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I Thought Substack Was A Good Idea
I guess I was wrong.
There is no such thing a continuity. Things come and go in my life, as do people, and I barely notice. For a while, I thought I could make lifelong friends and specialize in certain topics; there was some kind of hope. This hope is gone. Maybe it has morphed into something different, such as openness, or curiosity, or maybe it’s exactly what it looks like, nothing’s left.
When the Substack idea came to me, it happened quickly; I saw the option while reading an article, I clicked, I wrote, I published. No preparation, no plan, no editing, nothing. This may explain why I failed, or maybe not succeeding is just what I do. Do not misinterpret me as a clinically depressed person requesting nice words or encouragement. Facts are facts: I am not a successful person in anything I do that have meaning for me.
Writing has always been very enjoyable, exhilarating almost. Maybe my only passion, even. However, my life choices led me elsewhere and I didn’t do writing “for real”. It may be why I keep idealizing it altogether or because I never became good at it and still believe I can.
Aligning words in a beautiful or interesting manner is not only subjective; in the sense that it cannot be quantified, not even in quantity of books, essays or relative successes, but it’s also accessible; meaning that anyone who is the least functional at writing might think they have it. I might even be one of them, or maybe I just didn’t want it enough to have it, it’s unclear. The thing is, I need to vent out some of these persistent ideas, concepts, or random thoughts that sometimes end up to poisoning me, and conversation partners are very.. inexistent. Thus, the Substack.
Sometimes, I cannot help myself and I comment on podcast episodes I have listened, a kind of call for interaction, a call for conversation. I even go as far as emailing people that are way too big to give a damn. Rarely does it work. Some people do like or say a short phrase, but I would need more. When I take the time to spread my gut out, I don’t need a “hell yeah” or a ridiculous thumb’s up, I need to be either hit in the face, or questioned, or encouraged, or just smartly acknowledged. This is not the place, apparently, neither is my Substack, clearly, nor in-person conversations. What’s left then? Not much. Loneliness never ends, does it?
For some reason, things were fluent in my head but I really changed lane here… so the subject shifts. It’s really 2 different topics in the same text. Weird.
Yesterday, my life partner sent me a podcast episode of “À deux pilules d’être folle” (2 pills from crazy) and they were (obviously) speaking about mental health. This was poor podcasting and poor interviewing, but they were talking about a disorder I didn’t know of (there are so many now). The guy, a comedian from Québec, had realized at some point he was rarely happy, and anti-depressant never seemed to help in any way, so he had finally zoomed in on cyclothymic disorder, which led me to google more mood disorders.
After trying combinations like “moody never happy” and “functionally depressed”, I decided to go more globally into “mood disorders” and read a little. I am not a fan of self-diagnosis or even checking on the internet for answers regarding health, but I have been given many official diagnostics over the years and still, I don’t really feel I know anything about my shitty attitude.
It’s not new, I barely feel joy and excitement. If I ever have, it’s long gone, maybe sharing a room with my hope, who would know. My life is made of OK days, bleh days and awful days. Proportions are unclear but let’s give each a fair share. How do I know OK days are not happy days? Because from what I know of happiness, what others seem to experience, I don’t have that. Feeling OK translates into being less uncomfortable, and sometimes not really uncomfortable. A better way to describe how I feel could be with my brain activity; I could be either obsessed, disorganized or relatively in control.
While shopping for mood disorders and checking all their features, I closed in on my favourite, the one that seemed accurate for me, sort of: Persistent Depressive Disorder (https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mood-disorders).
Honestly, it fits me quite well, but I tend to think it’s more of a personality trait than a disorder. Not everyone is mentally ill, but many are necessarily mentally different. I refuse the idea that anyone having a rough time is sick, and that some criminal committing crimes can be discharged with mental health diagnostic while they clearly just snapped. I could go and get myself a diagnostic of any mental illness I choose in the next week. Why is that? Because everyone is clueless, and mental health is invisible.
Some people recover from heavy depressions, after a few years of treatment, and I do believe this is a real thing, that can be healed. For most of the trendy disorders or “à la mode”, I believe from the bottom of my heart that it’s just a part of us, and we are responsible for making it work, to adapt our lives to our reality, our personality, and it might require efforts. Mental health is now an umbrella term to sooth people saying and doing stupid things, not assuming their bad decisions, and going to the easy or the wrong way. This is bad, because real mental disorders are put aside, and it creates confusion.
Sorry, I got a little lost. Anyway, I started a Substack because I felt lonely, and it didn’t make me feel better. What I was expecting to find, either feedback or exchange, didn’t happen as I would have liked to. Like everything else, you have to be someone to be someone. Like money, you need it to make more. How weird.
One of the reasons my Substack doesn’t attract many readers, other than me not publicizing it, is that there is not point, no goal, to what I write. I might just take it as a journal that is open for you to read. On the other hand, what I have to offer cannot help people to become better humans, make them laugh or even teach them. Why bother? This is a real question now. I just infused doubt.
The last couple of days were OK days, without deep sadness. That’s good. When it happens, I forget how low I sometimes fall in the depths of darkness, and feel ridiculous for even considering that I have “a problem”. Two days ago, I was convinced I had a persistent depressive disorder, because I was sad for no reason, and had been for days, weeks even. Now I feel better, meaning I don’t experience noticeable distress, so I feel silly for tagging myself with such a problem. It's amazing how short is our memory span about pain. Well, I guess we are full circle now, because clearly, there is no such thing as continuity for me.