2012 – Year of the invisible wall…

I’m not inclined towards reviews of years past, and much less towards annual resolutions. However, 2012 was quite a different year for me, and not that I run on some kind of psychic clock tuned in to the changing of the calendar, I do, coincidentally, happen to be undergoing changes of late.

I’ll take the opportunity to undertake an annual reflection, and call it for what it is; a fortuitous trope.

2012, for me, has been the year of Lexapro (escitalopram).

It’s been the year of shuffling off the frustrations of having to deal with the passive-aggressive in-fighting, kook-apologist, racist-in-denial, bullshitting Buckland family, once and for all.

2012, has been the year of engineering my psychological climate. Out with the counter-productively agitating, the infuriating, the self-pitying, the intrusive and the mendacious.

It all seemed a little radical to me before – burning so many bridges at once, even though I’d done it before. But before, it was for ego and for show, whereas now it’s been practically motivated and unceremonious.

And I have no regrets.

I don’t say that to boast. It’s just I expected I’d have regrets, that I’d consider myself to some extent, mistaken. Yet upon calm reflection, I don’t. I’m surprised.

I have no intention of re-building bridges, and I won’t have such projects foisted upon me either. If bridges are to be rebuilt, between myself and them, it’ll require changes, my unpressured consent, and no effort on my part in the rebuilding.

If there hadn’t been ‘developments’ on this front – sly attempts to garner my attention and exploit second thoughts I haven’t had – I’m not sure I’d even mention these broken relationships.

For me, life is expanding into new areas…

New areas, with new rewards, new sensations and new problems…

I was warned by Michelle that antidepressants could hinder one’s writing, and I now take that as gospel. Or as close to gospel as an atheist can manage, and possibly for different reasons.

My writing hit a wall in 2012. An invisible wall, at least; I didn’t feel any resistance as with other frustrations, but certainly, I slowed down.

It’s taken a while for me to work out what’s been happening. The invisible wall is something I’ve been considering until now, as an opposing force to be overcome. This is how all of my frustrations have been in the past; opponents.

What I’ve come to realise is this invisible wall, it’s really just nothing. Simply, I just don’t have personal frustration and fire as a motivation the way I used to, and it’s taking time for newer faculties to compensate. I’m on new terrain, and I’m not practiced in traversing it.

But things now seem to be speeding up…

I’ve been withdrawn in the past, which I’ve had to learn in the past for safety’s sake. This long since having become pathological.

I’m still not able to comfortably socialise with certain types – narcissists, passive-aggressives, anti-social bigots, and the like, and I don’t care if I don’t ever learn to. But it’s been easier to be outgoing with people of good faith. Much easier – I’m not nearly as worn out by people, without certain types in my life, leaving energy to spend on the good ones.

The surprise though,  is in just how much I’ve neglected participation in healthy interaction, and how I’m yet to appreciate the niceties of how to go about it. No, nothing in general, philosophically, or civically has changed – the difference is all in the fine-tuning.

Unlike a lot of my past navel-gazing on how we should all get along, a lot of my newer, more refined sensibilities (if that’s what the are), are the product of doing – just getting out there and living with good people. This has been made easier through the expansion of my emotional palette, as afforded by my medication.

I’ve got all the same extremes of hue and saturation, it’s just the ranges between have been fleshed out in a more comprehensive gradient. The result has been to find new ways to like or dislike, or to enjoy or to be put off. So it is as well, with the strength of my reaction to any given stimuli – it’s easier now to just roll my eyes, or to select from anything else in the spectrum between apathy and absolute intensity.

Transitioning this to articulation in writing has been, and continues to be, quite a task, especially since for the most of the year, I didn’t understand how this was actually happening.

I’m expecting, if my reflections are accurate, that soon my writing output will begin to increase, and my prose will stabilise into some representation of my current, ‘truest’ self. Progress will continue to be made after this stage, but then for any writer, when isn’t that the case?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of my culture shock, consider my depression of the last year. I went to the doctor in January, on account of feeling quite good – a high which put the previous twenty years into depressing perspective. Despite this high, I still improved on medication, and in fact still made better progress, according to my doctor, than most people with the same diagnosis.

It’s a lot of mental ground to cover in a short time, and has resulted in my residing an unprecedented distance from the black dog. I’m new here, but I’m learning.

My point in this matter of culture shock is, I should soon be stable enough to write my way though a project the size of a book without the beginning and end chapters appearing to be authored by different people.

This rapid change coincides with my expansion into the ‘scene’ – the local underbelly of hobbyist, aspiring and established authors. In a possibly mixed manner, I’m finding new people to like, and I expect I’ll be finding new people to dislike – perhaps some of the precious types. I’ve still got no time for the same old shit.

Further, I’m beginning to intuit, more than ever before, what it is that goes into a good friend. I’ve expanded on a few friendships in Melbourne this year, with those who previously I only knew online. I feel strangely as if they’re old friends – Fin, Em, and company. Some, in a sense are; I recently met in-person, in Melbourne, ‘Notallright’, who I first ran into on the blogosphere in late 2005.

It’s not all about thinking the same way (there are differences, although the similarities do help),  the point is one of good faith; people that for some reason, perhaps the way that they reason, you know you can trust.

I’m realising I’m drawing strength from these good friends, both new and old, in ways I never recognised before. I’ve never had a muse, but I’m starting to understand the concept, rather than know it in a purely abstract manner.

With this comes a new sense of gratitude – even though your friends, you’re real friends, may have had hard years of late, they’ve still helped you just by being who they are. No special tasks required.

So I’d like to thank my friends, old and new, online and off, just for continuing to be who they are. It may not seem like much, but the consequences matter, and who’s had an easy life just being themselves of late?

Again, my gratitude!

Now it’s time for me to cut down on the introspection, look back outward at the world, and press on through the invisible wall. Happy 2013!

~ Bruce

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