Originally published at The Homepage of Michael John Bertrand. You can comment here or there.
Tomorrow is the last day of my third term at the good ol’ VFS.
That means that after class tomorrow, I will be exactly half way through my education at VFS. It feels amazing to have come this far. Each new term has brought a higher level of tension and challenge, but it didn’t take me long to adapt.
So while I am rather intimidated by the increase in responsibility that the whole production deal next term, I am sure I will be able to rise to the challenge.
The whole “get my thing made” thing does add a lot of tension. But I am learning to turn tension and anxiety into ambition. So I am equipped there.
More importantly, I am learning to let myself care. I have suppressed my desires and ambitions for a very long time. Under the fascist regime of depression, desires and ambitions are subversive and must be suppressed lest the security of the nation be threatened. After all, desires lead to want to do things, and doing things means leaving the inner fortress of depression, and that cannot be tolerated.
One day, I will write a whole story based on that metaphor. And I hope it resonates with other people who suffer from depression.
Right now, I don’t feel that great. I have been having IBS issues, and that has lead me to do dumb shit like skip meals because I have no appetite, and that only makes things worse. So I am not doing great.
No severe attacks yet, thank goodness, but I have had this bullshit going on for 23 years and I have learned its ways. I am trying to think of a way to restore balance to the force, but usually, all I can do is wait this kind of thing out.
At least I got my checks cashed today. One was my GST cheque, which as usual will go to saving my ass in this five week month. And other was… my second check for the sale of one of my stories to Polar Borealis!
It is, of course, a very VERY small publication, and I do happen to know it’s editor, publisher, and president personally (they’re all the same person) , but the point is that I got paid $10 for a short story and to me, that makes me a professional writer.
Or at least, semi-professional. Like a farm team recruit.
So I got $121 to see me through the next week. Boffo. Maybe I will even gather the will to go do something fun over my four day inter-term vacation.
Speaking of which : it says something about how my education is progressing that in at the end of my first term, I was like “4 days? Fine! I’ll probably get bored, and after my second term, I was like “10 days? Fine! I’ll probably get bored (and depressed)” and now, at the end of my third term, I am like “4 days? Oh God, that’s not nearly enough. ”
But I knew this was a marathon long before the starter’s pistol went off.
So in the precious space in between the terms, a glorious space where I can be absolutely guaranteed that there is nothing I am supposed to be doing, I will have to make sure to relax and be good to myself.
No pressure, no ambitions, no plans, just real, genuine, honest to goodness rest and relaxation, whatever that might entail.
Historically, I have not been good at this. When I have time off, I just sink back into the exact same kind of depression that I had before Kwantlen.
That’s not exactly restorative. True, I often get a lot of rest, in that I sleep a lot (one symptom of depression), but it’s not a healthy sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed. It’s a sick sleep that leaves you feeling worse and leads to tertiary effects like feeling disconnected from reality and trapped in your own mind.
That’s nobody’s idea of fun. I hope.
Maybe Germans. I guess.
The thing is, I can feel a great ambition and enthusiasm rising deep inside of me. But it’s weighted down by my depression and what depression whispers in my ear. It says “Wouldn’t it be so much easier to let go of wanting, to just squash that desire and sink back into my embrace, with its false optimism and misty minded feebleness?”.
Well, it doesn’t use those exact words, but you get the idea.
The mist is the enemy. I want it to go away. I want to finally be fully awake after all these years, But it will only go away if I stop needing it.
And that’s a tricky proposition.
Everything I want is on the other side of that fog bank. Love, acceptance, vitality, connection, affection, and everything else. I know it’s all out there but I don’t feel it. And without being able to feel it, it’s hard to summon the ambition to pursue it. It’s like a blind man trying to find a light source. If it doesn’t feel it on his face, he’s stumped.
But how do you hammer away at a numbing fog? I suppose one visual metaphor would be a strong, gentle wind generated from within blowing the fog away.
Or a sunrise, I suppose, that burns away the fog like so much dew.
For now, though, it seems like the forces that want to get rid of it are not stronger than the forces that cling to it, so for now, it stays.
At least I have a therapist’s appointment on Friday. Maybe he will help me nudge myself in the right direction for further growth. I feel rootbound and restless and trapped, and I need to get my poop in a group and start getting rid of all this fucking emotional ballast.
That’s the Maritimes version of emotional baggage.
Plus I need to pull myself together and be more organized. Like last term, I have lost a ton of marks for simply not remembering to do stuff that I totally could have just looked up.
But the fog, and the fatuous vapidity it can produce, keeps getting in the way.
Anyone got a really big fan?
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.