Solitary

Thinking dark thoughts these last weeks. Part of it is just the way my mind works. I know that. Watched Michael Apted’s 56 Up last night on Netflix. Whole lives compressed into these brief, predictable summations. Depressing. Also, I’ve been spending too much time alone. It takes me many hours to write a few pages of the new book. Still, I could get out more. What happens is that once I am in the mode of isolation, I’m less able to move.

When I’m feeling this way, whatever is wrong with the world, or my life, seems the reason, but if I were not depressed, I would view things differently. Yes, the callousness of the world is awful. Yes, it is unjust. Yes, there is horrible suffering that goes on, but I’m not always as focused on these things.

I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night and feeling trapped. Like I am in solitary confinement. This is just nuts and not accurate on any level. Just feelings. In fact, I have so many friends, and commitments, a rich life, I am reminded. But I forget in the middle of the night, pacing back and forth as if trapped in a box.

I’ve rented a house at the beach starting next week. Maybe a change of scenery will help. I’ll write, but finish each day with a swim. I want to begin to run again, too. I plan to swim and run and eat. The house is very charming with worn gray decks and a tall privet hedge. The water is just across the road. I’ll have a view of sailboats. Friends are coming out on the weekend to visit.

Of all the men and women in Michael Apted’s documentary, only one never married. Only he has been crippled by mental illness of some sort. The film doesn’t specify what his issue is, exactly, but it’s obvious that there is something wrong with him, poor man. When he says what he does (at age 28, I believe) that he never wanted children because he feared passing on the unhappiness that plagues him, I thought, “I am much more like him than the others.” And this is true, except I’ve been able to channel my discomfort into music and writing, and those things have saved me. But when I become aware that I am less equipped, and the evidence is in my solitary life, it makes me wonder if my emotional impairment is worse than I know.

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