I don’t get up to much lately. Living the life of a gentleman of leisure doesn’t involve a lot more than the front page of reddit, scrolling the infinite feed that never leaves me bored. I also tend take a lot of naps; partially cause I’m a poor sleeper, partially cause it makes the hours go by faster (and as a person who does his best to never be sober, it resets my tolerance).
I want to devote myself to the pursuits that interest me, but being productive hasn’t been easy. I haven’t had the inspiration to write, the motivation to clean, the energy to exercise, the discipline to practice, or the patience to meditate. I only manage to do the bare minimum, which usually just involves cooking a week of meals for Heather and some vacuuming before guests arrive.
It’s been hard to form positive memories cause I can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. It always seems like there’s something better to do, another button I can press for a quicker reward. Everything just becomes a distraction from how broken I feel.
Maybe cause I’m older, greyer, fatter, more tired, a shadow of my former self. Most nights I go to bed feeling defective or worthless, then wake up feeling too helpless to do anything about it. A few months ago this would have been a surefire recipe for depression, but now I’m trying to practice non-action over weeks and months instead of days or hours.
Coming to terms with myself and my difficult emotions — no matter how unpleasant they may be — is helping me reduce my wants, end my compulsive struggling to do everything better, and live more in the moment. For so long I’ve been trying to accept the things I cannot change, without also trying to accept the person to whom they’re happening.
Leaning into my trauma with open eyes and an open heart also involves purposely thinking about a past I’ve tried my best to forget, and crying1. It hasn’t been very pleasant, but I’m starting to feel like less of a victim when I can confront my suffering from a position of strength and control.
None of this would be possible without Heather, who’s been mending the hole in my heart ever since we met. She’s the only reason I have the time, the resources, the strength, and the will to carry on. Anytime I feel like a burden, she reminds me that I’m a worthy one; a load she gladly shoulders, because I add to her life simply by existing.
When I overhear her telling the cats to be good and take care of daddy before leaving for work every morning, I can’t help but believe it. No one has ever loved me so much — not even myself — and as my benefactor, she wants nothing more for me than to be happy. I’m trying to take responsibility for that happiness by showing myself compassion, even when I feel like I haven’t earned it.
- Only possible months after I made the decision to stop taking aripiprazole. [↩]