Sunday, July 14, 2019

Imposing my own narrative on my life.

I forget sometimes how much I like writing this blog. The candor of it, revealing without fear my thoughts, the honesty of how I feel. It feels good. This is the way it is, this is what's happening. You don't have to read it, or care. I'm just putting down my thoughts, to myself as much as to anyone else. Because by writing them down, I spark other thoughts, and I figure out how I'm feeling and thinking better than the amorphous consciousness that I carry throughout my waking hours. Form is imposed, a narrative.

I don't kid myself that the narrative is necessarily the complete truth--but for me, having a narrative is important.

I was thinking about this the other day as I drove into Bend. I tend to think of everything in narrative, everything a story. I wonder if artists see everything from the perspective of pictures, or musicians hear music. I don't know if this is unusual, or if everyone does it.

I decided during my depression 40 years ago to impose my own narrative. It had to feel real, it couldn't be completely made up, but I could chose what parts of my own life I wished to narrate and which parts I chose to ignore or compartmentalize.

I feel when I used psychedelics--the probable cause of my breakdown--that I was seeing real truth, but I didn't much like it. I've heard that when they do tests on depressives that they see the world more objectively than those who are healthy. My take on this is that you have to chose to be healthy, to see the world in a more positive light than your darkest thoughts.

There's a new study out that people who read are in a meditative state and that's it's healthy. I've always wondered about how my depression manifested itself. I mean, I was crippled by it as anyone who has ever suffered from it, and yet--I always had a weird faith I'd come out of it.

(I spent too many years thinking I'd somehow "revert" to my previous self. In the end, I had to rebuild my personality from the ground up.)

I had amazing dreams when I was depressed. I don't remember nightmares, I remember dreams of better days. And I read--oh, man did I read. I was stuck with myself in single room apartments, unwilling or unable to face the public, and so I read and read and read.

And toward the end of the depression, I started writing.

I think it was even more powerful than reading. I started living in an alternative and more positive world. A narrative, if you will, that I knew wasn't real but which felt real.

And so the habit of seeing everything as a narrative took hold. I don't know if my narrative of my business career is completely accurate, but it works for me. It makes me feel good about myself and I think the lessons I've learned are incorporated and preserved.

So this blog is a continuation of that. It's the narrative I present to the world, and the narrative I try to live by.


Helen said...

I have been remiss in keeping up with bloggers I follow. Just finished reading your July posts. I appreciate your perspective on creating one’s narrative, fascinating how we manage the process ~ or not as the case may be. Also enjoyed reading about those hikes and meditative moments. As I age, those moments mean more and more.

Dave Cline said...

As a personal diary, Blogger works just fine.
But if you ever want to actually interact with readers... WordPress is waiting.


A narrative view on life. Odd: I believe I do the same thing. Tell a story about what I witness in the world. Take peoples callous remarks and convert them to extended examinations. "Perhaps they had an abusive father, and an absent mother. They needed to become resilient an so chose tattoos and chip; ever-ready to challenge."

I continue to hammer away at my WIP. It's got some odd characters and a plot I finally can see to the end.
You read the first 3-4k words. I'm up to 25k now. No more YA. I've stretched my wings. Mom, has dealt with it in stride.