Bad Mood

I may be chemically depressed. I wonder if that's what it would be called. I'm definitely in a bad mood, and have been, more and more, for the past week or two. I'm easily excited to anger and quick to bursts of rage. It's not really depression as I define depression. It's violence; violence of the temper -- that's what I've caught.

Now, it's not that I'm sitting here typing this message with a furrowed brow, red cheeks, and a hateful stare, thinking of how stupid everything is and how it should all go off and die somewhere. No really, I'm not. I swear. I'm quite content just this moment. If I didn't know any better I would suspect that I am no more restive than is my tendency; that I am as bio-chemically inert as a juniper in February. No, I don't know what that means either. I'm just trying to say that I feel absolutely normal in the interims. It's only when some small trifle of a disturbance falls within my purview that I find my moods leapfrogging passed the usual landmarks of annoyed, frustrated, and angered, straight into manic-homicidal-fit mode. Seriously... Hulk smash!

Hulk smash, indeed! I've been going straight into a full-on 'get the fuck away from me' mode without passing 'Go' or collecting $200, and I just haven't been able to stop myself. I haven't been able to pull myself aside and realize the insignificance of the thing that's upset me. And I had really started to be very good at that lately.

I've felt, for a few months now, that I am finally becoming a man. Probably since I turned twenty I have wondered if I would ever feel like I was an adult; if I would ever perceive myself as a full-grown, legitimate member of humanity, and not just a wide-eyed child bumbling through life, tossed about by the winds that flutter 'round this life. As of late I have begun, at last, to sense the end of my adolescence approaching. I find I have a sturdiness of mind and heart... Surely I will never cease to waver with the winds, nor would I want to. It is my nature to float a bit, to dabble in a thousand things. It is a nature I would not betray for much. But I judge that I have steadied greatly. I can more and more frequently see beyond myself and others, beyond the fleeting things; beyond moments and situations that would previously have entrapped me in their seeming importance.

Perhaps the greatest sense of maturity I now find has come in the recent discovery of what seems the suddenly sizable wall of life standing behind me. Even as I hope the most and best of my life is only soon to begin, I have become aware the depth and bounty of my own private archives thereof. A sense of superiority has emerged that comforts and adds perspective to my cares; that soothes and eases my worries with the awareness of the many similitudes present in what is new, to what I have, in my own time, seen come to fruit before and so often watched wither away again. I have witnessed, with my own senses, enough now to lend comfort to myself - not always to search it out in others, as does a child - but to look inward and grant my own inner being strength, resolve, encouragement, and even a meager port of patience, by sheer reflection upon my own vast stores of previous realities that once were, and are no more.

By these I am fast becoming a man. Yet, here I stand as evidence of the child within, very much alive and kicking; overwrought with momentary though uncontrollable torrents of anger.

I can see myself, even in the midst of these spells. There is still the father figure within watching over and rebuking the smallness, the petulance of the outburst. But he is so small then. His voice is such a tiny point of light in an otherwise complete blackness of firmament. I do not truly hear his tiny rebuke, but only see that he is somewhere far off and away rebuking; as one sees a ship's sail the moment before it vanishes behind the planet's edge. And I am powerless to restrain myself.

I suppose I had been using the signposts of annoyance and frustration as a means of early detection, to combat anger and hatred before it had the time to mass its full forces against me. Here, now, I find my enemy has redoubled his resolves. Every attack he wages is a blitzkrieg. The whooping of sirens sound nolonger as deterrent; nolonger an an announcement to mobilize defense -- but now only as a warning to take cover; that the bombs are in the air, gravity is nigh and irresistibly drawing them upon us, and nothing can be done to undo their course.

This is a chemical thing. I'm certain of it. Something is off in my brain's chemistry that is causing my sudden propensity to rage; this turning again into the worst shades of child-self. The knowledge codified itself within me just this morning when I realized the exact correlation of my temperament's fouling to my sudden increase of appetite. I have been eating greater portions these passed two weeks, and many snacks throughout the night. I now understand this as an unwitting subconscious attempt to regulate my faltering moods; to meet the gap of a chemical imbalance with the chemical releases come of consumption and digestion.

Yet I take it as further evidence of my budding maturity that I was able to detect these things. Not long ago I may have bumbled about, a tangled mess of hostile emotions, for weeks or even months without ever considering the source. It is often so difficult to read one's own changes of character. Or had I detected it, I may just as well have done nothing at all to curb it; may never have even considered the possibility of correction. It's strange how capable men are, though only when it concerns themselves mind you, to ignore shortcomings, and even when one is recognized, to draw it closer to themselves as a sort of welcomed parcel of their core being.

I recall with fondness a woman I once knew who, after treating me to a somewhat jarring car ride, announced solemnly and soulfully, "I'm a bad driver. I know I'm a bad driver and I've accepted that about myself." That didn't stop her from driving, of course, nor from bending as many fenders. And insomuch as I know it never occurred to her seriously, then, to go out of her way to learn any better driving habits. Nor was she able to fully grasp the danger in continuing to operate a two ton vehicle in the public space as a self-proclaimed "bad driver."

I take it as a further indication of my coming of age that I have divined this sudden emotional impropriety of mine, and moreso that my life's experience has granted me both the tools and designs to correct it. I once wheeled among the starts of mysticism and the best of what I have retained from those youthful pursuits is my admittedly abbreviated knowledge of meditation. While I haven't seriously practiced the art in some years and even now feel uncertainty in its application, I know exactly where I shall start in the reseating of my wayward chemistry. The mini-meditation I speak of requires simply that I close my eyes and breathe deliberately with the intent of bringing on a certain physical sensation -- a tingling about the neck, and eventually upon the face and shoulders. The results are physically pleasurable and inspire an increased sense of well-being. Incidentally I find it difficult and undesirable to focus my eyes for some time after this simple process. I have long suspected the medical results of this meditation to be a sort of burst-release of serotonin. Whatever its nature I mean to implement it in again lengthening my so recently shortened fuse. I shall also take this as a cue to lay designs on some form of fuller meditation and perhaps become more constant and rigorous in my physical workouts, which have slackened of late -- very probably due the same cause.

1 comment:

  1. I can see some of the links that you are drawing here between mood swings and manhood, what I would add is that the Tousignant men are particularly well versed in these flashes of anger. I have them. Your father has them. My father, all of my uncles. I think you should be aware of the fact that you didn't do anything wrong and you're not a freak. You are just genetically predisposed to these "rages". You are a Tousignant male. They come and go. I have tried to develop some tactics to deal with mine. Exercise is key. Counting to ten helps, but I always forget to count and remember to rage. I try to detect patterns, times of day that I rage, times of the week that I rage and then I can say "Victor it's just Saturday, calm down." Sometimes I allow myself to rage. When I am driving in my car and no one can hear me, and more importantly, no one can be hurt by my rage I let the shit fly and just scream and curse and otherwise have at it. It feels good, and I get it out without hurting anyone.
    I am really glad that you are identifying this so early in your life. This will not go away. I advise that you just accept that this is part of your genetics and you need to develop coping strategies. Tell those around you about it and ask them for help, or at least ask them to remind you that "it's just Saturday" or "it's just such and such... calm down Roy."
    I think you are a very impressive young man. Kudos to you.
    and... I love you.