Ruminations on being bored to death without actually dying.
Do you ever have a taste for something? But you don’t know what it is and you can’t quite identify the category of thing? So you try to narrow it down… maybe something sweet. Maybe something savory. Something rich, or bitter, or spicy? Maybe you don’t have taste for something, maybe you crave a mouth feel, a desire for a particular sensation? Maybe you’re not hungry at all… but the only thing that seems like it might address the nagging desire to… consume… something… is to keep eating?
Take that and apply it to several senses at once.
You want to eat something but don’t know what. Nothing really hits because it’s not the thing you want to eat. But you don’t know what that is. You turn on music and it’s not setting the mood you expect. You cycle through songs, albums, playlists and nothing really puts you in the space you’re trying to be in. You turn on the TV and press continue on a show. It’s not keeping your attention, maybe you want to watch a different genre? Maybe a film? Nothing keeps your interest. You turn on a game, it holds your focus for a few hours… you’re finally absorbed into something. Then you walk away to pee or grab some water. You come back and find the game no longer appeals. You try to read a book… can’t get comfortable, can’t focus, can’t connect to anything on the page. Maybe a comic? Manga? Nothing takes. So you… just start over from the top.
This is the cycle I find myself in lately. I’m currently able to find just enough short-term hyperfixations to break the monotony of compulsive consumption that never actually feels substantial. I certainly don’t feel nourished. Not physically, not mentally, not emotionally, not spiritually. But I am hyper aware of the lack. Aware in a way that… It feels like I have reached the maximum amount of cope. I am simply unable to ignore the empty.
Yes, I know this is depression. But the thing is… I am always depressed. My toxic trait is being mentally unwell and simply refusing to take the necessary but overwhelmingly irritating steps to find treatment. I am very good at being fucking miserable but staying alive anyway. And that is due in part to always being able to find a meaningful distraction from my internal self. But the distractions are just not doing what need to be done. I am deeply, deeply bored. The kind of thing where you have a little fun, but the moment you stop having fun, you forget you were having fun at all. It doesn’t stick, it doesn’t penetrate. Surface level chuckles, not hearty guffaws. Even old comforts don’t quite do it… because you’re [Anne Hathaway in Havoc voice] —
So. Fucking. Bored.
So what do you do? If you’re me, you tackle several unrelated projects simultaneously, cycling through half a dozen chrome profiles each with a dozen tabs, alt-tabbing between several apps, across multiple computers, all while being sleepy all the time and only managing to eek out a few hours because your brain refuses to shut the fuck up. You do all of that while casually scrolling on your phone, making posts you forget about almost the moment you hit send, reading articles about games you definitely will play when you are “in the mood” while making notes in keep for the projects you have open directly in front of you.
You know that most of the work you’re doing will go unfinished, or unnoticed, or unappreciated… if you even share it, which you won’t because of the third thing. You’ll put hours into little details and tweaks that only you will ever notice, all while cycling through half a dozen chrome profiles each with a dozen tabs, alt-tabbing between several apps, across multiple computers. It won’t feel meaningful or important or valuable but you’ll do it to say you did, to do something, to spend time and effort and energy that would otherwise be wasted inside your own head.
Nothing will feel good but you won’t be sad either.
This is not to say I don’t experience amusement or joy or have any relationship to things happy and good. It’s just that… nothing occupies that space for long. The laughter is not uncommon, but the humor is fleeting. What lingers is the lack. The taste unsatiated. The itch unscratched. It’s one thing to know what you want, to have a clear idea of what you’re seeking, to be able to point to or aim at something specific. It’s quite another to be unsatisfied, but actively doing all the things that could work, have worked, should work, and being deprived of something you can’t even name.
Writing this was a nice momentary distraction. I’m going to do more writing of any ol’ thing. It helps… a little. And maybe having put this in words, I’ve made my inquiry, sent my plea to the universe. Maybe not…