Gotta Choose, Nothing To Lose
I’ve been having a rough time lately. I just saw a therapist today and will see her again next week on Wednesday. She believes I have what she calls, “paralyzing depression.” She believes that I may need to get on some additional medication, particularly a mood stabilizer. Unfortunately, the nurse practitioner that I see is going to be gone for a week starting tomorrow, but I do have an appointment with her on the 25th, so that’s okay I guess. She was amazed that I can sit and do nothing for hours, days even. She also thinks that doing that is not helping anything.
She gave me a worksheet, “homework”, on self-esteem that I need to fill out before I see her again, and she decreed a new rule: I’m not allowed to “do nothing.” I have to do something, anything, rather than just sit and stare into space getting all worked up over myself. Maus has kind of had this rule for a while, and I’ve criticized him in the past for it, saying, I have to have a moment to not do anything! But, now it’s more than just Maus, and it’s more than just me, I have to do something. It can be anything at all, as long as it’s not “sitting on the couch / laying in bed staring into space.”
For a week I was doing okay, making dinner, staying somewhat busy with things, and what not. Things seemed good, and then Monday hit and about the time I picked up Maus from work, I was so angry. It seemed like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, but something was still missing from my life. I was just, pissed off at everything. I hated everything, and really what that amounts to in essence is that I hate myself. It always seems to come back to that, and it seems like I can never really escape.
So it seems to me that I guess I’m going to have to figure out how not to hate myself.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think my life is terrible. It’s definitely not terrible. It’s actually rather beautiful, and has a lot of potential. I don’t have a standard day job, I can pretty much do whatever I want, I’m supplied with toys, and I have a partner that I love and he loves me. So, yeah, life could be a hell of a lot worse than it is. I’m pretty blessed really, I have just about anything I want, and I can seemingly accomplish anything I put my mind to, but that’s also part of the problem.
On Monday Maus was upset and wanted me to talk to someone. On Tuesday, he was angry and pissed off, and all of his frustration spilled out of him like molten lava. He was very aggressive, more aggressive than I’ve ever seen him. He shook me, and just about slapped me, but didn’t. It’s not that I wouldn’t have deserved it, when I sit and do absolutely nothing except hate on myself it’s pretty shitty, for lack of a better term. But, by Wednesday, he realized I was really having a problem that wasn’t going away and couldn’t necessarily be “wiped out.” And then he talked to me. He said many things, but one of the thing she said is that I have a huge intellect, and that I can pretty much accomplish anything I put my mind to, and that for whatever reason, I’ve decided to task myself with my own destruction. I’ve turned every faculty, every emotion, every thought process towards putting myself down, and fortifying this belief that I am nothing and worthless.
I feel, in some ways, somehow I’ve ended up back at where I was before, five years ago. I’ve written in this blog about that time before, in fact I started this blog coming out of that time. The only difference this time is that I’m actually at the root of the problem, rather than be completely sidelined and sidetracked by terrible obsessions and debilitating anxiety in an effort to escape or redirect myself away from how much I truly hated myself, now… I am just face to face with the beast. I am face to face with the self-loathing and beliefs in my worthlessness.
Being worthless begs the question… worthless to who? Worthless by what standard? And it used to be that I measured myself, at least I thought I measured myself, against others and their arbitrary qualities. It could be their stature, what they’ve accomplished, how happy they were, what they’re problems were, how much money they had, how many friends they had, and generally how much “better” they were than me, however better could be imagined. But I don’t think that ultimately it’s about other people. I think I measure myself against what I think I could be, and come up short. And in coming up short I conclude that something is wrong with me, that I’m the problem, and in that sense I must be eradicated.
Here is a portrait of how I often see myself these days, as proffered up to my mother:
… It means I’m a degenerate selfish piece of unimportant detritus with no ambition, no integrity, no character, and no love who only serves to suck life away from those who care about me. I’m an insignificant nothing with no bearing on the world in even the smallest magnitude. And I don’t care, I don’t love, I don’t feel, I can never accomplish or amount to anything; I’m just a weak and inferior blunted psyche with zero potential who never should’ve made it to 33. …
I wrote that, about myself! Boy, I may have a long way to go.
