The Year of Playing FreeCell

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADepression has a way of flipping my perspective. When I’m in its grasp, it’s like no matter how hard I try to appreciate the beauty of the roses, I only feel the bite of  the thorns.

No, I don’t feel sad. No, I’m absolutely not suicidal. But there are times, like now, when I just feel tired, of living. On and off, over the course of my life, I’ve had these spells. Many people do. So I have no notions that I’m special or handicapped by this.

The problem is that these bouts of depression interfere with my productivity. With my creativity. Especially with my writing. It drives me bananas to have all these thoughts in my head and not have the energy to write them down.

It’s like my brain invited me to a slumber party. “Let’s just lay around all day and do nothing,” it says. “We’ll have a pajama day, just me and you. It’ll be fine. You can write tomorrow. Or next week… Or never. You don’t have to write, you know.”

And so I sit, doing nothing other than watching TV and playing FreeCell Solitaire. There are days I don’t even have the energy to read a book or cook a meal. Lately, I’ve developed a pattern of either ordering out or going through– ugh! –the drive-thru for dinner. Nothing tastes great. So why bother.

I put on a good face, or try to, when I’m around friends. I make an effort to go out and do things. I don’t want my friends to worry. I don’t want anyone to worry. I’m not going to do anything stupid. Other than waste precious time. Which in turn, makes me feel like a shit for doing nothing. For not doing more, not being more. And so it becomes a pathetic cycle because beating myself up only makes me more tired.

I hope that writing this post is an indication that I’m coming out of it. I’ve never been able to figure out the whys or hows of it.

A good friend once told me that we celebrate anniversaries, whether we realize it or not. The anniversary of my father’s death is coming up, July 19th. I also carry the recent pain of having to put Ms. BlackBeary to sleep. We feel these things, internally, mentally. Even if we don’t acknowledge them, they’re there affecting mood and energy.

And then there’s all the soul-sucking, routine events. My regular job is frustrating, and draining, for no good reason, which only makes it more draining. There’s the novice writer who has decided to publish under my name. There’s falling short of expectations, mostly my own.

And there’s the doubts, especially the doubts about the quality of my writing.

There are lots of things I’ve internalized over this year of playing FreeCell. And they can and have become overwhelming at times.

But they’ll pass.

They always do.