I’m not okay

I’m not okay.

I know I tell people that I am,. but I’m not. What I really mean when I tell people that I am okay is that I am not in danger of killing myself any time soon and that what I get out of life is enough to keep me going exactly as I am for the forseeable future, and besides, what good would it do me to tell you how I really feel?

That would only lead to the sort of brutally awkward momet that social phobics like myself fear the most, and you’d ask if there was anything you could do, and I would say no, and that would be that.

Another awkward pause, conversation death, and me feeling like I just took a dump on someone’s front lawn for absolutely no good reason.

I can’t poison people with my pain. Maybe I should… but I can’t. To feel it reflected in them and know that I am the source of that pain is more than I can bear.

So far, the onkly person I have ever really opened up to is my shrink. And that took years of therapy because I was not consciously aware that I was sheltering him as well.  I thought I was being open and honest about everything, but I can see now that I never truly opened up until recently because I never actually let him see me angry and bitter and full of pain and shame.

So even the really good sessions were really only intellectual discussions with a coupcon of emotional content experienced from the cool detached vantage point analysis. At all times, even when I was evincing some emotion, I was in control of myself and my reponses, and careful not to give him more than he can handle.

Such is my belief in the toxic radioactive nature of what I keep inside is that I was more worried about not hurting my therapist than about getting better.

I know it doesn’t make sense on paper. He’s a therapist, for crying out loud. He’s seen a lot of people in anger and pain and had a lot of people spill their guts about all kind of crazy weird stuff and survived it just fine.

What are th odds that I am so bad inside that I would hurt him, maybe permanently? What fucked up short circuit of the mind caused me to think that I am so special, so intense, and so powerful that my psyhcological emesis would be more harmful to others than anyone else’s?

But like I have said here before, to me, the worst possible thing would be to lose my self-control in public and act purely out of emotion and subject others to the eternally imploding darkness of my scarrred and broken psyche.

I mean seriously. Who am I to do such a thing?

When it’s your therapist, you’re a sumbass not to do it.

But like a lot of people, I was convinced that if anyone saw the real me, the emotional leper falling apart inside, they would recoil in horror and flee the scene screaming and holding their noses.

My only hope of social acceptability was to be as charming and funny and nice qas possible while keeping the leprous side of me locked away in a deep dark distant closet and hope to God nobody ever saw him.

Hence my sense of shame.

But as we all know, locking your emotions in the closet only leads to more problems in the future because those emotions will wreak havoc behind the scenes.

And without anywhere to go, those emotions build up and purify to the point where they really do seem toxic. And that makes them even more shameful and worthy of hiding and you bury them even deeper, and the cycle continues.

And you do such a good job of concealing the bad stuff that you almost forget that it is there, and go around believing you are the person you pretend to be.

And you are. That pretender is you just as much as anything else in your head. But it’s not the real you because it’s not the whole you.

That leper assassin is still trapped inside you and keeping it locked up costs more and more every day until the cost becomes so high that you can’t function any more and you feel awful all the time and want to die.

And that, at its heart, is what depression is. And that’s the hell I have lived in for my entire adult life. Stewing in my own juices, toxicity levels rising, wth only the self-medication of my distractions (and, thankfully, psych meds) to help me deal with the pain of being me.

And all because I couldn’t let the bad stuff out. It’s still very hard for me. I can try to put it into words when I blog to you wonderful people, and drain it very slowly.

And that helps immensely. Without this blog, I would be far, far sicker.

But it’s a controlled release. A metered response. I am still in control. Nothing goes into this blog that I do not intend to reveal. The very act of writing it down slows things down enough that I can remain in control of the process.

What I truly is the ability to lose control and still feel good about myself. I know it’s possible. I’ve seen others do it. And I am sure it is possible for me, too.

But I am not there. Not yet. I feel like I am a newborn baby when it comes to exposing my shameful painful ugly rotten side to the world.

And as you can see by how I phrased that, a big part of me still believes that what is inside me is bad like shit.

And maybe it is.

But mine’s no worse than yours, and trying to hold it in forever is a very bad idea.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

I give up.

You know what? Fuck it ALL. Fuck everything sideways.

I give up. Life wins. White flag time. I am through with trying to figure things ojut. I am done with trying to control outcomes via the power of my mind. I am finished with the constant, destructive self-analysis and judgment that stretches on and on like and endless autopsy, or should I say biopsy, as the patient is still, techincally, alive.

