Sucking on the Big D

I have a bad habit of only writing here when things are going well, when I’m feeling peachy. I’m trying to force myself to write when I’m in The Suck too because that’s when I need to write more than ever. So if you’re here to read The Funny, you might wanna skip this entry. It’s a fucking bummer. The blog is called Struggling Buddha, not Happy Motherfucking Buddha, and I’m laying down some messy shit today.  

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I’m one Struggling Buddha these days, y’all. I’m struggling with the exact things I knew were my weaknesses—the things I knew would be my roadblocks—lack of discipline, lack of motivation, inability to set goals, failure to see things to completion. And when you’re someone who has quit her job and is planning to have a go at it alone, these are some fucking huge hurdles to overcome. It’s basically a recipe for Netflix binge-watching and day-drinking with other unemployeds. I can’t say it hasn’t been fun, but when you spend half the time engaged in these pursuits beating yourself up because you know you’re not living up to your potential, then it sort of makes the binge-watching and day-drinking a little sadder.

I don’t lack for trying, y’all, really I don’t. I believe I’ve mentioned my addiction problem with apps. Apps are the new black-tar heroin. You heard it here first. I’ve spent a small fortune and wasted countless hours on my metaphorical bathroom floor writhing around in pain trying to figure out new productivity, time-management, and goal-setting apps. Some of them I use for a month, maybe even two. Then the love affair fades, and I delete them like so many discarded needles in the internet’s dumpster.

I downloaded a certain fitness app to force myself to go to the gym a while back. I figured since I clearly lacked whatever fortitude it took to make myself start swimming again, I would bribe myself. Shit, I ain’t proud. If what it took was cold, hard cash to pull myself out of my sofa quagmire, then so be it. And I went full bore too. I wasn’t plunking down five or ten dollars if I missed a gym date. I decided to make it really fucking hurt if I didn’t do what I was said I was gonna do. I committed to starting small—twice a week—if I didn’t get myself down to the pool twice a week, I gave the app permission to deduct FIFTY SMACKEROOS from my bank account. I wanted to make sure it stung.

The way the app worked is that you had have your weekly goals set by Sunday morning and complete them by Saturday midnight. You’d set your gym goals for the week (fives times a week for 45 minutes each, leg day three times a week, etc.). The very first time you went to your gym, you checked in with your phone’s GPS, and the app verified that this was a bona fide workout facility (gym, dojo, pool, boxing ring, whatever). After that, every time you went to the gym, you opened the app and checked in. It verified that you were where you said you were. When you were done with your workout, you checked out. It tallied the amount of time you’d been there and ticked off that you’d made one of your marks for the week. If you really wanted to be a joiner, you could be part of the Community and cheer others on and have other people send you little badges and shit when you went to the gym. That sounded Smarmy As Fuck to me, so naturally, I poo-pooed it.

You see how this story ends, don’t you? You see that it comes to its inevitable and sad conclusion of me sitting alone in my car in the gym parking lot at 11:30 on Saturday night. My car is the only car in the parking lot because no one in their right mind is at their gym at 11:30 on Saturday night. No, those people are all out enjoying active social lives being that they were somehow able to meet their obligations to themselves and are now reaping their rewards. They are hanging out in bars with friends, pumping alcohol into their bodies, laughing, dancing, and being socially normative creatures. They are not smoking a joint alone in their car, watching the stopwatch on some stupid app tick slowly by, waiting for it to hit that magic 30-minute mark so that they don’t have to pay out fifty dollars to whatever pimply-faced Silicon Valley tech asshole thought of this terrible, terrible idea.

Our hero is imagining the app’s inventor right now, as she sits there, watching the time tick by. He’s easily ten years younger than she is. He’s probably in some bathroom in a Mission bar—a bar she used to go to a few short years ago before she got sick and depressed and before his type moved into the neighborhood and ruined said bar—he’s crammed into a stall with some vapid chick, doing coke off her tits, telling her about how he’s a millionaire. It’s probably a stall she herself did coke in more than once when life was simpler and more carefree. And before she knows it, she’s down the rabbit hole of “when did life get so fucking HARD?” And she knows that once the clock hits midnight and she’s fulfilled her financial obligations to that little coke-snorting shit, she’ll be freezing her account and deleting the app.

Welcome to the mind of a depressed person, where even software can make you question your entire existence.

So no apps. I also tried my Board of Motivation. Hell, I even went full New Age and got a fucking life coach. That stuck for a while, but then the effect wore off and I was back to my old patterns. I currently have two therapists to manage my life. As I say, it’s not for lack of fucking trying. I’m trying like a motherfucker, clawing like crazy at the dirty sides ofthis deep and murky hole that is depression.

Image Credit: Allie Brosh/Hyperbole and a Half

I don’t want to be here again. I don’t want it for me. I don’t want it for The Wife. I don’t want it for my family or friends. But unless I find a way to get some structure in my life—to set some goals for the things I want to accomplish then find a way to meet those goals—I fear the worst. And I’m really, really trying to avoid meds. I already take so fucking many pills for the pain shit, I’d like not to heap on more antidepressants. But I’m getting to that place where everything is starting to feel so damn overwhelming again, and by “everything” I mean “putting on my bra in the morning.”

I will not go here again. I can’t.