The Funk

Habits: some that stick, some that fade.
I remember the idea of an activity bringing me joy. From the scientific side, endorphins released during exercise help boost your mood. From an emotional side, the joy I felt while reading The Lightning Thief for the first time is indescribable. I don’t work out much anymore. Sometimes, I’ll squeeze in an occasional yoga session; and during the beginning of Quarantines my flatmate involved us in her work out routines every other day, but that’s about it. Reading still brings me joy, though my dormant phases seem to be getting longer while my attention span shrinks. These aren’t the only 2 things that have ever brought me joy, though. During university, cooking was a massive source of personal achievement. Playing video games, as rarely as I do, is still as fun as ever.
The problem it seems is maintaining the output of joy. If you know me in person, I’m rarely in a good mood. If it isn’t a crippling depressive episode, then it’s just a filler episode on in the background. I know my depression very intimately. It’s been around since I was 12, though I didn’t understand back then what was going on. I just knew I was sad all the fucking time. Some days it was impossible to get out of bed, or even take a shower. Other days, I felt there was no point in even trying to pretend I was ok. At around 16 maybe, I started to get spiteful, and tried to use the sadness and numbness to my advantage. In an absurdist ploy, I thought if I was doing well enough, I could convince myself I was fine. That worked some days. I would distract myself with all the schoolwork I had at the time from any sort of existential dread. Eventually though, The Funk would settle back in.
Once again I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I fester on negative thoughts and unrealistic fantasies. I have the urge to run away from my life. The tasks I undergo on the daily feel boring and uninspiring, and even when I get a little further along it feels pointless. My period is late, and yesterday I nearly had an anxiety attack at the thought of having another abortion. All these feelings better be my fucking period.
This is probably exactly 1 month later, as I am again waiting on my period, and feeling the absolute fuckery of PMS symptoms take over my emotions. I felt the funk creep in Tuesday night. I was at Sublunary’s place in Maadi, for what I thought would be a chill evening. Little by little I started feeling uncomfortable, or that I’d somehow stopped fitting in. Someone had a camera, and the flash was annoying me after the 20th burst. It was the same feeling I’d had at the Halloween party at Zo2la’s place. Once I drove Farida to Nour’s and then came back...I couldn’t feel myself fit back in. Maybe it’s just dissociating, maybe I’d had to lean on Farida and now that she wasn’t there I felt untethered.
How fast a funk comes and goes tends to depend on how well I can distract myself. Right now, there are lots of helpful things that can keep me from sinking. But my birthday is coming up, and once that’s past I usually go full circle and creep back into a bad mental headspace. I don’t know how to fix it. I tried therapy off Adrian’s advice and it went well the first time, even if it was ridiculously expensive. But after that she made me feel unwelcomed.
While I’m not currently in a Funk, I am having trouble going to sleep. I accepted a job offer due to start in 3 weeks and I’ve just been taking advantage of not having responsibilities. Staying out late, playing Hades all the while at home, writing on a non-existent blog at 3:42AM, whatever works. My period is running a little late again, though I don’t think it has anything to do with my sexual activity this month.
Life has been reaching a bit of a turning point lately. For one thing, the new job along with the title of breadwinner, others include Hoda moving away, Farida dating & about to do long distance, and Kent moved to London for his Masters as well. These are all great things in & of themselves, but back to back they feel like a rock of unstoppable momentum, reminding us that with time, the only sure thing is change. While this isn’t the right section to mention this, yes I still think about Adrian every now & then. I only get angry or sad thinking about a couple of things. The rest feel funny, like life back then wasn’t real somehow. The thought of fucking or dating someone new has been making me reassess things. Mainly that I feel like I seek validation from men too often, or put it on a higher pedestal than it deserves.
Maybe validation itself is the problem. Am I seeking validation to prove something to myself? Am I using to to steer my personal growth? What does even look like to me? Is it just sexual? Last night after dinner at Farida’s house, the guys all went to Omar’s house. I was the only girl there. I told Arno on the way there I don’t wanna stay too long because I’m walking into a sausage fest. Why does that seem to be such a common theme for me? Even at uni, Biray and his friends would always include me as “one of the guys” and generally I thought it was a good thing. I’m not really sure where I’m taking this... Validation is something everyone needs or at least needs to seek from within & from the external.
In any case, I should go to sleep, the sun’s about to come out.
How do you write about things that don’t make sense to bother you. Minor things that just crack away at your energy. Mama doesn’t think I know how to write specific places into Uber and starts yelling, or she thinks Attar introduced me to Abdelhalim like I’m somehow not capable of growing as a person on my own. I broke one of the rope levers in the car today trying to fix something with the trunk. Me being an unmarried woman is somehow still relevant to what I can and cannot do in 2022. Everything feels like a joke. I feel like a terrible, useless person. Tomorrow starts a new week up again, the last normal one before Ramadan comes in and bulldozes life again. This will be our first one with divorced parents, that should be fun.
I don’t really know if it’s a full on funk or just 1 really long dissociative episode. Ever since Rotterdam it feels like I’m moving on autopilot. I’m constantly stressed out, and nothing seems to make it go away. Rarely it feels like I make any sort of valuable contributions at work, recently I have an even shorter fuse with the family. Even with friends I’ve started to get sick of a lot of normal behaviours they go about. Honestly, it just feels like my attitude towards life is getting swirled deeper into a pit of apathy & annoyance. The only silver lining has been Attar, the only thing panicky about that is probably that I expect he’s going to propose somewhere down the line. That sounds like it should be a positive thing, since it’s been almost 6 months together and really we’ve never had a fight.

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