I've been blogging for well over four years and from the very first day, I've experienced what I've come to call "deletion ideation"- the powerful, unsought urge to erase my entire blog. Sometimes there is a "reason", sometimes not, but it is a recurring pattern. There was a period when I was creating new blogs almost weekly and deleting them before I became attached to them...a lot of this activity coincided with periods of prolonged boredom and isolation at the workplace, a problem that I'm currently experiencing in a profound and distressing way.
A great many friends and relatives have either recently lost their long-time jobs or have found themselves in tenuous positions, waiting day-to-day to see if they are among the latest wave of lay-offs and it makes me wonder how much longer I will have my job- after all, most days I have absolutely no work to do.
When I am given an assignment, I finish it as soon as possible because that is my habit. I don't know how to drag work out so that it fills what would otherwise be empty time- that is what blog is for. I can drag the hell out of blog. Were it not for blog, I would probably be very, very good at Minesweeper right now...I would also have considerably fewer friends and my life would be poorer for that.
So why the urge to quit? I don't know.
Part of it, I think , is guilt. Sometimes I feel that I am a "bad blogger" because I don't visit or leave comments as often as I feel I should. I often visit blogs where others have left long, multi-paragraph comments and the best I can manage is a weak "hello" or "that's cool"...blog is a reciprocal thing and sometimes I feel as if I can't give back enough to warrant asking anyone else to care...but when I hear others express similar sentiments, my first instinct is to tell them not to worry so much, it is what it is and no one should "keep score" or feel virtually obligated.
Hypocritical? Bass ackwards?
Sure. It's part of the human condition.
There's another factor and that is commitment. My childhood was nomadic, to put it mildly, and I was often keenly aware that I was an unwanted, burdensome thing, pawned off on the grandparents or left to the care of schoolmate's families...in retrospect, the time I spent with my friend's families -one black, the other Jewish- provided some of the most important formative lessons on tolerance and humanity that a child could have, something that it's taken a lifetime of adulthood to even begin to appreciate.
On the other hand, those years of uncertainty have made me leery of forming attachments to people and places because I know that those bonds can be shattered at any moment , for any or for no cause, and experience informs me that I have a difficult time "letting go" of those attachments. If I invest a penny, I''ll usually invest a pound- as a result, when the market crashes, a Great Depression is likely to follow. I have been depressed before and it is no way to live...but it's very difficult to get out of. At times- when I had insurance- my doctor tried treating me with different anti-depressants (the kind that take a week or longer to work) and those pills just made it much, much worse, leading my doctor to conclude that my depressive periods aren't chemical in nature, that they are situational, usually tied to some sort of loss- the death of a loved one, a lost job, a broken heart- sometimes, I have thought I would be better off if I lived in total isolation from the world and it's occupants- I mean, if I don't have anything to lose, then perhaps I won't become depressed, right?
That's the kind of thinking that made me drink myself to death. I still have those thoughts, but I recognize them for what they are- the voices of Depression and Addiction. They have nothing at all to offer me, yet they make compelling arguments and at times it's difficult to resist them, but I know I must. It is my responsibility to deny those voices the foothold that they seek. My survival hinges on it.
That doesn't mean that I can't look for help, even though it's not in my nature to do so...I recently borrowed money from my Twin so that I could be reunited with a very special friend that I met right here in this virtual space. Even with a full-time and a few part-time jobs, I can't afford the lifestyle I used to have - who can?- but I can't afford to shut myself off or give in to the fear of what might be. Chances must be taken. Thoughts must be shared. If there is pain, so be it. It's part of life, pain. It's when one goes numb that one needs to worry, but it's hard to worry if one is numb- it's the vicious circular trajectory of Addiction and it works it's insidious words into the most sober of moods, how easy it would be to be free of these thoughts, it whispers to me, just one drink and you can delete everything forever. Isn't that what you want?
No. That isn't what I want at all. I want to spend my days sharing words and music with as many friends and strangers as possible and my nights making love with someone I deeply care about.
I can't do those things in a vacuum. Sitting and staring idly into space might seem harmless when done for a few relaxing moments, but when it becomes the default emotional state, something is wrong. It might not be as drastic or as rapid as say, drinking a fifth of vodka per day, but it is just as lethal; a slow death caused by not living.
I'm not having any part of that. I quit drinking on my own terms, I didn't follow a program or any specific advice, I did it for myself and by myself. It took time to adjust-still adjusting, in fact- but once I felt free, I started finding other things, new and old, to replace the all-encompassing void that I left behind.
That void is still there, it sometimes slips it's way into my mind even without alcohol or pills, it tells me to do things like delete your blog or quit your radio show or don't take a chance on another human ...it knows that if I give in to those suggestions, then sooner or later I will have nothing left to lose and I will have no reason to preserve myself. I'll drink-and die- and those evil little voices will have won.
I'm not giving them that satisfaction. If I have to listen to voices in my head, I will choose to listen to the ones that tell me to keep trying, keep plugging even if it does hurt- especially if it does hurt. You can't crawl out of a briar patch without getting cut and crawling out from underneath the bottle is more like sliding naked over twenty miles of concertina wire and broken glass- but it's infinitely better than Depression.
When-if- I quit blogging , or radio, or music, it will be on my terms, for my reasons. It won't be because a mean little voice tells me to. Life is already too short and I've worked too hard to throw it all away over nothing.
And that's what the nagging, whining voice of Addiction is: Nothing.