Eatin’tinnabulation is ringing a belly

I’m hungry.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t eat an irresponsible amount of rogue jalebi today. Sure, it’s the wiser, healthier choice. I may not feel unwell, but I do want to devour every foodstuff I make lock eyes with. I’ve eaten so little today. I had my breakfast porridge, a tin of tuna with crackers and an orange. I also snuck in a spoon of vegemite. It’s an insufficient quantity of food for eight hours of wakefulness, but I don’t know what to eat.

Why?

My girlfriend and I are going out for dinner tonight and I’m trying to save my appetite. For Christmas, my parents sent us money to have a nice meal. It’s finally time to cash in and we’ve reserved a table at a swell French spot. It’s been an age since I last dined out at a nice place. Sure, I love my almost weekly Korean pork bone stew, but it’s a cute neighbourhood spot. I’m throwing down sub $15 for my total dining experience. I’m sure tonight a glass of wine won’t be much less than that. It’s an experience we wouldn’t usually have access to, and I’m excited about it. I’ve never been one to consider fine dining a necessary common extravagance. It’s wonderful to treat ourselves once in while, but if we had it to often, the meaning and significance would be lost on us. It’s not that we can’t ever afford to have swanky meals, but I don’t know if either of us care to make it a mainstay of the relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, the meal is about four hours away and I will need to eat something in that time. Most likely, however, I’ll have something that fills the gap without just absorbing empty calories. I have no problem with empty calories or enjoying food for food’s sake, trust me. Still, I know that I’m on the precipice of a week where I’m gonna have a lot of it. I’ll probably eat some tasty stuff on my birthday (or more realistically, I’ll go to the gym then get pork bone stew from my local). Then I’m flying to Montreal (sky high, mofos!) with friends for a weekend of post New Years NYE style partying. Montreal has abundant delicious things and I will solely consume delicious things for the entirety of my time there. “Guilt” will not be a concept, just pleasure. I want to give these meals the respect they deserve. I want them all to be special, not to take them for granted.

ALSO I’ve been slack on keeping active this week. I blew off going to the gym after the dentist yesterday. The aforementioned jalebi did a number on me, plus I’d spent the weekend burning the candle at both ends. I was exhausted, which led to this exchange:

Dental Hygienist: Long time no see man, how’re you doing?
Me: Honestly, I burned the candle at both ends all weekend. I’m feeling kind of shattered.
DH: Oh, that’s rough. That’s happened to me before. What did you eat?
Me: What didn’t I eat? It was just non-stop for several days.
DH: And you went to work today? That’s pretty brave.
Me: I feel like if I’ve done it to myself, I don’t deserve to take a sick day, y’know?
DH: I don’t know. From both ends? You must’ve been pretty sick.

It became rapidly clear that we had very different ideas of what “burning the candle at both ends” meant. To compound matters, in a very on-brand outcome, I injured my right calf by goofing around trying to learn pole dancing tricks with friends. It’s not serious, but it is annoying and has acted as a successful deterrent for hitting the gym. I did half-learn some cool new moves, so overall it was worth it.

Maaaan, four hours feels very far away.

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Was that wine story a bore, ‘do?

Do your eyes ever hurt for no reason?

I have a reason. I’m sick. That doesn’t mean my eyes should hurt. I have a sore throat, that certainly doesn’t mean my eyes should hurt. Though if you do the math and work out that to compensate for not having the energy to do things, I’ve been planted in front of my computer, it makes some sense that my eyes could hurt. I want them not to, however. I guess I’m just shit out of luck. Look, my brain has melted or something. This could also contribute to the hurt-y eye phenomenon. Over the past few days I’ve been forcing myself to work on this job application. I made myself write the piece when I didn’t feel up to it. I pushed myself into going over to a friend’s house and borrowing their mic. I then made sure I recorded my vocals that night, despite the fact that my girlfriend was home and I felt fucking mortified and embarrassed to be doing it within her earshot. She said she was wearing headphones, but behind closed doors, who knows? If someone lied about something for my own personal comfort and I didn’t find out otherwise, did it really matter? Ultimately, no, because I did my recording regardless. Then I got sucked into editing and lost a few hours. Then yesterday I powered through working at home, and spent most of the day tooling around with my audio piece. I found some good atmospheric drones, I put together a bunch of SFX, I did a shit ton of voice modulation and other effects. To be honest, I had a great time messing around and making something. Then after finishing the piece, I wrote a cover letter for my application. It was thoroughly exhausting, creatively and emotionally.

