The road out of Hell

Pretty sure it’s around here somewhere.

I’ve been trying to teach myself to cope lately. To internalize a list of steps I can take when I feel terrible that stand a good chance of fixing the problem, or at least lessening the agony for a spell.

It started last night. I was feeling really wretched, but somehow I got it together enough to get up and get myself some water.

Then, once I took a drink, I realized just how thuirsty I was, and drank the rest pretty fast. And in a little while later, I was feeling so much better that I did the same again.

This will seem simple to healthy people, but for me it’s revolutionary because my deeply ingrained emotional response to pain is to retreat into myself and endure.

It’s like despair is my basic coping mechanism.

So the idea that there are positive steps I can take to actually fix the situation is a novel and exciting one from an emotional point of view.

Logically, of course, it’s blindingly obvious.

But I am a very sick man, and what makes sense does not always work for me. That’s the nature of mental illness. By its very nature, it leads to illogical actions based on distortedr perceptions and deranged thought processes.

It’s weird how logical and crazy I am at the same time. Weird, and amusing.

Was reading some stuff about us INTJ types recently. It’s something I do on a regular-ish basis in order to remind myself that I am not the only person like me in the world, at least on that level.

The feeling of connection I get when I read sometghing written by a total stranger that describes me so perfectly, and in ways I have never seen anywhere but writing about INTJs, does my strange alien heart a lot of good.

And yet, I am so much more than that. And I am glad for that. When you read about us INTJ types it makes it sound like we’re all emotionally repressed scholars and scientists who are brilliant about everything but emotions and who approach relationships with good intentions but clinical methodologies.

I am glad, therefore, that I am a sensitive and dynamic kind of guy with an overflowing creativity and a wacky and weird sense of humour. A lot of the writing about us INTJs goes on at length about how relationships are our Achilles’ heel and, while I can’t claim to be brilliant at them, at least I don’t approach them as puzzles alone.

The archetypical INTJ does not spend hours pretending to be a cute little fox every day.

It’s part of that useful but false dichotomy between my massive mental machine and the rest of me. It’s false in that there is no real divison, it’s all me, But useful in that by thinking about it through that filter, I can make progress in unifying those different aspects of myself.

When I think about my warm side. I think of the joy I get from connecting with people and undersanding them and offering them my wamrth and wit and loving understanding. It’s the side of me that desperately wants to help people and make them happy. The part that feels so very right when I can help peopkle by listening to them, truly listening, and understanding them in a way only possible when you open yourself up to their truth and their perspective.

The cold said’s joys are more about feeling swift and powerful and masterful. It’s where my strength lies. When my mind is ticking oiver rapidly and I am “in the zone” in an INTJ way, I feel strong and decisive and activated. And it leads to such a dizzying capacity for insight and deduction that sometimes I am in awe of my own capacities.

This started off as being about fixing myself when I feel bad, didn’t it?

I’ve been assembling a checklist of steps to take. So far, I have :

  1. Clear my lungs.  My sleep apnea leads to a buildup of CO2 in my lungs, and that CO2 sits there in the bottom of my lungs taking up lung capacity and reducing the amount of oxygen I am getting with each breath. So I have learned to fix that by breathing out the usual amount and then just keeping going until there is nothing left in my lungs, period. It’s an unnatural feeling act and it makes the most awful sounds – like some kind of extended death rattle. And the benefits are not immediately felt. But before long I feel a lot better because, waddaya know, I am getting enough oxygen.
  2. Hydrate. AKA remembering that there’s worse things than having to pee once an hour or so. My diabetes needs lots of water to work with when my blood sugar is too high, which is often. So I will learn to obey my thirst and keep on drinking water until my body tells me it’s had enough. Dehydration ruins everything.
  3. Clean my skin. My pores clog easily. So it’s worth my while to see if the problem I am facing is that my skin can’t breathe and my sweat isn’t making it to the surface of my skin. Gross, I know, but that’s life in this body of mine.
  4. Check my ears for clogging. An oldie but a goodie. My sinus issues lead to clogged ears, which in turn leads to enormous sinus pressure as the sinal fluid no longer can escape. So it’s always worth checking to see if I need to cleanse.
  5. Move and stretch. At least a little. My sedentary lifestyle coupled with playing mentally engaging video games(s) all day means I build up muscular and emoltional tension. Getting up and getting something done, or even just pacing till I don’t feel so wound up, can do me a lot of good.

Ideally, I will internalize these steps to the point where theyh feel natural, even instinctual, to me. Feel bad, take steps, no need to think it over. Like scratching an itch or brushing the hair pout of my eyes. Voluntary, and subject to situational appropriateness, but still very close to a reflex.

More important than any checklist, though, is the idea that when I feel bad, I can do things to fix it.

All I have to do is learn to take responsibility for my own care instead of withdrawing into myself and my distractions and ignoring the situation.

And I am… getting there.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

So what if I’m an idiot?

I’m also a genius.

Been pondering the eternal question of how do I accept my own awesomeness lately.

As you patient readers know, it’s an issue that I have been struggling with my whole life.

From tge age of three I knew I was something special. Ever since the moment when I suddenly started reading the instructions for adults in Sesame Street magazine to my babysitterr Betty and it produces a really huge result.

But even back then, I didn’t really know what to do with this information.

if I has an ounce of natural ambition in my soul, it would have been obvious what to do : milk it for all it was worth,. Use it to get all the attention, affection, praise, and all other forms of ego food I could get from it. Use it to become a star,. at least locally.

Something. But I was born with a far more relaxed, easygoing, happy go lucky personality than that. So alll I did was go “This seems good. ” and that was about it.

