Post Playa Depression

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

Postby Angry Butterfly » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:44 pm

I mis wide open spaces and being able to wear my contacts, I miss freedom so badly i am just about ready to get on my bike and ride off somewhere and just keep going. I have been eating a lot of fast food, always a sure sign I am deprsssed. And i know that makes it worse. It might just be today, but I think I need to make a really big change.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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Postby Todd in Seattle » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:50 pm

Lydia Love wrote: 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.


Bullseye. See, the thing with me is I cope really well. "Naah," I say, "doesn't mean a thing. Let it go" and I move on. But that shit accumulates and, truthfully, I sometimes overreact.

I'm (slowly) learning that I really need to watch my pressure release valve more closely, and to get better at recognizing when the shit is building up to unnacceptable levels.

My biggest fear is that I'm turning into a selfish asshole.
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Postby TawnyGnosis » Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:29 pm

I've been in a totally weird place as well since burning man, not that low in general but just ultra sensitive.

I can't live in a stupor with "superiors" directing my way anymore, I can't allow dull space filling negative people to dictate my emotions anymore. I give their claim on my happiness up, and do not welcome their behavior any longer. I've had this sudden change in me where I can't physically stand to be around certain people any longer without feeling sick to my stomach.

I'll express the anger I have as well as the positive occurences in my life, because I don't need to be medicated into a person without highs and lows. I've been stressed about money and cars a lot lately, but those things shouldn't matter so much. They're only the temporary things, I'm ready for something better now. I'm prepared to live in this VERY moment, whether it be challenging or a wildly beautiful thing.
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:39 pm

This year on the playa I had a major revelation about how I deal with people, about my fear of rejection and willingness to be open and vulnerable and take risks in interacting with people.

It was a fairly wrenching experience at the time, one of those tears-and-laughter kind of deals. Afterwards, I felt myself more free and willing to be myself and tell the truth to people, perhaps than ever in my life.

Now, less than a month later, one of my friends from the playa since 2000 has been incommunicado since the burn. Not answering emails, not answering or returning phone calls.

In addition, I spent last weekend hanging out with another friend, whom I've known four over four years as well, and with whom I thought I had a pretty damn close relationship as well. I started to sense a coldness and distance as the weekend progressed, but wasn't sure what to do about it. Afterwards, I sent an email saying, "What's up? If I hurt or offended you, I apologize, I didn't mean to." Not a word.

I'm not aware of anything I did in either of these relationships that was "wrong," or even that was much different than what I would have done before. If anything, I was only being more fully and truly myself than I would have previously been.

Well, I may be one clueless motherfucker, but eventually even I can take a hint -- and it feels like the hint is, "We liked you better before. Crawl back in your shell, put back up the wall, this so-called "real you" is definitely not what we had in mind."

Of course, even in my depressed (and now moderately drunken) state, I'm coherent enough to realize that my analysis may be incorrect. On the other hand, I don't know what the fuck to think instead. Relationships are very important to me, and these were (are?) two pretty close ones. If this is the effect that "the real me" is going to have on people, I'd best shut that fucker down posthaste. Honestly, I think I'd rather be the half-assed me and have friends than be the real me and be alone.

All of this, I think, is exacerbated by the fact that I have felt exhausted, and verging on physically sick, off and on since I left the playa. Last weekend was exhausting, and next week it looks like I'm going to be taking the kids and hitting the road for the better part of two weeks again to work in LA, see my family, and (on the bright side) participate in the Arizona decompression. As good as all that would normally be, right now it just sounds like even more that I have to do, even more exhaustion, when what I really want to do is crawl into a hole somewhere.

So I don't know. I'm probably being overly sensitive. I probably just need to give my (ex-?)friends time and space. I just don't fucking know.

Anyway, there's my happy little post-playa depression story. If anyone was masochistic to make it this far, thanks for listening.

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Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:22 pm

Flux, I somehow think that a lot of people can relate to that story in great common detail, especially the aspect of commication with people you thought were friends. At least, I know I can.

I can also relate to seeing some things that are supposed to be celebrations of some sort as just being more work, and perhaps obligation. The bachelor party I'm supposed to attend Sunday, and the wedding in October, is like that.

My choice is not to change, but rather to continue being just who I am. Those that don't like it, including the theme camp I used to be a part of, don't have to be part of my world.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:29 pm

I'd best shut that fucker down posthaste. Honestly, I think I'd rather be the half-assed me and have friends than be the real me and be alone.


