The human mind is a funny thing, especially so in those of us who, shall we say, don’t always see the glass as half full. There is a rhythm to the swings as well. Sometimes I think that I can take over the world while other times I quite honestly can’t get out of bed for fear of failing even at being awake. There’s an irony in the fact that when I was a kid I liked going on the swings during recess, but as an adult my mental swings are my nemesis. The funny thing is that this cycle of how I see myself is largely independent from the perception of me by the world at large. As far as most of you are concerned you generally either like my work or don’t. I highly doubt that my fan base swings from tens of thousands of people down to zero in keeping with my mental state.
And of course I’m not the first person to have this problem. History is littered with stories of people like me, especially artists it seems. Or maybe it’s just the depressed artists that get the column inches. To the end of coping with what I’ve come to see as an immutable part of my life I’ve read and I’ve talked and I’ve tried to figure it all out, or at least make some rational observations which I could remind myself of when I’m down to try to wrench myself out of it, but it doesn’t seem to work. I’ve encumbered myself with personal projects and daily tasks in order to keep my mind busy thinking about anything but itself. Lately I’ve been going to the gym almost daily as well. I’m certainly an idle hands kind of person. Those kinds of things help a little bit. They at least soften the valleys, but sometimes I feel like they may often soften the peaks as well. That’s the problem, the up times are highly addictive. When you’re at baseline or flying in manic-ville the depression almost seems like a worthwhile trade. Days of despair for moments of enlightenment. However I often wonder if the inspiration is all that inspired at all. They feel that way of course, but so does the brilliance of people on a good acid trip. Only when they come down do they realize the true mediocrity of their ideas.
I’ve also tried to predict the swings but it’s proved closer to trying to prognosticate the stock market. But just like the stock market, rationality often has little to do with it. People, in this case me, get spooked. Or they get scared, or they get inspired, or they get frustrated by those things out of their control and a shift starts. Like a change in the wind or like an avalanche or a stampede of bulls, there’s a certain inevitability to it all. As if I don’t have a choice; as if I’m just along for the ride.
Don’t know where I’m going with this or the point that I’m trying to make. Just thought it could be useful to put fingers to keyboard in yet another attempt to figure it out. As if it’s just that I haven’t figured out the puzzle yet. Maybe the trick is to surrender to it instead of fighting it. You know, something like ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the depression’. Somehow I don’t think it’s in me though. The fight is one of the only constants in my life and I can’t just let it win.