It would never have occurred to me that this was something I was supposed to use to advance my personal station in life, or move ahead in some fashion, or use it to “get what I want” or “have things my way”.

I feel the prickly sweat oif anxiety forming on the back of my neckl just trying to imagine being that ambitious.

It seems like so much work. And so stressful!

So I just went on my merry way, not doing a thing with my gifts. Like I have said many times before. it is really hard to value something that comes very easily to you. I knew I was gifted but it didn’t really seem to mean much in concrete terms. So I didn’t think aboit it very much.

Then, when I went to school, it rapidly became the villain in my story of boredom and terror. I was bored most of the time in class because I was too smart for the work. I was terrigied out of class because my IQ made me stand out from the others and attracted their negative attention because I did not fit in.

Not even a little.

Teachers would occasionally try to get me into contests and such. But I was on another planet, as usual,  and didn’t relate to the challenge. so they could see that I was not really into it. So neither were they.

It really makes me wonder when I look back at my life and see all the times when I was in a very incoherent mental state and yet somehow made it through without anyone realizing what an outright lunatic I was.

It’s that “just keep going” thing again. Somehow, I always manage to keep going, and do just enough to show the world that I am okay (which is a lie) and that it’s okay for it to go away and leave me alone because I will be just fine (and I totally won’t).

I guess it was attention I was afraid of (and also craving). But the bad kind of attention, the kind where it feels like you are in trouble and people are panicking and you gerel exposed and out of place and want nothing more but to crawl back into your hole and hide from the world as the alkarms go off in your head.

And underneath it all is a terrible guilt at having caused such a fuss.

There is no room in this complex for me to have a legimiate problem that deserves attention. It’s possible, of course, but it’s hard to imagine anything short of the sort of thing that requires a trip to the hospital that would do it.

And this puts pressure on others because they are left to guess how you area really doing. They can’t rely on you to tell tghem when something is wrong. I would find that very stressful to deal with. Someone tyou love and care about who can’t tell you what the problem is and so you have to guess.

It’s a lot like having a pet, come to think of it.

Anyhowm my point is that I have never known what to do with my extraordinary gifts. I am not totally in the woods any more because, this late in life, I have finally developed some ambions, but they are really just dreams and dreams don’t get me anywhere.

Some say that I’m a dreamer. Well I’m not the only one. There’s lots of losers in the world. The Internet is full of us.

I’ve been trying to find and connect with my natural ambition level. Because it’s not like there’s nothing I want and I have no dreams.

And while I don’t have a lot of ambition, I do have plenty of greed. Green for all the things I have never had, like money, recognition, love, sex, and the respect of my peers. Greed that makes me want to reach out and grab the world and shake it till it tgives me everything I deserve, and whole lot more too.

But OI am scared. Scared of where that leads. It would take me pout of my comfort zone and force me to mix it up with the buig bad world and maybe even grow up.

At the very least, IU would have to finally go out and get hurt.

And worst of all… it would mean turning to face reality instead of of turning my back to it and ignoring it as much as possible.

And that scares the sheep dip out of me. I have spent so long hiding out in my bunkerf that the normalk light of day frightens me. I’m like one of those escaped POWs wgi wander out of the woods decades aftger escaping with no idea how the war turned out,

My war is on the inside, though. And it’s been raging for 40 years.

I wish someone would njust win already,

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

It’s all a blur

And that’s no accident.

So first up, an update : I have officially ended my job with Prasad. He has ninety high quality scripts from me and that’s gonna be it. I am moving on.

It did not go as well as I would have liked. You see, I have this problem. I have such a hard time asserting myself that sometimes, when I finally get the courage to do so, I have done it by sort of pumping myself up likie an athelete before a game and as a result, I end up issuing tight, terse demands instead of actually dealing the with person.

The result is that some poor person is suddenly bearing the brunt (because really, what else there to do with a brunt) of az suddenly outburst of basically the exact opposite of my usual personality in every way.

And they are left shellshocked and wondering WTF just happened. It’s like all of a sudden there’s a volcano in your living room.

And it is PISSED. OFF.

This has been a pattern in my life, one I thought I had resolved way back when I was in my late teens and realized that I had the problem and that the solution was that I had to assert myself before the unexpressed anger caused an emotional meltdown.

But it still happens from time to time, and it happened with Prasad.

I gave him my three demands : more money, better communication, and a much higher quality end product. And that’s how they came out – as hostile demands.

He rightly pointed out that he had given me a raise from $10/episode to $15/episode just six weeks ago. And he had a point there.

He also reminded me that he had given me the email addresses for the two other peoiple, the voiceover person and the animator, in the project and so communications was really up to me.

One might argue that it’s his job as a producer to bring people together, but whatever.

The truth is, this project was never going to work. Not with a small-business type budget. Live action might have been doable. A bright young well spoken dude (petite sassy blondes preferred), a green screen, a decent webcam with decent audio, and yours truly to write the script  and do the editing, and the whole thing might have been a success despite a no-string budget.

So, after alienating and hurting a man who had been nothoing but nice to me,  I apologized to him and smoothed things out and we have now parted ways.

He was even nice enough to give me a five star review on UpWork, which will come in handy when I am looking for new work.

Speaking of new work, that Skype meeting went well…. weird, but well.

The guy starts off the whole thing by giving me this whole long sales pitch about some supposed miracle medical powder that cured his wife’s cancer AND his son’s Tourette’s and he’s already a tech millionaire and he’s only selling this stuff because he really believes in the product and wants to heal the world and jesus fucking christ on a cracker, this guy is more full of shit than a fertilizer factory.

