Friday, August 9, 2013

Malaise

I'm going through a phase where I'll spend a couple of days fixated on a topic or idea, before moving on to something else. I'm not sure this is any different than what I usually do; I suppose I'm just more aware of it right now. Commitment to anything sadly seems unattainable.

For the last few days it's been the word: malaise. 

In my OCD / Designer mind, I like to find descriptive words for any project or phase I'm going through. It helps me establish a clear direction. This word popped into my head yesterday, and though it's not regularly in my vocabulary it's now hovering: the perfect description for my current state.

Malaise is a general feeling of unwell: that something is not right. It can refer to an emotional feeling or a physical feeling. Often for me these are so closely related, I have a hard time differentiating. Is it purely physical? Do I sense a developing cold, or is that just a negative outlook? Grief and anger, both seem to equal nausea these days. Depression equals lethargy. Relief equals energy. Sometimes I cannot tell the physical from the emotional.

Life just doesn't feel right. I've struggled with pinpointing exactly why. Some of the possible culprits aren't even appropriate to write about in a public forum, but I think anyone who reads this has likely experienced similar cycles of life. I've actually managed to be quite positive over the last four months, despite what you read here. (This has been, I suppose, my outlet: book reviews and complaining is what I've written since March. You're so welcome.) Living with and learning from the difficulties of having a terminally ill family member has had quite the opposite effect on me. It's forced me to dwell on the positive parts, and not the negative ones. I've surprised myself by my own pretty good attitude. I didn't know that was possible! 

But this isn't just about my dad's cancer. There's a lot more going on in my head and heart and soul that I cannot blame on cancer. If anything, this disease has just highlighted other contributors to my malaise. When you're living with a "life's too short to..." mentality, a lot of inner crap surfaces. In general, I'm becoming more and more acutely aware of life's many disappointments. People are not who you want them to be, or who you thought they would be. Your marriage is hard work. Work is unfulfilling. You've settled in a state with a miserable climate. You can't afford to travel. You don't have time for adventures. You get lazy, flabby, and pathetic. The life you imagined for yourself and the things you know you're capable of just wither away and die. And if you're like me, you despise yourself even more for acknowledging these things but not remedying any of them. Yay!

I'm becoming convinced that aging isn't depressing just because you lose your good looks, memory, and sex drive. It's an uphill climb against growing melancholiness as you see possibility fade and you accept the reality that you probably aren't going to conquer the world like you once thought. Disappointment after disappointment stacks up that life's not working out the way you want. That something's just not right.