The Blahs

I usually try to avoid posting here when I’m feeling particularly down (I write the draft, and save it, and never publish. I think I have six of these).  That’s part of why updates tend to be so slow, but I’m realizing that’s probably not leaving the most accurate chronicle.  So, here it is: I’m in a bad way at the moment.  Feeling trapped, optionless, and unable to move.  This happens to me regularly, and always has; I feel trapped when I’m committed to someone and lonely when I’m not.  It isn’t fair to Carrie, who isn’t doing anything to make me feel this way, and it isn’t fair to the people around me who get subjected to my funks.

I know this cycle, and I know I need to head it off.  Trapped leads to resentment, resentment leads to anger (anger leads to the Dark Side).  And eventually it kills things.  I’m in the first stage now; I need to work out how to change the progression.

When I was seeing L, I didn’t know this about myself yet, and so I just spent about four years depressed and angry.  While T and I were together, my theory was that I needed to change how I felt, change that progression, and that was ultimately fruitless; once the final stage kicked in, I just hated myself for a year because I couldn’t make it better.  Then I tried just being single for a while, which certainly left me feeling differently, but I did spend a lot of time lonely.  Still, though, I was out of the trapped-resentful-angry cycle.

As I mentioned in the first post, the experiment this time around has been to see if being a) in love with someone awesome and b) free to see other people is enough to keep me out of this devolution.  I still don’t know; it turns out I’m really bad at the latter part, in ways that I don’t really understand (if I did, no doubt I’d change them).

Beyond that, I’m not sure I have a lot to offer someone new, so long as I’m in this funk.  I’m not sure I have a lot to offer Carrie, either, but she’s already signed up for it for whatever reason.  I’m weird and difficult with regards to dating, uncomfortable when approaching and slow to respond when approached. I want to be very aggressive, and I find very aggressive men irritating, and overcompensate by underreacting (plus I’ve had a few people tell me I’m overly aggressive when I didn’t even think I was flirting with them, so now I try to tone it down even further).  And I’m just in a really poor space in my own head right now; if I started seeing someone new, that person would be stuck with me at my most self-loathing from the get-go.

Don’t really have a solution for this.  It’s a funk; it’ll pass.  I’ll wait until I’m feeling better, and then go through another cycle of trying to psyche myself up to actually approach new people, then negotiate whatever is required to move to the next step.  Maybe I’ll try to figure out what a real person would have said to the couple of people who’ve approached me recently that I find interesting; how to actually express attraction rather than just bantering on autopilot until they or I lose interest, the way that I do.  I made some headway on this before, and then dropped into one of these moods and tossed it all out, but I’m sure it’s achievable again.

If nothing else, writing it all out makes me feel better.

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13 thoughts on “The Blahs

  1. I hope you don’t find this frivolous to your mood, but ‘bantering on autopilot’ really sounds like the next Noah Baumbach movie.

  2. I’m sorry that you’re feeling lousy. I’d be happy to chat if you want someone (specific) to talk to.

  3. Katya, frivolity is welcome. And now I want to see that movie.

    Sara, sure. I will definitely take you up on that some time.

  4. Seriously, I feel immensely better. I heartily recommend emo blog post therapy for the whinging blues.

  5. I rather feel the same way but while you seem frustrated by it, I feel okay with it for now. I don’t have a lot to offer someone looking for a new relationship and so I’m not actively seeking them now and while I also feel a bit antsy and oppressed by societal expectations when I’m with only one person too long, it hasn’t been long enough since my breakup with boyfriend B for these feelings to set in quite yet.

    I, however, don’t know how you can fail to express your attraction for certain individuals. It just seems really simple to me and I’m not sure what effect you’re trying to have that it seems complex to you. Of course, I’m also perfectly fine with not appealing to most people for the various reasons of my character, attitude or approach and I’m guessing you feel more unhappy with not being successful in dating around more.

  6. It’s hard to explain. When I sense someone expressing interest in me, I freeze up, internally; I go on as normal, but I feel a desperate need to seem unaffected by it. This is true regardless of whether I’m attracted to them, although it feels different in my head. For people I’m attracted to, I think it’s sort of a vulnerability issue, where until I’m 100% certain, I’m not willing to put myself out there. When it’s someone I’m not attracted to, it’s to avoid having to reject them. It’s not that it’s complicated, it’s that I have a specific block about it.

    I can work around it in some circumstances. If there’s been a gradual buildup, or if I consciously force myself out of that mode, but then in the latter case I’m a little too present. It’s… sort of like when you start thinking about breathing, and then suddenly you have to concentrate in order to keep breathing. Except in this case, it’s having to do that but also not really understanding the process of breathing.

    I mean, obviously, this isn’t the only issue, and it hasn’t kept me from getting involved with anyone entirely. But almost everyone I’ve been with has had to be very explicit about their interest in me before I could jolt out of this state. I sort of made a project of trying to get better about this early last year, but then I got weird and confused and sort of lost all that progress.

  7. Bleargh, even talking about this is setting off klaxons in my head. It is really difficult to describe this in public.

  8. This may be an oversimplification on my part but it sounds like it stems from some sort of insecurity and the way to fix the symptoms of not feeling comfortable conveying genuine feelings of attraction is to fix the root problem of what is causing the insecurity or addressing the insecurity itself.

  9. I think “anxiety” is probably more correct there, but aside from that, yeah, probably. And the same stuff that makes my OCD easier to deal with reduces the incidence of this, as well.

    Ultimately, the answer for this sort of thing is to do it, anyway, and then I’ll eventually get comfortable with it. This is what worked for sending job applications, or writing on the internet. But I’ve been doing both of those things much longer and thus have had more time to get over that feeling.

  10. Well, also, I can do those things any time I want. This is something that can’t be practiced nearly as often.

  11. Heh. Well, if I can get you within arm’s reach, I’ll practice on you. You’re on the wrong coast right now, though.

  12. Pingback: Sex at Dawn – part 2 « Newly Open

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