Still fighting the battles in my mind. It probably does not help that my sleep has been sub-par. I did get in a hiit run this morning though. Nothing is as consistent at getting a high heart rate than interval sprints.
I think on Tuesdays I will build a food plan around having a full protein bar, maybe before my kenpo class. That way i can come home, do my improv class, then shower and immediately go to bed.
Just gotta stay the course. Soon I’ll get that home gym going and get back about an hour of sleep.
I wanted to write down what I felt from an experience last night. It was a positive experience. I suppose that is a bit of a departure from how I’ve often used this blog to vent out difficult emotions onto a mostly unknown space on the internet. Why not do this one word files or any other number of offline solutions? I don’t know. Why hand write anything on a physical diary? It just feels like it is the thing I should do.
I listened to a podcast yesterday on an interview between Neil Gaiman and David Tennant at the suggestion of my wife. There were bits on writing that resonated with me. One of those was the experience of feeling a story inside of you that just needs to get out there. It doesn’t matter if no one ever reads it. It is just an act of creation that must happen. And so here I go, writing a sort of free-form poetry/prose about a muse I met at a bar that sparked something inside of me through a simple connection.
Borrowing on an idea from one of my favorite book series, the Dresden Files…I think I may have stumbled my way into a real life soul gaze. She was a dancer at a bar I visited as part of a bachelor party outing. There are many kinds of beauty out there, but her’s seemed to be something unique. There was something about her eyes that cut through all of the years of mental calluses built from a lifetime of people formed of false facades of spirit. I found myself smiling like it was the most effortless thing in the world. She smiled back…with her eyes. It was one of the simplest yet most profound human connections one can have, I think. It felt as if an incorporeal hand had reached into my chest and gently massaged my heart into accepting the joy that permeated this moment of time. All of my past stresses and future anxieties were put on mute for a spell and I found a rare moment of unfiltered human connection. This is a moment I hope to invoke in my future writing aspirations whenever I describe the start of the spark between two strangers.
Writing this stuff is an outlet for when I’m feeling down. It doesn’t mean I’m always this way. It just helps since I don’t have anyone I trust to talk about it (and getting a therapist that covers the areas I deal with isn’t an option right now).
I think I’m feeling that loneliness sensation again. Like I don’t believe I’m loved. Or perhaps that I even deserve it. I’m sure childhood trauma and depression are at play here. My only thought to keep this at bay is continue hammering down on my workouts and more importantly keeping my walking routine up. When I look back at my successful periods in terms of health (and mood, because they are absolutely linked), my step count is always high. Walking isn’t very fancy and doesn’t do a whole lot for optimal health but it sure does seem to make a difference in keeping my weight at a range I like. I’m aware of the narrative trying to decouple health and value…but fuck man that’s a hard road for me to get on. I struggle to find value in myself beyond my plain grit when it comes to that stuff. I think I struggle to see my value period. The only other thing I can look at are the couple of D&D games I run and the fact that my salary affords me the ability to keep a roof over the head of my wife, my sister, the pets, and myself.
Depressive thoughts can go fuck themselves in general.
I’m not going to get too deep into this right now since I should probably be doing more work stuff, but I do find my brain making some sort of connection when it comes to predicting a type of human behavior. The term “Righteous Superiority” has been bouncing around the inside of my skull lately, a term Hank Green used on a video discussing FB after it went down for a day and the issues with it and social media. Here’s the link if you, random internet person, want to look at it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJtNmd1kV44&ab_channel=vlogbrothers.
Basically, it seems that people from all the different “Tribes” have a tendency to want to shame other tribe individuals into compliance with their views. This seems to be in disregard of facts, and sometimes in direct defiance to it. This occurs on all forms of social media, as far as I can tell. But when I think back, it has really always been the human condition. It’s no wonder I get such intense anxiety around groups of people. Whether deserved or not, I’ve been subject to group hate and/or exclusion many a time growing up. And it is known that (I can find some articles to back this claim up later, remind me) being exiled from a social group hits the same path as physical pain in our brains. There’s another thread to pull on depression as a result of that, but I won’t go into that now.
Fast forward a bit and I notice my previous trainer (cool black dude originally from the ghetto, something I only bring up because of what is coming up ahead in this blog post) linked a meme regarding Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer”. I don’t normally keep up with these things, and it was a meme joke so I promptly forgot it. Then as I was doing some work today and opened up firefox to do admin work, I noticed an article by GQ basically trashing it. What is it they say about negative attention being just as valuable?
Moving on, I found myself compelled to give it a watch. This article by time gives a view on it that comes close to matching mine: https://time.com/6105951/dave-chappelle-netflix-controversy/. It feels less like a comedy and more like a mental challenge…and if you read this blog any, you know I’m all about that shit.
