I woke up early this morning. I had an idea last night that I might go see a movie today, just for something to do. A reason for me to get out of the house. I’m strangely afraid of my weekends. I’m afraid of doing nothing, of sitting around in my pajamas for two days alone in this house. I’m afraid it means something bad about me if I do it. I’m not sure what is worse in my mind, that I might enjoy it, or that I might do it even if I don’t. I am afraid of myself. I am afraid that left to my own devices, I will sink. I am afraid there are shadows inside me waiting to pull me down. I am afraid of Depression.
I wanted to leave the house today just to know I could. It seemed very important to me. I had ideas on other weekends of things I could do, and I have mostly ended up staying right here, sometimes spending most of my time in the bed I’m lying in now. I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of leaving. This seemed very important to me.
I looked up movie times and decided on the earliest showing. I showered, dressed, and left my house. I got in the car and took the freeway south, headed to the town about 20 miles from me where I had decided to see the movie. I never made it to the theater. On the highway I had this yearning desire to go somewhere I might find space and silence. The idea of being in a crowd was suddenly repulsive to me, the idea of being entertained by a movie, suddenly trite. But I was scared of driving off into the unknown alone. I was scared to venture forth. I had to talk myself into following my heart and foregoing the original plan.
I kept driving. I ended up in the mountains in the National Forest. I saw snow. I flagged down a highway patrol car for help dealing with a stray dog I came across. I walked among pine trees. Then I got utterly lost in the high desert. I came around a particular bend and was amazed by the view of the desert hills before me and the valley stretched out below it. I pulled to the side of the road, got out of my car, and was mesmerized by the nearly absolute silence. Then I got lost some more. I saw a coyote run across the road in front of me.
I got home four hours after I left. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, but I was unable to nap. I read. I talked to a friend. I watched some TV. I ordered a pizza and had it delivered (again).
I don’t know how much of a difference leaving my house made, but I am happy that I tried. I also realized that I breathe differently in the mountains. I’ve known this for a while but it was so much clearer to me today. I love the mountains. I would rather be there than here.
I don’t know if I’ll leave the house at all tomorrow. I hope that whatever I end up doing, however I end up spending my day, I can do it just a little less afraid.