Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Analysis of Temperament

I just entered my moods based on what I remember from my blog since the beginning of the month. The chart is below. Interesting stuff. I laughed when I saw the emerging pattern. A month ago, I actually did one of these on a notebook; it looked the same; at least I am consistent.

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Added May 12th: It surprises me that I actually have a problem with depression. The way it surfaces in my life is that hours pass by as if they are minutes. If it weren't for those spikes of productivity I get every few days, I'd be a very unproductive person. Days also pass by where I don't eat, I don't shower, and I don't get outside. (I sometimes pull myself together enough to cook, but then I forget that the food is in the oven until I smell the charcoal.) I don't pray, I don't learn, and time just ticks away -- who knows what I am doing, but I certainly waste time during these moods. Most of the time I don't realize that I am in one of them until I notice that days have passed by. Spooky.

I find my depressed, anti-social disposition quite humorous, however, especially since I am a relatively cheerful person. I am inquisitive, analytical, and curious about life and the universe. I love life, and I am excited by everything that goes on it, both bad and good. I am even known to find humor in dark things which people misinterpret and so I have learned to hide my smile when tragedy hits. But I love a good tragedy, and I love a good villain.

With everything so wonderful in the world with the markets crashing down around us and the middle east about to explode, I would be the first to say that even though I am truly an optimistic person -- happy is something that I know that I am not, despite what my true warm smile might communicate. I know "happy" because there were many times in my life where I felt it and I was very familiar with the feeling while it was happening; I remember how it felt, and so the lack of these feelings now serve as an indicator as to where I am holding on my happy meter. I could fake it like for a while like I did, but pretending for it to be real with hopes that one day I will actually turn happy seems stupid. Who wants to feel a new emotion while living the same unexciting, lonely, and mediocre life? I think that I would rather be depressed until either I or the fates change my life and get me out of this rut.

Does this make sense to you? Does it make sense that I can walk around with a real smile and still be depressed? Can I go into my shell and be filled with experiences of depression but seldom sadness? I have been trying to study for days now, and since the sad news about the shidduch (meeting) with the girl who decided not to continue our meetings, I have honest to G-d been unable to kick myself into gear. I just have no drive and no motivation because I feel that there is nobody to be accountable to anymore except for myself, but I am a patient man and so I can give myself whatever time I need to kick in gear. If I were harder on myself, I would probably feel failure or frustration, but I know that I still wouldn't be able to kick myself into gear. Interestingly enough, as soon as I hit "send", I am taking the papers on my desk and I am throwing them neatly on the floor. I will wash my hands, take out the books, and get to work because my exam is on Monday. Any explanations you have for this mismatch are more than welcome.


Rowan said...

You are like a reflection of myself. I have always been an intuitive person who knows themself very well. Problem is, I have tried my whole life to ignore who I really am. I smile, I laugh, I am....but, not one person in this world really knows me. I have tried to offer a window into myself to my husband. He does not comprehend it at all. Nor, does anyone else I'm afraid. My sister thinks I am insane and the label of such makes her comfortable. I think it is more complicated -- always has been, always will be. The only kind of advise I can give you is this: You can be legitimately happy, but your physical body can be depressed. You described periods where hours will go by and it will feel like minutes. This sounds strikingly like "clinical depression". This does not even mean you are a sad or unhappy person. It means a chemical in your brain is telling your body to depress itself. I think of it almost like your body is trying to hibernate and store it's energy and lifesource for when it is more needed. Well, obviously this is like a short circuit. It shoudln't be like this. I just want to tell you, I have depression, I am not embarrassed about it, but I do get angry when people judge me as "mental" or "crazy". I'm actually really normal. I, like you, live a normal, apparently happy existence. I have a family and lots of posessions, but this doesn't help. I also want to say this: don't (like me) marry or settle down with someone who you merely are friends with or have feelings for. Be sure you are in love. Larger than life love. I regret (though I live a good life and love my husband dearly as I've grown to) not following my heart which has in past gotten me in trouble more than not, but I miss being needed and loved as much as I was loved in return. I feel I made a logical choice in marriage, I term it an arranged marriage that I arranged myself. We are an excellent match. But, the feeling of being in love has never beenthere and my hope eventually faded that it some day would. It is either felt like electricity fairly immediately, or never at all. Make sure you are getting matched with someone you can feel that for. I'm not preaching, but I hate to see you so worthy of being loved make the kind of mistakes I did. Not saying I would change it now, I love my family, but I did make sacrifices there that maybe aren't fair to myself.

Zoe Strickman said...

Response 1of2: I once did exactly that -- when I was in my early twenties, I dated a wonderful woman who I was comfortable with. I fell in love, and as amazing a person she was (and has become), we were like magic on so many levels, but absolutely NO chemistry. It was heartbreaking for both of us, and it seriously hurt the relationship because she felt that I wasn't attracted to her and physically I wasn't.

I am ashamed of this part of myself and that I did this to myself and to her; I wish I knew better because I wasted a few good years of her life.

We are still close friends, but I know that I hurt her by not admitting that there was no attraction. She was a very beautiful girl too; I suppose as you said -- it is either there or it isn't. I wish for her the equivalant of me, but with chemistry (and without the mood swings).

Zoe Strickman said...

Response 2of2: Do you know that I felt the same way, namely, that when I saw your blog and when you write me, I get the eerie feeling that I am reading my own writing! Something about our styles are identical, and that is very funny to see.

Re: "Clinical Depression": I know, I know. I have major highs and major lows. The lows disable me for days at a time. The highs make me forget that the lows exist until I'm back in there. I consistently push my body to such extremes both physically with lack of sleep, nutritionally by accidentally starving it for days and then binging on bags of junk food, and mentally from the Holosync / Hemisync / Paraliminal brainwaves that I feed it -- no wonder it goes nuts on me. I am so often surprised how resiliant it is, and how much of my nonsense it deals with.

I (and others) agree with your point of view that I get "clinically depressed." It is just one of those weird parts about me that I have always dealt with. I have actually decided to get help and see someone next week after my exams are over.

The disconnect that I find so true is that while I myself am not a sad person, chemically I get so sad and go through such mood swings that anyone who sat and watched the transitions would have a good laugh. I think I handle them well though and keep quite balanced despite the symptoms. I am working on this one. It is my second-to-the-top priority after getting my habits and patterns (sleep, shower, food, exercise, prayer) in order.