I just don’t care any more. I don’t care why I do things, oir who I am, or even what I am any more. I am sick and tired of trying to perform surgery on myself in order to get rid of the bad parts.

Fuck it. It’s all good. It’s all me. Even the depression is me. Bad stuff, good stuff, boring stuff, crazy stuff, it’s all just me in different maskis.

But I am not my masks. I am he who wears the masks. And if you see nothing when you peep through the eyeholes, just empty space, know that this is by intention and that the masks you know are not even my real masks.

The real masks are the ones that conceal my true self and they make me disappear.

Back to the point. I get lost in my own lyricism sometimes.

As if you didn’t know.

What I am saying is that I am giving up on trying to control things by mentally dominating them via the overwhelming force of my intellect..Predict, manipulate, arrange, analyze, and voila, you are the master of your life.

Fuck that. I can’t do that. Nobody can. It’s insane to think you can.

I am especially giving up on judging myself by the results. Setting yourself an impossible goal then judging yourself by your inability to do the impossible is the very definition of madness.

I also give up on always trying to see the big picture. Fuck the big picture. I hereby make my life small and fuck the greater context and “what is really going on”.

Whatever. Who cares. What does that have to do with my life? Nothing. Fuck soothing my pains via intellectualization and detachment and an Olympian point of view.

And fuck the past. It’s gone. None of it matters because it’s me, in the present, who is deciding what to do with my life,. and I am free to make the decisions that suit me.

I am sick and tired of getting frostbite every time the sun goes down up here on my Philosopher’s Mountain. Sure, the view is amazing. I can see so much from here..

But I am cold and I am lonely and I am tired and I just want to go home, wrap myself in a warm blanket, and go to where it’s warm because there’s people.

I am just a simple animal like anyone else, and it’s okay for me to be normal., at least some of the time. I don’t have to be a shining star or a freak of nature 24/7/365. It’s okay for me to be merely human.

In fact, it’s probably the best thing for me.

I just want to be a person with a life. Someone who does not worry about the big picture and focuses instead on his own life and how he can make it better. Someone who takes positive steps to improve his life.

And someone who does not spend a lot of time worrying about whether he is doing the “right” thing or making the “smart” choice. I just plain don’t give a shit any more. Smart, stupid. right, wrong. I don’t give a shit as long as I get on with it.

I have banked my fires for long enough. It is time to write on the sky with words of blood and fire, and carve my messages into the side of a mountain.

so I give up. From now on, I am going to do whatever seems like a good idea at the time,and suffer the consequences with a cheerful fatalism, knowing that I am learning lessons every time I get knocked down.

Then I get up again.

You’re not ever gonna keep me down.

Whatever happens, I want to keep on striving. I want to stay connected. I want to be a part of things. I want to remain among the living.

 


Time gap! I needed to lay down.

I am not feeling so good. I feel very woozy. It’sa lot like that feeling you get when you just got off a carnival ride and the lquid in your inner ear is still moving.

Plus I have this weird shaken up feeling like I’d had a nasty shock.

So, you know. That’s a thing now. I guess.

I have tried to clear my ears several times but it doesn’t seem to change things much/. So much for the “sinus fluid blocking ear dranage” theory of the crime.

Well if this is some psychosomatic (attic insane) bullshit my depression is pulling in order to discourage me away from all this radical resistance, I can tell it right now, it ain’t gonna work. I am through with all the fucking games my depression plays with me and I am officially calling on my id to rise up and bludgeon that fucked up superego into submission by brute strength and sheer force of will weilding a club made of raw primitive emotions and decades of impacted rage.

I’m pretty goddamned amazing. And I have nothing to be ashamed of.

I need to make that my new mantra : I have nothing to be ashamed of, I have nothing to be ashamed of, I have nothing….

Maybe if I repeat it often enough, I will start to believe it. Not “knowing what the right answer is” type knowing. I mean more like “knowing how to walk” knowing.

But that is for future me to worry about. Right now I gotta lay down before I fall down.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a good day

I am quite tired right now, and it’s for two reasons, one good, one not so good.

The not so good reason is the usual reason I am tired when I write these posts : because I stayed up till 8:30 am playing Skyrim.

More on that later.

