Monthly blues

Despite how I’ve been acting and what I’ve written I’ve been feeling flat the last few days. It seems odd in light of the unusual ongoing conversation with my movie producer, which is both unexpected and exciting, but in a way too it help explains it.

It’s not unusual to experience a low after achieving a high. I wasn’t exactly ‘high’ after my conversation on Saturday, but it encouraged me to fantasise about the things I might be able to do, and the things I might be able to achieve. Though it’s a pleasant exercise it’s also a reminder of what you don’t have. In my case, I have very little.

So the conversation on Saturday may have been a mini-catalyst, but I think this was likely coming regardless. I have these periodic downs which are nothing to do with my pathology and more to do with my circumstances. I do very well to keep them at bay 29 days out of 30. I’m a positive, optimistic and aggressive person which means I’m generally moving forward – even if I end up going in circles. I don’t believe in feeling sorry for myself and if things could be better dwelling on it isn’t going to do much good. And in this manner I keep myself generally upbeat.

I think it’s unrealistic to believe I could maintain that 365 days of a year. I think it’s probably necessary to blow off steam or let it out at some point. So what happens is that everything I’ve kept at arm’s length, everything I’ve convinced myself is but a temporary condition, everything that I tell myself I’ll soon leave behind one day comes back to me. All that I’ve told myself may be true – but here and now the truth is that every day is a struggle. I scrape by but with little joy and rare fun. Suddenly I’m weary of the struggle, tired of having insufficient funds to buy groceries or enough to buy lunch. Every week I need to fend off aggressive creditors, and though I earn now than before every week I fall behind further in some metric. All of that finally gets to me and I succumb to it for a day or two – then rebound, for the reasons described above: I’m better off doing something about it than worrying about it.

This time my feelings are deepened by my situation at work. That’s no fun at all. I’m working in a dysfunctional environment where I can get neither answers or action. I feel futile. I’m sidelined and kept in the dark while an unthinking juggernaut rolls forward squashing everything in its path and aimed in the wrong direction. Lest you think I’m just grizzling I have one colleague now looking for another job and the other exasperated to the point of infuriation by the incompetence of the organisation. Right now I’m largely twiddling my thumbs – not because I have nothing to do, but because I’m waiting for a raft of responses before I can go on: decisions, answers, actions. I’ve pressed for them and now I’ve stepped back curious to see what will happen. So far, zilch.

If there is a final element it’s the very personal. Somewhere in the midst of all this I feel the other things I don’t have: intimacy, and a family. I have people I can speak to, but not that one person. And there is no family at all. Donna rang on Sunday to say that her mother might be dying. Though it should never be unexpected at her age it still comes as a shock. I felt immediate sympathy for Donna and recalled my own loss. My mother is gone and my father estranged – and I wondered at that. I’ve had an interesting life, but it’s been at the cost of other things. This morning on the train I watched as a father in his suit fondly re-arranged his son’s hair. The son was in his school uniform and it was such a simple thing and I’ve missed out on that entirely.


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