Friday, July 27, 2012

My hoped for future doesn't exist

[Whatever else this might touch on, be aware, this post is entirely about depression, if you're not up for that please don't read.]

The passage of time makes me sad.  It just does.  Not the passage itself, the change it brings with it.  If it were only progress then perhaps it wouldn't.  And then there's the question of what is progress, some progress I don't like.

A lot of the time, I want things to be how they were.  I realize that my sister's plans for trying to save my grandparents' farm are far more likely to succeed than any plan I ever considered, but it was never an animal farm.  It was strawberries, and much smaller parts blueberry and rhubarb, bees that were kept by someone else who dropped off a portion of the honey he collected every so often, and in large part flowers in the greenhouse.

Now the strawberry fields have filled with trees, and the greenhouse is in need of serious repairs, and stuff is overgrown everywhere.  I just want it back the way it was.  It'd take a lot of work, especially detreeing the fields.  But it never will be, because I never did hit it big and find a way to buy out my aunt and my sister is doing her best and now there's a calf there (I call it a cow, but it's male) and almost 30 ducks, and goats, and sheep on the way.  Even though I like the animals (I've always loved ducks) it's a sign that the farm will never be like it was, any dreams of the future I had that involved the farm cannot come to pass because the farm I was thinking of is gone.

There was a forum I used to frequent that was damaged by mismanagement from levels so far above they never even noticed the forum in question (and appeared content to leave it alone after that) and the traffic slowed down but some people held on and the problem was always in finding something to talk about.  I had a whole series of posts that I wanted to do in hopes of jump starting some conversation, but I was too depressed to actually write any of them.  I still hoped to get back to it, even if everyone had given up, even if I was talking to no one.  It was part of a much larger network so the lack of activity on that one forum didn't really pose a threat of getting it closed down.

Then IGN/Gamespy shuttered the entire network.  Forget about the series of posts.  My plan of, "When I'm not depressed I'll have the energy to go back there and say, 'Hi,'" turned out to be a pipe dream, because in the future when I'm not depressed, or less depressed, that won't exist.  It already doesn't exist.

There were some posts I wanted to write for the Slacktiverse for as long as there has been a Slacktiverse.  I can still write them.  I still plan to write them.  (A decent start on one of them popped into my morning pages this morning, thank you Kit Whitfield for recommending The Artist's Way to me.)  But it's not the same Slacktiverse, while I've depressed and stagnant, it's been changing.  Recently quite a bit.

I am very much not criticizing the mod's decision to withdraw, I hope it makes things better for them.  And if it does then that is a very good thing.  But it's a stark example of change.  My hopes for those posts all included them in the comments, my hopes for being able to be a more active participant over there included interacting with them more.  That future doesn't exist.

There's another community I was once very much a part of that I drifted out of, when I have the energy, when I have the time, when I don't have depression making every step require more effort than climbing a mountain, I want to go back there.  I'd like to go back now, but I really don't have it in me at the moment to expand.  It's taking all my effort not to contract.

When I do go back I don't know what I'll find, but it won't be the future I hoped for because some people will have moved on, some people may have died, and things will have changed.  My hoped for future, doesn't exist, it never did.

When I'm better, if I ever am, the things that I hoped to do when that time came will not be possible.  It will be too late.  Some of them by a decade or more if I'm honest.

I don't have plans for the future, I have plans for the past.  And the past doesn't come again.

It's easier to pretend that isn't the case it's easier to pretend that the things I wanted can still come to pass because despite what the song says I don't have, "new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty" I just have, "I tried to go back, as if I could [...] Tore up and tore up good."

My hopes and dreams, what few I have left, are all rooted in the impossible.

And in the present, everything is falling apart.  Has been for a long time now, and it never stops falling.


You won't see a lot of introspection like this from me, because it comes with the kind of crying I used to think I'd lost the capacity for.  Most of the time when I'm sad the tears don't come.

With something like this, it's all tears.  Sobbing so hard I can barely breathe, and snot dripping out of my nose.  It's haveing to stop and dry my eyes so I can see, it's having to walk away, and walk around, in hopes that I can get back into a place, mentally, where I can go on typing.  It's crying standing, sitting, and on the floor (propped up against something rather than laying down.)

That's what my time with depression has taught me: don't think about it.  It's probably not healthy, I've done it so well that I think I've led my pychologist and psychiatrist (I'm lucky enough to have both at the moment, for quite a while I had neither) to vastly underestimate some of my problems because my coping mechanisms have caused me to underestimate them myself.  I won't see either for a week and a weekend, I'll try to bring this up with them when I do.


I do have one request, if you're reading this and you think this is somehow your fault.  If you think that you've made me do this crying, and there's a handful of people who might, don't.  It isn't.   The people most likely to think this is their fault are the ones who have helped me the most.  Please, don't think you've hurt me because you haven't.

You've got enough problems in your own lives, and even if you didn't I wouldn't want to get you down over something that isn't your fault.  Please don't feel bad about this.  I considered not writing this because I was worried that it might make you feel worse, I decided to do it anyway just to get it out, I decided to post it for reasons that I'm not even sure about, and that means that all I can do is ask you, please, it's not your fault, don't feel bad.


Unless you, the reader that this makes feel bad, happens to somehow be from IGN or Gamespy and that's why you're feeling bad.  In that case what I'm talking about now still isn't your fault but I still haven't forgiven the torching the archives without any warning whatsoever.  That was like them being told that a library they were planning on demolishing was stocked with entirely one of a kind irreplaceable volumes and, rather than telling people, "Library's closing, we don't want the books, better move out the stuff you don't want lost," they set it on fire in the middle of the night for shits and giggles.  I gather that the most recent time they destroyed something I cared about they gave advanced warning that I simply missed, but I still haven't forgiven them for the first time when they very much did not so if you're with them and were involved in that and this post gets you down, good.  You deserve it.  Asshole.