But the good reason is that I spent all afternoon being busy and active and *gasp* even productive. I wrote stuff this afternoon, and the stuff that I wrote was good.

See, I got a nibble on this job on Upwork. Someone out there is looking for comedy skit writing talent and I am, as you know, full of it.

And their ad even contained an example of something of which I am increasingly fond, almost correct English.

This is their concept :

Comedy sketches with reacquiring and one time characters that explore satire of all types of situation in human life and interaction: human interrelationships, politics, current events, popular culture, trends and etc.

You see what I mean? It gets the point across and is not grammatically incorrect,. it’s just oddly phrased and has an unusual cadence to it.

Most North American speakers of English would not say “requiring characters”. They would say “reoccurring characters”. Instead of “human interrelationships”, we would just say “relationships” because the default assumption is that relationships are between people and involve more than one person, making the “inter-” redundant.

Also, the “and”  in “and etc” is redundant as well. It could be justg “trends etc” and it would convey the same message.

Damn I miss commenting on fellow students’ work at VFS. It’s rare that I get to exercise both my analytical and verbal capacities at the same time.

Anyhow, these people asked me specifically for a sample and they wanted me to take on Donald Trump.

How could I resist?

So that’s the good stuff I wrote this afternoon. It was sort of supposed to be three skits and instead it turned into five one-off jokes in skit form, but whatever.

Hopefully, they will look past that oversight and my slightly wonky way of formatting things and see that I am goddamned hilarious and brilliantly inventive and that I am particularly skilled at the kind of fast, high-density humour you see on Family Guy (Seth McFarland, watch the fuck out), and that is the kind of humour people LOVE.

Quick and snappy, like a comedy routine. But with pictures!

In writing the gags, I was calling on all my experience writing the Uno stuff in order to create content that really packed a wallop and made skilled and experienced use of the broad canvas of visual comedy to make comedy that is vibrant and lively and fun.

I might have gone a little too far in that. After all, I have no indication that these sketches will be animated, like Uno technically almost kind of was, and thus I should have restricted myself to things that physical humans can actually do for a reasonable amount of money.

But fuck it. I was showing off for a potential employer, and that is no time to be practical.  I went into this with the full intention of knocking them on their asses with how amazingly talented I am.

And I think I did.

Meanwhile, in the dull time-filling part of my life, I have finally given up on Skyrim Special Edition and gone back to the original Skyrim.

I stuck with SSE for around a month, and overcame its many technical issues and the paucity of mods for it in order to make it a reasonably fun experience.

Except for one thing. I could not get the sexytimes fun stuff to work. I tried everything I could find online, but no matter what I did, everyone involved just stood there in the same spot, causing them to look like some horrific Akira chimera.

But with genitals!

And I began to long for the good old days when I played the original game and the whole of Skyrim was a sexual smorgasbord of good clean perverted fun, and eventually, I decided I would re-install it just to use the sexy fun content.

But when I did this, I saw my mod list for the original game, and it had so many wonderful mods that I had missed so much when playing SSE, that I realized I ashould have stuck with the original, which has almost 29,000 mods for it. as opposed to Special Edition, which has maybe three thousand.

Oh, and here’s the kicker : the main selling point of SSE was superior visuals that featured high resolution textures and better lighting and blah blah etc.

Not “and etc”. Just “etc’/

So I figured I would be sacrificing some visual fidelity when I went back to the original game. Fair enough. Seemed like it would be worth it.

But when I started playing the original game again. I found I liked the visuals a whole lot better. In fact, everything looked gorgeous to me, and I felt this profound sense of relief bordering on joy.

And I think that is precisely because of the loss of visual fidelity. From the first time I played Special Edition, I felt like it was more of a strain on my eyes.

But I wasn’t sure until today. Playing the original game is downright soothing to my eyes compared to the Special Edition, and everything looks perfectly fine to me.

So the lesson is that there is no point in investing in high resolution graphics if you have low resolution eyes. Sure, I can tell the differences, especially in things like armor, but I seriously don’t give a shit.

I just know that it’s good to be back.

So all in all, a pretty great day so far. I hung out with my fuzzy friends while writing brilliant comedy mocking Trump and fiddling with my Skyrim install, and then played Skyrim and had sex with damn near everything I encountered.

And to me, that adds up to a very good day indeed.

And now it’s done!

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Enough work for everybody

Here’s what I don’t get.

