that will tickle my fancy. Granted, many times it’s because the word ‘fuck’ is involved, but that’s bang-on for my brand.
Back to the main post. I’m depressed. I hate my life. Well, more to the point, I am chafing. I don’t know what to do with it, and it’s really weighing on me at the moment. I’ll say I’ve never woken up and been glad to be alive. Not one day. I’ve had years in which I’ve been neutral to the idea of being alive, but it still skewed to the negative as in if I had my druthers, I’d not be around.
I’m just tired. I’m tired of being a freak and of being trapped in my own fears. I’m tired of expending so much energy for so little in response. It’s difficult to feel good about myself when I have so little to show for myself. There is nothing about me that is society-friendly, and it’s really isolating. I don’t watch TV or movies, and the books I like are never going to make it to the NYT Best Sellers list. Even the fact that I like snow has become A Thing. We got four or five more inches last night, and I didn’t mention it on social media at all. I didn’t tout the coming of the snow, my admiration for watching the snow fall, or how much we’ve gotten. I’ve gotten enough shit for it that I’ve just given up talking about it.
That’s how I feel about a lot of things, actually. I don’t give a shit about many things that other people care about. Drinking, children*, religion, movies, TV shows, and I don’t even watch sports any longer. I don’t like sci-fi for the most part which is the kiss of death in most geek societies. Gamewise, I hate multis for the most part. I can’t play FPS because of nausea, and I wouldn’t play something like COD, anyway. Even within the Souls community I’m an outlier because I hate PvP and because I’m a caster. I don’t parry, which is really useful in the Soulsborne games.
Correction: I didn’t parry before, but with the encouragement of someone from the RKG FB group, I took an hour and practiced parrying in Dark Souls. I started on the hapless mooks next to Firelink Shrine, and then I graduated to the Silver Knights in Anor Londo. They’re infamous for being parry practice, and I kept at it until I could parry them consistently roughly 85% of the time. The trick is to go way earlier than you think you should, which is when you first see them move their arm. The problem is that a lot of the enemies hold their position for a second or two before actually attacking, and it varies depending on–well, I’m not exactly sure what it depends on. At any rate, I went back to practice again the next day, and my rate wasn’t as successful because I was fucking tired.
I made it through all the Souls games and Bloodborne without parrying. I always thought it would be great to learn it, but I never had the patience, plus I thought I was too old. It was really cool to learn that I could actually parry, but it’s still not my go-to in any given situation. However, the new game coming out in less than two wees from FromSoft, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, seemed to emphasize the parry even more than the Souls series. Watching the Prepare to Try guys (now the RKG lads) play the demo, my impression was that you had to use the parry to kill any of the important enemies.
That had me concerned. I don’t want to parry all the time, even if I can now actually do it. I learned from someone in the RKG FB fan group (despite my saying I didn’t want spoilers) that parrying wasn’t the only option. You can jump over a low strike or dash dodge instead. Note that I did not say you can roll. If there isn’t one, I’m not going to be a happy gal. In fact, the system sounds more BB than DS, which does not make me happy. There’s no shield, either, and you can use a grappling hook and other arm attachments.
I’ll write more on the game later as I’m going to play it, of course. The point is that I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to do something (parry) that I had previously thought I was unable to do. My excuse was that I was too old, but the truth was more that I didn’t have the timing down. Part of it is my reflexes not being as sharp as someone half my age, but once I knew the timing, I had a much higher success ratio.
This relates to how I think about things in general. I often tell myself why I don’t do this or that or the other thing. What it boils down to much of the time is that my fear of the thing is so strong, it causes me to manufacture reasons not to do the thing I fear. No matter how much I tell myself I don’t need to fear the thing, I still let the fear overwhelm me.
I need to change this, and I don’t think I can do it with sheer will. Otherwise, I would have done it decades ago. It’s time to go back to the drawing board.
*Having them and the inner workings of raising them. I care about ‘the children’ in the general sense, I guess.