Depression: a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
Sense of inadequacy? Check
Lack of activity? Check
I wrote the above about four days ago - and found I had absolutely nothing to add to it, nothing to say, no desire to say anything, so I just left it and went away.
Yes, I'm a pessimist. Definitely a glass-is-half-empty kind'a ga;/
Yes, I feel inadequate. But, I imagine, who doesn't. Perhaps not about everything combined, but I'm sure almost everyone feels inadequate about something.
Lack of activity? Yes, but that's a self-imposed thing, isn't it? It's my decision to not have "activities," not anyone else's.
On Sunday I could have gone to a "winter hibernation" gathering, doing artistic things, but I didn't. Why? Who knows? Probably a sense of inadequacy!
So, instead I spent Sunday with the New York Times, most particularly the Puzzle, the Book Review and the Travel Section, and "The Godfather, Part I," 3 episodes of "Top Chef," "60 Minutes" and "The Shawshank Redemption." I was perfectly content to spend the day that way, but inside I was beating myself up the entire time. Telling myself that this is not what I "SHOULD" be doing. I SHOULD be productive. I SHOULD go somewhere. I SHOULD do something/
Why? What if what I was doing was what I wanted to do? Why should I be forced to believe it's not what i SHOULD do?
I think I go into a depression when I don't do what I "SHOULD" do, simply because it implies that I'm not doing it "RIGHT."
Monday to Friday, averaging 11 hours a day, and often parts of the weekend, I'm doing what I SHOULD. Actually, that's not right. I'm not doing what I should, but what I MUST ... I'm working. I'm always plugged in - always answering emails, finishing up some client work, meeting some deadline, solving some problem.
And it leaves me drained. I know there are people who do what I do, work just as hard, AND have children, spouses, dogs, parents, in-laws, and all that that is required to maintain those "appendages" before, during and after work.
I have none of those things (for better or worse, depending upon your view point of each), so I have nothing that takes "my" time away from me. Not saying I wouldn't want some of those things, but the fact of the matter is that I don't.
So I CAN spend weekends holed up with newspapers, books and TV. Even my pets, Cats, don't require much - a can of food every day, a filled dish of dry food, fresh cool water, relatively clean litter and an occasional scratch on the belly. All that can easily be squeezed ("squozen?") into the most couch-potato-ish of days.
When I complain about going a whole weekend without any human contact (except perhaps with the clerk at the grocery store), I'm usually met with envious comments like "I wish I had all that time by myself," or simply "Boy, that sounds wonderful."
The grass is always greener ...................????
My shrink once told me, at the end of a session where I was more than usually concerned with the fact that I was worthless, crazy and too much into my own thoughts and brain. She replied that I had sufficient time to consider my worthlessness and insanity and that everyone else was just to busy to pay attention to theirs, but that had they the time, they'd be feeling just like me.
To this day I'm still not sure if that made any sense or if it made me feel any better. But I know there are times when I wish my life was so hectic and frenetic and people-related crisis filled that I would have no time to question me, my motives, my losses, my purpose, my direction, my lost chances, my sense that there is something so much more that I SHOULD be doing.
Sometimes it just seems absurd and that nothing should be taken so seriously.
One thing I AM doing - thanks to Patti and Robert - is expanding my reading list and my interests. Patti was on a Rimbaud quest for much of her youth and I had to admit during the reading of the book that while I knew the name, I knew nothing about Rimbaud. Well, my old friend Google helped me out and now I know something and have purchased "A Season in Hell." (Hopefully, I'll be able to get through it.)
Also, continue to do research on Robert and purchased "Mapplethorpe: A Biography" by Patricia Morrisroe, reviewed as the best and most authoritative work on Mapplethorpe.
This is a quote from one of the reviews on Amazon, which I just love. - "In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud talks about artists who descend into what he calls the maelstrom, meaning the unconscious, and they come back and tell us what was there. Robert went into the maelstrom, no question about it, but he came back with an elegant picture postcard --'Having a wonderful time, wish you were here. Love Robert'"
Isn't that wonderful?
I wonder if Patti saw the resemblance between Rimbaud (below) and Robert.
Realized one important thing - this blog is important to me, and for me. It gets me out of myself. It loosens some creative juices. It connects me to others, but also, more importantly, connects me to myself.