Which is an easy way of explaining why I went out drinking last night. I had no real plans, and a friend offered some kind of weird, witchy experimental dance performance to see. It was strange, but sort of intimate and intense. I’m glad I went, but I haven’t fully figured out why yet. If anything, it was nice to drink red wine again. There was some kind of rider about bringing red wine along, so I traipsed over to the LCBO and searched around. I don’t know shit about red wine. Years ago I told myself I liked pinot noir, then stopped drinking red wine for years. At the LCBO I tried to reverse engineer the right answer as to what a good red wine is. I looked around the regions. Something in my brain told me that Chileans and Spaniards loved red vino, but I couldn’t find any pinot noirs (because of my arbitrary understanding, this mattered). Then my brain was like hey, remember that time Bart went on a student exchange program and got press ganged into making red wine? And I remembered, because my brain can’t separate cartoons from a) reality and b) my own history. So I looked in the French wine section and saw a bunch of reds. I then reverted to my other understanding of wine, which tells me that anything in the $13-$16 range is probably fine. I found something from Bordeaux, which seemed like a spooky, witchy sounding area. If the choix fits? It was choice, full bodied and vibrant. Which is weird, ’cause I always thought I liked sweet wines, irrespective of style. Turns out all I know about wine is that I don’t know shit about it.

After chatting for hours with my friend and others who visited the art thing, we headed over to some dance party after party. It was dope. It was just in someone’s apartment, but they’d loaded in speakers and a DJ deck. There was a “drawing room” where you could draw on the walls with the art supplies provided. They were selling drinks and whatnot too, plus there was a deck out back to let off whatever steam you’d built up on the dance floor. Speaking of the dance floor, holy shit was it ever tight. I mean, “tight” because it was crammed, but also some busted Dancehall moves. I fucking love seeing people do Dancehall. The movements are so sharp and energetic. There’s a lot of stomping, as well as bumping and grinding that sometimes pushes risque boundaries even for me (just google Extreme Daggering). Nevertheless, it’s cool as shit to watch when people excel at it. My feeble and battered body after a week of some intense physical movement stumbled in the front door around 3.30am.

Okay, so it just so happens I’ve had insufficient sleep for proper function over the past few weeks. For a change. Maybe my eyes hurt for a very good reason.

When trees ask other trees out on dates are they going out on a limb?

It’s hard to believe that I sometimes forget I’m 31, not 25. If I’m ever in doubt, however, my body is quick to remind me.

Today it’s screaming. Muscles and ligaments alike are all howling in displeasure. It’s like my body is trying to morse code “mercy” to my brain, but with twitches and twinges of pain. My legs feel static and worn, muscles in my back I didn’t realise I had are making themselves known through soreness. My lower back is stiff and inflexible. Even my left thumb has given up the ghost for greener pastures. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for the fun I had. Why? ‘Cause I finally got to road test the new Pursuit OCR location.

I’ve been a fan of Pursuit OCR for some time. When I first heard one of my friends was working on assembling an indoor obstacle course race, it hit all of my boxes: Friends, running/climbing things, zero chance of sunburn. It lived up to all my expectations and over time, surpassed them. The obstacles all offered a variety of solutions. There were chances to go over, under, or even around most of them. The attitude was as supportive as possible. People were encouraged to play and not to stress about winning. There was an onus on accessibility for people of all fitness levels, a principle close to my heart. There were killer classes for a wide variety of athletic interests. It’s where I tried my first acro yoga class. They continued to evolve, adding new obstacles or changing up existing ones. Most importantly, it was fun as hell. The environment naturally fostered the kind of community who naturally bolstered others. I can’t count how many times I saw strangers cheering on other strangers. There was no coercion, just empathy. Pursuit OCR even had non-gendered bathrooms before it was commonplace. Effortlessly with its heart in the right place.