Flux. Don't you fucken dare. I mean it. Don't make me pull this car over... er come over and kick yer ass!

The fact is we do build up all these little games in our relationships and when one person "changes the rules" everyone freaks. But you can't let that stop you. Sometimes these changes spark wonderful revelations in others and sometimes it falls flat and those relationships are never what they were. But Flux, if they don't, after you give them some time, love the vulnerable, open honest you - what the fuck good are they? The people who *will* love you are out there wondering where the fuck you've been. It may or may not work with these friendships that are in transition. You've seen what you need to be. Shutting it down now will only make you crazy.


The world can only change one crazy, vulnerable, open, honest motherfucker at a time. We have to stick together.
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Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:42 pm

Damn, Lydia, you said that a lot clearer than I did. Good job!
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Postby Badger » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:43 pm

The world can only change one crazy, vulnerable, open, honest motherfucker at a time. We have to stick together.


And hopefully without SSRI drugs.
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Postby Stormy » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:54 pm

Flux,

I wouldn't sweat it. I sometimes think people are withdrawing, but it's actually me subconciously pushing them away. This can be common after BM, when only certain sensibilites are desirable to connect with as you try and hold onto the feelings you experienced playaside.
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Postby Stormy » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:56 pm

In regards to PPD, I don't experience it too much as I'm always busy working after it.
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:58 pm

Thanks, TIS. While it sucks that you've gone through something similar, it is cool that you can relate to what I'm talking about.

You wrote:My choice is not to change, but rather to continue being just who I am. Those that don't like it, including the theme camp I used to be a part of, don't have to be part of my world.

Intellectually, I know that's what I have to do; at a deeper, less-fully-conscious level, I can feel a sort of tug-of-war going on, kind of like the Gollum/Smeagol back-and-forth in The Two Towers.

I'm simultaneously terrified of going back, of slipping backwards, into some kind of shadowy facsimile of my true self*, and yet I'm also frightened by the specter of this being just the beginning of a mass exodus, and thus of ending up in a month or a year with no one. It plays on my deepest fears of being unlovable and unworthy.

Writing it out now, I must admit that it sounds pretty unlikely and awfully dramatic, but that's part of what's going on in my head. (And that's part of why it's good to expose all the crazy shit in my head to the light of day or, in this case, the light of a cathode ray tube.)

* Not, of course, that I harbor any illusions that I am anywhere near being my fully-actualized "true self"; just that I (think) am closer than I was before.

Thanks again.

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Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:16 pm

Feelings have to have their say, but they don't have to control. Honestly writing out your fears, especially in this medium, could well be a way of dredging them up from the part of your brain that feels, and exposing them to the light of day. Or, another way of looking at it is that by seeing the fear written out, and visually noting that fear's weakness/irrationality/irrelevance, your brain starts reconditioning itself to a better survival/stability mode. At least that's my take, and I use it.

And, again, I'm with Lydia, the ones that have any value will stick around. Give 'em all time, though, 'cause if you're like me you have a world to apply some order to, and the break from all the company can even be welcome to that end.

Oh, and my advice is worth whatcher payin' fer it.
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:18 pm

Thank you, Lydia. Your post really pierced through the wild chatter in my head and spoke to me.

You wrote:But Flux, if they don't, after you give them some time, love the vulnerable, open honest you - what the fuck good are they? The people who *will* love you are out there wondering where the fuck you've been.

Wow, Lydia, that really touched me. I hadn't even considered the flip side, that there might be other people who would love the "real" me. I was too absorbed in the fear of being alone and unloved by everyone.

You also wrote:You've seen what you need to be. Shutting it down now will only make you crazy.

You're absolutely right about that! I was fucked up enough before; if I tried to shut back down, I'd be more fucked up than ever. How could that help anything? Duh.

And you wrote:The world can only change one crazy, vulnerable, open, honest motherfucker at a time. We have to stick together.

Beautiful!

I thought you were pretty cool before, Lydia, but I had no idea. Thank you for your clarity and compassion.
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Postby blyslv » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:18 pm

Lydia Love wrote:
I'd best shut that fucker down posthaste. Honestly, I think I'd rather be the half-assed me and have friends than be the real me and be alone.


Flux. Don't you fucken dare. I mean it. Don't make me pull this car over... er come over and kick yer ass!