I can see your hotel room, dude. That’s no Presidential Suite. That’s the same kind of tightly pakced but more or less comfortable hotel room *I* could afford.

And so I am listening and nodding and on the inside I have a sinking feeling that this asshole set up this whole thing just to sell me on this bullshit and the UpWork posting was just a scam to lure me in.

And if that had been the case, I would have given him a piece of my mind served red hot overhand with a live grenade and a rattlesnake provided free.of charge.

But either because he sensed how non-receptive to this crapfest I was or because he just ran out of material, he eventually segued through a bunch of other ideas of dubious viability and verisimilitudfe to the one we actually talked to via text chat, the idea of a service that connects big time YouTube stars with the kinds of writers who can help them make tgheir awesome shows even better.

It could work,.

And even if it’s a total non-starter,  I could make some money from it before it crashes and craters, and even better, I might get my work in front of people with connections and influence and money, and that could be my ticket to the big time.

So I am happy to go along with the whole thing at least until he asks me for money.

Also a bonus : he seems genuinely impressed with me. My wit, my personality, my confidence. He said I was interesting and funny and that he thought I could be a YouTube star myself.

So like… yay! Validation!

The kind that leads me to think that I might just be able to pull this whole show biz thing off. And that maybe, just maybe, I have been ashamed of myself for no good reason for way, way too long.

Sure, I’m a goof who forgets basic things and manages to screw up simple tasks on a regular basis and is, oin general, a starry-eyed dreamer who is not that great at everyday life, but who cares?

It wouldn’t take a huge amount of success to make the whole thing moot anyhow. A decent assistant could take care of all of that for me and leave me to do what I do best, which is to create hilarious things.

That’s way more important as to whether I am “good at life” or not.

Fuck life. I’m good at art DAMN good at art. I truly believe that I don’t just have great comedy writing skills, I have a sort of generalized artistic talent that could be applied to damn near everything from a high-toned presentation of sculpture and found art to a the world’s raunchiest, most lewd porno flick.

Obviously, the latter would be WAY more fun.  And I would love for it to say “pornographer” on my resume.

It’s a noble art that brings great enjoyment to millions, and it deserves respect.

Now excuse me whilst I take a nap becausxe I am not good at sleeping and therefore need to sleep at 8:20 at night.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

So this is my life now

And it’s pretty amazing.

First off : tou know how McDonald’s is doing the Monopoly thing right now? [1] Well I won something from it recently and it’s a bit more than a burger or a muffin.

It’s a gaming console, namely the Xbox One S.

Something like this, but with a different game.

And the thing is, and this speaks entire encyclopedias about me, I am have trouble believing it. I keep wating for there to be a catch, despite all evidence pointing to the fact that I won the damned thing.

When I first saw the instant-win thing, I couldn’t believe it. And trust me, that speaks an entire wing of a library about my negative tendencies. I thought it couldn’t possibly be that easy. I told myself that it must be that the little ticket just gives you the right to enter a sweepstakes for one. or some other scam.

So when I got home, I logged on to the website on the ticket and put in the code and low and behold, it looked like I had really won the darned thing.

But there was a problem. The skill-testing question[2] had this asterisk type symbol at the beginning and I had no idea what that meant.

Oh great, I thought to myself. This must be some new mathematical symbol that i did not know. Something they are teaching the kiddies in their new new math.

So I tried to google it. But the only answers I found were part of some pretty advanced relational equation stuff, so that seemed pretty unlikely.

And of course, * means multiplication in many places because unlike an x, a * can’t be mistaken as a variable.

I didn”t know that was the reason till I was trying to solve my problem. Pretty cool, eh?

Anyhow, so I decide that my best course of action is to consult my furry friends, because almost all furries are nerds and a significant percentage of nerds are the mathy kind of nerd.

I was a mathy type nerd… until calculus.

So I copy and paste the equation to them, and they all pore over it, and eventually come to the conclusion that they don’t know WTF is going on either.

So I emailed McD’s about it. And they replied around a day later.

Turns out, that asterisk wasn’t part of the equation at all.

It was there to denote a required field on the form!

Can you imagine? I find the whole thing hilarious.

Armed with this information, I solved the question with ease, submitted the form, and now, AFAIK, I will be getting my Xbox One S at some point.

But get this : for Mysterious Reasons, it wil take them 6-8 weeks to “verify” my identity!

They could verify my identity on foot faster than that. Literally. They could send someone to walk all the way to my apartment,. knock on my door, take a DNA sample, then walk the sample to a lab and have it checked, and it still wouldn’t take 6-8 weeks.

But that’s no big deal. It’s not like I am eager to have the thing. I don’t intend to even open the box. I am a PC gamer and that’s that. I have no desire to add console gaming to my life. My PC gives me more than enough gaming.

With a console, I would have to get a TV to plug it into, then find someplace to put the TV and the console, and then use a completely different device to play games instead of the same device where I do all my work.

And speakoing of work….

Just as I am deciding that I am pretty much done with my first gig, I get a couple of nibbles of interest from others on UpWork who are interested in my comedy writing skills. I text-chat with one of them, and now he wants to Skype-meet with me tonight, and says I am really interesting.

So now I have to comehow get Skype working despite the fact that my webcam appears to have died since the last time I used it.

So now I have to try to get one of my tablets working. I’d rather have used my laptop, but it’s now a craptop because its battery is dead.

Or possibly something worse, because it doesn’t work when it’s plugged in, either.

And I have to make myself presentable, at least from the shoulders up. I am, of course, not at all keen to up the ante from text to video, but I will not let that slow me down.

The job, in and of itself, it just a punch-up of a sort of script this guy has written for a “launch video” for his startup. Pays $40 American.