Then it happened. The ideal downtown Toronto location on Dufferin by Queen closed down. A new, much larger location was found, but these things take time. I waited. And waited.

Until yesterday, when I stopped waiting and finally got out there. At 75 Westmore Ave, it’s not in downtown Toronto, but still accessible by TTC. It does take a while to get there, so if you’re travelling via public transit, make a day of it.

It’s SO much bigger. From what I last heard, about three times the size. From the moment you enter, it’s wall to wall aesthetics. Aside from being a fun place bounce around, it was definitely designed for endless Instagram opportunities. If that’s not your think, you’ll just have to “suffer” through the fact that everything looks cool as hell. Shifting mood lighting in bold pinks, blues and greens, graffiti art walls, stacks of climbable pseudo Tetris blocks. The course has a ton of wicked spots to goof around and take great pictures. I’m not saying by any means that’s all it’s for, but it’s definitely an option and I know a lot of people like that.

Me? I just wanted to put the place through its paces. Thing is, even after stretching my dry old bones, I was pooped halfway through the course. We took it at a leisurely speed, trying obstacles multiple ways. Right at the start there are a series of blocks that are climbable, parkour-able and duck-able. My friend and I looked for a bunch of ways to traverse them. Then after spending five to ten minutes working over those, we found a neat three walled jungle gym. Solid pipes lined an overhead and two side walls in an array of directions. It was like putting together a puzzle, but one that played hacky sack with your lats. I felt attuned with my inner chimp as I crawled up the pipes, hung down, and walked sideways across the walls. My friend and I tried a couple of poses, giving a metaphorical middle finger to gravity. How often do you get that chance?

Look, I’ve described two, maybe three obstacles. There are a ton. They take inspiration from pop-culture as diverse as American Gladiators and Die Hard. There are ersatz vents to climb and slide through, complete with little fans at the back (purely for atmosphere, of course). The horizontal netting is exhausting to cross, but if you’re feeling frisky you can slackline the entire way. There are heaps of hanging obstacles, which explains why my upper body has given up the ghost today. The ring swings returned from the past course, over a sea of foam this time. There’s a room filled to the brim with swiss balls. I had a great time trying to walk only on balls without touching the ground. The bouldering wall is exhausting, and offers a bunch of creative solutions. The ball pit in this new location is enormous and deceivingly tiring. It’s right at the end, and takes everything in the tank to traverse. Of course, it’s so deep that you could spend your time doing cannonballs into it instead.

I haven’t even mentioned the drift trikes. This time around, there’s a fun drift trike course that weaves below the obstacles. The trikes have log handles and two big wheels in the back. They peddle exactly as you’d expect, but if you sharp turn the handles, you can drift around corners. It’s entirely like real life Mario Kart. It’s a simple enough course, but mastering the handling of such a dinky little three-wheeler takes an age. For the most part if you try to drift too hard you’ll just harmlessly turn in a circle. Maybe you’ll gently bump into the wall behind you. We had a goddamn riot trying to synch up our turns and go up the skate bowl style corner. We tried the bikes almost as an afterthought and they were a total blast.

I may be a slowly withering skin sack of bones, but sometimes I get to feel like a kid again. If that’s something you want in your life instead of just hate-scrolling Twitter (you can still do that too) check out Pursuit OCR.

Even with a sore left thumb, I’ll give it two thumbs up.

I don’t care how many Air Bud Christmas films there are (technically four, if you count the Christmas segment of the first), we’re watching anything else

Merry Christmas in whatever that means to you.

