Well. Saturday night was a real crash and burn. I haven’t even been able to write about it since then, and didn’t post at all to the journal yesterday.
These mood swings–well, barely swings, since I’m not really having any manic phases, just oscillating between relatively flat and depressed–are becoming more pronounced and more–oh, I almost typed the word “debilitating,” but that’s really too extreme a word, maybe “annoying” or “distressing.” And now they’re being accompanied by severe stress headaches.
Saturday night I was in There, and became nearly overwhelmed by feelings of insecurity and worthlessness, and decided I was going to abandon my avatar; I went so far as to melodramatically quit all the clubs in which Kieran (my avatar’s name) was enrolled and even disbanded the one he was leading, removed all but five names from his buddy list, reset his appearance back to the default newbie look, and started giving away his possessions.
Of course, this upset Roger, Matt and Lee–Lee seemed particularly, and almost inordinately, to me, bothered–and feelings and emotions spiralled out of control on several fronts. I wasn’t planning to abandon them–though, to be fair, it’s certainly harder to maintain these kinds of relationships absent the mutual activity, but not impossible–but Lee, especially, seemed to see it as precisely that, and as a betrayal.
Eventually, very early into Sunday morning, we all agreed that we needed a time-out. Roger asked that I call him when I got up on Sunday; I told him I’d have to see how I felt. I didn’t get up until around noon, which would have been 9 am his time, and I didn’t feel like talking on the phone with anyone. A couple of hours later, he did IM me, and we chatted for a while, and later he called me, at which point I was able to talk to him a bit, but was having difficulty being as present as I normally am with him on the phone.
By Sunday night I was feeling a little more in control of myself, and decided I would go back online. I even rejoined one club and attended a get-together for it. I’ve decided not, however, to rejoin the gay group, or to spend any time with them as a group; sometime I guess I’ll have to write more about that, but it’s with that group of guys that my feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness and of being unappreciated and unwanted become strongest and most overwhelming. All my life, despite having no real angst about recognizing my homosexuality and coming out as gay, I’ve nonetheless felt like a complete misfit within the gay male community, and have been in a push-pull relationship with any gay groups in which I’ve been involved. In real life, at least, I have much more complete control over the level of my involvement with gay men or queer groups; in these virtual worlds, though, it seems harder for me to abstain from such involvement or to prevent being pulled in to a degree that eventually becomes painful and provides a catalyst for my more self-destructive impulses.
But the headache was worse Sunday night than any time since Friday afternoon, and reached a crescendo by about 10:30, leaving me almost completely unable to concentrate on anything my friends were saying. Roger and Lee finally persuaded me to log off and rest. I intended to just lie on the futon in front of the TV for a bit, but woke up an hour later having dozed off almost immediately. At that point, I decided to go on to bed, so Roger and I IMed our goodnights and our love; I went back into There briefly to see if Lee or Matt were online (Matt hadn’t been on at all on Sunday night, leaving me to wonder–completely arrogantly and self-involved, of course–if I’d upset or hurt him to the point that he didn’t want to see me, which from subsequent emails has been verified emphatically not to be the case) so I could say goodnight to them. They weren’t, so I logged off and went to bed.
I slept pretty fitfully, waking up about every two hours earlier in the night, and about every 45 minutes toward morning, each time in the middle of a dream stage. I was having some wonderfully bizarre dreams–at least I remember thinking that they were interesting and bizarre, but not unpleasant, and telling myself to remember them which, unfortunately, I didn’t. That’s another change in my mental processes that I’m not at all happy with; I used to be very much in touch with my dreams, and often remember as many as three or four of them each morning. Now I don’t seem to remember any of them at all. I may have to go back to keeping a dream journal by the bed, and jotting down what I recall as soon as I wake from one, since I don’t seem reliably to be able to hold on to them like I once did.
Fortunately, though, even though I wasn’t sleeping very soundly, I was able to fall back to sleep fairly quickly, so I still got a reasonable amount of sleep, I think. I’ve got just the mildest hint of a headache right now, not enough to disturb my concentration. I’d still rather be elsewhere than at work. It’s a beautiful day, at least, making the walk to work this morning a pleasant one–high 60s, and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s.