But the business model is all about connecting brilliant writers with people who need them, and I hope to charm my want into being one of those writers.

So wish me luck. This might actually turn out to be my next gig.

And if not, it’s still extremely affirming. Two people so far have seen my profile and how many hours I have worked for PRasad and decided that they would like to see more from lil ol me.

Heck, I’m just happy that someone is noticing me. I’d be happty to get verbal abuse at this point because it would at least mean I had had an effect on someone.

But praise is, obviously, way better.

So it seems like things might be turning around for me.

It scared the shit out of me to even type that sentence.

And that speaks entire writing systems about me.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

[[{1]] For my American friends : here in Canada, McDonald’s does this big Monopoly themed contest where you can collect stamps or win stuff instantly. I am sure they have the same sort of thing in the USA. only with a more exciting theme. [[1]]

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Again, for you poor non-Canadians, there is a rule in Canada that says that lotteries and sweepstakes and other “games of chance” are illegal. Therefore, every sweepstakes has to incluide a skill-testing question so that it’s not technically a game of chance. This are almost always little math questions that anyone can get as long as they have some vague memory of the order of operations in math.

Moving in and out of focus

Moving in and out of focus
Riding a blurry line
Claiming that rules will choke us
Refusing to be defined

I guess this is who I am now
A cipher in God’s machine
Neither low or highbrow
Forever the in-between

In my head, those are lyrics to a 80’s synth-pop song in the style of Erasure or Depeche Mode. There will be a video just as soon as I learn how to turn the noises in my head into sounds in the world.

Actually learning to read and write music and thus become musically literate would probably help. I have been trying to do it without knowing that stuff and no matter what music is in my head when I start, I end up getting absorbed into the process and what ends up coming out is sort of an experiment in form and nothing like what I started out trying to bring into the world.

So yes. even in music I can’t stick to the topic.

Today’s been the same old same old same. Playing Skyrim, wasting my life, letting the days go by. Water flowing under.

There’s got to be more to life than consuming media and keeping myself distracted. The great thing about Skyrim, from the point of view of my mental illness, is that it gets me through time that would otherwise be a burden on me.

When my depression is bad, just the thought of all those hours of the day to fill fills me with dread and despair.

Like I sad, the main problem is : what the hell do I do with myself?

And I feel like that’s a question I will need outside help to answer. Someone to hold my hand as I venture into deeper waters. Someone to help build a bridge from where I am to what I want. Someone to talk me down out of my tree when I am freaking out and feeling fragile and abandoned and unfit for life.

Someone to please, please, please help me not to be so very, very alone inside. Someone who can pierce the ice around my heart and convince that scared little animal inside me that everything is going to be okay now, that we are safe and amongst loved ones who will protect us from harm.

I have been running scared inside my head for so long now.

It would be nice to be able to curl up and rest somewhere warm. and quiet and inviting.

But that unshakable core of panic is always there. It’s the trembling ground upon which I attempt to build something resembling sanity.

It’s the radioactive power core that powers my intellect and creativity and insight and general verbal overheatedness.

It’s the fire that burns within me that I hide from the world because I am so scared that I am going to burn someone or have it explode in my face in a way that will shame me for the rest of my days.

I mean, it might make me…. do something wrong!

From a systems point of view, that level of emotional repression in the service of not hurting people is a terrible waste of a very rich energy source.

Surely this energ can be harnessed and made to pull my sled forward without savaging any Iditaod spectators.

Lots of people have a fiery side and still make it in life. Instead of cutting this side off at the source, these people learn to tame it through experience, not repression.

They follow their emotions and the consequences shape their future actions.

i lock myself away from all real experiences, including the ones you are supposed to have as part of growing up.

In a way, I find it hard to imagine acting on impulse. Like how does that even work. Just letting the emotion you are experiencing at that moment dictate your actions.

To me, that is a bizarre way to live, and quite honestly it frightens me.

And sure, I “know” that life needs balance and there has to be some spontaneity and acting on impulse or we become dead inside as our impetus is destroyed by constant failure to achive a result.

There’s only so many times an impulse can be quashed before it dies.

Keep it up, and soon your soul is a graveyard of dead inspiration and you feel cold and empty inside because you have snuffed out your own pilot light.

Man,. me and my metaphors.

I really think the beginning of true recovery for a lot of us depressives begins with creating a space in which it is safe to act on impulse.

For me, I get that when I am noodling about on my synthesizer keyboard. No forethought goes into what I am playing. How could it? It all happens so fast. Too fast for sober reflection or any sort of logical consideration.

And it’s not being recorded so there can be no extrinsic motivation to come along and corce things to be serious and focused toiwards some “practicul” purpose.

That would take all the fun out of it.

True art is like fingerpainting. The only reward sought is pleasure for oneself in the here and now. The pleasure of exploring and experimenting to see what makes the biggest impact on us and then building from there.

In fact, I think part of what makes any artist great is their willingness to keep going, turning the stimulus up, and up, and up again, without flinching or stopping.

I call that “facing the fires of creation”, and it takes a very specific kind of person to do that. For most people, the intensity wpould be too high and they would stop and shrink back in fear.

But an artist of whatever form or media just keeps turning that knob up and in doing so, creates art with a loud, strong voice that can take pordinary people on a truly epic ride through art, taking people to places they could never go alone.

And what, pray tell, makes us artists capable of facing the fires of creation and coming away with something beautiful?

East. It’s because we’re all fucked up in the head.

It really is that simpke.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

Lead in my heart

That’s lead the noun, not the verb. Still pretty depressed. Still po,laying video games (well, game, and you know which one) all the time vecause it’s the only coping mechanism I have at my disposal.

