Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I wish it was the sixties

Its one of those days where everything seems wrong, and since I can't do a thing about the real problems I have, I try to concentrate on the small, ordinary tasks in front of me. I find that the best therapy for helplessness is to reach out and touch something real: plants in the garden or dirty dishes or yarn on a needle. Physical objects are both more solid and more malleable than fears about the future, more solid than pain or fatigue or worries about money.

Whenever a doctor reads my medical records and sees that I've been diagnosed with depression, they try to refer me to counseling, and I have a hard time explaining why I have no desire to go. Talking about things does make you feel better, but it can only help so much when your problems are genuinely unchangeable. No one can take away the pain I feel, and no one can make the VA give me the benefits to which I'm entitled; talking about things won't change that a bit, but talking is all the help that doctors ever offer.

Completing tasks that decrease the amount of entropy in my immediate environment is my primary method of coping. What I mean is, I plant seeds and knit sweaters because changing some small thing so that its different than it was before is a way of affirming my connection to the world, to life, to happiness. I put my world in order to prove that some things are improvable. I hate to assume that anyone is reading this, but if you see this and have a particular coping mechanism that you've more or less invented on your own, it would be neat to hear about it.

I completed the finishing on two sweaters in the past couple of days, and filled the tires of my bicycle this morning. I'm going to teach myself a new knitting pattern here in a bit, and things are growing in my garden. For now, the sun is shining, and I took some pictures.

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