Post Playa Depression

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Post Playa Depression

Postby TheJudge » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:35 am

That unexplained feeling of sadness you get after leaving our little world out on the playa. It usually goes away in about a week, but sometimes it lingers.

So....how is everyone doing?
"Be at one with the dust of the earth. This is primal union." - Lao Tsu
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Postby pixie mcGiver » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:58 am

Yes dear Judge, I to am suffering from PPD. It sucks, but you can always get a fix at the image gallery. I also find that smelling my unwashed Plya gear helps.
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Postby pixie mcGiver » Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:06 am

pixie mcGiver wrote:Yes dear Judge, I to am suffering from PPD. It sucks, but you can always get a fix at the image gallery. I also find that smelling my unwashed Plya gear helps.
Breathe deep the plya dust, ash & smoke my precious ones. For this will sustain us till we meet again
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Postby blyslv » Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:11 am

I'm so totally over my post playa depression, nyah nyah nyah. Now I'm settling nicely into my average, run-of-the-mill, day wending its weary pace to day, routine sort of depression.

Grey and affectless.
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Postby angelface » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:56 am

blyslv wrote:I'm so totally over my post playa depression, nyah nyah nyah. Now I'm settling nicely into my average, run-of-the-mill, day wending its weary pace to day, routine sort of depression.


yup, me too... finding a new job would help me tons though
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Postby stuart » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:02 am

gack, this always hits me hard.

This year my big problem is sugar addiction. Usually, I stay away from refined sugar. Not that I am a health nut er nuthin, I just don't dig the daily hypoglycemic roller coaster. This year a camp mate brought cases of gatorade. Damn if that shit don't work for me on the playa. Well, after 3 a day for 10 days, I got hooked. Trying to kick is hard.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:23 am

I've been dealing with a fair amount of PPD this year...

My experiences on the playa this year I think worked some deeper changes into me than I expected- the full scope of which I don't think I've fully seen. Readjusting is proving to be tricky.


I'm finding it almost impossible to be an office drone anymore. I haven't turned on the television since I got back. I don't crave sweets like I used to. My appetites have changed quite a bit actually. I'll sit down to eat something and eat only half of what I would have before. My emotions are *right on the surface*. I've started just saying whatever the hell I think - this has caused some weirdness and discomfort in my marriage - and necessitated me having to learn to apologize with more grace. The list of little shit that just feels odd goes on and on. It's like I came back wired just a little differently.

It was a relatively sober burn for me this year - can't blame it on eating something mind altering.

Maybe I'm really suffering from Post Playa Confusion.
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Postby blyslv » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:34 am

We got back to Vegas and J wandered through her little average condo saying "I'm so rich" "I have so much" "this is big". I was so happy to hear that! We are rich! When's the last time we were hungry and not knowing where the next meal is coming from. We have tools and minds and strong backs.

Now if only I could stop sweating from all the damm coffee.

Actaully I'm not depressed, I'm engaged like I haven't felt in years and it feels good. But there's still going to be plenty of mornings whenI sleep late.
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Postby antron » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:40 am

i'd have to say that i came back changed as well--or at least the changes accumulating over the past year are clearer to me after the burn than they were before the burn.

i would say that i am becoming more of myself. returning to being and understanding who i am.

like lydia, i find that i'm resisting old patterns that now don't seem to fit so well. and like blyslv, i'm aware of the call of the routine and the deep slumber of the mundane.

who knows where it's going. it is nice to feel like the road trip is continuing tho...
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Postby Booker » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:43 am

My experiences on the playa this year I think worked some deeper changes into me than I expected


Let the church say Amen! I came back with a substantial change in perspective, I think. Not sure how it'll work itself out in practice. But my life fits me differently, binding in different places, looser in some places where it had been tight.

For one thing, the tendency to say "fuck it" and let go is stronger. That death grip on some specific outcome has loosened some.

her little average condo saying "I'm so rich" "I have so much" "this is big".


Interesting revelation. ALL this stuff! Amazing! So what does a person do with that information?
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Postby Ivy » Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:01 pm

Maybe I'm really suffering from Post Playa Confusion.


I'm very confused.

I don't feel any of these things.

As days pass, I feel more angry, more bitter, more self-righteous, more materialistic and increasingly more selfish.

I haven't yet figured out the root of it, and I feel like until I pare it down, I can try to fix the symptoms but I can't reach the disease.

I feel jaded about everything when all i really want is to be able to let go and play again like I was a kid or something.

Sorry to be a downer.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:14 pm

Sorry to be a downer.


Fuck that. Say what your feeling - this isn't the "happy fairyland fun thread"

Anyway - I wouldn't necessarily call this a positive sensation from my perspective. It's making most of my life seriously itchy.