And it’s not that I think people should pity me. It’s not that I think I deserve attention, praise, or aid because I’m “destined” to be such a lowlife. What I mean by that is that, I’m not writing this in any effort to try to pull compassion out of people, as some sort of strange fishing for compliments that somehow will validate my existence. I don’t want people to think I’m just an attention seeking nut who constantly bemoans about how horrible his life is. My life isn’t horrible, and I can only apologize if I come off that way.
In fact, it compounds on itself really, because I think I’m horrible for being so self-indulgent and wrapped up in my own despair, so emotionally selfish that I can’t even give back to the people that give to me so that I can live my beautiful blessed life.
I told the therapist about the FoxTrot incident, the one where I ended up hog tied by police? In doing so she actually was introduced to the concept of “furries.” It was kind of funny, because, she said, “Why did you get so angry?” And I replied, that to sum it all up, it just seemed that those people were getting to do what they wanted to do, and by implication I was not. I told her that in reality, I know that any one of those people has their own problems, their own failures, their own disappointments, but that to me, with their friends and their beautiful fursuits, I couldn’t see any of those things. So, of course, she asked the obvious follow up, “What is it that you want to do?” And I said, “Honestly, I don’t think I really have any clear idea.”
Well, that’s productive. She then told me that we must intend then to find out what it is that I want to do, and then, in some manner, figure out how to do it.
I’ve heard this refrain of people “getting to do what they want” before, from other places in my life and by other people. It seems it may have rubbed off on me, unfortunately. When I listen to myself sometimes, I hear other people I love who are related to me by blood. It amazes me sometimes, how much seems to be transferable from one person to another. You would think that there would be some form of problem regression, some form of transformation over time, that would render the situation resolute. One day, my father unveiled some of his thoughts about me, about my intelligence and my spirit, and told me that it was a blessing, and a curse. He was right.
To be honest, I want to make a post promising all sorts of plans and ideas and wonderful goodies, but I’m really hesitant to do that. For one, those kinds of posts seem to never really be fulfilled, and in the end something that was positive turns a bit sour with regret or disappointment. Heh, honestly, that could sum up my life right now. So, I’m not going to make that kind of post exactly like that.
In fact, I told Maus, and told the therapist that I told Maus, about how sometimes I wish I had something, something I’d created, something objective that I could point to or talk about that other people could also point to and talk about; in essence something that other people found “valuable.” And by extension then, somehow offer me validation in my own worthiness. Maus trained in old third-world schools of psychology for three years before he embarked on his musical career, and he said that while that doesn’t sound like a necessarily bad idea, and that there’s some merit to it, it ultimately isn’t the answer. He said that not only is other people’s validations fleeting, as they can be taken away, but they’re also never enough. 10 people like it, ok great, but… that’s only ten people, I want 100 people to like it. K, 100 is okay, but this person has 1000 likes, I just have a hundred, and so on and so on. Ultimately, its just a vicious cycle that invites dysfunction. And I don’t want to be like that, do I?
What is it that I want to do? Well, I decided that if I wasn’t going to do nothing today, then I was going to go to Starbucks and hang out for while, writing on this post on my laptop. So, I walked to Starbucks… with a tail. It was kind of funny, when I described furries to the therapist she said to me, “You’re very likeable, I liked you almost immediately. And the furry thing, it fits you. I can easily see the furry thing in you.” I wanted to do something kind of fun, and free, and wearing a tail is kinda fun, and free. So, I wore a tail today.
But, what is it I want to do? I think there are multitudinous facets to the answer to that question, in fact, maybe even in the question itself. I think part of me wants a family. However, because I have decided that I’ll never have children, any resemblance to a ‘normal’ kind of heterosexual family is out of the question. I mean, I have a wonderful family that accepts me for what I am, and loves me, and I have nephews and nieces that all like me. I have a partner that adores me. But I feel like something’s missing, and I’m not really sure what it is. I guess, in a sense, I want to belong to something. When I was growing up, I was the youngest in the family, and our house was constantly being visited by other people, friends and such. I grew up in an environment where there were many people all living under the same roof, and I miss that. Right now, it’s just me and Maus, in an apartment. It’s a lovely apartment, but when he’s at work, I’m all alone and I think that’s been difficult to face. I remember back to when I was living with Blackpaw, Genome, Seth, Maus, and me all in a two bedroom apartment, and I miss parts of that I guess.
