Yet, I can't seem to transform them into journal entries of any kind. A record of the kaleidoscope of my emotions escapes me. All the colors of my thoughts, the varied shades of feeling just drift, with no canvas to be painted on, for future perusal.
When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with a mild form of depression-chronic dysthymia. This condition assaults me a couple times a year, lasting from a few weeks to months. During these "flare-ups" my inner life comes to a standstill. I've devoloped the skills to get through the basics of life, go to work, eat, sleep, function normally to all appearances. But activities with any kind of meaning, anything productive in my life, are beyond my abilities.
Logically, I know when I'm depressed-emotionally, I can't drag myself out of it. My mind becomes a maze of negativity and emptiness, that doesn't seem to have an exit. I wander through this maze in an awareness of it, but no map to lead me to the open spaces beyond.
The frustrating thing is that I can feel life slipping by, and yet do nothing to grasp it, nothing to lead to a feeling of accomplishment, progress, evolvement, involvement.
This particular period has left me bereft of the words to express it, to move it along and get past it. It's a new twist. Words have never deserted me this way before. One of the things I've always been able to do is write, sometimes over and over, about my feelings of uselessness during these bouts. I have notebooks with pages and pages full of self-flagellation to prove it. My own worst critic has never been at a loss for words, still running rampant through my head, even as I write this.
Yet this time, till now, I haven't been able to capture them on a page. I'm chaining myself to this venue of expression to write this. My hopes are that, like a pinhole in a dam, these few words will erode the wall, particle by particle, opening a channel for these swirling thoughts to begin flowing again, onto the pages of my life.
I've wasted some beautiful late summer and early fall days in this maze of depression. I regret that. I mourn the fact that they're escaping into the past without my having left a memory on them. Just an emptiness that I haven't been able to fill.
Today is the last nice day, in the forecast, for now. It's turning colder and cloudy at the beginning of the week. I'm going to make an effort to get past the inertia I'm feeling. Take a lunch, blank notebook and pen, to the lake and see if I can't find the words to express some of these swirling thoughts.