I've always had some sort of 'escape'. From age 6 to age 18, it was acting. I could go to rehearsals, go to performances... for hours on end, put on a mask and be someone else, with different problems and fears and hopes than mine. For a little while, put aside my own issues and disappointments and frustrations. Later, it became online roleplaying; the same rationale applies. Not only can I let my imagination run around in a world unlike my day-to-day one (healthy enough for any artistic type), but I can use that character as a mask to fall 'into character' and put aside my troubles, concerns and fears for a while (which is less healthy). It's why when I'm depressed, I become more 'glued' to online...roleplaying to ignore my problems and fears, hiding away from them.
Worse, I've learned not to dump my problems on others...I try to work through them myself. This came from years of my mother teaching me to carry my own weight and not be a burden. I don't want to make others upset or stressed by dumping my problems on them; that makes me feel bad. (Of course, the fact that I don't let others help makes them stressed, and then /that/ makes me feel bad... argh!) I've spent a lot of my life building walls that I can reach out over but hide behind when I want to lick my wounds...and in times like this, it's unfortunate.
I'm type II bipolar, also known as 'manic depressive'. It's not something I generally like to dwell on; it's treatable, and under control. I haven't been depressed-depressed (i.e. neurochemically depressed for no cause) in years, nor have I had one of my old style manic episodes (where I would stay up for six days straight and write an entire new MU* server base or god knows what else...I /still/ don't understand some code I wrote in a fit like that a number of years ago; I know it works, but damned if I can figure out why). But because of it I've learned to identify depression in myself better, even when it's depression from a cause.
I know that I am depressed right now; I'm sleeping a lot, I'm not caring about eating so much, I'm not doing as well as usual at being a healer-sort for those around me, and I've generally become antisocial and mopey. I'm retreating into my online 'masks' to a greater extent. I know /why/ I am depressed right now; it started (in mild form) several months ago, and then had other things piled onto it (concluding with my unemployed status and my mother's freaking out about it). I don't know how to pull myself out of it, though.
As I told someone a while ago, I don't much like myself as a person when I'm depressed. I really don't like spending time with myself in that state, in my own head. It's part of why I seize so desperately on RP; I can be inside someone else's head for a while, that of whatever character I play.
Anyway, to get to the actual /point/ of this post: about ten minutes ago, I finally realized the real reason I'm not looking forward to driving FJ home tomorrow.
Not the fear of highway hypnosis (which I do hate falling into on night drives, but it will be light out on the way home) or the (guiltily admitted) mild irritation with removal from my current 'security blanket' of online RP which I can lose my thoughts and troubles in. Certainly not any lack of desire to spend time with FJ herself. No, what I'm afraid of is the actual three-hour solo journey back home; Jen and Brent will both be working, so I'll drive FJ back to Bellingham (a 2.5 to 3 hour drive) and then drive back on my own (same length). Three hours, alone in a car with nothing but my thoughts (and the sound system) for company. That scares me, on some level.
I know I won't go suicidal or anything, before any journal readers freak out - I made a pact with myself after a failed attempt back in high school (before my bipolar was being properly treated) was followed shortly thereafter by a friend's /successful/ attempt. I will never, ever inflict that kind of pain on those I care about and who care about me. Besides, I'm morose-and-mopey depressed, not oh-god-I-think-I'll-hurl-myself-off-a-br
But I don't think I'll be a very /happy/ person either, after I get home after dwelling on things for three hours of freeway-driving. As I said earlier in this post, I don't much like myself for company when I'm depressed.
C'est la vie... I think I'll just load up the CD changer with the boppiest, happiest music I can find to counter morose thoughts.