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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Depression, Mania and the Edge of Madness

Greetings, all...my friend Riz likes to refer to her readers as "blurkers," and I wonder if that's not an apt term. Well, get ready for this one, because we are about to go on a ride.

I am not writing this for you to feel sorry for me, so please don't do that. Also, I am right now back on an even keel, and we'll see just how long that lasts. 

I write this mostly to give you an idea of how I feel at this time, and also how a lot of people (I think) are doing. This is not uncommon, not that extreme, and nothing for you to be terribly worried about. But this shit happens, and with me, it fucking happens.

About ten days ago, I felt it coming...I felt the very slow surge of emotions moving on me, and you know what it is. It's like being around Cape Horn in a tiny boat; you're already battling gigantic waves, and then you see it in your binoculars: that one, monstrous, 100-foot tsunami that is coming right at you. And you can't do a thing about it.

I have reason to feel this way. Yet, should I? 

First, let's take a look at the situation. Oh, and I am about to shamelessly plug again:

Yes, once again, my book "Parasite Girls" is ready for sale, and you can get it here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377011

Sales are slow...very slow. I should know this, right? It's an e-book, no, there's no book in hand, not right now anyway.

But do you need that? Really?

Look, I'm as much in love of the feeling of a good, old-fashioned BOOK. I love the feel of them. I used to have tons of them, and I still have more than I need. 

That's where part of this issue comes from. I did not expect it to fly through cyberspace, and I did not expect "Parasite Girls" to become a runaway hit...but I would have like more than just a few downloads of the free part that you can read to decide if you want it or not.

Ah, well...such is life. I remind myself, this is only a first step to getting more, and even better stories out there. If this is how it goes, then so fucking be it.

NOW...TELL THE OTHER SIDE OF MY BRAIN THIS!

I am poised on the edge of writing a new story...in fact, I have two or three that I could start any day. But...I have to promote the first one.

My friend Jess has kindly asked me to do a reading of "PG" at her restaurant in downtown York. The Ladybug Cafe (shameless plug for my good friend) is a cool place...great food, nice people, all good...so I will do it on the 11th of December. I am still not sure how I'm going to execute this, but I must engage, read, and talk to the people. Whomever will be there. My erstwhile bassist, Dan Shearer has offered to add guitar to the drama that shall come from this.

Haha...oh, this is hilarious as I write. Now I'm chuckling...everyone's going to think I'm mad...oh, where I am, they already know that.

So yeah, I'm not done...I'm not quitting, and I am forcing my brain to understand that all things take time. You have been patient this long, keep going, do not quit.

Okay...now the next situation:

I am going into my fifth year without full employment. My jobbing about at various places does not exactly translate into good, or even livable income. I'm holding the line just fine, but you know what? Something has to give here.

I have spent two years actively job hunting and searching. Yesterday, in exasperation I turned most of the work over to a service, and hope they can get me some additional looks, hits, and so forth. We shall see.

A few weeks ago, I went to Philly, and appeared at a networking party. It was done at the Wells Fargo Arena; basically, I bought a ticket to the Sixers game, and got stuffed into a tiny room with 75 other job seekers. We were shuffled about to team executives from the Sixers, Phillies, Union, the ECHL and others.

Met some pretty cool people, and very interesting folks. I did better talking with them than getting hold of the executives. The Sixers I don't think were in charge of this; the company that did it does not know how to lay on a networking event, we all agreed. Pretty slip-shod.

I missed the tipoff, and I only watched the first half, because I had to work in HBG that morning...Sixers got their clocks cleaned by the Warriors, who have got some pretty damned good players these days.

No time to really enjoy the experience, though I will go to a game again in future.

So yeah...I also was turned down for numerous jobs, and have been ignored for at least one that I have done before. How it goes...

...so now...let's get to the good part, shall we?

The tsunami hit me over the weekend. Today (Wednesday) is the first day in several that I have not ridden waves of mania and savage depression. This has not been fun, folks. One minute, I feel fine...the next, I'm ready to commit atrocious acts. No, not really, but you feel like you could.

There are ways to counter this, but none of them were working. I hit the pool yesterday, despite having done it the day before and not being in the best of rested condition. But I tore through it, and felt better for doing so. Dragging myself to the gym and forcing myself in there was the only way. 

When I cannot avidly go there, and see that place as Hell, you know there's trouble.

The cold is another matter. The weather overall, really. Overcast, dark, rainy and cold conditions here, no snow, but I'd rather have that. Most days like these don't bother me, but it's taken a toll on me again.