  1. Do you accept virtual hugs?

    You are more eloquent on (apparent) bad days than I manage to be on good days.

    I did't want to leave my email 'over there' but cjmr AT livejournal DOT com should redirect to my primary email address. Happy soon to be your birthday!


    1. I do accept virtual hugs.

      If things went right you should have an email from me now.

      Also, so things aren't all gloom, it may be worth looking at the very next post if you have not already.

  2. *virtual hugs*
    I saw your note on Slacktiverse about your birthday. I'm nowhere near Maine, but... happy (early) birthday, and I hope you have a great time and can see or otherwise talk with your friends.

  3. This part is all about me:
    (At first I was afraid you were writing this when I was trying to talk you on FB and I inerrupted you being really sad and I felt awful about it. But the timestamp doesn't seem to reflect that, so I hope it's not the case.)

    I very much hear you on The Slacktiverse. I have a bunch of guest post submissions started. But I wonder what's the point. If I can't write about experiences of Christianity and have comments from hapax, or about representations of African American womanhood in animated films (ok, I kind of made that up; I don't really have a post about that right now) or statistics, or unions, or...and have comments from mmy, etc., then why would I post at The Slacktiverse?

    On the one hand it's kind of silly, because whose to say hapax would commment on my post anyway? Real life can always interefere, or folks just might not feel like it. I never posted my long involved opinions on the awesomeness of Amarie's guest posts, because I was busy doing something off the net when they went up, and by the time I got to focus on it, the site had moved on. (That's crappy; why not actually comment and engage, even just as a sign of my appreciation for her work? I have this feeling like WE'VE GONE TOO FAR TO TURN BACK NOW about a lot of innappropriate things.)

    1. This was written with nothing but me and the computer, not distractions. The only interruptions were when I couldn't go on typing. So no worries.

      For me, I know they might not have commented on my posts, I know we might not have talked any more if I'd managed to be more active. But that was part of the dream, that was the hope.

      Except the place where that dream takes place doesn't exist anymore. Like the farm it has changed. Maybe the changes will turn out to be for the better, but the hope and the dream are based on the temporally impossible. When I'm healthy (in the future) I'll do these things in that place (but that place only exists in the past.)

      All four examples:
      The farm
      The dead forum
      The slacktiverse
      The live forum

      I have hopes and dreams associated with, and in every case they're associated with a version of the thing that simply doesn't exist anymore. Maybe if the thing did still exist the hopes an dreams still couldn't come to pass (I've definitely got things like that) but the fact that these things are based on a past now gone just sort of drives the point home.


      As for commenting, my position here is that it's never too late to comment. Other people have other expectations though, there's no universal rule.


      I have this feeling like WE'VE GONE TOO FAR TO TURN BACK NOW about a lot of innappropriate things.

      Perhaps you could counter with, "Could we start again please?" Not sure how you feel about Jesus Christ Superstar tough.

  4. That's what my time with depression has taught me: don't think about it. It's probably not healthy

    Hmmm. Well, it certainly is worth discussing with your psych, but it doesn't sound unhealthy to me. It sounds like a healthy thing that is harder for to pull off than it is for some people, so you have a coping strategy and you cope. Dwelling on the past doesn't work for humans when we try to move along in the present. We each have our own values for "dwelling," and "move along," I guess...

  5. First, I am so sorry about how you are feeling. Not in a "I think I might be at fault" sort of way, but in a "I have an idea of how you are feeling because I have felt the same way before" sort of way. Unfortunately, I know that I can't necessarily say anything to make it better, especially as I am an almost-anonymous internet poster. So, the best I can do is *virtual hugs*

    Second, happy birthday! I saw your post on the 'verse, but did not have a chance to reply to it. Unfortunately, I live nowhere near Maine(Colorado).

    Thirdly, thank you for the kind words on the Marchons thread. Once again, I did not actually see that post until after the thread had closed.

    Finally, more *hugs*

  6. More virtual hugs here. (And, in the event you find yourself visiting the UK, give me a shout.)

    I'm with Lonespark: I'm not a psych, but getting the weeping out - and yeah, sometimes that can take months - sounds in principle like a good thing.

  7. TW: this reply is from an also-depressed person, talking about her depression. Probably not a good read on the bad days; I'm sorry to Chris and other depressed persons for this.

    I would like to thank you for writing this, because I am in a place where these are almost my exact feelings. I know that it's not a good place, and I am trying to get help. At the moment it's not really helping, but perhaps in the future it will.

    But I just wanted to tell you that your honest posts about your depression really have helped me to feel like I'm not alone and not a freak of nature. (Mine is also of the variety that sometimes takes an hour and a half to take a shower, because you take a towel off the wall then spend twenty minutes thinking about it and staring into space and helpless to actually complete the action that maybe you started an intention for. Mine is the unpretty variety, the type that it's tough to explain to people because why the hell don't you just do it, you've had the time and it's not that tough...). Yeah, I just wanted to thank you for making me feel not-so-alone. There are other people who struggle with the things that I'm currently struggling with, and it's heartening to know that. For fifteen years previous, I had believed I was the only one who experienced depression in this way: not as sadness, but as an inability to act even if I wanted to (many thanks to the mental health professionals who tacitly encouraged this belief). Reading your journey has given me tremendous hope, because it's the first account I've read that very much seems like my own.

    So yes, thank you for putting this online. I've cried a couple times with how closely you describe the arcs and trenches of my own feelings, but it's the first account I've found that is even close to what I've been working through.

    Thank you. So much.

    1. You're welcome.

      It's good to know one's not alone. Thanks for saying something.