Last night I was looking up at the sky and I thought that if the aliens were to land on my lawn and offer me a berth in thier spaceship I would probably take it. Though I'd probably ask if they could set me up with internet access.
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Postby PJ » Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:20 pm

Ivy wrote:As days pass, I feel more angry, more bitter, more self-righteous, more materialistic and increasingly more selfish.

I haven't yet figured out the root of it, and I feel like until I pare it down, I can try to fix the symptoms but I can't reach the disease.

I feel jaded about everything when all i really want is to be able to let go and play again like I was a kid or something.



Sounds to me like you're not getting enough sex.

Of course I'd say that if you were exhibiting the classic symptoms for diabetes or a broken arm.
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Postby PJ » Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:21 pm

Lydia Love wrote:
Last night I was looking up at the sky and I thought that if the aliens were to land on my lawn and offer me a berth in thier spaceship I would probably take it.


Fuckin' A! But only if they let me drive it.
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Postby telizas » Fri Sep 26, 2003 2:01 pm

I feel claustrophobic all of a sudden. :( I miss the wide open expanse of the playa... civilization is so *close*....
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ooooh yeah

Postby actiongrl » Fri Sep 26, 2003 2:03 pm

I've got it bad. I'm feeling demoralized, undermotivated, and confused.

I split up with my true love on the last day on the playa. Or the day after. It's kinda a blur.

I have noplace to live, so I'm moving into my RV.

I had a relatively sober year too (budweiser notwithstanding!) and I had the most eye-opening and self-confirming time of my life. I jumped out of a plane over BRC and it blew my heart open. Now, though, I just don't know what to do with myself.

I feel lonely and disconnected. I seem to want to only spend time with the people that I worked with. And some of them, I can't...

it's a bitch. Can't recapture what's gone, and not sure I should be trying. I dream of houses that I'm not allowed to go into, or being totally alone in a crowd.

Ack.

Maybe I picked a bad time to stop drinking and smoking.
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Postby O-Cuniculus » Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:04 pm

I've been quite up and down with PPD. The biggest effect for sure was that I am more in touch with my hedonistic side. In the months before I left for BM, I had a couple of close calls with two different attractive women who basically offered themselves up. I say close call because I have a long time live-in girlfriend. Friends of mine who know the girls were amazed I survived the two relationship challenges.

The thing is, if they had happened after BM, I'm almost certain I would NOT have held back. I'm just a little wigged out about what this means. Also, what the next close encounter will mean. Funny, a couple of little crushes I had before BM are now amplified in a big way.

Also, I feel slower at work. Go figure. To distracted by the new closeness with hedonism, I suppose.
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Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:04 pm

Sorry to hear that, ActionGrl, I think I know that ache.

FWIW, it was crushing to think my Burning Man experiences were history.

Then, it was dismaying to find out that my politics were sufficient cause for some to write me off. (I don't mean the Horsecow, BTW.)

Later, it was frustrating to have to see other changes, like in the eplaya, that seemed to further separate me from what I had valued.

Yesterday, it was only mildly disappointing to find out that you could spend a lot of time and effort and think you've earned a place at the table, only to have it revoked, behind your back, without consultation.

Now it's liberating to look forward, and know that I can focus entirely on myself, and the only expectations to meet are my own.

There's still a void, but I still have friends and I'm no longer depressed.
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Postby shuranuff » Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:16 pm

i've been in hermit mode for the past year plus following shit-that-happens. i exploded with joy at burning man and feel like i cracked wide open. it's weird; my personality has shifted back more to old outgoing me, but i'm different. it's very strange being surprised by my reaction to situations; kinda like first getting to know someone but it's in your own head.

i crashed hard when i first got home. now i find myself dumbing-down my bm experience and remembering it as less amazing than it was so the rest of my life doesn't suffer by comparison. mostly i just keep reminding myself i'm glad it happened, not sad it's gone. well maybe just a little sad.
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Postby PJ » Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:16 pm

TestesInSac wrote:...I still have friends and I'm no longer depressed.


Well, I like you. And my cow likes you. So that's two. Can't speak for anybody else around here though.
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Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:19 pm

PJ wrote:
TestesInSac wrote:...I still have friends and I'm no longer depressed.


Well, I like you. And my cow likes you. So that's two. Can't speak for anybody else around here though.


Dude, yer cow likes yer butt! S'all good though.
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Re: ooooh yeah

Postby Todd in Seattle » Fri Sep 26, 2003 4:14 pm

actiongrl wrote:I've got it bad. I'm feeling demoralized, undermotivated, and confused.


