Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grateful for the Glass

It feels as though my extended flirtation with sanity might be drawing to a close, and what a very dreadful feeling.

I’d expected when the missus moved back to her native country that I’d be desperately lonely for at least a few weeks, if not forever, but I actually rebounded very quickly, and for the past three months have been as resilient and happy as I can remember being. Whereas I’d normally wake in the morning dreading the hours that lay ahead of me demanding to be filled in some meaningful or at least pleasurable way, I bounced right out of bed in the noisy front bedroom feeling sure that something good would come my way. I was only fleetingly plagued by the horrible feeling that everything I did was in vain. Write my daily essay in spite of the fact that in over six months I’ve attracted 18 followers (including myself!)? No problem; I’m tickled pink to have as many followers as I have. Don’t hear back from any of the prospective employers to whom I send my resume and portfolio? No problem; their loss! Spend about 95 percent of my time alone? No problem; I found myself very agreeable company.

In March, if I found myself during the day looking forward to watching something or other on television, it would make me feel terrible; was this all I had to look forward to? More recently, though, I felt no shame whatever about my anticipation of pleasure, however mild, whatever its source. And here’s the piece de resistance. When I’m in the abyss, I commonly yearn for the oblivion of bedtime, and hate myself for doing so. The past three months, though, I’ve been thinking that it’s perfectly OK to look forward to the pleasure of laying down my weary bones. If death is a part of life, why should retiring for the evening not be a respectable part of the day, one to be enjoyed on its own terms?

One day a few weeks ago at the gym, the following actually happened. As I was leaving, one of the place’s employees called, “Have a nice day,” and I thought to myself, “Well, don’t I always?”

As per the suggestion of the very good psychotherapist I was seeing, I practiced gratitude. I didn’t demand that the glass be half full, but was grateful that I had a glass. I felt so well adjusted, so sane.

Maybe it was the citalopram.

And maybe now it’s the citalopram wearing off. I’ve been so agitated today that I’ve twice had to try to meditate myself back into the tranquility that’s been coming so naturally. I don’t feel that whatever work I’ve managed has been very good, or even particularly worth doing. It’s too early to go into the home theater to turn the TV on in resignation, and far too hot to go for a walk of the sort that almost invariably improves my mood.

In the word of Terry Sothern, writing in Candy, fuckashitpiss.

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