Friday, July 01, 2011

The Floor Below That

A minor plunge into disorientation and anxiety, the last couple of days. Of finding myself unable to work, at work, of not being able to get myself to do ordinary chores or make necessary phone calls. Of finding my mind almost wholly unserviceable.

It was my daily frame of my mind, the last few years at IBM: I call it “minor” because it passed so quickly and wasn't all that debilitating while it was here. I did eventually get to work; I did eventually do my chores and make my phone calls.

The whole while it seemed like a weak echo, not the real thing, an atavistic phantom conjured by anxiety about selling the house, and I haven't been that troubled by it. But there's one new aspect to it. Sexual interest is not a get-out-of-jail-free card any more. I hadn't realized how useful it was. I could lose motivation in every other area of my life, but I never lost it in that. Sexual interest doesn't help you get to work at work, but it does at least supply you with, well, interest. It keeps you from subsiding altogether into apathy. But for the first time in my life, I was thinking, “so what?” in response to sexual thoughts. “Where would that get me?”

It's not a response I've ever had before. It used to be as far as I could drop. If everything else seemed useless and impossible, there was still that. I could still respond to sexual image and fantasy. I could still wander out onto the summer streets and see women that enchanted me. If that can go, too – what's the floor below that? Where do you drop if even that fails to hold you?

I don't know, and I'm not anxious to find out. I have no intention of spending any more time in the frame of mind that I (rather unfairly) associate with IBM. I don't want to drop that far again, let alone further.

This episode was the kick in the butt I needed to restart my practice, anyway. I sat shamatha for twenty minutes this morning. And now I'm off to work to catch up on everything I let slide earlier.


marlyat2 said...

Time for a little boating with Rat.

Dale said...

:-) Yes.