I sat down to write in my paper journal today, for just 20 minutes, and I couldn’t do it.
As sad as it is to admit, I just didn’t know what to say to myself. I didn’t feel like I know myself enough to write anything. Like two people awkwardly shuffled into each other at a party, I didn’t know what me and myself had in common. So easy just to jump to the small talk…so, what’s the plan this week? Have you paid all your bills? What do you have your eye on buying these days? Those more intricate spindles of my personality seem dried up, and they feel so distant. My fun curiosities and probing reflections feel like a chore. What is happening to me?
With all of the automatic deposits, the automatic debits, the automatic weekly and bi-weekly appointments, the pre-planned social time with wife and friends, the monthly house meetings, the regular game nights, the chore days and the cooking nights, the TV schedules and the annual fundraisers…what is left beyond the pre-planned? Where is my life beyond the regimentation? Where is the time I’m making myself just to think, to feel? Because I’m not sure I am, and I’m not sure I do these days. When it is completely satisfactory to go numb for hours on board game forums, or window-shopping new electronic gadgets…when it seems unthinkable for me to be even one minute (in line, in the bathroom, in bed waiting for Glendi) alone without a magazine, my laptop, or my cellphone…when it seems impossible for me to be alone with my thoughts…something is wrong. I used to talk to myself–literally talking–for hours a day, and now nothing. The silence really is chilling. Is my soul dying or smothered? Have I sold out spiritually, even though my body keeps doing the political work? Is this why leftists seem to become so stodgy and uncreative? They just live on auto-pilot like I am?
I know that perky, sunshiny Jeremy finally needs to admit that he’s dealing with depression. Therapy has been helping a bit, but what he really needs is some time alone to himself. Just to step away from all the auto-responses and auto-deductions and just feel this shame and sadness that is in there, so that he…
…so that I can heal.