...
The world can only change one crazy, vulnerable, open, honest motherfucker at a time. We have to stick together.


Oh lydia, thank you so much.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:23 pm

Well I mean it.


I don't wanna be this fucking nuts alone!
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Postby Flux » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:25 pm

Many thanks, TestesInSac, Lydia, and Stormy. I am so much clearer and more peaceful than I was a couple of hours ago that it's amazing.

I'm sure the fear and pain will still come up, but you've helped me find a realistic, balanced context in which to experience those feelings, and that makes all the difference.

(I know that sounds like a bunch of psychobabble, but I mean it -- and I think I may even know what I mean!)

Thanks again. You guys rock.

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Postby Spokes » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:34 pm

This has happened with my best friend of many years. As I have changed closer to my center, it has been further from him and he has also moved in other directions. We are still good friends, but we are no longer as connected as we were. Sometimes I have my doubts about my choices but there is a peace that comes with truth to self.

You people make me know that I am not alone and that is a blessing.
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Postby shuranuff » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:04 pm

lydia love, who are you?! your posts are so articulate, righteous, eloquent and witty. i read them and think, um, yeah, what she said. anyways, just sendin some gushing admiration your way cause, hell, why not. and some good mojo for you flux. it's good for all that ails ya.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:07 pm

omigod thank you and back atcha
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:09 pm

and as for who am I - if you follow the theorem "you are what you eat"

I am a glass of red wine right now.
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Postby Stormy » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:22 pm

Lydia Love wrote:and as for who am I - if you follow the theorem "you are what you eat"

I am a glass of red wine right now.


Guess that makes me a cab.
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Postby JezebelinHell » Fri Sep 26, 2003 11:49 pm

I'm chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven.
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Postby shuranuff » Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:04 am

i'm, umm, cinnamint toothpaste?
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You eat what you are

Postby ravenluv » Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:37 am

I'm crow.

we all got our troubles....disatisfaction and the yearning for change, not truly knowing which change or when....

should i leave her? or do i just need a better job? when i consider my track record so far, i'm not so confident about my answers to such questions. while it's true that sometimes the light shines on me, the rest is just confusion and luck. but then, sometimes i'm not sure which is which.

there was a grand moment in the equinox when i exclaimed:

"we never went to burning man!"

i went on to elaborate (just a little) how it was just a dream that spawned an idea, and that the idea was in our reality even as we spoke (actually, it was). we never left home, i proclaimed....burning man came to us.

yeah, well that's kind of hard to digest, so the moment must just may have been all about confusion. nonetheless, it led me contemplate this utterly disturbing notion:

what if my entire reality is a psycho-feedback vortex? what if everything i experience is - even that which appears to have an objective reality - coming from within me?

this notion changes everything. and in a truly challenging way. luckily, it's a notion that was spawned from a notion which evolved out of confusion. and it could only lead to further confusion. after all, if my entire outer reality is a reflection of what's within me, then who am i writing to and why?
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Postby Lydia Love » Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:47 am

I'm crow.


Wait... did you just eat that or...
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Reality Eats

Postby ravenluv » Sat Sep 27, 2003 2:08 am

Wait... did you just eat that or...


all of the above, some of the above, or none of the above. i'm really not sure and was hoping someone could tell me. after all, in my reality i am in your reality and therefore am what you think i am.

you think, there i am.....or so i've thought
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Re: Reality Eats

Postby TestesInSac » Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:09 am

[quote="ravenluv after all, in my reality i am in your reality and therefore am what you think i am.

you think, there i am.....or so i've thought[/quote]

So, if I think hard enough, you have nice boobs, a beer and you have a good hollow chisel mortiser in tow?
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Postby Lydia Love » Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:14 am

Well, ravenluv, if you came looking for something and I didn't give it to you I apologize but I have never been and probably will never be stoned enough to sufficiently answer this question:

what if my entire reality is a psycho-feedback vortex?


And I sort of figured it was rhetorical anyway...
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Postby Guest » Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:19 am

37ud
Last edited by Guest on Sun Sep 28, 2003 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lydia Love » Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:32 am

it really hurt him in a way he could only carry around


I bet. That must be hard.


puter to a host of pixel people.


It would, perhaps, be interesting to have a conversation with him. Hard to say. I'm afraid I don't have as much to say to a baby - and I bet I'm not the only one who feels that way. You end up having these baby monologues *at* us but I for one have no interest in a **dialogue** about dipes and warm milk.
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