More Useful Bullshit

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I’m having a depressive incident today – not quite suicidal, but the serious mood dive where you stare at things and can’t concentrate for all the swarms of self-loathing flitting about.
I’m trying to think about Why This Is.  Is it because of my terror of starting a new novel, and potentially failing at it? Is it some unexpected fallout from the Jezebel post the other day?  Is it a slightly awkward conversation I had with an old friend/crush last night?
The thing is, if I find a reason, I’ll feel better.  “Oh, that’s it,” I’ll go, and having found the core of my anguish, I’ll manage to get on with my day.
Except I probably haven’t.  I think for many people – myself included – the process of self-analysis is actually making up reasonable-sounding explanations for this incoherent mass of emotions at the center.  You don’t really find the reason, because there often isn’t a single reason – no, it’s this intertwined mixture of chemicals and subconscious bits floating about in your brain, nothing tractable, a mess.
But you find a reason.  It jines up with the random signals bouncing around in your head, like a line drawn neatly through several points of static, and you decide that this is the Reason.
And you feel better.  Because even though it makes no legitimate sense, you’ve just Learned A Lesson and Made Sense Of The Universe and Had A Personal Breakthrough, and the triumph suffuses your system, and you feel more rational and focused.  And lo!  Things are solved, for a time.
Right now, I’m deciding that this is a bunch of blog-fear I’m working through, as I always feel terrified whenever something I have is about to go out to a wide audience, and this is the sort of, say, sub-drop that you feel after an intense scene.  That’s probably not it.  But as I decide that is the reason, I feel a shadow lifting, and I find myself a little happier, and more able to start buckling down and doing real work.
It’s bullshit.
Useful, useful bullshit.

1 Comment

  1. Felicity
    Oct 26, 2012

    Huh! I had the opposite effect for a long time. I’d have a wave of melancholia start to hit, and my brain would (largely subconsciously) search around for something to explain it. Of course, I’m depressed because BLAH is so screwed up! Well, why wouldn’t I be, BLAH is really important and I don’t know how to fix it and if I don’t my life is going to… et cetera. I’d get myself completely confirmed in the blues and tangled up over something I wasn’t even thinking about before. After I started doing yoga and acknowledging I had depressive tendencies, I started being able to just notice the tide coming in, note it, and not look for a reason to freak out over.
    Just interesting how differently brains work, I think!

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