Everything I’m just doing something I enjjoy. All day. Every day. All the time when I am not writing, sleeping, or socializing with my friends is spent playing Skyrim.

And I suppose that, in a sense, it’s kind of astounding that one game has kept me occupied for this long. That’s unprecedented. And I don’t think it is the sort of thing that is ever going to happen again with any other video game.

Somehow, Skyim inspired an enormous nuimber of people to make their own stuff, and they are still making it today despite the fact that the game came out in 2011. The creative community Skyrim attracted is bigger than any other that I have ever heard of, and that means you have so much content out there that someone like me can keep playing for what has to be hundreds of hours now.

Plus, the game itself has chieved something very precious in its genre : there are millions of ways to play it. And those ways change the way you play the game.

I’ve told you about character builds before. I’ve gone through dozens. And each made the game new and fresh again because they make you play the game a new way, using different techniques and strategies.

For example, my current character is an archer. Has crossbow, will travel. His aim is deadly but he’s not got a lot of hit point  and he only uses light armor.

That means I can’t go charging into battle like I could when I was playing a big hulking slab of beef of an orc. And it means I can’t play the game offense-forward like I did when I was a fire chucking mage, where yoiu rely on your ability to kill things faster than they can get to your wimpy berobed self.

It also means I can’t play “alone”. It’s a solo game, so in that sense I’m always playing alone. But in the game’s universe, I need followers and/or pets to do the charging into battle for me so I can hang back and take my shots.

Other builds, solo was possible but not necessary. My thudding huge orc found the “hit bad thing hard with big sword” strategy worked most of the time. My fire wizard couldn’t go solo at first but eventually became so damned deadly that he could take on a dragon and not only not break a sweat but actually make me feel sort of sorry for the dragon.

But not really. Most of the dragons in the game are evil fucks who kill humans for fun.

For my next build, I am going to be… a witch!

Don’t feel obligated to watch the whole thing.

But while looking for that, I found this, and loved it so much I just have to share it.

And THAT, my friends, is why Bugs Bunny will always be the king for me. Because he does stuff like that.

Look hot in a dress, too.

So yeah, a witch. Or at least, a female mage who wearas all block clothing and can both fry your ass will spells or summon something to do it for her.

I recently downloaded and installed a mod called Apocalypse Spells that ads a ton of utterly insane spells to the game, but since then, I am not been playing spellcasters, so I haven’t had a chance to really dig into them.

The ones I have come across on scrolls are amazingly creative and well thought out while also very awesome.

This is the kind of insanity I need to be a part of.

Oh right, insanity. I was going to talk about being depressed. Although it should be noted that writing about my Skyrim exploits has made me feel a lot better.

Maybe I will start a seperate blog just for my Skyrimming. [1] I’m not sure who would read such a thing. Other Skyrim junkies, perhaps.

Anyhow. Depression. Right.

My days are now spent like I’m a respectable family with a crazy cousin they keep chained up in the basement and never acknowledge but they can hear their thumping and howling and cries of rage and pain.

But they all pretend it isn’t happening because it’s all they knew how to do.

And the whole time, the beast was growing stronger…

I figure that, sooner or later, I will no longer be able to ignore or suppress the voice in my head that is in a lot of pain and very depressed and filled with all of depression’s badness.  The wall between me and this voice will crumble and I will have some kind of breakthrough (or breakdown) and I will just have to deal with things then.

I wish it could be different. But I am hedged in by fear. The fear of throwing myself back into the existential hell of infinite possibilities without the will to choose among them so all I can do is cover my eyes and ears and ignore the infinite hallway with its infinite doors that are always all around me.

There’s so many things you could do, whispers a voice in my head. You’re such a loser for not doing any of them. 

But that’s wrong. I can’t do anything, not in my current state. Not while I am still paralyzed by this fear of the big bad world.

Not while I feel so goddamned unsafe.

And that’s not going to change until I do the right things.

Things I am too scared to do.

It’s a heck of a catch, that Catch-22.

I miss being healthier. Somewhere between VFS and now, I fell apart.

And now I forget what goes where.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Fun fact : I recently installed a mod called Jobs in Skyrim which adds a bunch of jobs you can do for cash to the game. So now I can get a Skyrim job whenever I want!

What my problem is

I know twhat my problem is. Why I have been so depressed.

It’s because spending all day playing videos game just isn’t enough for me any more. I’m outgrowing it. Needs that I have smothered for decades are finally free to make themselves known, and they are doing so by the most convenient channel available to them, which is depression.

Thqat means the voice in my head that is mierable and angry while the rest of my mind is placidly placated by the mental stimulation and distraction of a video game.

This outgrowing is a very positive thing… in the long term.

In that short term, it means I have to confront the fundamental problem of my life, namely the question of what the hell I am supposed to do with my time.

And it scares me. It always has. I have spent my entire life hiding away from the world and consuming media.

If that’s not enough any more, then I am stumped.

Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and I can’t answer that basic question.

But it’s not a matter of IQ, it’s a matter of fear. The massive, nameless fear thay grips me when I contemplate expanding my safety zone.

This fear freezes me in place like the proverbial deer in the headlights. One that,. on one level, can’t wait for that car to hit it because at least then, it would be over.

I’ve realized that my lifestyle needs to grow, bbut I don’t know how to do it. I mean, of course, I can think of zillions of things I could do.

That’s not the problem. It never is. I’m a highly creative person. And very intelligent. I could come up with an endless number of the exact sorts of things people would advise me to do, and it wouldn’t make one fucking bit of difference.

