Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Snag

My Third Third has hit a snag.


When I am terribly depressed, I still go to social events, fulfill my commitments, wash my hair, and do laundry. I volunteer. I get out of bed.

Unfortunately, I do that while dragging grand pianos around on my feet. Everything takes an enormous amount of energy, and I’m oomph-less. Which mostly you probably wouldn’t ever know because I am so very high-functioning and well-trained not to ever be oomph-less in public. Mostly, I look and sound energetic.

 What I can’t do is write.

I do get inspired and energized by art and theater, a good book or movie, and good conversation. My curiosity still works. But lately, that only lasts for the nanosecond in time while I’m in the theater or the conversation or the activity. Joy doesn’t linger. Mostly, it only makes rare appearances.

Writing happens at home when I’m all by myself. I don’t have to ratchet up for company, and I’m not distracted by the brief interlude of fun. I’m just sitting at my computer with just me.

And my lack of motivation.

And the whirling thoughts that come with that.

And the grand pianos.

I feel a need to explain (to you? to myself?) where I’ve gone in my head for the last six weeks as the blog went quiet. The blog went quiet; my mind went noisy. Bad noisy. This post is a fight to the light, a reach for interior quiet.

Unwritten rule: Never blog while depressed. Because then I end up with posts like this. But maybe, if I get this one out of my system, the pump will be primed and I’ll be able to write again.

The thing is, if you know me, you’d think of me as my funny stories. Well, yes, I still have lots of funny stories. But they travel with my sad heart. They’re a team.
I can’t just jump in and tell you about the probiotic soda class I took and the bottles of ginger beer and carbon dioxide waiting to explode in my pantry. It would seem so fake. So here’s this big sad thing hovering over me … and I’m going to tell a funny story?

We’ll see.

Two months ago, I took a class on “Design Your Energy (and your life).” Instead of trying to manage our time, we were asked to manage our energy. We had to list our top energy giving or energy draining activities in a week and then make a graph with energy going up or draining down.

I realized that all my things took lots of energy to make them happen so they could give energy afterwards. In order to go on a refreshing and exhilarating camping trip, for example, you have to pack, organize, plan, make arrangements. That takes energy. So my graph had activities going up and down, but they mostly went up. That was a surprise to my energy-drained self, reminding me that any energy drain yielded a reward.

Three months later, my graph looks much different. Things take a lot more energy to get above the line. Staggering and paralyzing energy. And sometimes I ruin the reward by crying. It’s those grand pianos.

Why would I ever tell you all this? Why would I subject anyone to the pathetic whining of a self-absorbed crazy lady? I think it goes back to why I even started this Third Thirds blog: to understand, to maybe connect with people going through the same passages, to gain some clarity about ups and downs and detours on my Third Third path. Sometimes there’s a restless unease, a disturbance of the spirit before creativity strikes. If I can verbalize, I can move on. Maybe if you’re in this place, too, you will feel less crazy.

Because deep in my heart, I believe that crazy is valuable. Stigmatized and painful, but valuable. Within limits.

And maybe your reward is a funny story I can tell tomorrow.

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