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last week i had three things to do that involved other people. i joined the american international women’s club and i met with them once in cologne for a book exchange and once in leichlingen for coffee. the third was the knitting group and i missed that. three things to do in my calendar, and i space one. how is that possible? here i am, desperate for things to do and people to speak with and i just don’t make it. sigh.

lately i’ve felt like the people on antidepressant commercials. i had always seen my depression as something teen-aged in itself: raw, dramatic, angst-ridden and violent. now, my depression is simply there, quiet, daunting and still imposing itself into my life, but without any of the force of emotion i’d grown accustomed to. maybe it isn’t my depression that’s changed. maybe i’ve changed. maybe now i just roll over in bed and acknowledge that i don’t want to wake up and then a couple of hours later i make my way, silently, to the couch where i quietly accept that it’s just too hard to leave the house today. maybe i’ve lost the desire to do all the self-detrimental things that i used to do: get drunk, get stoned, rail in any and every way against the misfortune that is mine, but i’ve also lost the desire to do all of the creative, interesting, helpful things that i used to do, like immersing myself in an art project just because, creating a package to send someone or writing poetry and making something out of it. i’ve only half grown out of it – i’ve made the decision not to make negative decisions, but i haven’t yet decided to make positive ones.

it’s quite depressing in and of itself, really.

james and i have decided to have a competition for weight loss and i’m hoping the focus on exercise and eating right also helps me become more engaged in my life in other ways. i feel i’ve been given this opportunity here to really make a permanent change. i’m usually so distracted by friends, by work – here, i have the option to really just “work on myself” (a completely new-age, american idea that even i laugh at when i hear my friends saying it) and i’m squandering it. i’m afraid. i lie awake at night, tangibly and palpably afraid of going to sleep because it means i’ll have to wake up the next day. and the next morning, i wake up, suddenly aware that it’s morning and i force myself to go back to sleep for another hour or two – anything to just avoid dealing with the day.

and what is so terrifying? going for a walk by the river? doing the dishes? or discovering that i can’t that day; that that day is just going to pass by like so many others with me on the couch, not even dealing with how devastating it is for me to have spent the day that way until james comes home. because i’m too ashamed and afraid to even look at it all.

the thing in all of this that i don’t ever seem to accept is that it’s so clearly a choice. every morning, i make a choice to accept myself as i saw myself the day before, the month before, the year before – it’s a habit formed out of my refusal to use my inherent free-will. i read yesterday that they’ve done experiments and can prove that there are separate electric signals that are sent in different areas of the brain when a person thinks about moving their finger and when they actually do. when they do move their finger, the thought is first noted and then the action – which comes from a different part of the brain. but even the thought stimulates a reaction, completely separate from the reaction that prompts the doing. what they were proving is free-will – but i think more importantly, it says a lot about thoughts and thoughts versus actions.

i can just see myself every morning in bed with that little part of my brain where thought creates a reaction just surging with all the energy my thoughts are sending out of getting up, of finishing my to-do list, of going for a walk or god forbid, going to the gym. just what happens to all that energy then? where is it going and what am i getting for it? and how to do i transfer it to energy of doing? is it really just down to a choice? and if so, what is keeping me from making it?

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