Because none of it will happen. I’m still frozen in those headlights. It could be the most brilliant suggestion possible in this and all other universes and it wouldn’t mean a goddamned thing because whatever it is. I know I won’t do it.

I might act exactly like I am going to do it and even think I will do it while I am with the person who suggested it, but when they are gone the icy cold fog returns and I am once more isolated and alone and dying on the inside and I cope with it the only way I know how, which is to bury myself in media consumption.

Making most suggestions as to what I could do is as pointless as recommending that a legless man take a brisk walk.

The “doing things” part of my brain is broken.

Ergo, the entire question of “what to do” is based on the false assumption that I do things and it’s just a matter of picking something.

Nope. I died inside at a shockingly early age and thatplus all the bullying  made me fundamentally incapable of self-motivation.

Any urge I have to do things is instantly smothered to death by my intense and overwhelming need for safety.

Like I have said before in this space, the many traumas of my childhood destroyed my fundamental sense of safety. I never had that sense that I would be okay because my family was there to protect me and deal with the hard stuff. I never had my period of thinking the world was a safe and happy place.

When you’re raped at the age of three, that shit is gone forever.

And when you live with a constant fear of the world and all its horrors, the only real reaction to that, at least if you have a passive type personality like me, is to hide away from everything. To choose a defendable position and stay there no matter what.

And to quash any and all desires that would tempt one to leave their defensive position and thus expose themselves to enemy fire.

I swear, I am the mad wizard of metaphors.

When I even contemplate leaving my tiny comfort zone, I get this intense feeling of exposure, as if I am contemplating leaving my warm home to walk naked through a snowstorm just for the hell of it.

Suddenly, my comfort zone seems very warm and comfortable and safe, and the outer world seems cold and harsh and brutal, and it seems like utter madness to abandon my safe position in order to go out there where I could get hurt.

And sure, intellectually, I know that my fears are extremely irrational and unfounded and are, indeed, guaranteeing harm whereas expanding my life only risks it.

I guess it’s just a matter of what you’re used to.

But rationality is useless in cases like mine. Theses fears were installed in me when I was very young, and therefore are not accessible by the rational processes that I did not have at the time.

I mean, I was three or four when I got raped. I didn’t even have the majority of my adult brain mass yet.

So  whatever the solution is to my problems, thinking alone will not get me there. The answer lies outside the bright light of reason, somewhere in that inky black night where you can’t use your eyes to guide you… only your heart.

Problem is, I’ve never been comfortable “going with my gut”, even in circumstances where I really should. I attack the world with the overwhelming force of mny considerable intellect, and that’s great… amazing even… as far as it goes.

But what about the rest of me? The life support system for that massive intellect?

It’s that scared monkey with its hand on the controls of a machine that  is so powerful that it scares him too much for him to use said controls.

It’s the limp and vestigial body of a race of giant brains. Only without the telekineses.

It’s a freaked out little animal driven crazy by the pursuit of its predators so it never leaves its hiding place and, over time, slowly starves to death.

It’s an old man reading a thick book in a burning library.

It’s, on some level, the real me.

And it’s very, very sick.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Sometimes there’s sunshine

Fereling somewhat better today. I guess venting my pessimism and/or worries for the future yesterday did me a lot of good.

I am not, by nature, a pessimist. I consider pessimism to be a waste of time that only gets in the way of making things better.

The way I see it, both pessimism and optimism are logically unspoortable. They both assume that life has some kind of underlying, predictable nature that conforms to the highly subjective categories of “good” and “bad”.

And that’s utter nonsense. Where could such a unifying force come from? What would its enforcement mechansm be? What are the fundamental physics at work here?

The way I see it, both are merely subjective points of view. As such, they can be useful as a reflection of our mood, but to suppose ithat it goes any further than that is laughably arbitrary and subjective.

The very idea of being able to judge life in general based on the single data point of one’s own life makes no sense to me. Even judging one own’s life as good or bad is logically iffy. Most people have had times when their life seemed good to them, and other times when it seemed bad.

So what is the point of making a grand generalization about your life when you know damned well that you will feel differently later on?

So both optimism and pessimism are illogical and unsupportable. That does not mkake them equal, however, because the optimist, at least, is happy most of the time. Maybe they have unrealistic ideas about the world and maybe their optimism leads them unto error sometimes,. but at least they feel good.

Pessimism, on the other hand, leads to an unhappy person whose only pleasures in life come from the “I told you so” moments they crave in order to validate what they know is not a sensible logical position.

“Ha! See, life DOES suck and you WERE wrong to be happy when I am incapable of it and that makes me so much smarter, wiser, and tougher than you! .”

It’s pathetic, really.

The way I see it, if you have to pick one, you might as well pick the one that leads to the better outcomes. That is clearly optimism. Study after study shows that optmimistic people life longer, happier, healthier lives than sad sacks.

Ideally, one would reserve judgment entirely. That’s more or less my attitude. Whatever the nature of life (if it even has one), might be, I sill strive to make things better and to embrace the pragmatically optimistic view that we must always act as if things can get better because tha’s the only way things ever do get better.

No matter what your goals are, optimism will get you there faster than pessimism and make the trip a ;lot more fun too.

I understand where some pessmism comes from, though. The kind I call “reactive pessimism”. That is pessimism formed as a reaction to the excesses of the sort of optimism that causes people to ignore unpleasant truths and fall victim to easily avoidable disasters as a result.

On a case by case basis, this doesn’t lead to pessimism. But over time, it can make a person very bitter and misanthropic from the feeling that you are constantly rescuing idiots from theie own stupiditty.

(————————————————————————————————————-)

Time skip! I was having trouble thinking so I took a nap.

