Of Sad and Dark Times…

Inspired by: “Selfless, Cold, and Composed” (1997), from the Ben Folds Five album Whatever and Ever Amen


Apparently it’s the week to be emo about stuff that happened back in 2008-2009 thanks to a song from a decade before that.

After yesterday’s post about affairs and whatnot, I went digging through the archives here looking for stuff that I had written related to the period between my divorce and my deployment, which I often feel is one of the lowest points of my life.

There is a short post on this blog – which I made private long ago for some reason – announcing that I was moving out of my condo after the divorce* and whatnot, but not a whole lot about the whole situation. I mentioned in this nonsense post that the divorce was the worst thing to ever happen to me, and at the time, I probably believed that. It was pretty traumatic, but more so for the aftermath of everything that happened in the months following that had led me to move out of the condo that was in my name alone.

*It is kind of silly that we thought we could continue to live together after the divorce because things were “amicable.” Lasted all of three months or so if memory serves correctly.

Most of my blogs from that period were pretty lame. I always went through bouts of creative indifference, and I suppose that being isolated and going through what I was going through made it hard for me to find anything to write about. There’s a bunch of stuff about the 2008 election, some sharing of random news articles, and other late aughts blog stuff that everyone was doing on the internet back then. I really wish there was a better reflection of my mental state at the time, if only so I can have something to talk about in therapy whenever the VA gets around to finding me a therapist.

But then short posts like this will pop up and I’m reminded of what my life was like back then and those feelings of abandonment and sadness come back. I really wasn’t in a great place at the time, and never really dealt with those feelings, instead just getting wrapped up in getting ready to deployed and all the training that came along with it.

Not that there wasn’t an effort to get out from under the weight of the isolation and sadness. There was a Ben Folds concert in that period after all! One that I thought would potentially lead to something with a woman I was interested in at the time, but I obviously wasn’t in the right headspace at the time to accomplish that (and she was also dating someone else at the time? Or at least she got married not long after that to some guy that nobody knew about).

Things started looking up in April a bit. I reconnected with some high school friends, in advance of the 10-year high school reunion that I didn’t end up going to for reasons discussed in this post from earlier this week. I had a nice couple of days with the same friend from the Ben Folds concert that left me confused but hopeful?

June 2009 was probably the only month that I ever finished “A Blog a Day for 30 Days” that I’ve tried to do numerous times. Lots of random stuff in there, but nothing that really speaks to my mental wellbeing, except maybe this post a little bit, using rainy days as a metaphor for how I remember feeling at the time. A few posts about the anonymous her (which I’m not linking here because you can go find them yourself), but pining after a woman who was obviously not interested is not a good look, even if that’s what these blog things are for on occasion.

I think this survey thingy from August is about as close as you might get into seeing how I was feeling at the time. Worries of being alone forever and some light self-loathing, in fun survey form! Then posts become sporadic, partly because I was busy getting ready for the deployment, but also because I was especially at a low point. I can’t remember for sure, but the deployment was a nice distraction from just sitting alone in my apartment and letting my mind just run wild. There’s only so much television and video games you can play to distract you from the insomnia caused by a negative mood and bad feelings, but it was not a fun experience for me either.

I don’t know why this song sent me down this path. Maybe it’s just a culmination of the other posts from this week, sending me down this existential rabbit hole where I’m still looking for answers. I try not to linger on the past anymore, especially since it’s been a very long time that I have felt that down, that alone. Nevertheless, it remains a pretty dark point in my life, and, as mentioned previously, one that I just kind of ran from instead of actually dealing with.

Is there some residual effect from this period on my current life? Probably. Unresolved issues stay unresolved if you just try to bury them instead of working through why there were issues. Going to Iraq didn’t magically solve all my issues. Same with moving to Virginia and back to Utah. But I’m trying to be better about being in my feelings, so I guess a lot of this stuff pouring out of me right now is an attempt to do things.

I don’t really like to tell the truth to myself about the aforementioned period in my life. Why would I want to think long and hard about all those nights spent tossing and turning with insomnia because I was so miserable? I try to be more positive these days, and for the most part I succeed. I’m just glad that none of those dark feelings got elevated beyond where they were at the time. And that it appears most of the time was spent pining after some girl that I was oblivious to her true feelings because I was way to analytical about everything.

That’s what loneliness does. That’s what sadness does. Friendliness and close proximity played tricks on a fragile person and I spent way too much time focusing on that and not my own happiness. Or doing the things I claimed that I wanted to do to make me feel better about my lot in life at the time. But such is life sometimes.

Anyway… I think tomorrow’s post will be a little more uplifting. I feel like the past couple of days have been a bummer, but I go where the random number generator takes me on this little adventure. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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