I’m still figuring that one out. After a lifetime of hijacking/third wheeling other people’s Christmases, I’m in the process of working out what mine resembles. My childhood patterns brought out my inner Grinch for years, but as a fully fledged adult I’m left wondering why be a martyr instead of merry-er? Over the past few years, my girlfriend and I have been practicing traditions to check which we like. We’ve held a bunch of Orphan’s/Misfit’s Christmases, bringing friends together at the table for abundant food, drink and warmth. Subsequent years after the stress of hosting, we’ve tended to pull back and try our own thing. Our last attempt at Jewish Christmas (Chinese takeout and movies) got hijacked by friends’ dietary restrictions (turnabout is fair play, I guess). This holiday cycle we’re trying it again. We have the house to ourselves (upstairs and downstairs neighbours absent) and no need to leave at all. We have a house full of food, an internet full of movies and a bunch of legal weed. We’re gonna get an excessive amount of takeout and pig out, like the Good Lord intended.

Still, it’s the afternoon. How did I get through Christmas morning? Well of course I woke up unceremoniously early. I played (lost) Magic for a while, brewed up some coffee and went for a run. It was blissfully still out on those roads. The footpaths were clear, save the occasional jogger or dog walker. Everyone smiled and waved back. The cheer was subtle, but pervasive. The roads were empty but for a smattering of cars. It was mildly chilly, but the ground was dry. A few errant snowflakes drifted down, but the concrete under my feet felt like a Christmas miracle. Aside from my creaky, ancient bones and joints, everything aligned perfectly. It was a swell way to start off a prime indoor day.

We group chatted with my girlfriend’s family (complete with the traditional holiday technical difficulties) and cooked up a big breakfast. Applewood smoked sausages, hearty toast and maple bacon marmalade. A vegetable medley with onions, mushrooms, capsicum and garlic, and two eggs once over easy. It’s quiet, but comfortable. Not traditional, but it could be. The lights are on, the mood is calm. There’s a peace to this kind of routine that’d sit well with me for the future.

Traditions need to start somewhere, don’t they?

Speaking of starting, what’re we gonna watch first?

Space Odyssey 2100 and one?

It’s funny. I never expected that I’d make it to 21 posts. Over five years ago, when I was younger, sharper (but more blunt), more arrogant, naive and immature, I thought it’d be a good idea to start writing every day. It was not a well-contemplated notion, but after building up momentum I surpassed 21 days. I kept rolling on past 100, 200, 1000, and yesterday I penned (metaphorically. You wouldn’t like my handwriting) my 2100th entry. I used to have this little recap tradition every hundred entries, but I’ve long since forgotten to keep them going. It’s been some time, let’s catch y’all up.

Career:
I’m in a rough spot. I’ve stayed in the same routine job for the past four years. I’ve been trying to leave, but it’s hard getting that propulsion behind me. Each time I get rejected (and those hits keep coming) it leaves a crater sized rut I then need to crawl out of. Motivation comes in rare bursts, and the hard part has been latching on to pull myself up. My job is uninspiring, and it’s been detrimental to my mood. Out of desperation, a new kind of creativity has come to the fore. I feel synaptic connections forming that didn’t exist prior. A greater understanding of narrative, storytelling and structure. I know I want to harness this in some fashion, but I’ve yet to find an outlet that comes with compensation. Half my trouble is having vague ideas of what I want to do, but lacking the wherewithal and commitment to pursue any of them boldly. My fingers are perennially crossed, but it feels like I’m reaching out with both hands tied behind my back. I’ll keep treading water, and hopefully it’ll bring me in sight of land.

Health:
2018 was a weird year. I fractured my wrist and it’s been slowly recovering. I have most every function back, but I still get mild pain from many activities. It sounds worse than it is, and eventually the bone will grind down back to normal and I won’t even notice. The accident gave me a ton of perspective. Oh, if the wrist wasn’t bad enough, I sprained both ankles at the same time. It involved a ton of hard work and perseverance to build strength and mobility back up. I went from struggling to eat a bowl of cereal, to completing Tough Mudder once more. After the accident, I gave my ankles two weeks off, then slowly built up my running distance and speed. I went from running two days a week to four. I saw athletic therapists to work on safely increasing flexibility. I did all the exercises like a gold star patient. At the hospital, my doctor told me I wouldn’t be ready for Tough Mudder two months later. My physio disagreed. I proved my physio right. The whole ordeal gave me a quiet confidence in my ability to rebound that I know will pay dividends as the years pass.

