Con/Trite

“Forgive yourself for the stagnation you experienced while you were depressed.”

— an unattributed quote I saw on Tumblr a while back that hit me … like a thing hits, like remembering you have a tailbone only when you fall on it.

Forgive myself for the stagnation.

Pffff…………. That’s too much right now; let’s put a pin in that for a minute while we gossip about other people. I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately, what it means and whether or not forgiving another person is possible. Like, “broke your favorite ashtray, sorry!” / “oh, don’t worry about it!” is a call and response we all recognize, but I hesitate to call that forgiveness. Not forgiveness in the same way that I’m supposed to forgive myself for the stagnation. Inherently different, really, because I don’t blame you when you break my ashtray. I regret that it’s gone, but there was was no intent, therefore no malice, and, therefore, no blame and no need to forgive. Sometimes, relationships are like ashtrays.

Not that I had intended to stagnate, either, in this relationship with myself. I most certainly did not intend to put on cortisol weight (I’m trying to work more of a “stacked set of various sized beach balls”-look than a “tire planter with a dead rosemary you overwatered last summer”-look); I did not intend to binge-watch the first two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy; I did not intend to chain smoke on the couch like I was a Winona Ryder performance piece; I did not intended to go for a year of being (f)un(der)employed while doing exactly nothing else, I just did. Some relationships are like ashtrays, even the ones we have with ourselves— easily broken, without blame, sweep up and move on.

Forgive yourself for the stagnation you experienced…

T H E stagnation, though, this specific kind; the stagnation unique to me and my time with T H E depression; the stagnation that only I could produce. Oh Universe, forgive me for this particular stagnant form, this swirling mass of nothing, this grease trap of un-written pages, dust-covered plans and half-glued crafts, forgive me the barbeque stains on my underwear because I couldn’t bother to find a napkin while I was eating entire pallets of chili cheese Fritos while smoking while drinking while masturbating at 1pm on a Tuesday because I couldn’t find anything else to do. (Forgive me the indulgence of writing about it, too.)

Forgive myself for the stagnation…

Yeah, I’m having trouble processing the notion of forgiveness, so it’s been hard to forgive myself for the stagnation I’ve experienced while I’ve been depressed. I tend towards more protestant notions, regardless— the Universe provided twenty-four hours in a day and a fifty-two weeks in a year and it is our duty to toil bountifully in the sixty-five good years we’ve got before we reap (and in the miles to go before we sleep). Good hard work is the only way I’ll get to have donuts with Famous Canadian Margaret Atwood, and donuts with Famous Canadian Margaret Atwood is my new goal (“coffee with Famous Canadian Douglas Coupland” was the old goal, but for various reasons involving typicalities of my PNW experiences, I’ve put that goal on hold for a hot minute), so my stagnation isn’t just cortisol weight and frito crumbs, it’s also preventing me from donuts and Margaret Atwood, and that fucking sucks.

Forgive me the stagnation.

This is the year I’m choosing love, so I guess that goes for myself as well. Hail, Mary, hale and weal, it’s time to forgive myself. I have been stagnant, disconnected, tuned out, and turned off, but it’s okay. It’s going to be okay. I forgive myself for the stagnation. I forgive myself not because I blame myself, but because I love myself (or I’m trying to, anyway). And this has been a weird post, I know, but acts of contrition are a strange genre.

-doug

TL;DR, I’m going to try to update the blog more often. Subscribe and share!


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