To sum up : Not a pessimist. That might surprise some people, given my depression. But it’s not the conflict it sounds like.

Actually, let me refine the statement : I’ve never been a pessimist in general. I am definitely a serial pessimist when it comes to myself personally.

That’s the depression part. And even that is slightly wrong because, to be honest, depression often keeps me from thinking about the future at all.

I’ve been pondering that barrier lately : the obe between “thoughts related to myself” and “thoughts relating to everything else”.

As befits my senselessly cerebral self, I am quite sane when it comes to matters impersonal. Excessively son, perhaps, at least according to some. The sort of people who find my hardcore clearheaded enlightened rationalism a tad unsettling.

And I get why. It can be harrowing to be around someone who… how do I put this without sounding like a raging egomaniac.

Fuck it. It can be harrowing to be around someone who sees through the illusions and nails the truth right between the eyes nonstop.

Socially speaking, it makes me quite weird.

It’s that whole “he who walks through walls” thing. I see through the social illusions that define the structure of reality for most people. And this gives me the autonomy to step in and out of their reality as I see fit.

The flipside,. though, is that I don’t see those social illusions very well,and so it’s hard for me to stay within them and “act normal”, no matter how badly I might want to in a given situation. This would not be a problem if I was some kind of radical individualistwilling to be exactly himself in all situations and damn theconsequences to myself or others.

But I’m not. Perhaps I should be. But I’m not, at least. not all the time.

Maybe  would be a happier man if, instead of half-assing my identity because on part of me wants to be fearlessly myself and another part doesn’t want to hurt people on any level for any reason,.

Maybe my attitude should be “I am me, unique and bizarre, and if people can’t handle that, to hell with them. ”

It might be impossible to go through life without hurting others. And some hurts are just plain not my responsibility even if I am the cause.

Maybe it’s just plain impossible to live a happy life if your identity is trapped in a tiny cage of overexaggerated empathy where everyone else’s emotions are more important than yours, to the point of never addressing your own needs.

Maybe I need to stop skulking in the shadows for safety and develop my own solid identity, and commit to it.

Maybe I need to grow the hell up.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Back the fuck up

Y’all better back the fuck up because I’m gonna puke my pain onto the page and the first three rows WILL get wet.

Been pretty depressed lately. No source except possibly the change of seasons. No terrible event looming…. well, not in my personal life, anyhow.

The world itselgf is slowly sliding into an environmental apocalypse and we’re all watching it happen and not doing a damned thing about it, like we’re all tied to the tracks watching global warming steam towards us.

We all know it’s only going to get worse. And we know that with the idiots the pold people have put into power all around the world, the source will continue.

But eventually the problem will sort itself out.

When society has fallen apart to the point where nobody drives cars or runs power plants and factories any more.

So…. yay that.

And I guess that has been eating away at my mood. I have glimpsed a future where we finally went ahead and broke the goddamned planet amd the evidence of how badly we fucked up will be all around us at all times and we will have to live and die with the knowledge that bnothing short of nuclear war could have failed our kids’ generation harder or more thoroughly.

That horrifies me far, far more than whatever happens to me personally. I am sure my life will change a fair bit and I might have to become that hardcore angry bludgeoning bulldozer than I have been dodging for my whole life.

But I will survive somehow. I’m extremely intelligent, have many talents, and I’m fairly adaptable when I need to be.

I am sure gonna miss video games and the Internet, though. Who knows, maybe they will survive in some form.

But life will still be far more shitty, with extreme weather events becoming the norm and the average person’s life becoming more desperate and brutal.

It’s the food that really worries me. It would not take much of an unpheaval in the bread basket area of the world like California to send the prices of every day foodstuffs through the fuckin’ roof.

That would trigger inflation, maybe even hyperinflation.

And that’s just here, in the ridiculously decadent modern world. Here, we can survive there not being as much variety in our foodstuffs and people having to start really hardcore think about how to cover their basic nutritional needs with money that is shrinking in real value every day.

Might cure us of our junk food habit. But probably not. Not as long as junk food remains much cheaper than real food AND tastes better in an artificial hyper-stimulus kind of way we all know and love.

All those survivalists should really be investing in agriculture. The future will belond to the people who make food.

I hope democracy survives. It stands a good chance. The modern democracies of the world have all raised generations of citizens who expect to have a say in things and who really do not like being told what to do.

It might become an even more corporatist form of democracy, though. Depends on how the power dynamic battles go. Might end up with a world run by big agribusiness. Or we might end up with a real people’s revolution where people know who’s to blame for the hell life has become and want their fucking heads like in the French Revolution.

Certainly, people will no longer be content to sit on the sidelines saying “Well, if the politicians won’t do anything about it, I guess we’re fucked. ”

I predict a rise in eco-terrorism. There will be a lot of angry young people who are extremely aware of how badly they got screwed and want to strike back at the people they hold responsible for it.

Depending on how my own life goes,  I might be right there with them, gathering wood so we can burn these bastards at the stake.

Right now, in North America, we are in the dying days of people being able to ignore the problem as long as it isn’t having an effect on them in their lives and in their area.

Not too long from now, the craziness will be happening everywhere. Forest fires, hurricanes, tornados, pestilence and plagues, you name it.

It would be the days of the Black Death all over again. Maybe not in terms of loss of life – depends on whether we can defuse the next superbug viral bomb before it explodes or not – but in terms of things getting seriously fucking Biblical.

I suppose religiong of all kinds will see an upsurge of people looking for answers.

So yeah. Pretty sure the world I know and love will end within my lifetime and possibly within this decade.

That might be dragging me down a bit.