Me too. And I so promised myself I wouldn't. On the night (actually, about 8 or 9 a.m. the morning after) of the burn, I did a one man conga line all the way from the GLOM (thanks guys!) to my home at 4:25 and Vision. We're talking about two miles of three steps forward, one step to the side, three steps forward, one step to the side. And the whole time I've got this quiet little chuckle going. And I remember thinking, "This is EXACTLY what I am supposed to be doing ALL the time." No, it wasn't the alcohol. I had started to become the person I want, deserve and am supposed to be. I want to learn how to do this 24/7/365.

Then I get back to Seatown and lo and behold, I feel cold and lonely. The shorter days are REALLY getting to me, and they're gonna get alot shorter before they get longer. The tunnel to next summer looks incredibly long from here.

So, which way out? I obviously can't go back, and I don't feel that I can make it going forward.

I know the solution is to make the rest of my life more like that one week in the desert. Great. Now if I can only figure out how.
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Re: ooooh yeah

Postby PJ » Fri Sep 26, 2003 4:48 pm

Todd in Seattle wrote:...I know the solution is to make the rest of my life more like that one week in the desert. Great. Now if I can only figure out how.


What worked for me was ditching my job. It's been a few years since I've worked for somebody else and I've never once looked back.

My first B.Man trip really shined the light on how much I hated working for those people.
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Re: ooooh yeah

Postby shuranuff » Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:03 pm

Todd in Seattle wrote:And the whole time I've got this quiet little chuckle going. And I remember thinking, "This is EXACTLY what I am supposed to be doing ALL the time." .


yeah, yeah, yeah! all those great, crazy moments!

Todd in Seattle wrote:Then I get back to Seatown and lo and behold, I feel cold and lonely. The shorter days are REALLY getting to me, and they're gonna get alot shorter before they get longer. The tunnel to next summer looks incredibly long from here.

So, which way out? I obviously can't go back, and I don't feel that I can make it going forward.

I know the solution is to make the rest of my life more like that one week in the desert. Great. Now if I can only figure out how.


personally, i'm seriously thinking about migrating south toward the sun. i'm a white, northern girl who's never liked the desert or too many rays. but i think i'm a sun baby now. short term solution is mexico this winter but i think i need more than that in the long run.

sides seattle is so...cold. people-wise i mean. kinda like vancouver cept less polite, less polished, with funny-money and much more betta music. in my humble opinion, o course.
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Postby warrior queen » Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:13 pm

I am missing the interaction of all you wonderful and creative people. I'm so glad eplaya exists so that I can at some level still feel connected to that magical place in the desert. This weekend I plan to organize all of my pictures and feel quite nostalgic. Have a great weekend guys!!
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Postby Badger » Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:20 pm

Then I get back to Seatown and lo and behold, I feel cold and lonely. The shorter days are REALLY getting to me, and they're gonna get alot shorter before they get longer. The tunnel to next summer looks incredibly long from here.


I'm convinced I have Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). Today more than any I realized when I got up this morning that the days are getting shorter and daylight savings time creeping down the road ain't gonna help matters any. Time to get naked, slip on my sunglasses, pull out my playa chair and head to my grow room where the light is BRIGHT, warm and intense. You need that when you're growing your um, tomatoes.
.
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Image
.
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Postby Badger » Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:21 pm

Medicinal tomatoes....
.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:47 pm

Eat a tomato for me duuuude.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:12 pm

I had a melt-down of some sort today. Blew out a gasket or something.

I think a lot of my day to day behavior in the last... oh... ten years have been things designed to keep your mind nicely asleep and for some unknown, maybe unknowable reason this year on the playa I woke up and I've resisted going back to sleep.

Why the fuck *this* year? Why not my first year when my possessions could all fit into milk crates... *were* mostly milk crates. Now I've got real furniture to deal with and a mortgage and a husband and cats and debts to pay. It was being asleep that allowed me to accumulate all this crap (uh.. no I don't count the husband and cats as crap) around me like fucking dung beetle. And I thought I wanted it. I really really did.

So I'm awake and it hurts like hell. But the husband and the cats know it now (though I'm fairly sure the cats don't understand). I've been given permission to, if at some point I need to, just take the fuck off for a while which might actually make it possible to not do so. I have one road-trip coming up and I think I can forsee some camping trips on my own.

I don't know. I have to find some ways of dealing with this life I've made so I don't just pick up a hammer and obliterate it completely.
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Postby PJ » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:42 pm

Lydia Love wrote:And I thought I wanted it. I really really did.


So, maybe you did--at the time.

Lydia Love wrote:I don't know. I have to find some ways of dealing with this life I've made so I don't just pick up a hammer and obliterate it completely.


Maybe a big hammer is exactly what's called for. (Although you could also get rid of it via E-Bay and a yard sale and ten trips to Goodwill and the dump.)

Every five years or so, one of my closest oldest friends sighs and asks me, "Wouldn't it be great if my house burned down? I'd be rid of all this SHIT people just can't ever throw out. And then I'd only buy the handful of things that are really important."
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