kitelessd brought over Skyfall recently, and I enjoyed the movie. Skyfall Spoilers: One of the things that struck me hard was that M cleared Bond for duty even when he clearly failed all the agency tests. When Bond found out about this, he had two options: believe that M was setting him up to fail, or believe that M had utter faith in him.
When I accepted the offer to my new job, I expected the clouds to part, the sun to shine down, and salvation to visit its grace upon me. This did not happen. Life continued to trundle alone, for better or for worse, and things seemed as mediocre as ever. FC came and went, and I struggled through some of the worst depression I've had in recent memory. I muddled through, somewhat, and after FC, gave my notice to my old company. Things continued thus, no improvement in my outlook, until I finally left the old job, on Weds, Feb 13. The clouds did not part. The angels did not sing. Salvation was not visited upon me. And so my new job started on Feb 18th with little fanfare. I sank into the new position with vigor and verve. I happened to come in at a rather rough time, but I tend to thrive on pressure, and so I believe I was able to integrate myself fairly effectively.
At the same time, I decided that my current bi-polar meds (Lamictal) were not doing their job, so I sent a message to my psychiatrist asking to be taken off of them. It turns out I had an appointment with her a few days later, so in I went, explaining my issues, the frustration, the continuing depression, and rather than take me off the meds, she recommended I up the dose. She also scheduled up a followup with my psychologist two days later. I was somewhat disappointed, yet things started to change. Just having a plan, and knowing that I was headed in a particular direction seemed to help, and in a week or so the meds would start to kick in. Yet things still weren't right, and I decided to take additional steps. I thought to myself that being online in such an excessive state (I'm usually constantly on multiple Mucks, IRC, AIM, GTalk, and Twitter) was unhealthy, and that I should stop. Why? Because the online world makes one feel marginalized. No matter what you say, how deep you mean it, or how intimate you share, very few people are even going to notice and/or respond. Not only that, but I had very little to offer in the way of commentary, either on my activity or others', both online, and in person (in social situations, such as Thursday Chicken). So I stopped reading Twitter. I stopped Mucking. I stopped using IRC. I decided that I was done with Thursday Chicken. Why keep frustrating myself with these fake, phony, shallow people, when I could be focusing inward, and finding the truth of myself? I don't need these kind of vices.
I felt better immediately for having made the decision. I was able to bury myself in my work. I talked to my psychologist, and we discussed these things, and he was impressed at how positive and energetic I was seeming. I was starting to feel better. Days passed, and turned into a week, and then two weeks. I started to log in somewhat after 10 days or so, slowly, quietly, and it turns out, very few people noticed I'd been gone. This only reinforced the idea that I could do without these vices, that they were frivolous, at best, and harmful, at worst. I felt satisfied that this was "the way". That I was best served by severing these fragile ties. After all, if someone wanted to get ahold of me, they knew how to do it.
A few days ago, Kiteless and I were discussing my choice to abandon my online activities, and he wondered why I would do such a thing. He seemed distressed about it, but I was firm in my course. We got on to talking about how the desire for popularity/being remembered was such a driving factor for a lot of folks, and how part of me wanted that, but part of me didn't, and how to best way to stem that was to leave all of those tempting outlets behind. He just nodded and the conversation continued on other routes.
Afterwards, I started trying to figure out why Kiteless hadn't agreed with me. I thought and I thought, and I went over my justifications in my head, and I tried to put it out of my mind, but it kept bugging me. I finally realized that my approach was wrong. You don't run away from a problem to solve it. That only gives power to the thought distortions. My mind steered back to something my psych and I talk about a lot, and that is the idea of doing things for ME, rather than doing things for YOU. It's something I really want to explore and fully realize. I want to do things just to do them, not to impress people, not to earn fame and fortune, but to do them because I enjoy doing. You don't accomplish this by running away from things that you enjoy. That would be like stopping my trumpet playing because no one was listening to me. That doesn't make sense.
Now, I realize this is a narrow line to walk. Where is the distinction between an unhealthy, depression-causing activity and a healthy activity? In both cases, the activity is varying interaction with my friends and acquaintances. Should I force myself to confront the thought distortions associated with these activities? Yes, I think I should. Life is what we believe it to be, and in effect, we shape the qi around us by our will, focus of purpose, and belief. Of course, there are other factors, like excessive stress and neurological imbalances, but these can be mitigated by choosing a path and acting on it.
So, it's time for me to return to the things I enjoy. And I AM leaning to enjoy things again. It's been so very long since I was able to take pleasure in simple things. Will it last? I think it will. I think I've made a lot of positive changes, and am moving in the right direction. Does this mean I'm going to dive headlong into the social hurricane? No. But it does mean I'm not going to shy away from it, and I'm certainly not going to feel guilty that I missed a social gathering.
I'm back, and be damned whether pay attention to me or not. I'm doing this for ME, not YOU.
Skyfall Spoilers: In the end, Bond chose to believe that M trusted in him. He got his confidence and his purpose back, and he protected M to the very end. I believe that I can do this, and to me, that makes all the difference in the world.
I'm back, baby.