Concurrently, my mental health has taken several blows this year. I’ve had bouts of depression before, this year they hit harder. I had a couple of panic attacks, dissociated a few times. I had trouble staying tethered to reality and held fast to therapy to try and bring me back. The therapy is helping slowly. It’s giving me tools to unpack and diffuse times of struggle. I’m taking ownership of my needs and control of my symptoms. I’ve been in a vulnerable state, but I know there are lessons to learn here. Things will get better. I’m in an upswing at the moment, and hoping an aerial view will help me see a path forwards.

Comedy:
Oddly enough, my therapist recommended that I get back into stand-up. She said I needed an outlet that also played into healthy narcissism and ego. To get an appreciation for my own creativity and ability, she said stand-up would bolster confidence and recharge a part of myself that’d been lacking. It’s honestly been tough to push myself back into it, but she was right. It’s making gears turn that ground to a halt for some time. I’m thinking from angles I’d never considered, and my perspective is shifting accordingly. There’s a clarity to the world that I haven’t been able to access, and a sense in the murkiness that’s helping me through the mire. I didn’t realise what I’d lost, but I’m excited to find it once more.

Relationships:
My girlfriend and I have been together for four and a half years, and living together for two of them. Things have been comfortable, easy, routine. At least, as routine as a couple of weirdos like us could manage. None of that is meant to come off as undesirable, but it has involved us sinking into patterns. We’ve talked about it, and it feels like there’s change on the horizon that’s trending positive. I know I’ve taken steps to try and look closer into how things work, and how they could work even better. Just because I so often feel in a rut, that doesn’t have to spread to the rest of my life. There’s no reason not to keep things exciting and sometimes that involves work. Relationships are work, and good relationships are so worth it. I’ve got one of them, and I intend to hold onto it.

In terms of poly dating, I’m gonna put more effort into it next year. 2018 was pretty sparse for new dates. My girlfriend has a wonderful partner who seems like they’ll be a positive force for her. I’m ready to find a person(s) that complement(s) who I want to navigate the world as. I feel like there are valid parts of myself that are rarely accessed, and could stand to be shared with others. Will 2019 be that year? I’m here for it.

Pop Culture:
It’s the end of 2018. Disney has entirely taken over the blockbuster market and I find myself slinking back from it. Then again, I just watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and it feels like there’s hope for the relentless super hero onslaught. Also Marvel, please don’t do the Onslaught saga. It’s a mess. 2018 was the year I fell in love with Paddington 2: the cinematic antidote to the venom in our world (and maybe the Venom motion picture Sony released). Paddington 2 is a perfect film, proving that even in darkness, there’s always light.

Then again, we’re still swimming in peak TV. The Killing Eve was phenomenal, I’m holding a candle for the next season of Catastrophe, The Good Place and Atlanta are pushing genre boundaries in exciting new ways. I’ve heard Barry aligns pretty well with most of my tastes. We’re spoiled and nobody should be complaining. Except broadcast television. That industry is sinking year by year. Dare I go down with that ship?

This was a pretty dense info dump. I feel like I’ve just finished catching up with an old friend. Let’s do this more often, y’know? Don’t be a stranger and stuff. I’ll try to check in with y’all in a hundred or two entries from now.

Oh yeah, it’s 2018. I say “y’all” now.

They were working out, I was trying to work out what the fuck was going on

I had a weird trip to the gym yesterday.

It probably wasn’t made any more ordinary by the fact that I smoked a bowl before going. It would’ve been weird sober, but I didn’t want to bury the lede. To speak to smoking a bowl, I’ll do exactly that now. It’s not my first time trying it, weed for gym times. That’s not to say it’s a habitual activity. I’ve done it precisely once before. I was doing some reading up on it a while back, and saw that some fitness inclined individuals had recommended adding CBD into their workout regime. So about 30 minutes before I arrived, I had a medium amount of CBD heavy weed.