But where and how do I meet people? I don’t want just anybody in my life, really most people don’t. However, if going to a furry meetup could play out like another FoxTrot incident, what’s the point? And honestly, as one of my two online friends put it, I don’t really want a bunch of furfags as friends either, however you want to identify that. He identified it as someone who was into the darker/seedier sides of the fandom and seemed to only exist for such, and who might espouse positivity, but ultimately carries around with them a negative dark energy. I knew exactly what he was talking about. Yeah, no thank you. I want to be friends with other people who are intelligent, principled (even if we disagree), loving, and sensitive. People who can appreciate and understand “the fragility of things” as I used to say.
One thing at a time though, as the therapist put it: baby steps.
This blog has been haunting me for quite some time actually. I thought about writing a post here, but every time I thought of it it just seemed awful. I’ve wanted to post a tutorial, but, I haven’t been up to making anything even resembling a tutorial. In fact, I cancelled my programming lesson this week because of how bad I’ve been feeling, I just didn’t think my nephew would be getting the best me he deserves. This online space has just seemed like a giant blank wall that would stomp in my way as I would gaze upwards at it’s unending surface. But, now that I actually have written something, it’s not so bad. Of course, like every post, it’s not exactly what I had in mind, but at least it’s something.
I’ve decided that one thing I can work on is this blog. Here’s the deal, I have to keep myself busy. I’m not allowed to “not do anything” anymore, so, I’m going to need some projects or activities to keep me busy. There have been times in the past when I’ve kept up this blog to a pretty good degree, and it was kind of fun. The only reason I ever stopped is because I would get distracted, usually by my negative self talk telling me that I have nothing to say and that nobody cares. Well, to hell with that. The therapist says she wants me to re-read the Self Talk book I told her I read at one point because I’ve got this self-talk all wrong. Maybe I’ll get his other book, or maybe his new book, though, that’s about neuroplasticity it seems more than self talk.
One of the reasons I started this blog (back when it was called, “Learn To Program With Asher @ FurDev“) was so that I might meet some new people. I thought, I could share my struggles (cause at the time I was really struggling) and maybe connect with some other people over shared interests. Funny enough, I’ve met zero people with this blog so far, in fact, I’ve lost one person completely, though, not because of the blog. But, I still have faith that I’m not “alone,” whatever that means, and that somewhere out there are people interested in a gay spiritual-atheist furry diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder transitioning from his twenties to middle-age that loves computers, games, a good story, and a having a good time. So, in those regards, if you want to contact me all my social network and instant messenger links are in the upper right of my blog. I’m always open to meeting new people. I also have a Nintendo Network ID, and a 3DS friend code that’s not up there. My Nintendo Network ID is asherwolfstein and my 3DS friend code is 3969-6701-4929
Getting all of this off my chest, I actually feel a little better now. Funny how that works.
I know I said I wouldn’t make a post promising a bunch of things, but I thought I’d at least address the subject. I have a lot of ideas that I can potentially dive into, it just seems like all of them are either worthless, pointless, or I’m completely creatively blocked when working on them. For instance, I have ideas for tutorials involving programming, philosophy, and electronics. I also have an idea about being a “real life furry” that I want to develop and try out that involves costuming and electronics. I have a comic idea which finally achieved a title, “Artificial Life,” Maus has said he’ll be the artist on that one. It’s about a special relationships between a boy and a robot in the future. I have an idea for a online game-chat server that I want to program in PHP I call phuxer. I have an idea for a Visual Novel series I want to work on with Maus and my online friend. I also have some ideas for a generic role-playing system I want to develop and use in a first-person dungeon crawler type game developed in pygame. Wow, I never realized how many ideas I actually had til I listed them all out.
I promise nothing on any of these projects, unfortunately, but I thought I’d list them out here as the first post of 2017. I have more ideas than that, yes more, but those are the most solid and thought about at the moment.