You know how I know it's time to increase my Wellbutrin dosage? When I decide Oh hey maybe I'll try drawing again! and I sit and sketch and I can't let my six-year-old give me a compliment and then I throw everything away after tearing it up. Maybe I should just drop my Wellbutrin dose so I'm just depressed enough not to even pick up a pencil. Functional, yes, in the kitchen and the house, but lacking that extra little push to think I ought to try.
I was not ready to start making things again. I don't know what'll fix that. The only thing I can think of is not to try to make things ever again. And frankly it seems so -- I don't know, presumptuous? Prideful? Shameless? -- that I should even worry about that, you know? What I make doesn't matter, so what does it matter if I make it? It doesn't, really.
But then why bother making things in the first place?
It's easier to sit quietly and listen. Not to take the risk of talking. Busy my hands in the kitchen, chopping, washing up. I don't like to cook for other people, any more. Outside of my household I mean.
Nothing comes out the way I mean it to.
* * *
That depression screening question: Do you no longer enjoy the things that used to give you pleasure? There's a lot it doesn't ask. What it means, I guess, is do you feel empty inside. Numb to the joy of a thing you once loved. And that is not the case for me at all. I am moved, intensely so, by art, by music, hell, by stand-up comedy. By hearing Sean play the piano or make a comic or seeing Sophia draw something she is so proud of or know she is really nailing it when she plays Oh Susannah on the fiddle; watching Daphne figure out something new, draw a picture of a mouse, sing a song, surprise us with some costume.
Those things bring me joy. I love watching other people make things, seeing their etsy shops, their stories, their poems.
To attempt these things myself would crush me, I think. I try, and sometimes the results make it out into the world, and the repercussions are devastating. Internally I mean.
In a fit of who knows what I pass things off to other people. Sean keeps my old art from 15 years ago. Someone might get a poem once in a while. Those are the things that survive, but you have to hide them from me because as soon as the wave passes I will destroy whatever I can find. I am so intensely embarrassed by these things, and worse yet, once in a while admitting that I was satisfied with something I made.
* * *
I hate that I write. It's the last thing to go. It is one thing I halfway trust I can do and when I say I can't stop maybe I mean that some deep part of me senses it is important to hang on to something. Or maybe it's just an old habit, inflicting my leaden self on the world this way. I wish I could stop. No, that's not quite it: I wish I would.