Why? A couple of reasons. It changes your perspective as you work out. Look, I like going to the gym well enough. Sometimes, however, it’s pretty goddamn boring. I’m mostly doing either several sets of equivalent reps, or some kind of pyramid structure with weight v reps. When you’re in a heightened state, most things are more interesting. You notice different aspects around you. Whether it’s amusement or curiosity, I like to look around and see what others are doing. I’m more inclined to try different exercises than I normally do, because I’m intrigued. The other big aspect is how my body feels while slightly high. I’m more engaged with physical sensation. I notice what muscles are firing and get a good handle on how much energy would be an efficient amount to expend for each rep. I can adroitly work into the right posture for the moves. It’s handy. It also feels great and I spend less time looking expectantly at the clock. I would not smoke before a workout if I intended on lifting heavy or doing any activity that required quick reactions. That seems fundamentally unsafe and stupid.

Also, like, I’m a little high of course. Sometimes stuff seems odd. Yet again, I think things would’ve been weird regardless of my mental state.

I went to a different gym than normal. This one was closer to home. My normal gym is closer to work. I go there specifically because it’s a strange little maze that’s less popular. There’s a flagship Goodlife one block north of it, so most people go there. My gym has unintuitive hallways and attracts less aggressive, pedantic members. They’re a little friendlier. You can usually find time to get in on some of the more in-demand equipment. Or at worst, people don’t mind setting in and out with you. That’s why I go.

The gym closer to home isn’t remotely the same. It’s Yorkville, which is a more snobby, affluent neighbourhood. I arrived around 5.30pm, which is of course peak time. Peak time in Yorkville, I discovered, is when all the Serious Gymgoers come out. It’s wall-to-wall career fitness folks and Instagram Model wannabes. They’re people with bodies that don’t make sense. Guys with shoulders the width of my legs. Women with waists the size of my head and booties the width of my shoulders. Impossible proportions that come from extreme intentionality, discipline and a lack of spare time. I’m not trashing these bodies, they look exactly as I expect they want to. I honestly wish I had their willpower. But I don’t, which is why I was high at the gym.

The thing about Serious Gymgoers, is that in their minds, they own the place. I’m sure they pay exactly the same membership fees as we do (well, maybe not me. I’ve got a sweet discount), but they don’t act that way. If they’re using equipment, it comes with a radius and they’re there for a while. Did you have any intention of getting into a squat rack in your hour of gym time? Buy a lottery ticket. It’s not gonna happen. I got distracted and ended up working out for an hour and a half. I saw the same woman monopolise the squat rack for 70 of the minutes I was there. Serious Gymgoers also travel in packs. They have an Entourage (Oh Yeah) and while I think they all think they’re Vince, but really they’re Drama. So as well as them sometimes just jamming 70 minutes squatting during peak hours, they often instead swap around with four people taking three pieces of equiment during peak time and high fiving between sets. They also won’t clear their weights once they’re done. Towels left around on machines, etc. Why would they do the work? There are cleaners and gym staff, it’s their jobs. By doing nothing, they’re creating jobs and helping the economy, or something. I have no earthly idea, but it has to be something like that, because otherwise they’re just fucking douchebags and surely that couldn’t be the case, could it?

So there was a lot of that, which was baffling and would usually be infuriating, but I was in a more lenient state of mind. The really bizarre thing that happened was when I wanted to do some bench pressing. There were weights on the bench, but the collars (they help the weight stay on the bar without shifting) weren’t being used. I was kinda bummed because I was keen to bench, but I figured I could just do an incline press. I did want those collars though. There was a woman standing next to the bench with earbuds in. She was holding hand weights and occasionally would step up onto the bench with weights in hand. Real r/curlsinthesquatrack shit. I waved at her and asked if she was using the collars, because I was keen to grab them if they were spare. She didn’t respond. In fact, she totally ignored me. Not even the merest of eye contact. With weights in hand, while walking forwards and talking on her hands-free phone, she began oscillating between bicep curls and high kicks that extended past her head, taking up not only the space around the bench press, but also the free weights area where other people most likely would’ve loved to work out themselves.