Conservatives are always so sure that any able-bodied person can just go out there and get a job if they really want to do it.

But that’s pure magical thinking, and it’s an evil magic to boot. There is no mechanism to insure that the number of jobs exceed the number of people in need of work. They have very little to do with one another.

Go ahead, ask conservatives why they think “you can always go work at McDonald’s”. They will have no real answer for you. They will mumble some bullshit about “common sense” or things “everybody knows”, but they can’t cite a single actual reason for believing this to be true other than their own moral laziness.

It supports their desire to avoid having to think about others, and therefore it must be true. It’s the laziest moral shortcut possible, and conservatives love those. They love them so much that they gleefully lower their intellectual and moral standards to the point where they basically don’t have it.

They believe it because they want to. It’s as simple as that.

As patient readers know, the place I come from, the Maritimes region of Canada, has a resource based economy and therefore suffers from chronic high unemployment, often double digit.  For my entire childhood, my home town of Summerside, Prince Edward Island has been overflowing with unemployed young people who would be overjoyed to work at McD’s… assuming they haven’t given up trying because even McD’s gets a hundred applicants for every job and there is only so much rejection someone can take before the despair sets in and they retreat into a world of parties and liquor and drugs.

And yet, my father parroted that “there’s always McDonald’s!” line over and over. And here’s the thing : he knew better. Not “he should have known better” , he knew better because he worked for the government of Prince Edward Island and dealt directly with the numerous training programs the province funded specifically to deal with the high unemployment rate of the problem.

And yet, he never asked himself “why don’t all these people in my training programs just get jobs at McDonald’s”?

It’s like they think, in that hazy twilit world at the outer edge of their consciousness in which thought can be said to take place, that McD’s is some infinite font of employment, as opposed to a business that only has so much money for labour and ergo only so much capacity to provide employment.

And yet, these are the same people who consider themselves defenders of capitalism. Well, I guess it’s easier to love an economic system (or anything else) when you don’t actually understand it and therefore can imagine it to mean whatever you want it to mean at any moment.

The truth is, to them, “capitalism” is merely an arbitrary label for the status quo. It’s what they have been told the system is called, and therefore they worship it. To them, “capitalism”, like “democracy”, is a simple code word that means “not change”.

And therefore, “not think”.

Like I have said before, the biggest fear of conservatives is having to truly think for themselves. They can’t tolerate doubt, and so they need to have their existing beliefs reinforced with all the subtely of a sledgehammer to the brain in order to keep their evil and insidious higher brain functions too stunned to make them uncertain about things.

And this is not merely a fuction of IQ. My father is no dummy. He’s a college educated man who loves to read and watch the news. It’s not a question of native intelligence.

It’s a lot closer to being a matter of temperament. Whether it’s nature or nurture, somehow a choice is made within a person that determines whether or not they react to doubt with fear or with curiosity.

Conservatives are so frightened by doubt and uncertainty that they absolutely must get out of it or avoid it by any means possible. That is why they are not at all choosy about what they believe and are willing to embrace patently absurd beliefs, not to mention morally repregensible ones, if they are the nearest exit from their fear.

Intolerable fear has a way of lowering your standards really fast. Take it from a social anxiety sufferer. When the fear is strong. you will do whatever it takes to escape it as soon as possible and to hell with your best interests.

I think it very much behooves us liberals (and, by extension, also behooves civilization) to understand this. If we want to lead people towards the light, we have to be ready to quiet their fears and provide them with a comfortingly familiar and safe path from where they are to where we want them to go.

The fear in them is so strong that they will simply invent whatever information they need in order to keep that fear at bay. That’s why Fox News works how it does. Fox News can operate sans facts because their viewers are not looking for information, they are looking for reassurance.

These people crave the safety signals that Fox News provides them. Fox News provides that signal by giving their audiences whatever messages they need in order to subdue their doubting minds and leave them feeling secure.

Otherwise, it would be just them and their own minds against the big bad scary world full of fear signals, like people who are not like you, crime shows on TV, and everything else that is scary and uncertain.

And that, to them, would be Hell.

That’s why they fight so hard against the liberal intellectual attempts to enlighten them. To them, it’s a fight for their lives against people who want to drag them out of the warmth of certainty and toss them into their worst nightmare.

When looked at that way, it is no wonder they react so violently against us well intentioned liberal intellectual types.