What this brought me back to, strangely enough, was the game “The Last of Us 2”. It too had the issue of not having an obvious villain, and it receives a ton of flak for it from online communities. I viewed it as an exercise in empathy while dealing with opposing viewpoints. I understand how uncomfortable that can be.
I’m seeing all of these things as connected. Shaming people into compliance doesn’t work. It never has. The only thing that seems to have a chance, but it too backfires as most people in social contexts look to posture themselves for their given tribes, is experiencing other peoples’ lives. This is why I think stories from different view points are so important.
Changing someone else’s mind rarely seems possible. They gotta change it themselves.
For the record, I’m a 2nd generation hispanic cis het guy.
I know I was feeling better a couple days ago. This morning I’m feeling a sizable dose of depression, paranoia, distrust…resentment? Just trying to keep track of when I feel these things. Not necessarily the cognitive cause. It isn’t logic.
2nd bad mental health day in a row. Can’t tell if it is a combination of the heightened anxiety or just plain ol’ depression/loneliness. I don’t have the energy to get into the details of it now. Just writing down the status for tracking purposes. It’s dark in here right now.
I’m not yet entirely sure what triggered it. Maybe increase testosterone from all the squats and dead lifts today. Maybe feeling a boundary was crossed last night when my wife responded to a message not intended for her instead of checking with me (regardless of what I was doing at the time). Maybe that I barely spend any quality time with her despite the fact she has been out of work for about 4 months now. She isn’t particular invested either it feels sometimes. Maybe seeing S on social media triggered a depression episode…just the sight of her still bothers me. Taking an idea from the book I’ve been listening to, “Rewire your anxious brain”, it could very well be my amygdala trying to keep me from harm by pushing everything away from me. I’m having trouble seeing a way out of this. Writing might help though. To some degree writing I suppose forces my PFC to engage more. It’s still a near thing though. I’m sure I’m not making much sense now but I don’t write this for an audience anyway.
I’m just so used to loss. People leaving or they just stop caring. It’s the same story over and over. I can’t just ignore it and put on that fake happy like I do at work. I feel simultaneously overwhelmed and under valued. This abandonment sensation feels even worse when I have others’ responsibilities thrown on top of me. Which I realize it is a bit of a paradox to state. Maybe I am feeling used as well. I’m not sure. I’m just throwing words at the screen, hoping to find another meaning, another way out.
My wife was laid off this week. I’m still battling with feelings of rejection and shame. and now I’m feeling frustrated at this whole situation. I don’t have anyone I can trust to turn to on talking this stuff out. Maybe I really am being walked all over. Even if it isn’t intentional or malicious in intent, the experience is still happening. I’m trying to be understanding of the head space she is in regarding everything, but am I really just enabling giving up? She did the one thing today, and then has slept the rest of the day. I know she’s aware of all the carrying I do for us, but her response is to give in to despair instead of help. Is this going to be another instance of me enabling someone by helping? Do I take the dick approach and lock down everything? And even if I did, it doesn’t matter if she just continues to give in to depression and stay unconscious all the time. I think I’ve still got a year and a half of needing to hold on to this home. and I’ve got 2 years on this loan, which I took out to survive the tax hit and help resolve her lawyer issue. I need cooperation. I need forward progress. I’m not going to be satisfied with my life by just getting by. I never was really.
I think some of the insecurities that are flaring up for me are due to me not being particularly happy with myself. Fixing my body has long been a big part of that. I can’t depend on my interactions with other people to help me there…unreliable, and it can back fire as well if I don’t trust myself well enough.
Doing other things to, part of that building competencies, helps too. My options have been limited and gaming has not been so helpful as of late. Honestly gaming hasn’t been that helpful for a long time. I did feel dancing helped as I was building a skill, and touch was nice too. Online stuff won’t help there and I need people to work with, it is very much a touch thing.
Strength training was great too, but there aren’t any options for that right now. I tried finding stuff online but with COVID-19 there is just nothing to get. Hmm what if I take out the canopy at least? Weather can be a problem though. Especially wind.
Ok here’s what I think I need to do for now…
Since my body is making me get up early anyway, maybe either do a walk around the neighborhood or try to get a morning hike in (early is better for less people too). I’d probably have to start by 7:30…it is roughly 30 minutes to do the whole thing? Maybe budget 40 for the drive back and forth. Then continue with the lunch time run. Solderfit zoom workout at 6. What about saturday/sunday? Well if I keep waking early I can do the 9am zoom workout still. I need to text cesar about strength training options while on lockdown…hopefully I get something. I need to grind harder than ever now. I also need to be stricter on the diet now.
What else can I do in this climate to keep feeling like I’m improving?