On dealing with life, without an "arc"

Life is difficult. Or I see my life as difficult. And I will not be "drab" or whining about the nuances of this or that in this post, I'm just pointing out some things (for me) that just sort of are.

Some people, many people, have described their life as having an "arc". An overarching path of continual (perhaps linear) events and developments that has a clear (or perhaps foggy) line-of-sight back to say "yep, I came from there", and a fairly predictable path forward.

Makes sense. Sounds convenient. And I envy those who perceive this.

I have never been like this, though. I have always "compartmentalized" elements (eras) of my life. And the old era must come to a decided close before I can carry on to the next.

When I was 10 I noticed this. I was living in Noblesville, Indiana, where me and my family just moved to, and I had spent 1-4 grade being a fairly self-conservative "orthodox"(ish) Catholic. Noblesville brought a lot of good changes - it was 1993, and the Internet soon came about, I had more "casual" friends, I didn't have to wear a uniform at school, etc. Subtle changes for some, but I felt that I was (mentally) liberated enoughthat I could/should "shed" the "old way" of how I was. So I did. And since then I've found myself compartmentalizing segments (spanning years) of my life.

From 0 to 10 | from 11 to 16 | from 17 to 20 | from 21 to 30 | from 31 to 35 | from 36 until now (38)

I mentioned the "0 to 10" era, and from 11 to 16 I was more or less coming around the fact that I had been mostly ignored or/and neglected in life (generally from the age of 10, as I can tell), so I just kind of ran roughshot over the activities I did in life, and was reckless, ambivalent, and inconsequential. Then when I was 16, I was kicked out of my family home, and I grew up more (psychologically) in two weeks than I did in the ten years following.

From 17 to 20, I was in a hybrid phase of complete and utter self-destruction, and healthy habit formation. I might be at home studying for my GED, and writing positive things on my first blog, or, I might be spun out on LSD in the passenger seat of a friends car, going 70+ mph down a busy street with nothing else on our minds other than a "death wish" and "dying a fun way".

From 21 to 30 I was "in a good place", mostly. I took proper psych meds, I had IRL friends to confide in, I wrote a professional blog, I had a good amount of life purpose - things were decent. Nearly all of that dried up by the time I was 29, and I found myself friendless, dogless, unable to adjust to any type of medication, lonely, and preparing to get up and move to St Louis (city proper) to try to do something else, anything else, in life.

From 31 to 35, I had wigged out many times over (psychological breakdowns) at the beginning of this timeframe, and then the entire world, universe, and family had to rally around my dying Father, who died fairly slowly, over several years. And it wasn't until I was 35 that (after his passing) I, and everyone, could end the mourning/grieving, and just move on and "get better" in life.

Then, 36 until now came about. Some healthy stuff (exercise, continual and moderated weight loss) but also prolonged loneliness, flashes and moments of psychosis, etc.

It's "a thing" with my lifespan - that of having an arc. No Point A goes to Point B type of ordeal.

How i am

Subscribe to from the desk of TMO

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
jamie@example.com
Subscribe