On Being Bored

One thing about not posting every day (or every week) on this blog is that when I do, I feel like what I am about to say will not make any sense. So much has happened, not even externally, but internally, and may not match up with what I talked abut last time. Someone reading back through the archives will be like, “What?” and all confused.

But, truth is, I’m pretty confused myself. For the past six weeks, I thought I was depressed. I thought I had sank into the depths of where I’d been before. And I thought I’d been in denial about it. I hadn’t told my therapist, someone I’ve been seeing for the past two years, someone I trust unfailingly, because I just didn’t want to go there. I honestly did not want to face the possibility that I was back there again. Again, I was thinking, again, over the last 15 years, I still haven’t beat this? Why me again? I was asking.

I decided yesterday to stop denying it, because the denial itself was causing me pain. The pretending was causing me pain. It’s exhausting enough to be depressed without lying about it. And I wasn’t just lying to other people. I was lying to myself.

So I told my therapist, who to me, is like my sage. Wisdom emanates from her. And she told me I wasn’t depressed.

I was/am bored.

At first, I wasn’t buying it. Me? Bored? Impossible. I have more than enough things to do. I have forms to return to my kid’s school, bills to pay, classwork to complete, a paper to write, an article to revise, a house to clean, a patio to organize, clothes to sort through, research to compile, IRB to file, and the list goes on. How can one be bored when they have so much to do?

But she reminded me of when I started feeling what I thought was depression. Six weeks ago, I defended my dissertation proposal, wrote a paper that was a huge challenge for me, took a final in the hardest class I’ve taken in law school, turned 30, and flew back to Philly for a funeral. For someone who thrives on activity – and is bipolar – the rush of adrenaline had me flying high. So where is one to go once the high is over?

Nowhere but down.

Despite the fact that I have lots to do, none of it is fun. None of it is exciting.

You know what did get me excited? The mini-controversy I stirred up last week over at CocoaMamas. In the midst of my crying in my therapist’s office, when I told her about that, she noticed that I immediately perked up. She asked me about how I felt about some of the negative comments where people called me a racist, or ignorant, or dumb. Honestly, it didn’t bother me at all. The exchange was fun. It was exhilarating. I spent a lot of time on that post, both writing it, responding to the comments, and thinking about it. I realized that I was probably more inflammatory over there precisely because I was hoping to incite a reaction. I was hoping, in so many words, to cause some drama, to add some excitement to my life.

But the solution to my boredom is obviously not to create drama for drama’s sense. Good thing about last week’s post is that I believed everything I wrote, and bloggers generally try to get reactions sometimes. My therapist suggested that I go back to an old tool, which is to schedule my time, day by day. Schedule work time, blogging time, house time, kid time, exercise time, etc. Otherwise my day stretches before me and I get bored and use whatever is available to excite me, even if it’s not the most healthy thing to do. Like being inflammatory on the internet.

One thing I’m trying is exercise. More on that later.

7 thoughts on “On Being Bored

  1. Pleased to see the post on Cocoa Mamas put into some sort of context which makes sense now.

    This post is not billed as an apology but goes some way to defusing the vitriolic melange the whole thing turned into.

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    1. Yeah, it wasn’t meant as an apology in any way. I think most folks who read me regularly on either blog didn’t see it as out of character. So this was more of background on this particular post. I could have written the same post under different circumstances.

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      1. Proof to the adage: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Good luck in that journey.

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  2. Hmmm… interesting. I didn’t read the post ’cause I was really busy last week, but now I’m oh, so curious! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve never done therapy (though I really want to), but your therapist seems to be really great! OK, lemme go read that post now.

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  3. Hmm… I don’t see my previous comment, hopefully it’s going to appear at some point (?).

    Anyway, I read your post now (didn’t have time to read all the comments, it’s almost 1 am!) and I think what you’re saying is perfectly fine and true. One thing that helps me a lot to know that your point is 100% valid is that I’ve been reading Dawn’s blog (This Woman’s Work) for nearly 7 years and learning from her many discussions about white privilege and her experiences in the inter-racial open adoption of her daughter Madison. I’d explain more, but I have to go to bed now. I hope that taking the steps suggested by your therapist will help you curb your boredom so you won’t need to resort to inflamed online arguments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. Sorry about this not appearing – for some reason they were in the spam folder! I have no idea why since you comment here all the time….

      LOL – yes, I hope so too ๐Ÿ™‚

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