I was cleaning the garage with my dad to free up some space upstairs. The three of us had moved into a well-meaning but expensive apartment after getting bounced from place to place, catalyzed by career changes, study abroads, and a foreclosure. The first months neccesitated us to cohabitate with what was usually out of sight, a family of grey Sterilite containers glaring at us as a physical manifestation of procrastination. Unable to face our hesitations, my dad rented out a garage, not at all far from the apartment. Our problems now cost us money, but within painless boundaries. Stocked with stuff important enough to retain but not enough to have at arms reach, we were rearranging the milleu of dust and cardboard with a passive sort of temperament. We knew neither of us had the heart to throw anything away, it's a familial trait that's plagued multiple moves. As proof of this, a forgotten bottle of SSRI's surfaced. So forgotten I was surprised to find my name on them.
It was an odd sensation to have something so significant be seemingly eclipsed by everything else, tucked away in a proximate relative to the trash can. At the time I was reasonably content, my schoolwork progressing as expected and my personal life, if a bit unfulfilling, was just fine. Its renewed presense was proof that my emotions then were as transient as when I was at my lowest: A benign reassurance both sanguine and terrifying. And yet, something managed to eclipse that time in my life. Was it a numerical sensory overshadowing, or a unconscious choice to shed the intertwined emotional baggage associated with those years? Iunno. But that bottle of anti-depressants stuck with me and I threw it inside my nostalgia box, a distant relative to the childhood toys, plane tickets, and candy wrappers.
My issues, while not marked by opaque quantifiable trauma, was a proper nuisance. A few persistent anxieties with no proximate solutions coagulated into a lingering, polemic voice hanging over my head. It constantly parroted that my apex was over, that continuing to live this way was self-infliction. My hopeful insistence that "the best was yet to come" would turn maladaptive once things didn't work out. Constantly waiting, waiting for something to sweep me off my feet, to transcend and transform my day-to-day.
It also meant I was constantly at odds with my neuroticism while fully understanding that picking apart my life circumstances under this mindset was fruitless and masochistic. Thinking about coping mechanisms when you don't know what to cope with. Drafting a schedule when the rest of your life is an improvised mess. Getting frustrated for living the last week on autopilot, floating through life like everyone does effortlessly. Being pragmatic with fragmented knowledge is just acting on delusions, and that's exactly what I was trying to do. Trying to desperately extract or make some contrived meaning to something I did.
My schoolwork suffered accordingly and with it, I lost my only source of incremental positive reinforcement. I lost 20 pounds in a short period, the inside of my mouth would constantly bleed from biting into gaunt cheeks. My head started shedding hair like it was trying to cosplay a barcode. I lost plenty of sleep, the "vomity" part of the morning normalized. The creeping fatalism of my day-to-day had no definite cause, and no justifiable source. And in a way that dissatisfaction and ambiguity, the lack of hard borders, was the most distressing of all. Even now I have to consciously take a step back and confront my emotions as if they're something superficial or supplemental to me.
Of course it was all accompanied with multiple levels of guilt. I wasn't subjected to more explicit origins of trauma. I had no financial anxieties or food insecurity. I was surrounded with an intact familiy and an intimate group of friends. Being conscious of all these priviledges I had made me devalue the significance of my own issues. That's a persistent problem I have even now. And it's not a particularly good coping mechanism either, the origin of your worries left untouched.
Therapy was long, meandering, and intrusive. The first counselor had the emotional temperament of a garage door, and I couldn't escape the sensation that under his protocols was a thorough layer of judgement. Introduction of the second therapist meant that we had to start from zero. The evaluation to undergo CBT took close to half a year and by that time, our move was finalized.
Suicide is a very calculated, rational choice. You decide that the current baggage hanging over your head, whether recent or persistent, is more emotionally draining than all other aspects of your life that emotionally enrich. It's irrational emotionally, but mathematical in reasoning.
Move to neuroticism.html?
4/15/2015 (Journal Entry)
Don't adopt a "The best is yet to come," mentality like I did while I was depressed. For me it wasn't working towards a goal. It was relying on fate to hopefully steer my life into something that it wasn't heading towards.
2/23/2016 (Journal Entry)
Today I realized that I was intentionally starving myself from stuff I enjoyed. MEybe it's to make the monotony feel better. Maybe like music, I don't want to revisit the memories associated with them
12/5/18 (Journal Entry)
How I regard nostalgic memories continues to be a cocophany of emotions. Fondness, regrets, yearning. I do my best to avoid ambiguity, yet this aspect of my life has remained indeterminate. I don't know what mindset is right for me when looking back, nor do I have any external references in how others do it. And I don't how it has influenced my behavior today. I'd like to say it hasn't, but there's "zero" days where I choose to isolate myself from anything meaningful. Mind you, this is when I have time to myself. I get my shit done to whatever degree is neccessary, yet I struggle in managing my personal life. Time and time again there's limitless potential on the web, yet I often avoid the things I really enjoy. Research about a next purchase? Headphone forums and Analog photography groups? Easy. Finding new music? Manga? Anime? Movies? I avoid it. Anything that would remain as a lasting, emotional memory has some threshold I just can't get over.