Like everyobne else, I’d been shoving that thought out of my mind because it is simply too big a thing to cope with. It’s too monstrous and horrifying and probable to think about. Much easier to hide in our hobbiexs and pretend it’s Business As Usual, full speed ahead, no problemo time.

Ironically, given all the doom and gloom I just portended, I actually feel a lot better now. It feels good to have finally let the truth in and spoken it aloud (so to speak). I think the denial was taking a heavy toll on me. I am not someone with a knack for protecting my hapiness from unwanted interference from reality.

So now that I have all that out of my system, I feel much better. That might even have been the root cause of my recent mood downturn.

The world seems like a brighter and happier place now that I have finally admitted to myself that we are all doomed.

Because gosh, team, what’s important is that we have each other.

Plus, when things get bad, there’s always sex cults.

And I want my own sex cult.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Losing my mind

That’s roughly as gay as it gets.

All my life, I havbe been struggling day and night to stay sane despite the growling stomach of the ever-hungry maw of the mouth of madness. I have felt like I was going crazy so mayh times, and yet somehow I always managed to keep it together and not go full on looney tunes crazy.

But now I wonder why.

I mean, what’s the big deal? It’s not like holding on to my supposed sanity this way has led to wonderful outcomes for me. That pit of psychosis never gives up and goes away. The howling yawning chaos screaming through my soul like the voice of a thousand anguished demons never stops. I never find that warm safe cabin I long for as I wander the tundra naked and alone.

I just… maintain. And by maintaining, making sure nothing ever changes and progress is never truly made – merely simulated.

Does it really matter how brilliant or talented I am if a decade from now I am in the exact same position I have been in for my entire adult life? Still living a life devoted to the consumption (and to a lesser extent,. production) of media? A life where I bury myself in my distractions to the point where it makes my life qorse and that just makes me shut out reality even more?

There’s got to be more in this world for me than that.

But I have all this fear inside me that keeps me from reaching outside my tiny safety bubble to grasp at something more.

And this fear has no name. It is not fear of any particular thing. It’s more like I have all this junk inside me that gets in the way and stops me cold when I try to enlarge my comfort zone to possibly even include an actual job.

Or a boyfriend.

With a job.

When I try to imagine those things happening to me, I feel this icicle of fear stab me in the heart and I get the distinct feeling that something vital is clogged, pinched, broken, disconnected,. has a dirty connection, or leaks.

Because I can feel a part of me trying to come to life and make it back into the core personality but it shorts out or blows a fuse almost immediately.

It’s like a computer with too small a power supply.

And until I solve that issue, nothing is going to change. I will be the exact same person living the exact same futile life and occupying myself in the exact same way ten years or more from now.

If I should live so long.

I’m not a healthy person. I do a poor job of looking after myself,. probably because nobody was looking after me when I was little and so I had no real world people modeling the right behaviours and emotional reponse patterns for me

And a deep down part of me will always rthink that I am simply not worth the effort.

Fading out, will be back later.

(—————————————————————————————————————)

I have been using horizontal lines (per the HTML tag) for a long time now in order to denote a fast-forwarding of time. But I had a horrible realization recently.

You folks have not been seeing them. They show up fine in the editor I use to write these dang things but not in the finaly product, and that leaves these weird gaps in my blog entries, and that pisses me off.

So I have reverted to the typographical method of drawing said line. That ought to do the trick. If it doesn’t, I will have no choice but to declare conspiracy.

Speaking of which, I’ve been brooding over my loathing for what I call “conspiracy thinking” but shoiuld probably be called something like “using the tools of the conspiracy theory community as an excuse to suspend all rationality and intelligence because it’s so much easier to invent a conspiracy than to have to think about things.

I’m not saying this to bash the conspiracy theorist culture. I might not agree with a lot of what they say or how they think, but an awful lot of them arre very intelligent and thoughtful and creative. I feel like I have more in common with fringe people like that than I ever will have in common with the average person.

The people I am talking about are the climate change deniers and their ilk, like the anti-vaxxers or the anti-evolution crowd.

Deep down, they know their beliefs don’t stand up to even th4e most basic child-level kind of reasoning, and yet the ability to invent intricate  globe-spanning fictitious conspiracies in order to explain away all the flaws in their reasoning rather than actually addressing the problem has given shelter to many very bad ideas that shoould have been ruthlessly rooted out of the marketplace of ideas decades ago.

This supports a bewilderingly fertile and ever-blooming garden of rare and exotic hypocracies. The fact that a bunch of poor-bashing, immigrant-hating, compassion-lacking, military worshipping Americans can call themselves Christians boggles my mind. I have to wonder what the hell their religious leaders are telling them.

If I were a pastor (or the like) and I had that kind of a congregatioin, I would go gorilla poopy on them. I would tell them right to their faces that not only are they hnot Christian,. they are anti-christian. Antichrists. Satan’s butt buddies.

Seriously. I’d make Martin Luther look like Mister Rogers by camparison.

And the thing is, these people go to church and bible study classes and surround themselves with the iconography of Christ, and yet, do not burst into flame.

PErhbaps it is the deep down knowledge of their own unworthy souls that makes them cling to the external trappings of religion so hard.

It’s like they have hired the world’s loudest angelic choir in order to drown out the sound of their holy soul dying and Saran laughiung with glee.

Damn,  I should have been a preacher. I rock this kind of talk.

But there’s no such thing as an atheist preacher man (Iand now, Dawkins does not count). I could teach Christ’s message, poerhaps, but not the man’s divinity.

Pretty sure that would be a deal breaker with a lot of folks.

I will talk to yoiu nice people again tomorrow.