Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kickin' down the cobblestones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy

An accurate representation of my mental state today. 

So where were we?

If you've been following my little saga since the beginning, you might remember an anecdote from my work last week in which I was involved in an endless circular argument with a coworker over a technical triviality. That incident, more or less, is what caused my brain to stop functioning that fateful day. It was, in a broader sense, the catalyst for my recent move toward getting help for myself. At the time, though, it was just damned frustrating.

Well, anyway, that particular coworker was fired for across-the-board incompetence this morning. I had nothing to do with it, I assure you. My superiors had been wanting to oust him for a while, and today was when the axe fell. Truth be told, he was not an unpleasant guy at all. He was really nice. He was just a lousy coworker who didn't give a damn about his job, and I simply could not work around him.

In a way, I'm grateful to him because (very indirectly and inadvertently) he led me toward managing my depression and anxiety. I don't know whether this was ironic or appropriate, but I wound up filling in for him today since there is no immediate replacement available. How about that? Funny old world.

My body continues to adjust to the meds. My appetite is starting to come back somewhat, though I'm not exactly craving food these days. We got free taffy apples at work today, and mine is just sitting uneaten in my fridge. A year ago, I would've been all over that!

I'm still not in a "funny," creative mood either. How do I know this? Well, I wake up very early for work each weekday even though I'm the opposite a morning person. To help revive myself, I often make up absurd little songs and sing them in the shower or in the car on the way to work. It comforts me. Some of the little ditties I've performed on Mail Order Zombie were written this way. But I haven't been making up songs in the mornings lately. That part of my brain is shut off, like a deserted wing of an old mansion.

I've not felt much of an urge to play music, listen to music, or draw. I'm writing in this blog pretty often these days partly because I'm forcing myself to do so. I don't want my creative muscles to atrophy. (Gah! What a crummy analogy!)

WTF With Marc Maron
But there are positive aspects, too. I've been calm all day and even cheerful and upbeat for long stretches of it. There have been no panic attacks or crashing lows. There have even been times when I felt like "myself," whatever that means.

I'm almost getting too cocky about all of this. I don't know if you listen to the podcast called WTF With Marc Maron, but you really should. It's one of the few non-fan-created podcasts I listen to, and it's basically a stand-up comedian interviewing other comedians and people in the creative fields. I'm bringing it up because in today's episode, Marc was talking with one of his guests, Jake Fogelnest, and they're both recovering substance abuse addicts. One topic that came up during their interview was a common mistake made by recovering addicts: they're doing so well that they decide they are strong enough to break the rules and indulge in their old habits again. That's sort of where I'm at.

Today was pretty easy for me, and I felt like I got a lot accomplished. There's the temptation to say, "Hey, maybe I don't need meds or therapy or any of it. I can just do this on my own." But I've done that all my life, and it's taken a toll on my mind and body. I have to stick with the plan this time. No backsliding.

Miscellaneous thought: It's so weird that jack-in-the-boxes have endured as a toy. I mean, have you ever really thought about them? They have exactly one use, and that use is terrifying and disturbing. They're like some weird Pavlov-meets-Clockwork-Orange experiment to get children to associate music with fear and alarm. "Oh, yay! I'm listening to a catchy song! And I'm making the song myself by turning this handle! This is.... AHHHHH!!!! SCARY CLOWN MAN!" What a world we live in!


  1. Have Jack-in-the-boxes endured, or are they only used as creepy touches in movies? I don't know that I've actually seen a kid play with one.

  2. I'd say they've endured. I saw one on sale (marked down) just a few days ago. They'd tried to make the jester cute and round and plush, but there was no disguising the evil. And the horrible suspense built into the toy was still there.

  3. Makes me think of that perfect little scene in Elf. You KNOW it's going to open. You just don't...know...when

  4. I had a false memory of the dreaded event happening on the word "pop" of "Pop Goes the Weasel." But:

    (1) It's not true. The clown does not necessarily appear on that word.
    (2) Not all JIBs play "Pop Goes the Weasel."

    So you're right. The terror is the not knowing.