After all, to them, we are trying to hurt them.

And we won’t make any progress until we embrace this fact and learn to reassure them rather than attack them.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Where did that week come from?

Well, looks like I done fucked up again, idjit that I am.

I had a perfectly delightful idea for a story I was just about to write when I glanced down at the date and realized that I would not, in fact, be getting a cheque this Wednesday like I had thought.

A quick trip to the cheque issue date site connfirmed it. I am not getting a cheque until the 24th. Somehow, I had convinced myself otherwise. Somehow, I had ended up thinking that my five week month ended this Wednesday. Somehow, I had deluded myself into thinking that everything was going to be easy and fun.

I really should have known better.

Actually, I take that back. I could have known better. But I didn’t. And the battle against my corrosive self-judgment is fought in tiny battles like that one.

Now don’t worry, folks, I will be fine, My financial situation is not dire. I have savings to fall back on and GST rebate cheque coming sometime soon.

At least I hope it is. It’s long overdue. It was, in fact, what was going to pay my expenses for this week under my original idiotic  delusional inaccurate view of how things were. But it hasn’t shown up yet, AFAIK, and so I have been paying this week’s expenses via my savings, and it will be next week’s expenses that get paid for via that dang GST cheque.

So it amounts to the same thing, financially speaking.

Normally, I would be upset about how much money I wasted by overspending earlier in my month and then having to use my savings as a surrogate. That’s the sort of clueless behaviour I tend to scorn when I see it in others. After all, I am not some mushy-thinking overly idealistic anti-quantitative ninny who stumbles through life without a clue as to why they keep ending up in bad situations.

I am a smart and sensible Taurus who can deal with the limitations of reality and who is not afraid to deal in numbers and math and hard truths. I am clever with figures and keep myself to sensible limits and I simply don’t make that kind of mistake.

Except that I do, of course. Not as often as those who try to manage their finances via gut instinct and wishful thinking, but it happens to me too, and for the same reason.

Namely that there is something I want to be true and my mind jumps the logic gap to believing it without really examining it too closely.

In this case, a couple of weeks ago, I managed to convinced myself that “somehow”, I had enough money to spend $120/week for the next three weeks when that same money was actually supposed to cover four weeks.

Life is hard. I get so confused.

So obviously, my budget should have been $90/week, not $120/week. And that would have a little tricky. But I probably could have pulled it off if I had not made my mistake.

Or maybe I would have supplemented that income with my savings and it all would have ended up the same in terms of finances. There’s no way of telling.

Regardless, I don’t really give a shit. Whatever. Maybe I wasted money,maybe I did not. It all washes out the same anyhow.

I didn’t really know to do with the money anyhow. And I still have $275 in savings left. Eventually I will figure out what to spend it on. But there’s no rush.

Realizing I am not that attached to the money has made a big difference in how I felt about the whole thing. My income, thanks to the province raising my cheque substatially over the last year, is more than enough to pay for my modest expenses, and I am not the cash-starved creature I was before.

So whatever. I have a comfortable if not exactly lavish lifestyle. This financial SNAFU will have very little long term impact.

If I really wanted to, I suppose I could cook up a “could have gotten this thing if only I had not” scenario, but why would I bother? Fuck it.

I would have to find something I wanted badly first anyhow, and right now, I got nuthin’. I have video games I play for entertainment, this blog for getting my words, enough cash to eat out once or twice in a way and supplyh myself with snax, and that is pretty much all I need.

I suppose that makes me a modern Bohemian of sorts. Being the cerebral and socially disconnected urban hermit that I am, I have little desire for social advancement or the suiperficial signs of superior status.

Were I to land a steady paying gig I could do from home, I would love having the money, but I probably would not spend a whole lot of it, at least, not right away.

There’s things I coud use. A more comfortable computer chair would be nice. A brand new bed would be good. A sensible double instead of the king sized monster that I have now. One that is firm and springy enough to support my bulk without pressure points and cradle my poor stressed out back.

Not only would that be better for my back, but I would get like half of the space in my room back. So, plus plus.

A proper computer desk might help. My current “desk” is actually just a simple table, and while it gets the job done, I am open to the idea of a superior alternative.

Some kind of ergonomic mouse, keyboard,  and mousepad combo could save me some wrist strain. WOuld be nice to have soime super comfy clothes to lounge about in, as well as at least one very nice suit for business dealings and so on.

