Elastic Mood

March 22, 2022 Olga Tokarczuk Haley Nahman

Olga Tokarczuk, Flights:

It was a question of states of mind. Each day he could choose between two. One was sensitive, quick to take offense–he would be sure he wasn’t as good as anybody, that he was lacking what everyone else had, that he was a deviant of some sort who didn’t even know, for God’s sake, what was wrong with hm. He’d feel isolated, lovely, like a child sent to his room looking out the window at his peers as they played happily. (…) The other state of mind strengthened his conviction that actually he was better, unique exceptional. That he was the only one who sense and understood the truth, that only he was capable of being exceptional. And he sometimes managed to spend a number of hours in this elevated self-esteem, and even days, when he felt, let’s say, somehow happy. But then it faded, like intoxication. (…)

Haley Nahman, in a compendium of 5 new terms (that I made up)”:

Elastic mood: When a mood is so overwhelming you mistake the intensity of it for the longevity of it.

An elastic mood is most liable to occur when you’re spiraling about something—your work, your relationship, your social life, your health. If the anxiety you’re experiencing is profound enough, it can feel all-encompassing, as if you’ve felt that way forever. And so you rewrite history, picking and choosing examples that support this delusion—anything to justify how fucked up you feel.

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