I've been seeing a therapist since November. Not every week, but most weeks.
He's not a psychiatrist - I don't have high esteem for psychiatry since I my parents carted me off to an idiot shrink when I was 16 after I told them I was gay. He's probably a PhD or MSW, I never bothered to ask which. He's the only one at the local clinic that could take MediCare/Medicaide, so it's not like I had a choice.
He's a good guy. If he was a quack, I would have never scheduled appointment number two. Perhaps he's more of a counselor than a therapist. No one really does therapy nowadays - no insurance will pay for long term therapy, and really there is no other kind. I've done therapy and have seen more than one incompetent therapist in the past fifty years. A few OK ones and one excellent one. It's a crap shoot.
I sought out counseling this time because my life has become BLAH.
I walk the dog, grocery shop, blog and surf the web, cook, do laundry, watch TV, go to bed and get up and do the same thing. I thought about volunteering - I do help out with a few computer courses at the senior center - but I just can't seem to get my interest activated. Nothing interests me. Go to a movie, nah; go to a museum, ho-hum; go to the gym, ugh. Get a job - good luck.
So Bill, my counselor, said I was dealing with a life "adjustment" aka "retirement".
Until today. Today he said I was exhibiting signs of major depression, or "major depressive disorder".
He says I should think about psychopharmacology. Drugs.
I told him I've had no good experiences with chemical substances of any kind, including anti-depressants, sleep medications, anti-anxiety medications and pot. And I don't do alcohol well either.
I don't tolerate chemicals well. They usually have bad side effects or paradoxical effects. I avoid chemicals. I'm on no medications save an occasional aspirin or ibuprofen. So I think about going on meds and I feel more depressed. Like I should let some psychiatrist mess with my chemical imbalance by trial and error. I don't think so.
Yeah, I feel like shit. I don't enjoy my walks with the dog and Dottie and her dog. I don't enjoy cooking or baking, I don't feel like writing - I had nothing to offer in my writers' group, can't find anything that truly interests me. I feel used up, superfluous, invisible, dare I say useless, insignificant.
I said in the last post that I was whispering in a hurricane. And now I wonder why I even bother to do that. This blogging was supposed to be a way to do some original, creative writing. My blog has devolved into rehashing news that I find on the internet and reposting YouTube videos that are all over the place anyway. There are a multitude of blogs and news sites that report all the news, the gay and the anti-gay. No one need me to re-post stuff.
And being on here so much means I visit other sites and other bloggers.
A few weeks ago I read a blogger who posts commentary about Catholic/gay/theological issues. There was a reference to another site - a quasi-political/religion-related article written by some lawyer/theologian/journalist that I clicked on and read. Because it seemed it might be interesting. It left me cold.
The tone was, I felt, condescending, angry, disrespectful of the person it was written for, and reminded me of the tone reminiscent of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) back in the 70's or some other propagandizing rhetoric. I thought the tone "obfuscated" the real important issues that the author was trying to convey. I commented (on the blog that cited the linked article), choosing my words carefully (I thought) and respectfully, not attacking the author, but expressing my subjective reaction which was much, much milder than I've expressed here.
Well, the author of the article commented on the blog where I had made my comment and practically blasted me off the face of the earth: how dare I suggest he had "obfuscated" anything. He is a professional with umpteen plus years of experience who knows whereof he speaks. How dare I criticize his "tone" in view of the fact that he was addressing issues that mattered. Things of great import that paled in comparison to my subjective reaction.
I am not teflon. Never had that attribute. I don't know how politicians do it. Someone should study them and find the teflon gene. They most all have it - at least the ones who stick around. Maybe they can invent a pill that makes people like me grow a teflon skin.
No, I take things too seriously, too personally. People have told me such before. Slap me with a white glove - and I bleed to death. I don't have the chutzpah to come back at you. I lose my voice, I'm at a loss for words, I become nobody. I won't ever win a war of words - or a physical fight either. I am no Panti Bliss.
When I decided to comment to that article, I felt anxious. I knew that perhaps my reaction was one others might have had, but maybe felt intimidated to express. I hesitated, but then I said my two cents. And then I found myself out front - a target of this author's intimidation. And I guess I allowed myself to be intimidated rather than to carry on a war of words or ideas or principles. Judging from his response, the man is not worth my time or words or energy. I became nobody. Again.
That was the event that shut me down here at Reluctant Rebel. That got me off the internet, at least a bit. That made me question this whole thing about blogging, about opinions, about civility and justice and truth and how to sort it all out and to question the wisdom of BLAH BLAH BLAH.
That was the thing that moved me from a "life adjustment" issue to a "major depressive" episode.
I have been shit since then. I thought that getting away from the internet, distancing myself from the danger therein, would be my cure. But it hasn't happened. It's just gotten worse.
Meanwhile I walk the dog, do the grocery shopping and the laundry, cook and watch TV, go to bed and get up to the same thing all over.
Sisyphus. My patron saint. I feel like shit. I've been here before. I guess I can deal with it. Drugs scare me. I'll ride it out.
Oh, and just so you know, I've had it with winter and snow and cold and putting on layers of clothing and lacing up boots and putting on the ice cleats and shoveling and paying the oil and electricity and being cold and not seeing anything green. So I'm not alone on that. The winter crap. Got it. Stop whining. Got it. Count my fucking blessings. Got it.
While you're at it feel sorry for Leon. He's living with me and my shit.