« on: November 19, 2008, 10:10:27 pm »
Fucking shitty week.
Nothing worked out. Nothing. Everything went completely fucking WRONG.
Flunked a test. Realized that I'm physically weaker than I was only a few years ago. Missed a meeting for not one, but two clubs that I was really excited to be a part of. Then, while I'm tallying up these failures in my head, I get reminded that I missed an important meeting that night. I laugh it off to the person who said it, then slink back to my room. I sit down and suddenly one more thing pops into my head: I have two assignments due, and I cannot possibly finish both. Holy fucking shit.
You know the kind of week I'm talking about. You've had 'em.
If you're anything like me (you poor soul), it really kills your whole evening. There's no alcohol or tobacco to be had, so you go to bed with a clear head to contemplate how pissed off you are. The darkness and the quiet will give your mind space to think about everything; to absorb and digest every little failure in all its hideous glory. And when you're this full of anger and frustration, bed starts to look pretty good really fast. This shit tires you out. So I think I'll go to bed, let the bile stew, and see how I feel tomorrow. It's worked in the past.
If you're like me, it hasn't worked in the past. Not once in the countless number of times that I've been this pissed has "sleeping it off" worked.
If you're like me, you might recognize this as the early stages of depression. Bad depression. The kind where you hate everything but you hate yourself just as much (or more) because you know it's partly, if not mostly, your own damn fault.
My own damn fault.
Okay. I've done this before, I think to myself. A relatively intelligent man once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I've been through this before. I remember that mulling over my own frustration and misery until I pass out was what I did last time. I remember the vicious cycle: self-loathing and apathy lead to more self-loathing and apathy.
Repetition. Doing the same thing again, expecting things to turn out better. Or just falling into the same bottomless pit and not giving a shit how far down I go.
I may be a bit screwed up in the head and I may be weird by many people's standards, but I'm not insane. Not by that definition.
So I try something different. I go for a walk, even though it's starting to get chilly outside. I remember that worked once, even though it was a different situation. Walking helps. Once I get outside, I'm not tired anymore. The blood rushes back into my body, presumably away from the part of my brain that focuses on how much I hate everything and myself.
Now comes the painful part. This is where I contemplate how fucking pathetic it is that one shitty week will leave me horribly depressed for a month.
"But at least you know you can survive it, right? It's happened before. The people who love you will shield you from the worst the world has to offer, and once you've spent some time with the shrink and taken your pills you'll be back on your feet and you can start again."
"Yeah, but that plan kinda sucks. I can't ask my parents to keep being my safety net. I mean, shit, I have to grow up pretty damn soon, if not right now. On the other hand, if I try to tough it out, things might just get worse and I don't know if I can handle all that failure."
Hey, what the hell?
That's weird. I never noticed this dialogue before from a third perspective. Looks like the competing parts of my mind are both focusing on failure. Well, shit, no wonder this kind of thing never worked out well in the past!
I think back to the Black Iron Prison. I feel around the bars and notice a few that seem particularly foreboding. Frighteningly strong. These are the bars of my failures. Or rather, they are my preoccupation with failure and inadequacy. These are the bars of my depression. In an effort to prevent more devastating failure and misery, I've hidden behind these bars and let them keep me from venturing out into the world and trying again.
I recognize now that it doesn't work. It never worked. Yet I've done it many times before, and it terrifies me to think of going out into that cruel world that will put me to many tests that I will no doubt fail. I am afraid to change the way my mind works, to let go of my past losses and seek opportunities to make amends. I am torn in an internal struggle.
Strife. Discord. Change.
The Black Iron Bars. They're strong, but... I made them. Now that I can see that, I can tear them out.
Don't think that it was easy, or that it was fun. Sometimes, tearing out those prison bars, forcibly changing the pathways of your mind, hurts. A lot. But I did it anyway. No more focus on failures. I decide not to even think any more about this horrible fucking week. Then, I finally let myself go to bed, my mind suitably blank.
The next day, I don't feel too bad. It's still sort of a crummy day, but still I focus on not focusing on the previous several days. The day after that isn't all that great either, but I keep it up. Sure, the memories intrude, but the important thing is that I don't dwell on them. Let the thoughts come, and let them pass. In other words, I'm okay.
On the third day, something cool happens. I'm lucky enough to get a ride to an event that I thought I was going to have to miss because I was stupid and forgot to arrange transportation. I realize what just happened: I snagged an opportunity that I would not have if I'd let the misery overtake me. Depression would have kept me in my room and I wouldn't have been able to take advantage of that one guy who was going to the same place and was late. One less failure that would have happened if I'd stuck to my old habits.
It worked. I'm okay.
Not many things in this world feel better than feeling "okay," and right now I owe that feeling to Discordianism. My Discordia.