The other evening I was chatting with a gal about relationships and other things, and since then I’ve been thinking about my own romantic interests which today led to a curious notion. It’s an idea not entirely restricted to the concept of love and dating, not in the least, but admittedly that is likely the impetus which led me to this line of thought.
Tuesday wasn’t my best day, necessarily; I made/discovered a couple of semi-major mistakes that I was solely responsible for at work (just dumb errors, nothing to learn from). These weren’t HUGE issues, though, and it was all a rather infinitesimal drop in the ocean of good things I’ve experienced this week: ice-skating on Monday was an absolute blast (I successfully [slowly] skated backwards, chatted very briefly with one of the regular moms, and just had a fun time with myself and a lot of the others there), I all but wrapped up my upcoming art project and am entirely satisfied by the end result, and in spite of the less-than-stellar day I had a great workout Tuesday evening. On top of that, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend, to boot. So, yesterday morning, why did the pangs of sadness start to creep in?
I had an idea on that… even though I have no idea.
At first, as the initial hues of sadness began to peak over the horizon, I considered that I’m simply very comfortable with being down… with things not working out. I have hardly had a life of tragedy and horrible let-downs, and I’d feel a little silly discussing this as if I’ve led such a difficult 34 years, so let me clarify that statement. As I put it to myself (yes, I converse internally before putting these words to screen), it’s not a cognitive issue — it’s an emotional one. I want to succeed, I’m mostly okay with failure and making mistakes, I sincerely appreciate the life I have and all of the blessings that I’ve been given, and I don’t WANT to be unhappy. I’m not logically looking for disappointment, but I’m almost expecting that comfort of things going back to the status quo on an emotional level. That’s when I really hit the heart of the matter, though.
For the last several days, things have been going great… and I think, perhaps, I could only take so much of it. Maybe things were going TOO well, and it’s not that I distrust it (though, in relationship terms, I have a hard time accepting it), but it just gets uncomfortable. When I meet a special woman, someone who excites me and seems like a potential future, it scares the heck out of me… mainly because I’m waiting for it to not work. I’m waiting for that other shoe to drop. I’m waiting for imperfection. It isn’t that I sabotage good things, just to “victoriously” fail, but perhaps I’m just too comfortable with the sadness and disappointment to be comfortable with the successes for too long. These are logical issues I can work around, indeed, but what about the emotional repercussions? I’m sitting here typing this at work, and I am indescribably sad for no real reason that I can determine. Coldplay’s emotionally uplifting/crushing (depending on the day) “Fix You,” rang through the warehouse a little bit ago and I leaned on my desk as it pierced right into me. When I talk about my depression, I often reference the concept of “the bottom dropping out.” I exist, enjoying my life, then that floor of contentment and happiness just collapses underneath me, and as I clamor for something to grab onto, I have no recourse but to fall down along with it. Sometimes I fall into despair; sometimes the response is angry or numb. Today, I’m just very sad. I don’t necessarily have a reason to be sad, I just really, really feel so.
Let’s take the example of romantic interest, as I mentioned it earlier and its a great way to illustrate this. And, admittedly, it’s always a popular talking-point around these parts for good reason. I am fairly happy being alone, and in a lot of ways I think it just might be the better hand to play when looking at my cards (say that to the wrong person, though, and they want to slap me for being too hard on myself). Then I go and meet someone, and there’s a glimmer of something else. A chance at a life I don’t currently have. A way of life I’ve NEVER had. I meet someone who is beautiful and lovely and makes me feel something, and I can’t just be comfortably solo anymore. I’m not foolish enough to just coldly bypass these rare opportunities, either, so I have to see where it goes… and that just leads me in deeper. I begin to hope, but what I’m positing here is that maybe that hope sometimes helps me slide into something else — in this case, it would be sadness. As I recently told a friend, “I just want to be happily single,” but then meeting a potential someone would throw a wrench in that gear, and even if things would be going great, emotionally I would be waiting for things to not go great. If she’s interested, we might go on a date. Then, we might end up in a relationship… and, worst case scenario, we might actually get married. That sounds like a horrible idea, a notion I’d be best to just keep out of mind, but I might be digressing a tad.
Or maybe I’m not.
Perhaps it’s a form of exhaustion. Much like how I tend to break through the end of a depressive episode with tears bursting forth from an overwhelmed dam of emotions, maybe the onset is set off by a similar overwhelming sensation — only, sometimes, in the opposite direction… from too much happy to a bursting through of sad. Could it be that an excessive amount of success is too much to emotionally handle? Perhaps I simply end up bracing myself for disappointment and that, in turn, sets the tone.
If you ask me what’s wrong, all I can honestly answer you is, “Nothing much.” Work is fine and dandy, I’m having a great time with friends, I’ve been sparked onto a fantastic creative streak, and I am thoroughly enjoying the life God’s laid out for me. I could FIND things wrong, but I’m not doing that. Maybe I’m overreaching with this idea of mine, maybe it isn’t a fear of success, a lack of appreciation for myself, or whatever else (and maybe it is), but as I’m here now writing from home (this entry was pieced together throughout the day), listening to sad tunes that satiate the very somber emptiness I’m feeling for no discernible reason… I’m just trying to find an answer.
This evening I was able to see a friend and, having told her prior that I was in heavy need of a hug, we stood holding each other for a while. She asked if I’d had a rough day at work, and I said that I actually didn’t know why — and I squeezed her a little tighter. I haven’t a clue why I’m like this, why sometimes I just take an emotional tumble, and today’s post might be right on the money or completely off the mark (or somewhere in-between), but I’m stuck grasping at straws for an answer either way… and if my tired heart offers up even a hint as to what affects it, I’m prone to listen.
And then I write about it here.
And then I listen to sad songs late into the night… because even if the other shoe never drops, I just might be better off if it did.