Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Me v. Hole

Last night I came home emotionally drained only to receive bad news regarding the progress of my new bike. It was originally slated to arrive at the shop on Thursday or Friday, but we were warned that it might not be ready to pick up until Monday due to a backlog of work that the shop already had. When it didn’t arrive on Friday I hoped that perhaps the backlog would clear over the weekend, and at least they could get right to it when the bike arrived on Monday. Then last night I came home to the news that when Frank had stopped by the shop to check on the progress, the shop wasn’t even open, presumably due to the moderately crappy weather yesterday. So now I have no idea where the bike is, or when it will be built up. This news came after I had already asked for a PTO day so that I can take advantage of the practically tropical 39 degrees and no rain or snow weather that is predicted tomorrow. I was really hoping that my new bike would be able to join me, but it won’t.

I *just* got the text that they essentially don’t know where the fuck it is. Awesome.

The result of this news that would be normally fall into the “mild to moderate disappointment” category (at least as of last night’s status update) sent me into a half-hour or so of catatonic pouty fit that I’m sure was pretty tough for Frank because he really wanted to console me, but I just wasn’t in a state to be consoled. It sounds dumb without context, but as I mentioned before, I was already emotionally sucked dry when I came and just didn’t have the capacity for anything else less than positive. The half-hour of catatonic state did serve its purpose, though, as I did eventually pull myself together and find the energy to go to the gym, make dinner, fold the laundry, clean the litter boxes, and get ready for bed like I was supposed to.

The thing about it is that yesterday wasn’t really even a “bad day” by most terms. It was just a normal workday with moderately crappy weather, a few normal-type stressful moments, and a little bit of bad news at the end. However, as you might have gathered from my recent flurry of Internet honesty, I’m in a bad place right now. The difference is that this may be the first time that I’m fully aware that the bad place I’m in can’t be blamed on bad circumstances, but rather pretty mundane circumstances and a lack of excitement and/or drama to distract myself from the emptiness inside me.

Knowing that, the reason yesterday felt so bad for me is that since I’ve admitted it all of this for the world to see, I’m ready give up on unhealthy methods of giving into my emotional hole. A big lesson that I’ve learned in the past is that one of the best treatments for depression is to stop behaving like a depressed person. However, the gap between how simple that sounds and hard it actually is to actually do is almost funny its expanse. So the first few days of turning one’s behavior around from unhealthy coping mechanisms feels terrible, even if the circumstances in which the changes take place merely lacking in encouragement, rather than actually bad.

My last couple of posts have talked about my need for a new anchor to pull myself out of the hole, as well as whether the hole is something to be cured or a condition that to managed. Last night I came to the conclusion that it is like an autoimmune disease of my mind. Instead of my immune cells attacking my thyroid or the myelin on my neurons, the negative part of my mind is attacking the positive part and making it hard to function. And like an autoimmune condition, there probably isn’t a cure, per se, and I’ve definitely learned that the drugs that doctors would prescribe for it very well might do more harm than good. However, with the right combination of treatments, I can put the hole into remission.

I’ve done it before without realizing that was what I was doing. Now that I know what I’m fighting, I don’t need to anchor myself to a bike race as my goal. My goal is to beat the hole. Training and racing will definitely be a part of my treatment, which I also know can be very helpful but also hurtful if used incorrectly. The key is awareness as to which category they fall into on a given day. I also still need to find new handholds, which is why it’s going to be so tough for a while. Internet accountability, a good boyfriend, and my own inconsistent willpower are what I have right now, but I’ll keep scanning my surroundings for more.

Half-hour catatonic pouty fits aside, I now have 1.5 days clean. I also have some progress on my complete collection of Taylor Swift 1989 cycling-related parodies, as “Clean” is now is a much more fleshed-out commentary on the function of gravel slurry in my life. That’s a bit ironic because “Shake It Off” is totally about muddy cross races (Racers gonna race, mechanics gonna hate, disc brakes are gonna brake, canti’s gonna cake, and my ex-man’s new girlfriend is like, “Oh my god, you mean I have to power wash?”). Cross mud is just more fun than gravel slurry in your teeth, I guess. 

Thankfully, such distractions will help me get through the weeks ahead. Most of all, now I think I will succeed because I have to. After all, I said on the Internet that I would.

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