Last march, during the long break between semesters at my university during which my employers prohibit all teachers from taking off anywhere during the two month time off from teaching, I ended up spending many days holed up in my apartment with no where to go and no one to do anything with. I vowed after that never to allow myself to spend that much time alone again and in such a manner that my mental stability seemed at risk.
So I planned a whole month’s worth of hiking and visiting friends during this month-long summer vacation. Originally I had planned to visit Vancouver in Canada, but the plans to meet my brother fell through. Then his plans to visit Japan fell through. Then, on the day before the vacation officially began I cut I had gotten on my right shin a week before suddenly bloomed into a bad infection and for a week I’ve had to lie in bed trying to recuperate, with occasional limps to the nearby Seven Eleven for basics in food. This place being what it is it’s been a week now since I’ve talked to a living soul (except once to my brother on the telephone and a few emails to my wife in Tokyo). I think I am going to lose my mind if this keeps up much longer.
I don’t like to post about this here, but I also just need to connect to people, anyone, so as to feel like I’m not living in some tomb. It’s like my mind is falling down the stairs and I need to catch myself before I hit the bottom.
If anything, the situation here has made it clear once again that I’ve got to make the move away from here now before more damage is done. That was my main reason to go visit Canada this summer, so as to begin to make the changes, so not having gone has been a real blow to my confidence. Worse, this constant disappointment and lack of movement is nurturing an incredible anger inside me that I don’t know how to dissipate. I feel desperate all the time now, especially in conversations with people, as if I’m losing a tenuous hold on sanity. And of course that only tends to drive people away and make me feel more isolated.
The weekly exercise get-together that I had faithfully gone to all spring and in which I thought I had begun to finally make some much-needed friends mutated into more and more intensive concentration on the exercises alone and less and less on the camaraderie of people getting together to have a good time. When one of the original members started losing their temper at those of us laughing and enjoying each others’ company I knew that the whole endeavor had turned a point where those for whom getting in shape was the sole purpose of the gathering began to dominate the whole thing. It ceased to be fun. The exercise started getting so intense that some people were beginning to get injuries and several times came close to passing out. The whole thing turned into a big competition to see who could suffer the most and to push the limits every time. I tried to voice my concern, but my words went unheeded, even met with consternation on occasion. So I began to drift away and stopped going to the workouts.
Needless to say, the sudden disappearance of everyone’s company really left me bitter. And I’ve let my body slowly lose all the gains I made for six months. Not a good direction for diabetes.
I’m really okay. I just need people to talk to. To not be alone all the time. It’s playing havoc with my sense of humor. I opened up to the doctor who treated my infected leg, an old Japanese guy whose hands shook from his alcoholism, telling him , when he insisted that I come in again in two days time, that I was losing it just sitting around the apartment, needing to get out to the mountains where I was sure to meet people and get away from this awful small town. You know what he replied? “Don’t you have any hobbies?” For an alcoholic he certainly had some nerve!
So forgive me for opening up yet more depressing stories about me. I’m not seeking advice or for my hand to be held. I just need to talk.