Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A new plan, again: Day 24

I've been listening to podcasts this morning. Adam Buxton, Jon Ronson, the NYT's Daily, filling my head with current affairs, politics, storytelling, comedy.

Depression is isolating, it is a withdrawal from the world and from previously held interests and passions, and over the last few years I have consumed very little journalism. I haven't had the energy.

Cutting out harmful distractions and blogging every day has been part of my recovery process, but replacing the time I used to spend watching "Top 8 Easter Eggs in Marvel Movies" videos on YouTube with more productive browsing, like listening to intelligent, interesting podcasts, is vital as well. It is part of the process of re-engaging with the world.

I don't feel like doing it, don't feel like anything but lying in bed with the covers over me, but as with not drinking and with writing every day, what matters I think is that I just force myself to do it anyway, again and again, until the habit forms.

So this morning I listened to Adam Buxton interviewing Charlie Brooker about his creative process and his toilet hang-ups; I listened to Jon Ronson uncovering the permutations of a butterfly effect that lead from a geek from Brussels creating a free porn empire that now rules the world to the out-of-work porn performers in the San Fernando valley; and I listened to how Donald Trump has called for an investigation into the investigation of his campaign's links to Russia and the Middle East, and what the FBI and the DOJ might do about that.

I head difficult stories, funny stories, moving stories. I heard life being lived, all over the world, and thought about what it all means. It was more effort than tapping away at Youtube (or Youporn) or scrolling down Facebook or Instagram, but it was far more rewarding.

- - -

I'm not happy with yesterday's post. It didn't come out the way I wanted. I don't think I got to the heart of that feeling when you're depressed that it's the darkness that is the ultimate truth of reality, love that is a lie -- that axiom of emptiness from which all else is derived.

I spent most of the day staring at the words and I couldn't get them to fly, couldn't bring them to life. They were just blocks that I had to put one on top of the other and move around until they were as finished as I could get them when I ran out of time.

But it's a nice feeling to let that go and to move on. Some days the words fly, other days I have to push them from behind. And that's the reality. just sit at the keyboard and get it out, and move on.

If I was writing one large thing I could have left yesterday's section for a week and come back to it for another pass, but this daily blogging project isn't about that. It's about overcoming my fear of imperfection, of learning to be OK putting out flawed, average writing, if that's all I can produce, separating my sense of self-worth from the finished pieces and more into the act itself -- learning to enjoy being someone who writes, not someone who has written.

I know that with enough time and focus I can pinch and prune words into precise shapes, I can edit writing until it is good -- my issue has always been with sustaining that drive, with not being pulled down by insecurity and self-doubt and -loathing.

That has been my failing, but failings are fine. They're great. We all have them, and one of the wonders of life is in learning to face those failings, to overcome them, to turn our demons into angels that can lift us higher than we ever could have reached alone.

So I'm letting yesterday be yesterday, and now I'm concentrating on today. Another blog post done, another day with some hesitant progress and no slips backwards into addiction, and now I'm off to work to earn those pounds that pay the bills.

Bloody pounds. Bloody bills. Bloody work. Let's burn the modern world down and start again, only with more love. Yeah? Yep? Yep.

See you tomorrow.

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