The Next Chapter

I’ve been told that I need to close the chapter of my life that included him.  It may not have a sufficient ending, like an unfinished Franz Kafka story, but I must move on regardless.

So,  I turn the page and I stare at a blank piece of paper. What can I say about the protagonist? She’s emotionally beaten and bruised, weary from her struggles (wary as well).  Cynical?  Yes, but there is a little glimmer of hope that sparks within her still.

What does she do next?  The online dating appears to be going nowhere.  She receives emails almost every day but, the men that seem to have fallen for her live on another coast – or even in another country.  The men that seem mutually compatible fizzle out before the first date.  The ones she sees and say, “maybe perhaps,” don’t respond to her emails.

She needs a diversion.  But what?  Her work, right now, is as disheartening as her love life.  And her hobbies bore her. And her friendships are close to nil. What is her next step?  How does she move on?

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Am I having a Zoloft Moment?

I’ve been in what my mom would call a “foul” mood lately – as in, “Phoren, you’re in a foul mood today”.  Bitter and cynical, I’ve been in no frame of mind to do much of anything – and everyone is irritating me. I can barely stand the presence of my coworkers. Sullen, I’ve spent every day this week with my office door tightly closed to the world. The less interaction the better. Last weekend’s activities bored me, I passed on celebrating my 3 year old nephew’s adventure-park birthday this weekend, I was a no show at the culinary school’s alumni party and I canceled a catering for tomorrow.

That little voice in my head kept asking, “Could it be Depression?” Curious to find a reason for my ennui, I looked up the symptoms last night:

1. persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
2. loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
3. restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
4. feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
5. feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
6. sleeping too much or too little, early-morning awakening
7. appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
8. difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
9. thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
10. persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

So, my friends, am I burned out – or clinically depressed? I still don’t know. Yes, my mood has been “empty”, but I’m not persistently sad or anxious. I have had a loss of interest in activities, but a little sex in my life might be just what the doctor ordered! I’ve already confessed to being irritable and pessimistic, but I’m not spending my evenings crying, full of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness – just splayed out on the couch with the remote. I’m feeling hopeless only in regard to my love life – you would be, too, if your only choices were middle-aged, bald and paunchy. I’ve always slept too much and, yes, I do feel like I’ve gained weight, but that has more to do with my recently sedentary life than overeating. I WISH I was waking early in the morning and suffering weight loss (THAT would make depression worthwhile!). Lastly, no I don’t have thoughts of suicide – just killing the idiots around me.

So, maybe it’s not depressions after all. Does anyone have a cure for malaise?