I saw Mom yesterday, for the first time in a couple of weeks. I took her out to a show, bought her a gift, tried to cheer her up. She looked better, but still fragile, still grieving. It made me feel guilty that I haven't been doing more to help her aside from calling. More than guilty, devastated.
Over the last week, the depression was beginning to wane. All the effort I put into not moping, from exercising to socializing more, was starting to pay off. I wasn't exactly brimming with joy, but I no longer felt like an emotional black hole. Last night, that awful, hopeless feeling started creeping up on me again.
Then I had this dream that instead of living four blocks away, TV Tyler and Film Felix lived across the hall from me (isn't that a sitcom waiting to happen). One day, I heard a noise across the hall, so I looked in the peephole and saw the two of them leaving their apartment with a couple of friends. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but they were pointing to my door and gesturing, and their muffled voices sounded wry and mocking. Then Film Felix glanced over and, as if seeing right through the door, gave me a dirty look. I woke up feeling all kinds of hated and humiliated. Great way to kick off a Monday.
There are so many days to fill and I don't know what to do with them. I don't have the inspiration to write, I don't have the attention span to read, and all the other things that used to make me happy...don't. At least, not for long. The best I can hope for these days is temporary respite. I thought about seeing a therapist, but I don't think it would help. I know what's wrong with me. I have people to talk to. I'm not suppressing anything or in denial about part of my identity. I'm just trying to cope with the hurdles as best as possible and not always doing the best job. I don't need to pay someone lots of money to tell me things I already know and I don't want to be prescribed anything that will turn me into a shiny happy me. I'd rather slug out this crisis (existential and otherwise) on my own.
Besides, it's more than the fallout from a break-up, death in the family, illness, and work badness. I turned down a possible book deal (long story, I don't want to talk about it) and my agent is leaving her company and agenting altogether (which has nothing to do with me). While I have taken this latest news in stride and not fallen apart like I did in the previous weeks, it has made me wonder if I'm even cut out to be a writer and if I'll ever develop a career I love. This whole finding-your-place-in-the-world thing can be so damn tricky.
I had a feeling the Worst Autumn Ever had more in store for me. These days, it's a struggle to hold on to any shred of optimism and not succumb to cynicism. I try to focus on the good things, really I do. I'm privileged in many ways and taking that for granted only makes me feel worse, guiltier. My problem is lack of perspective. It's inconceivable to me that things will improve any time soon. The best I can hope for at this point is that my outlook does.