It wasn’t just the weed, right?

In other words, a coping mech and isms

Hi. Hello. How’re you doing? Me? Not well. Thanks for asking.

It’s gonna be one of those. “Those”, y’know? Hours, days, weeks, months kind of deal. I’m in a place and I don’t know where that is, but it’s not a bundle of joy, bunch of fun or barrel of monkeys. I’m in one of my ebbs, while I wait for the tide to bring me back to shore.

That’s all very cryptic, so let’s put it in plain terms. I’m depressed. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. I’m in a rut where I’m having trouble with many, many things. It’s not a singular aspect of my life that’s shaky, it’s a culmination of factors, a couple of which I’ve probably never considered. It’s tangible things like being unfulfilled at work, unsure of the future, worried whether I’ll get there and what shape I’ll be in if I do. It’s also less tangible stuff like feeling rudderless and disappointed, hurt and without motivation. A general ennui that fluctuates between absent and all-consuming.

I think there’s a general public perception that depression means an inability to get out of bed in the morning. To not know how to do dishes or brush your teeth. That’s not how depression presents for me. I have no issue completing tasks. I’m not worried that I won’t be able to get out of bed or I’ll be AWOL for work without explanation. I’m not worried about failing to eat, or dishes piling up. I can be depressed and functional. I might just not be there all the time.

Depression, as I experience it, means having trouble being present. It’s a fundamental disconnect between action and true understanding. I space out for periods and lose purpose. I can see the logic of what I’m doing, but there’s no link between the act itself and my desires or objectives. I stop living because I want to and instead live out of obligation. I go to work because logically I know that I need money to stay alive, to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach, but not because I can understand why I would want any of those things. I can do my job in a technical sense, but not because of any investment in the outcome. People need the work done, it’s my job to do it, so I’ll make it happen. I eat because logically I know that without food, my body would die. I know that there are times at which I’d regret that, so I eat out of obligation to my future self. I’ll still go to the gym, because I’m aware that it’s best for my physical and mental health to keep that up. I’m aware that depression isn’t all consuming either at the time of depression, or in other periods of my life to follow. It makes sense to continue with upkeep, so I don’t stop. I know that I need to do these things to sustain myself, I just don’t care that I am.

When depression strikes me, the hardest thing to deal with is time. Time keeps happening. There are so many hours every day to fill and they’re just gonna keep existing. I’ll keep performing the same activities whether depressed or not, but I don’t connect to them as I otherwise would. I’ll listen to comedy and realise that things are objectively funny or entertaining, but I won’t laugh. I’ll read articles, but feel emotionally unaffected. I’ll constantly refresh my Facebook wall and see my friends’ posts, but be unable to overcome this chasm of disconnect. I won’t be doing things because I want to, I’ll do them because if I don’t, time will continue to tick away and it’ll take even longer to do so.

The short way of saying any of the above is that I go on auto pilot. I’ll keep living, but I’m not there. I feel numb, like I’m unmoored from my body. Like I’m piloting a big machine that exists independently of myself. I lose all sense of purpose. It’s not that I want to die, but I don’t want to be alive either. I think, therefore I am, with no idea why.

The thing I want to drive home is that it’s not an absolute. I’ll come back for minutes, hours, days, or weeks. All different increments at times beyond my control. Maybe I’ll hear something that brings me back for a time. Or I’ll exercise and physically feel in my body. Or I’ll hear a song and cry for some inexplicable reason. Or I’ll write, read what I’ve written and find resonance. Then I won’t. There’s no pattern.

So this may be one of those, or it won’t be. I’ve got no way of telling depth or length from this vantage point. I’ll keep checking in every day. I’ve booked in my introductory session with a new OHIP supplied therapist, so hopefully that gives some traction. Things will blow over. Then they’ll be back. And that’s okay. I’ll still be here.

I might just not be here.