Default Mode

July 01, 2003

I understand that my default mode, if you will, is depression. I have to actively work at being not depressed. At times this is easy and at other times it is extremely difficult. Lately I have had a hard time staying just mildly depressed, I have been slipping in to deeper and deeper levels of helplessness and in activity.

I find my mental processes paralyzed; I am unable to think clearly or make decisions. When I try to go to sleep I have difficulty achieving any kind of rest, and once I am asleep I don't want to wake up. I am increasingly angry and I lash out at my wife and my cats. I take my frustrations out on store clerks and wait staff. I am not doing a good job of taking care of me right now and therefore I am not doing a good job of living in my truth. My false-personality is running the show and running me into ruin.

I need to take time for myself. Real quality time where I can set aside all the distractions I use to hide from the truth. Reading a book or playing on my computer feels good in the moment, but those activities just mask the underlying problem. I've never really tried to have quiet, distraction free time for me before. I am not sure how to do it. I know that sounds silly, but when was the last time you took time just for you and didn't have any distractions or avoidance's?

I guess I'm talking about a form of meditation or contemplation. I need a way to calm myself and focus on me. I've taken in so much of the world around me lately that I am having trouble seeing my perspectives right now. Instead I am trying to see everyone else's viewpoints. And, worse, I am trying to take care of everyone else instead of myself.

I am a creature of habit and I find comfort in those habits. However, if I am "self medicating" with some or all of a habit then it is hurting me in the long run, no matter how good it may feel in the short term. I need to break out of my normal routines and challenge some of my touchstones. I'm not saying that anything I am doing is bad or wrong, just that keeping to the same patterns when they aren't working is perhaps not my best course of action. As Michele says, doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

If I can examine, question, challenge, and flex my current habits and routines I may find a new, and more productive outlet for some of my current emotional energy. If I can release the downward energies (those that spiral towards depression) in a constructive way I can get back to a more neutral balance again. Once I am balanced I will be able to take on the world again.

I already feel a reluctance within my towards changing and altering my habits. I know that this is a sure sign it will be good for me. The reluctance is my false-personality trying to keep me trapped. My truth is that I am not helpless, nor out of control. Overcoming this false inertia won't be easy, but it will be very good for me.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.