Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Low

So I've had all this going on and all those things combined and I hit some really really low points post Christmas / early January.  Like, really low.  And I don't mean to alarm anyone, because I wasn't wanting to kill myself, I just didn't see the point of being here anymore.  And I was even sort of beyond feeling worried about that.  I didn't know what to do, other than to keep on trying to "get through" it, and Jason was the only person I felt I could talk to in those days and he said a similar thing... "it doesn't seem like you have a reason to live."  Which sounds harsh, perhaps, out of context but was exactly what I was feeling.  This sense of "what's the point of me being here, really?"  No passion, no zest, no people or animals or events I felt I "had" to live for.  And not enough of a sense of hope for anything.  I remember waking up a morning or two and going, you know what?  I don't even want to go to Burning Man ever again.  It's stupid.  No way.  Done. 

And everything was working against me anyway.  My app on my phone that was tracking my daily steps just kept wanting me to take MORE steps week after week and even that little small thing wasn't encouraging, it was just asking too much.  And my stomach didn't want to eat anything.  Or let me swallow it.  So when you're crying over a phone app.... staying alive for what seems like an utterly hopeless and difficult "life" is kind of.... too much.

But I'd had a small idea.  And the idea was to try to think outside of the box and find a way to make my current life/work situation....better.  I thought about what it might be like if I arranged my work schedule to allow me to have all of August off and to then use that time to volunteer for Burning Man's Department of Public Works (DPW)... the people who go down to the desert early to set up the city and then stay after everyone leaves to clean it up and ensure Burning Man leaves no trace.   It's a huge job and one I've always found intimidating, but hey.... it would be a challenge.  And maybe having that once a year would give me something to balance out my not so happy rest of the year.  Maybe?  And so somewhere (before Christmas, actually) I sent a message to a member of DPW I follow on social media.  It was one of the more terrifying things I've ever done, sending that "hi stranger, can I ask you about volunteering with DPW?" message.... because it meant that maybe, just maybe it might happen.

Which sent my mind off on a whirl of possible planning/thinking/worrying.  Sigh.

Because, really?  Was I really thinking of going down to an alkaline desert and "living" there for a month?  The same desert that destroys my hands and fingers and lungs and hair after a friggin week?  And the heat?  And all those people who know each other and not me, and who are tougher than me and have done this before?  FOR A MONTH?  How would I ever come back to work after that, assuming I survived it?

Oh, and by the way, how would I get down there?  Because it's not as if I'd be driving down with Connor, you know, hey buddy, can you drive me and my gear down and then drop me off and then drive back by yourself and then come get me at the end of the Burning Man week?  Cool, thanks.  I still have the flight credit, could I fly to... Reno?  And then what?  Hi stranger, can you come pick me and my stuff up?  Wait, what stuff?  What do you even bring down for a month there?  I already run out of socks for a week there.  And what about the drive itself.  I've never driven that far!  I can't possibly drive all the way to Nevada by myself.  And then arrive... somewhere I've never been before and try to find people I don't know in a place I don't know, are you kidding me????? NO EFFING WAY.

And so I didn't sleep that night.  Or, at least not much.  And I kept trying to tell myself that it wasn't happening.  That I'd just sent a message.  That was all.  It might never happen.  To stop worrying about something that was either months away or not going to happen.  That I could worry about things once I maybe heard back from the guy.  Or, you know, in Spring.  Or Summer.

But I did start thinking a lot about the ride down, and that's where the seemingly random idea of looking into a trailer came from.  That maybe I'd throw a little teardrop trailer on my car and... not have to set up my tent every night I was travelling.  Or.... something.

Which then involved money stress.  Because money has been very tight.  I've been enrolled in a savings program through work that takes a chunk of my pay for X number of years and then will allow me to have paid time of for X number of months in the future.  But it means living on a reduced income.  Which is doable.... but not enjoyable.  Plus I made some choices a few years back that put me into my Line of Credit and that stresses me constantly.  So then I'm thinking about this "maybe get a trailer to do the drive you don't feel comfortable doing to get to the place you don't feel comfortable going to" oh, and by the way, it costs money you don't have, unless you pull out of that program and never, ever ever get that paid time off work you've SO been looking forward to.


I didn't hear back from the guy anyway, and fell in love with an ultra lightweight trailer that would cost even more than my car did when it was new (no, I don't magically have that money in the program oh, and US exchange rate too, sorry) and plus, my car isn't rated to tow in North America.  And, no way I could even do this anyway.

And then the lows hit and none of it mattered anyway because...see above.  I didn't even want to go to Burning Man anyway.  It all just was so completely pointless and hopeless.

As you can see, I didn't talk about any of this. I haven't had a day quite like that/those (knock on wood) in a while, and I hope not to again.  I'm going to break off this post now.... will catch you up with what broke me out of that awful funk (for better or worse) tomorrow.


Blogger Jason Langlois said...

From the outside, reading this my first thought is ... wow, what a great idea. Volunteering for that is right up your alley, and seems like the perfect path for your involvement and enthusiasm with Burning Man. It wouldn't be easy, and it seems like something that might not happen, but it also just seems like something you would/should explore.

As for the rest ... yeah, I know where you're coming from, and have felt that way more often than I'd like. Still feel that way. But you seem to be on the right track - finding reasons and making changes.

Lastly ... cliffhanger much?

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 9:15:00 am  
Anonymous Elliott said...

Volunteering would certainly be interesting, but it sure sounds overwhelming. I'm almost positive a month in the desert heat would not be fun for me.

As for the spinning down a groundhog hole, I'm all too familiar with those feelings. The still get me sometimes and it's an awful feeling. And the strangest (silliest maybe is a better word) will snap me out the funk. Weird how a human brain works.

I hope you are able to leave those thoughts/feelings behind you...they are not fun. Wishing good things for you.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 11:25:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

It's a sucky feeling Jason, that's for sure, sorry that you feel that way too. Oh, and sorry for the cliffhanger. Sometimes I get typing and I'm like, dude... you need to stop or this post will be a zillion pages long! STAHP!

Human brains are so very weird Elliott... and yes, I wish good things for us both. Well, all of us, really! But I know you're going through some ick right now too. *hugs*

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 4:58:00 pm  
Blogger Happydog said...

Those lows....yuck....I'm a future-liver too. I often have to jerk myself back into the present moment. And I also have to continue to remind myself that I can change my mind! Weird brain. Had a boss some years ago that called them brain farts.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 5:12:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...


Wednesday, February 03, 2016 5:19:00 pm  

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