Thinking Outside The Goldfish Bowl

Another day, another lesson learned, that’s how I’m viewing things at the moment.  It seems that another part of me is revealed every step I take to get myself better.

Sometimes, though, things are so glaringly obvious that I don’t see it, if that makes any sense.  Like when you leave your keys on the table in front of you, yet somehow they’re not in your eyeline.  How could you miss them?  Well, today, I’ve realised something that was as clear as day to everyone else.

I have the attention span of a goldfish with a forgetful memory.  I’m not sure how this has crept up on me, and looking around me, I can’t believe I didn’t realise until now.  I’ve put it down, up until now, as to ‘being depressed’, that all encompassing phrase that covers multitudes of symptoms.

The only reason I never read books now, so my own thought processes go,  was because I wasn’t interested in anything, and that when my headspace is in a better place, I will be found burrowed in an absorbing biog or the academic and artistic history of the Kardashian dynasty or something.

The evidence is contrary though.  I have to the side of my armchair a book I bought over a month ago, about a subject I take an interest in every single day of the year.  I haven’t yet read past the foreword.  The book I received at that launch a couple of weeks ago?  I haven’t ventured past the foreword and first page.  Again on a subject I have a deep interest of, whatever state of mind I’m in.

It’s then that I noticed my viewing habits have changed too.  Not so long ago, I could easily sit through documentaries, films, dramas, anything that may have meant sitting down to watch for an hour or two.  What I reflected upon today, though, trying to find Parks & Rec on the iPlayer, is that it was the longest programme I sit and watch now.  It lasts just over 20 minutes.

Thinking back over the past few weeks, news channels I may have kept on for hours barely get a look-in, unless my irrationality breaks out and I want to see whom Kay Burley is irritating.  Radio programmes have fallen by the wayside completely.  My Spotify lists have remained unplayed for weeks.  The paper I bought on Tuesday remains unread, not a single page turned.  Which is ironic as that paper prides itself on being short and concise.

It’s particularly puzzling as I haven’t specifically gone out of my way to break off all avenues of communication or pleasure that need more than minimal time or attention.  Which sounds rather more risque than it really is.

Depression Book Throw

I could understand it more if, when around people, I had a similarly short span.  Yet when in therapy, our sessions without fail run late, losing sense of time as we talk and listen to each other.  If I’m talking with friends, too, either in person or online, I’m also on top of that, taking in everything.

Yet, here I am now, even as I type this, my mind, and my head, was moving away from the screen, thinking of nothing in general.  It’s an odd thing, the human mind.  Well, at least mine is.  To be so disciplined as to get things done every day, yet let other things fall by the wayside that would improve my lot so much, is a frustration.

Is there a cure for this?  Am I stuck with the short attention span for life?  Maybe it’s not so bad.  Twitter could replace the BBC as my main medium for getting news.  Facebook status updates can replace Question Time.  Short, sharp, intolerant media-friendly soundbites may be the way forward.

It’s not something I want though.  Patchy though my life has been, it’s been a pleasure to read timelessly classic books, to sit and watch in awe in a darkened cinema for a couple of hours, to feel the emotional frenzy at the climax of a sporting confrontation.

All these things have touched my soul, enriched it, given me experiences and perspective that I’ll be forever grateful for.  If it turns out that, for whatever reason, I’ll never be able to have these things in my life again, I won’t be depressed.  Just very, very sad.

There’s a whole wide world out there and it doesn’t just come in handy little 5 minute segments.  I want to grab it all, be consumed by it completely, 24/7, rather than in sizes fit for that forgetful goldfish.

Ah well, therapy tomorrow.  A new snippet of self discovery to chat with Lesley about.  Let’s see how that goes.  Until then, it’s the iPlayer,  20 minutes of Parks & Rec.

And the goldfish bowl.

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