Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Flight Risk

Apologies, o loyal reader, for the late update this week. I've had a hard time wresting the computer away from Boo, who is apparently determined to plot out his (and mine) genealogy with his usual degree of obsessive attention. Of course, I could always post from work, but that seems tacky, and I do in fact have better things to do. Or at least things that other people value much more highly. So there you have it.

So, this week, I guess we get to talk about depression. Currently, I don't suffer from it, but I have suffered from it in the past. For the past several years, it's been no worse than the occasional bout of anhedonia, which I consider a vast improvement.

This is the part where I should impart my sorry (and somewhat ancient) history of suicidal ideation, over-reaction, two lame suicide attempts, and blah, de, blah, de...it would be in keeping with my TMI title, but frankly, it's a bore, and I just don't want to talk about it. I was never that bad, no hospitalizations, no traumatic door-crashing scenes, just quiet impossible desperation that badly needed treatment, and which I got in talk form in my early twenties (which temporarily relieved the worst symptoms), and again in my late twenties, but with a better therapist and accompanied by an 18 month course of Desipramine, which had a more lasting effect.

So, basically, I get gloomy once in a while, but I haven't thought about offing myself for quite some time. What I do find I think about is flight. As in flee and fled, not fly and flown, unfortunately. Every so often, I just feel almost overcome by these urges to rip myself loose of my moorings; dump Boo, abandon my stuff, leave this place, and state, and everyone I know. Gone, no note. Everytime I see an apartment for rent lately, I'm thinking about how much it would cost, since I'd only need a one bedroom. I contemplate job postings for wildly inappropriate jobs in other cities that I know I would absolutely hate doing. I'm frequently dwelling on the sacrifices (by and large petty, but nevertheless) I make to stay here, and the compromises that I've made over the years that make me feel like a neutered parrot with my wings clipped.

It's not a happy place, but I can't seem to stop longing for the fresh pain of change, the spurt of blood that would result from ripping away of these scabby moorings that I've used to graft myself with increasing discomfort into a life that seems too static and settled and confining.

Ultimately, I know I won't - the biggest problem with my depression when it arises is that there is this all-or-nothing aspect that insists on the extreme response: whether the desire to flee everything that I'm having now, or the bad old days of wanting to flee my life in more destructive ways, like with a fast plunge or a bottle of pills. It's all about the wanting to tear it down, because something right now doesn't feel like it's working. Which, of course, would be me, or to be a little more direct about the cause (and a little less self-blaming), my neurotransmitters. And it's unnecessary. There are some middle-ground ways that I can make changes and stay the course in a happy and fulfilling way. I know that. But right now, those haven't really sunk in, and I'm finding all sorts of ways to talk myself out of half-measures. Depression talk. Head talk. Bleah.

Part of it is relationship crap. 1991 to 2005 is a long time. I'm really good at the new part of relationships. I fell in love over and over again in my 20's, sometimes while still partnered with others; sometimes that mattered and sometimes it didn't. I do love that "in-love" feeling, and the surprises of discovery.

The relationship I'm in now is going on 14 years, easily 3 times as long as any previous relationship. As a result it's much richer, much more familial, with very deep emotions, and very deep connections. But...a little dull. Not too many surprises, pleasant or otherwise. And I sometimes resent the work I need to do to keep it running smoothly. I'm sure Boo does too. No relationship proceeds entirely without friction, and it does take work by both partners (or all partners if you're amongst my polyamorous friends). And that can get old. So yeah, that's part of it.

I really have no intention of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But it's something I think about once in a while. We could definitely do with some fresh bathwater. It's probably inevitable that people get into a certain groove with each other after a certain amount of time. Sometimes, it seems like we don't even take the time to fight anymore, because we both know where we both stand, and there's just not any new in-roads to be made in that direction.

Which is a shame.

The other thing, that may also be an inevitable part of growing older, is that I'm beginning to romanticize my past. It's easy to do - I had less responsibility, I had more adventures, I had a hell of a lot less stuff.

But the past is not a place you can run to. I may imagine myself running away, being away from the responsibility, the stuff, having adventures, but when I do, I'm seeing myself younger and thinner than I am now, and that just isn't too likely.

It's also, honestly, a stupid thing to want to run to. I was a miserable teenager. I was a miserable young adult. I was depressed, socially inept, financially irresponsible, and, well, sorta clueless. Not stupid, but more than capable of doing really stupid things.

Well, this too shall pass. I wish I had some whiz-bang insight to offer you as reward for reading this far, but I got nuthin'. Change is inevitable, and continual, and that's both reward and curse. Things in my life flow in waves, and while this may be a trough right now and I'm looking down, if I can just turn over a little bit I'll be able to see the top of the next wave, and I'll ride toward it. It won't suprise me if Boo's floating there already with his hand outstretched, wondering what's taken me so long to reach for it.

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