Here’s hoping that the trick to beating this bout of depression is going to be better strategizing. Identification and analysis of issues contributing to my current bout of depression to follow.
The last couple of weeks have been difficult for a combination of reasons. The repetitive stress is the obvious thing. Filling the time that I used to spend on the computer has not been particularly easy, and worrying about whether or not the time that I spend on the computer for work is still going to be too much has not been fun.
The next factor, I think, is that now that school is over, I don’t feel like I have anything in particular to be working toward. It’s nice to not have the added stress of grades and homework and such, but now that I’m more or less fully in the real world, I feel less like I have meaningful things to accomplish. In a way, I think that it’s possible that I can’t really be happy unless I’m saving the world in some way. The blog helps with that. I like writing about social justice issues and such when things strike me. And I like being able to share what it’s like dealing with chronic pain and depression, because I think that helps by increasing general understanding of what it’s like, and by making other people who suffer from similar things feel like they’re not alone. I know reading about and talking to other people dealing with similar shit has helped me in the past.
I think I need more than just the blog, though. And I’m trying to arrange to have more than just a blog to be helping the world with. Next week, I’ll be doing some volunteering for a local LGBT group. I may also at some point volunteered to be an organizer of another similarly progressive local group.
The third factor, I think, has to do with spending time with people. There was a second half to that Needing People post that I never got around to writing. I think I touched on it briefly in the Being Smart post. I like spending time with interesting, passionate people, but I don’t meet a whole lot of people I find interpersonally satisfying. Historically, it has always seemed to me that I’m more deliberate and proactive about friendship than most people. I’m not sure that this is accurate, but it has been my impression. My best guess at why this is that it has to do with that not-finding-most-people-satisfying thing. There are just too few people in the world that I find interesting for me to be fulfilled with only the people that happen to stumble across my line of vision on a day-to-day basis. This leads to two issues.
The first issue is simply that I have trouble finding people who interest me. The obvious solution is to go out and meet people more, but that’s complicated by the fact that I’m very limited in the things I can go out and do socially. Too much exercise is bad, and too much sitting is bad. I can work on going to more kink or poly events, which sometimes helps. But I also find that those events, for whatever reason, have a higher-than-usual proportion of Really Awkward People That I Have a Hard Time Being Around, which can be difficult.
The second issue is that I often feel like, even with the friendships that I find that I am interested in cultivating, I am generally the person who is more proactive about getting together. Sometimes, I feel like the vast majority of my friendships would end if I stopped calling. I don’t think that this is because people don’t care. My leading hypothesis is simply that most people get along fine interacting with the people they encounter day-to-day. I’ve had times in my life where that was proportionately more true for me, and I’m pretty sure I ended up calling people less when it was. I’m not really sure what recourse this leaves me, though. I’m not sure there’s any way to make friendships that seem like they would end if you stopped calling not feel shitty.
Also contributing in a somewhat lesser capacity than the above three factors, I’ve been working on applying for health insurance over the past few weeks, which has been stressful, and managing the amount of exercise I get is still incredibly frustrating. I don’t seem to be able to build strength or endurance lately, and my shoulders haven’t been the same since I injured them in May.
Really, at the moment, my most important goal is to fill up some of this spare time that I have, and fill it up with things that both feel meaningful to me, and won’t aggravate any of my current physical issues.
Now that this is down on paper, I’m going to let it percolate through my brain for a bit, and see if any solutions present themselves. I highly recommend this style of enumerating contributing factors to anyone else dealing with depression. It has at times been very helpful for me.