9:05 AM - 03.27.17
While things are not as bad as they could be - rent is being paid, food is being eaten, and life (such as it is) is being lived, I am having a pretty hard time in my head.
Trying to do better for myself...finished the last book I was reading (The Three Christs of Ypsilanti), have started on the next (What Dreams May Come, my first novel in awhile), put my "art stuff" on my computer table (instead of in a drawer) and recently drew something, am continuing to work on learning Spanish on DuoLinguo ("Yo soy un hombre importante"), and have met my "activity goal" (Of hitting 10,000 steps on at least one of the days I don't Zumba, cause that's relatively easy on a Zumba day) for two weeks running.
It's not seeming to mean much. It's certainly not working to keep "the bad thoughts" at bay, even when added to the usual efforts to distract myself (With food, masturbation, the Internet, etc).
I've been wondering about those "bad thoughts"...
I'm finally ready to admit my mental/emotional struggles clearly have a biochemical component, but I don't know how that works - do my "bad chemicals" make me feel "down" in general, then my mind searches for/attaches a "logical reason" for it? Do they actually create the thoughts in question? Or do I think the dysfunctional thoughts out of habit, and a bad situation gets worse when my brain chemistry gets hold of them?
Who - or what - is in charge here?
I'm stalled in therapy - My therapist keeps wanting to know where I'm feeling a given emotion in my body, and I keep not understanding what that has to do with anything - while the psychiatrist who prescribed my medication essentially dropped me (And was seeming to not take my calls) when an issue came up with my insurance, so I'm currently "back at square one" on the medication front.
(Prompted by that last paragraph, I called the Dr, and got an actual person on the other end, which almost never happens - We talked briefly, and she said they'd check into the insurance thing, and get back to me tomorrow. So...that's...something?)
Things are deadly slow on the acting front - I had one shitty theatrical audition the first of the month, and nothing since (And what's worse? I just can't see how I get from where I am to anyplace remotely satisfying as an actor, financially or artistically...and let's be honest - I'm not looking for either/or here, I want both. But more and more, it's looking like I won't be getting either).
So it doesn't feel as if acting is going to "save me" from my depression and anxiety - Shameless starting back up (Assuming I'm still part of it) will help ease the financial worry, at least temporarily, but won't stop me from feeling like I'm dead-in-the-water as an actor (I feel like if Shameless were going to be "a stepping stone" to bigger things, it would have happened by now).
And if acting isn't going to provide what I'm looking for - a decent living, a sense of purpose and community, a feeling of being successful, fulfilling emotional/creative expression, etc (And now it strikes me, once again, that while I sure didn't mean to, over the years I've basically put all my eggs in one of the flimsiest "baskets" there is) - what now?
Where do I go from here?
Is there anywhere to go from here?
One of the problems with my thinking (I think), whether chemically-induced or otherwise, is that I've always thought in terms of "When ____ happens, then I'll be happy".
I know it's not right, I know it's not healthy, I fight against it - I consciously work at being grateful for the good things I have, and the nice things that happen to me - but it's still my "default".
On a certain "baseline level", my financial situation improving would clearly make me happier (Or at the very least, less unhappy) - Studies have shown that money doesn't make people happier...unless it lifts them out of poverty (And while I wouldn't say I'm "impoverished" exactly, my "income stream" is so uncertain, it wouldn't take a lot to get there - Like, for example, if Shameless gets cancelled, or I'm just not a part of it anymore, and nothing emerges to take its place).
(Side note: Recently read a headline on CNN - "How to retire for under a million" - that was pretty sobering, since I currently have about $7500 in the bank, and maybe $9000 in my 401K. Guess it's a good thing I never expected to be able to retire, huh?)
But "financial stability" - feeling as if things are going to be "okay", and I'm not going to end up destitute - is not the be-all-and-end-all that would make me happy, because, rightly or wrongly, I thought I had that back in Michigan...and I wasn't happy.
(I don't know what I was thinking "back in the day" regarding my financial future - but I don't recall putting a lot of mental energy into worrying about it, or whether I'd be able to keep myself afloat. My tiny little job paid for my tiny little life, and I may have harbored vague worries about "the future", but they didn't torture me like they do these days - I guess I just thought I'd work at Schuler Books and do community theater till I dropped dead, and that would be it.)
