Friday, May 3, 2013

Journey of One: My Self Worth (part one)

Seems I get inspired to write these days only when I'm in my favorite Irish pub here in town, thinking to myself over a pint of Guinness. My last few blog entries have been the product of my sitting alone at the bar with my iPod, taking advantage of the wifi and the beer.

Part of the reason for that is I don't have a computer set up at the moment. I'm staying with friends right now until I can find a place to live. My iPod is my sole connection to the online world.

Yes, my iPod. I have an old flip phone I use to text and call. I bought this iPod from a former coworker over a year ago. I've always been technologically behind the times. A lot of people who know me were surprised to find out I even wanted an iPod.

The only reason I'm a blogger is because the online powers that be have made it ridiculously easy to have a blog. Any idiot can create a blog. I've read enough of them to know that's the truth.

I took a blogging break in April and focused my energy toward making poor-quality videos on YouTube - with my iPod, of course! My desire to write has been hindered by personal issues, including (but not limited to): looking for a new apartment, martial arts training, dealing with my depression. Some good issues, some not so good.

Seasonal changes always hit me hard. I've talked about depression before, and I've said that it is a self-focused condition. It is. In low moments all one can think about is oneself. To make matters worse, it's always a negative self-focus. I'm worthless, useless, hopeless. I've wasted my life. My life will never get better. I will never know love. These jeans do not complement my ass at all.

Depression skews one's view of reality, and especially of oneself. People will talk a lot about not being overly negative, but there's just as much of a danger of being overly positive as well. If someone asks me whether there's anything hanging off his nose, I won't ignore whatever's dangling there so I can talk positively. "Oh, man, you're looking good!" That's being overly positive. Of course, I won't be overly negative either. "You are an abomination!" I'll just tell him to wipe his nose. NBD.

In our attempts to not be overly negative, we risk being overly positive. Maybe my perception of myself is skewed, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's nothing wrong with me or my life. I love my job, but I don't make much money. I'm a black belt in Karate and I just earned my blue belt in Jiu Jitsu. I am a college graduate, though I graduated from a Bible college and my degree is useless to me. I have good friends, but I have a past of romantic relationships that have gone bad and left me heartbroken, and every time I let myself get excited about someone, it just ends in disappointment. Heartbreak is a daily feeling for me, like the chronic back pain I have felt every day since the accident I had when I was 19.

I haven't seen my kids in a long long time. I once thought that I'd like to have kids again with another woman, as a way to start over. Then I hated myself for the thought. I had allowed myself to think of my kids in the past tense - like they were dead - because I haven't been able to see them and the only way I could cope with the pain was to shut them out of my mind and shut off my emotions. Thinking about them every day created a pain I wasn't strong enough to handle.

My kids are getting older. I text quite often with my oldest son. He is undeniably my son. My personality traits, facial features... he even makes YouTube videos the same way I do (i.e., talking into his mobile device, although I'm sure he actually has a phone that connects to the Internet).

There is good in my life. I won't say it's all bad. I can't say it's all good either. While I take comfort in knowing that no one has a perfect life, that everyone has troubles, I can't help but feel disappointed in my life overall. Maybe it's the depression talking. There are days in which I think that my children are the only reason I am not proactive in trying to end my life. I say that - hell, I'm writing this entire blog entry - at the risk of being accused of acting melodramatic or histrionic, but I made the decision to be candid about my depression because the stigma needs to be removed, and people need to be aware of how depression works. If I had cancer, I'd be writing about my struggles and progress and the effects of my cancer. Depression is a medical condition just like cancer, so I decided to write about it the same way. Anyone who can't handle that can find another blog to read. Any idiot can create a blog these days. I'm sure you'll find one you enjoy.

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