Tess is off to San Jose unexpectedly for a conference. Wish I could go with her -- she hates California, but I love the Bay Area and always have.
Speaking of which: I found out that someone I kinda like out there (for a while it looked like that might be getting into a nice happy D/s territory, but we hardly talk now) started hooking up with my ex who lives in (guess where?) San Jose. Sometimes I forget how small the graph really is. In some ways I'm still not over that relationship -- not so much the ex herself as just the sharp, unexpected turn my life took after it ended. It's still rippling through my subconscious in a lot of ways. Some very good things have come out of that change as well (my relationships with Trice and Tess, a growing sense of myself as a person distinct from those around me), but a lot of what's happened since then has involved losing some coping ability, and becoming a great deal more susceptible to depression.
Depression is, I think, something of a default condition for me -- even if it were entirely situational and not chronic, the situation itself feels so intractable relative to my resources that just keeping my head above water (so to speak) is a tremendous amount of work. It's always been like that since I became an adult, but for a while it seemed like I had access to...a kind of optimism, a bizarrely selfish sense of entitlement to joy and experience that seems to characterize so many of the more successful people I know. Not to say wanting those things in and of itself is bad, but it leads to *weird* stuff like people believing the universe itself wants them to succeed, or to shower them with joy and love (which is, presumably, Good in some cosmic sense). Self-help books like "The Secret" distill this mindset; it's also very common among magical and pagan types I've met. It seems weird to me now, but back then I just took it in and tried to emulate that mode of thinking, and lately I've discovered that one thing that mindset lacks is a sense of proportion.
The people I know who've succeeded AND bear that mentality have several things in common: they had a decent education (instead of being corralled into "behavior disorder" programs throughout childhood and adolescence), they had the familial resources to indulge some set of their talents and interests early so that could grow into career material, and they got through higher education in spite of any challenges (as opposed to dropping out in response to homelessness or general life instability, and the commensurate effect on academic performance). Everyone has problems, but these people had resources and support that just didn't exist for me, and in trying to emulate them and seek that path I've had little luck. In a sense, that mindset couldn't last for me because it simply didn't accord with the very tangible reality that all other things were not equal.
In hindsight, I feel relieved that it didn't last: that attitude is extraordinarily obnoxious to anyone who sees the privilege it takes to make it work (which is seldom acknowledged, and even less often ever addressed by the people in question), and on a more practical level it clashes badly with my ontological assumptions about the world. Unfortunately, it seems like that blazing, manic energy was also powering the processes that let me deal with stress, anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Since that time two years ago, I've lost the ability to keep the hurricane inside its bottle, and the pressure from within has crushed many of the systems I used to contain it. I see the damage every day, it feels like. I've spent my whole life suppressing as much as possible when things got tough (and unable to tell when I was headed for a containment breach); now, with all the locks smashed open and the controls rendered useless, I need to find new ways of living in my own head and in the world.
I wish Tess were here. It's tough getting stuck inside my own process loops like this.