So whether it was really the case or not, my life back in Michigan felt "financially stable".
But I wasn't happy.
I was bored, and lonely, and thought my life had stalled out, that it was just going to be "more of the same" - lather, rinse, repeat - till death.
So here I am, sixteen years down the road...and I'm still unhappy, bored, and lonely, thinking my life has stalled out, that's it's just going to be more of the same - lather, rinse, repeat - till death (Actually, it's worse - Now I'm not just afraid "this is it", I'm afraid of losing "this" altogether. Which totally is going to happen someday - cue the whole "fear of death" thing - but I'm more fearful of "the journey to oblivion" than I've ever been...as evidenced by the fact that I just called it "the journey to oblivion").
I'm getting down to the last quarter - okay, that scared me to say, so let's change that to "the last third" - of my life, and increasingly, it's feeling like a pretty meaningless affair, a sad little life that will be capped off by an insignificant, little-noted death, with nothing left to show for the time I was here.
Here's an example of the existential self-pity I've been feeling lately - I periodically find myself thinking about what music I would want played at my funeral (FYI - There'd be a lot of 70s-era funk and disco).
I was doing that recently, and it struck me, "Jim...you don't mean much of anything to anyone now - Assuming you live another 20-30 years, who the fuck's going to be throwing you a funeral?".
My current blue mood wasn't helped on Friday when, as I was backing out of my parking space (On my way to my WW meeting), I ran into a parked repair truck.
I was bothered by this on many levels, but I think the two things that bothered me most were
1) I had just "decided", the day before, to get veneers, even though that's a big expense I can't really afford (It felt like the Universe saying, "Yeah, you go ahead, just think about rolling the dice on spending money you don't have, and see what happens...")
and 2) It freaked me out that I went out to my car, got in, and backed out full-speed, like that fucking truck wasn't even there - I guess, for me, not expecting the truck to be there meant it wasn't there, when clearly it was.
(Did the insurance thing, and I expect it's going to be worked out - People are telling me my rates shouldn't go up, based on one minor fender-bender, but I don't know as of yet.)
The other thing that has upset me recently is a little weirder...
Last week, or maybe the week before, Thea (My beloved Zumba instructor) announced that the K-town Y would be having a Zumba-thon fundraiser this past Sunday - It would be two hours, from 11 am - 1 pm, and would involve her and three other instructors, on the roof of the Y.
It sounded like fun, and I got it in my head that I really wanted to go, even though I work on Sundays (It's actually the busiest day of my week, since I work three meetings in Culver City).
But since it was something I wanted to do but didn't need to do (Like when I have an audition), I didn't do a "full-court press" to try and find a fill - I called/texted five or six people, and when I didn't get any takers, I told myself "It just wasn't meant to be...".
So I went to work yesterday, and I was shocked at how bad I felt - Typically, in a situation like this, I might feel a little "sulky" at having to be at work when I wanted to be someplace else, but I wasn't resenting being there, I was out-and-out miserable, so depressed I was struggling not to cry for a good chunk of the morning.
I want to say that it really wasn't any big deal...but even as I write this, I feel myself getting really depressed again - I just thought it sounded like fun, I wanted to take part, to "be part of something", to contribute to the event a little (By being there, and making a small donation).
I thought it might be a fun thing that would make me feel a little happier...and I couldn't even have that.
I felt like, in a small way, I was trying to fight for myself...and lost (Though I don't think I "got that" till afterward...or else I would have tried harder to get someone to work for me).
It's out-of-whack emotionally (a middle-aged man ready to cry over not getting to go to Zumba), and I know that, but that's where I am right now.
But speaking of Zumba, I've got my Monday night class in a couple hours, and I feel like I'd like to lie down for a spell before that happens...
(I'm trying to get to the place where I realize that, if my life is indeed meaningless, I might as well just try to enjoy myself...and try to appreciate that, if I end up homeless, unloved, and unremembered, at least I got some enjoyment out of life along the way.)
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