I tell myself this every day

I tell myself this every day

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Don't Care

The inevitable winter depression has set in. The confirmation came as I was riding trails a couple weeks ago and realized I was miserable doing so, which is not how riding usually goes. Those two wheels are kind of my "other medicine" so being miserable during something you love pretty much kills your enthusiasm for everything else.

I've been doing all of the activities I love but have been receiving no psychological reward. My happy chemicals are on vacation. The usual climbing, riding, P90X, painting, comedy skits, and other dopamine producing activities have become tasks that I wade through. I still do them because if I'm not going to care about anything and feel empty, I'd rather do it 40 feet up in the air, or on a bike with the wind blowing in my face, or creating things to make people laugh.

Last year it was "The Nothing" as I called it, this year it's the "I don't care." Everyday is one big shoulder shrug.

I switched up my paintings to include much brighter subject matter (a depressed person wanting to paint brighter subject matter, I have no reasonable explanation for this). I started to paint scenes of the riders from the UCI World Championships that came through Richmond last September (best week ever by the way). I did feel excitement when I finally started moving in this direction as cycling is what I want to dedicate my craft to. But as I work on these paintings and make progress with my skills that are quite remarkable for someone who's been painting for only 3 years (more about impressing myself that others), I just don't really care. It's not that I don't feel anything, it's just that I don't give a shit and kind of abandon emotions as they come up. It's the same feeling I get when someone takes 5 painstaking minutes out of my life to explain a dream they had- At first I like the wackiness of it all and then it turns into me wishing they would hurry up and finish.

It could be a 65 degree winter day with the sun out and not a cloud in the sky. I'm cruising on a smooth windless single speed ride through the city, friendly people out that say hi or wave, just a perfect winter ride. Almost like the setup of a Disney movie and I'm waiting for the birds to fly with me and start singing.

Don't care. Don't care about any of it. The sun can go fuck itself and the weather just registers as an adjustment in my clothing. No leg warmers and no fucks given about any part of the day. Don't care about the birds, would probably smack them for shitting on my car all the time.

It could be a 6 day climbing streak, my arms feeling great as I clear harder routes than normal, work through some tough spots that I couldn't figure out before, and what feels like getting over my fear of heights.

Don't care. The personal accomplishments mean nothing to me. The heights don't even bother me, which they usually do. Even the natural responses in my body can't be bothered. The fight or flight reflex in my brain doesn't care.

I've lost almost all of my social restraint. I'm not trying to be mean but my sense of humor is getting caught up in my speech and it ends up coming across as pretty nasty. "Hey, what do you think of my shirt?" Me: "I think you should have cut holes in a trash bag and slammed that over your annoying head."

Despite the depression I'm able to keep the house clean and stay on top of chores, which is pretty crazy considering how depression works. The house looks fantastic, especially after all the painting and improvements made to it during last summer. And yet I don't care. Each room is as useless in having an effect on my emotions as the other. But I stick with it because letting those things go will turn not caring into apathy.

Most of what I do on autopilot is to make sure the depression doesn't get worse, even if none of it makes me feel better.

I'm not apathetic, I'm just not impressed or entertained by anything. The connection is made but then given up on. I'm trudging through everyday without wanting to do any of the work or activities I'm doing but also can't think of anything else I rather be doing. That's kind of a shitty feeling to walk around with.

No sadness, I don't care enough right now to be sad about anything.

I make sure I keep going through the motions because like I said, if I'm going to be miserable I rather do it going through the woods on a bike or 40 feet up on a climbing wall. Staring at the walls in my house will probably turn the not caring into apathy which will turn into sadness, which will toss me into "The Nothing" phase and I don't want that. I rather accept the depression and stall it from descending to the next level if I can.

Thanks for reading!!