3/31/2019 (Journal Entry)
I had some time to think and that got me down. Not that I hate returning to the dorms that much, but that being back home revived a previous, very acerbic mentality on suburban life. The sense of futility regarding hobbies and the raging isolation was starting to creep back into view. The way I contexualize my lifestyle is no longer really applicable either, and it took a shockingly long time for me to realize that. "Short-term Happiness/Long-term Progress" complementing each other was the benchmark for my life when I was feeling really shit. Back then "long-term" served a genuine purpose, to keep me from dropping out of high school and resorting to cheap, immediate sources of gratification at home. No clue what purpose it serves now. Through visiting home I also learned "Short term" is increasingly iffy as well. I can no longer just "enjoy" something. I'm always concerned about longevity and pragmatism. Sewing eclipsed all other hobbies while I was back, and it made the stuff I incessantly focused on at the dorms seem childish and hedonistic. That didn't last either. So what now? Do I transition my mentality to one where "short-term gratification/happiness" is the bottom line? Don't my mixed feelings on suburban life contradict that? Do I try to find what "long-term/progress" means to me now? How will it change my daily reportoire?
And how will I react when I'm dropped into "real society?" 7 hours of my day isn't tied up with obligations, nor do I have any tangible worries. I don't have any crippling ilnesses, nor any financial troubles. Can the preoocupation of trying to staying alive really grant me enough stimulation that I'm satisfied with my day-to-day? This "best of yet to come" ideology that I recognize is harmful yet adhere to anyway is reducing my life to waiting. Since middle school I've been waiting for something to sweep me off my feet, insistent that anything my surroundings won't satisfy my curiosity. My life is left static, grinding away at this self-fulfilling, isolationist prophecy. Out of it I've attempted to weave some semblance of gratification and progress out of this vaccum. Naturalistic behaviors like hobbies are reduced to fruitless pragmatism and bottom lines.
It all evolved into a neurotic fixation, a futile pursuit of answers in an environment I didn't understand or care to explore.
And there's a sudden reiteration that it's not normal to be dissatisfied with your day-to-day. I may mentally disparage those that "waste their time", but that's just my personal benchmark that inexplicably casts "progress" over any sort of immediate gratification. Your roommate scrolling through Instagram? His life is more gratifying than yours.
It's an anomaly to have 1 day out of the month be a "good day," the rest fading into the backdrop and with it, my perceived passage of time. Nostalgia operates on something fondly reflected upon, no matter how artifically disingenuous or rosy. What do I have that I'll look back on favorably?
Suicide hasn't crossed my mind in a hot minute, but I can definitely visualize my state of mind trying to acclimate to proper adult life.
The pressure is on as I don't have the "student" excuse as a senior in Japan. I'm not particularly enthusiastic, even if it's the right thing to do. Not that I'm ready to resign my life as a NEET. I find myself looking more and more over videos of people who live out in the countryside, showering under suspended water carboys and shitting in paintbuckets.
I'm left looking for the merits of conventional employment of packed seminars and interviews. Languishing in a dirty Ikebukuro apartment while working 70 hours a week isn't a motivator for me. If anything relinquishing the opportunity to marry a breathing human being and regressing back to the countryside is a genuine option. And it's nice to have that, the priviledge to keep reassurances in the back of your mind that you have several safety nets before complete destitution. I'm a country boy. My conception of "Japan" has unwaveringly remained the unmanaged forests and grotty houses of Saitama. It's why my directive in life was to escape the oppressive asbestos facades of American suburbia. Now that I've escaped to Japan I recognize that suppressing questions of "home" is not as easy as jumping ship.
I don't love adulthood. I wasn't at odds with an abusive household or control-freaks to run away from, this newfound freedom to eat candy bars for dinner isn't much of a motivation. While bouts of depression have certainly tried I haven't completely relinquished my interests to the degree that slaving away in a yellowed cubicle with machiavellian coworkers becomes my main source of gratification. I don't care about status or income, I try to live as a minimalist. And maybe all these factors have prevented me mentally of looking for a full-time poition in any serious capacity. On the tails of a rocky high school life, my community college existence was defined by my conviction to become the least intrusive parasite to my parents. Even after moving to a new country I get the creeping sensation I haven't shifted away from that mindset, even with a new host.
Maybe my conceptions of Japan, intimately associated with my childhood, led my trip here as a subconcious escape from turning 18. Trying to recover my carefree memories of playing in the countryside by wholly rejecting adulthood, by regressing fruitlessly into a child. Or maybe it is a fear of rejection, to sell yourself by distilling your existence down to lines on paper so someone can judge your worth.