We had a monsoon come through as I was laying down, and it knocked out the power for a while, but having spent two weeks in a place which was less than ideal for sleeping I was able to go right back to sleep. The fans shutting off woke me up; I thought, "Hmm, power's out," shut off the computer and the UPS for the modem and router, and then went right back to sleep. Before my stay in that exclusive resort, I wouldn't have been able to do that.
Anyway the power was out for a couple hours and I slept right through it; when the power came on, it woke me up, briefly, but I went right back to sleep; and when it cut out for a bit, that woke me up, too, but again I went back to sleep.
So I got up at 8:30, fed the cats, and hied myself to KFC for chicken; and when I was on the way home I discovered that the power in the town core is still out--Main Street was largely dark--and the traffic light was flashing red rather than functioning normally.
Got home, logged on to WoW, and nibbled at my dinner as I played. I logged onto the vent server so I could listen to people talking.
Look: I was feeling pretty down. (4-6 range.) Not up on the surface; on the surface I felt 2-3, but in my gut, 4-6. It was kind of weird.
...so I ran old Ormus around farming materials for Alchemy while listening to the raid vent channel. (Yesterday--or was it Thursday?--I dropped skinning and took up alchemy just because I wanted to try something different.) I got his alchemy skill to 185 this evening before I decided it's close to bedtime.
You know what? It helped. I'm a solid 2 all around now. That's cool.
* * *
So, what happened to me that made me so depressed that I cut myself?
The therapist, L., put it in perspective for me when she lay her hands on her notes and told me, "This is a lot of loss!"
When I think about it, she's right; let's have a look:
2001: lost my job and careerOkay, that last one is a wisecrack, but you get the idea.
2003: lost my girlfriend, my home, my job
2004: lost my friends
2007: lost my dad, my first fiancee
2009: lost an aunt, my second fiancee, my job
2010: lost my mom
2011: lost my marbles
So why did the prospect of getting a good job cause a breakdown? Because I was faced with the prospect of losing my childhood home. That loss--atop all the other losses I've faced in the last 10 years--was the straw that broke the camel's back.
And it's not just loss that's the problem, though it was a big part of it; the other part was all the stress that I suddenly found myself under. It was too much for me to handle--all the change and the demands on me--and I cracked under the strain.
Where are the gains to offset those losses? There is only one: I have a new and very good friend in Og. Otherwise it's been a steady attrition all along, a steady erosion of everything I value. And that is why I cracked when faced with having to move to Rantoul.
It's been really, really hard--harder than I thought, harder than I even let on to myself much less anyone else.
When I told Mom about my first fiancee breaking up with me, her response was a tearful, "It's not fair!" And she greeted subsequent reverals the same way--this from the woman who invariably told me "Life isn't fair!" when I, as a child, hauled out the "it's not fair!" schtick.
...she also told me, a lot of the time, that I had been really, really unlucky. At the time, I just thought it was "mom talk"--my Mom being a mom--but with L.'s fresh perspective I'm re-thinking that position: I have been spectacularly unlucky.
I've tried to put a good face on it by reminding myself that I was fortunate to be born in and live in the US, that I have it good compared to a lot of people in the world, or even in the United States; but if you compare my situation with other people in my demographic (white suburban well-educated middle-aged male) I suddenly appear highly unfortunate. I don't have a significant other, I don't have children, I don't have a career, I don't have a home of my own....
At some point in thinking this through it begins to seem obvious that my being depressed--rather than being a form of mental illness--is just a sane and logical reaction to my situation.
When you try and try and try, and get slapped down every time, WTF--it would be insane not to get fed up with that shit. Wouldn't it? Sooner or later, if it keeps happening every time?
I'm going to have to discuss this with L. It's an interesting thought.
* * *
My "homework" from Friday's afternoon session is to think about how I feel about submitting Tales from the Rufus to potential publishers.
It doesn't represent a lot of money--perhaps $50 per month at the most--but it does mean publication and tiny bit of prestige and ego-boost, both of which I could use.
What if KoDT were to reject it? I could always try Dragon, I suppose. I lose nothing by shopping it around to various fantasy publications and one of them is bound to buy it.
I guess I just did my homework.
* * *
Anyway, I want to go to church in the morning, and I'll have to shave and shower before I do, and it's almost midnight. I have to get up at 8:30 to get there by 9, so I'd better hit the hay.
After church I'm thinking about a trip to Harbor Freight....