The past two days have been gut-wrenching. My ego has been tamped back down into its little box, as I demand that I stop thinking like a fucking adolescent about why life didn't turn out right. It does no good, so I will not let that to light anymore.

So what happens is, you force everything into a tight space, and it's not big enough to accommodate it. My feelings of inability start to ooze forth, and I wonder what now can I do to correct this? Is it to late?

I try to consider that I've done about all I can right now, and there really isn't much more available to me at this point. So now what do I do?

The key thing is to "DO" something. I am not a slacker; I have been shamed into lack of slackness from years of my upbringing, where on a farm if the work is done, FIND MORE.

And it's true...the work is never done. There is something else to do, just find it. If you can't find it, you are not looking hard enough.

I have this strange collection of little jobs that I should do, and I keep saying I'll do them, and I never do. That is the most galling and awful thing to me...I hate that...I hate being able to do a lot of things, but not the little ones that have to get done, from a practical standpoint.

One of those is sitting in the back seat of my car right now; today, I was to take this set of items to a place and get them seen to...place was closed...owner hadn't shown up yet.

Thank you for your interest...NOT.

Well, there are other strange things...appointments...I have one to make in about 40 minutes from now, but that is easy. Getting my car to a shop for inspection will finally happen next month, but it took days for me to finally just call the place and make an appointment.

I think I fear the lack of my ride. Sitting for hours in that place, with a blaring television of shit network programming, and...PEOPLE.

I'll make sure I have my headset with me, should that arise.

I have to also take initiative on another thing, but I'm uncertain because I don't have much experience in the area. The only person I know and trust with that can't do it.

OK...need to own this motherfucker, and just do it.

I can do many other things, why not this?

Let's now take this up a notch, to a period of the year that everyone can understand, OK?

THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

Do you know how much I CAN'T FUCKING STAND the holidays?

This has NOTHING to do with religion, or Christmas, or any of that. Just so you know. I don't care one damned bit how you celebrate, or how you don't, that's your business. 

In broadcasting there are no days off. I tend to be the one that is on duty, at least part of those days, and that's fine. I don't mind it.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I now have my own tradition. I like to cook, and I'm not very good at it, but I do like to do that. So I try to build my time around that, if I'm not working. I like football as much as the next guy, but since I don't have cable and I don't drink, I'll be listening on the radio, probably. All good, no worries.

I will NOT BE SHOPPING ON THANKSGIVING. I will also AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE the so-called Black Friday. 

I understand for some that is a tradition, it's fun, and yes you can get great deals. Cool, go for it. Knock yourselves out.

I just don't need to do it. I fail to understand it, never have.

Actually today is the day to get the one thing I really want, but I tend to vacillate about whether or not the "thing" I want is really something I need.

And do I need one more thing? I've spent the past month or so in another round of removing stuff I don't want or need. Those recycling bins you see all over the place, they know me pretty well. I just hope that stuff really does get recycled, given to others in greater need than I. I hope so. There's my give-back...these things are good, useable, safe...use them.

So yes...my internal whatever has been a fucking mess the past two weeks or so, and I'm sure it's not going to stop. This time of year, and then extending right through Xmas to the end of it, I have no idea how to cope except to move through it. 

Yule will be a good night to be alone, to light up my altar and reflect on where we are now. That is usually what I do this time of year, but I also tend to approach that with some caution and even more dread.

I have to tell myself this: I have accomplished much in these years, and I have more to offer, and to give. I will do it, and I will not quit. My family doesn't quit for nothing, and that's that.

I am riding out a not-so-perfect storm...today I'm good. Tomorrow, who knows?

This is what I deal with on some level, every fucking day of my life. This is not fun. This is also not for you to feel sorry, as I've said. 

If I could push a button and turn this off, I would not do it. My creative abilities would vanish, and I'd be nothing more than a drone in a suit, sitting at a desk somewhere, or walking the aisles of a convenience store in the middle of the night. I would not be me. I would be even less.

Whatever happens, I have to keep pushing, promoting and moving forward. The survival mechanism, I suppose; I do admit to lacking some of the tools I need to really get forward, but I made it this far.

Whatever...time to get going on "things." Fun, fun, fun...

3 comments:

  1. The holidays are really hard if a person battles depression. If you can get one of those lights that replicated sunlight, I suggest you try that to help combat the SAD symptoms you are having during this dark time of year. Hang in there Tory. Better days are coming.

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  2. Hey, bro-you're not alone-I'm dealing with the same issues almost exactly. Funny how that happens.

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  3. You too, man? Glad other folks get this--what is distressing is how much of it I see around me, in varying degrees. True indeed, we're not alone in this.

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