Hmmm. I think I just made my list of things I might spend my savings on.

The trick, it seems, is to start it off as a theoretical. That lets me shut out the option paralysis by taking away the stakes.

Thanks for helping me work that out, folks.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

They have to happen

Been pondering yesterday’s weirdness.

I feel better now. I should get that out of the way right off the top. I am back to whatever passes for normal for me, apart from a faint residue of shakiness, and so the whole ting is water under the bridge for me now.

So there’s that.

But what I have been pondering is the question of whyh my brilliant subconscious mind orchestrates this emotion experiences for me, and the only logical answer is that I need them. I need them because I am so freaking emotionally repressed that the feeling accumulate like water pressure building behind a dam until the damn thing breaks.

Clearly, it would be better if there were a healthier way for the pressure to be relieved. But I suppose I am not “there” yet.

Heck, I’m barely “here” yet!

So I suppose that yesterday’s emotional clusterfuck was cathartic, but not in the ultimately pleasant way of the past where something brings out the tears in me and while crying is not fun, I feel a whole lot better afterwards.

Followed, usually, by a post about the whole incident where I wonder why I don’t do this more often and link to a certain Peter Gabriel song.

 

That songs speaks to me on such a deep level that it’s almost religion.

Drink up, dreamers. You’re running dry.

Anyhow, the question of why I don’t do “it” more often has an obvious answer : because I am so emotionally repressed. Sure, it would be good if that damn dam of mine had a good enough sluice gate to let the emotions out at a rate that at least matches the rate wat which they come in, but that’s not happening any time soon.

Not unless I write for every waking hour of the day. And even then, I doubt I would ever really catch up on the backlog. I have 40 years of repressed feelings inside of me and while I am learning to put more of them into every word when I write, I sometimes doubt I will ever truly be free of them.

Oh well. It’s what has turned me into a writer in the first place. Normal people express themselves in other ways. It’s repressed neurotic verbal types like me who have to go about things the hard way and put it all in words.

And not just any words. They have to be the right words, expressed in a way that is not only comprehensible to others but actually worth reading.

It’s a heck of a complicated way to get shit done, but it’s the only tool I have.

And as much as people like to talk about when the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world starts to look like a nail. they never mention that you might get really goddamned good with that hammer.

In fact, if you are lucky, you might just get good enough with it to hammer stuff for a living, and thus profit from your problem.

Which, of course, brings a whole new level of problems with it.

But then again, so does everything.

Life is a puzzle game.

I have also returned to my thoughts about my being of a nocturnal breed lately. When I find myself sleeping through a lot of the day, what other conclusion can I draw?

And there is this tension that builds up in me during the night and suddenly releases when the sun comes up. It gives me a feeling like I have finally finished my shift and now I am off duty and can finally relax.

That would fit my “they who tend the fire by night” theory of why some of us are night owls. In primitive times, when humanity was barely making it as a species as hunter-gatherers on the Serengeti, and fire was this new thing everyone was talking about, there had to be members of the tribe who would stay awake all night to make sure the fire that was their own defense against a sea of nocturnal predators did not go out.

And those night guardians had to be substantially different than their fellow tribesmen in ordfer to survive being out of sync with them. They had to need a lot less social and physical stimulation and be content to sit and watch the fire when the rest of the tribe was sleeping safe and sound.

Thoughtful loners, in other words.

I assume that they formed a sort of sub-tribe of their own. Smaller, but closer. After all, even us twitchy weirdoes need some kind of company.

I like to imagine these night guardians talking to one another through the night in order to stay awake, and that leading to them being deep and philosophical people who have quite literally looked into the darkness for so long that it’s become a part of them.

Of course, the opposite could be true, and they largely spent the night fucking.

That would also please me.

So broadly, the idea is that the tribes that had these night guardnians did a whole lot better than the ones that had idiots who fell asleep and let the fire go out and ended up getting eaten like some kind of carnivorous buffet by the hyenas, jackals, lions, vultures, and particularly ambitious hamsters of the Serengeti.

Thus, we can see how the evolution of a social species is far more complex than the old narrowly misconstrued Darwinian model of the selfish gene. How does one quantify the potential of the human genome to be expressed as various personality and/or temperament types? The individual may or may not directly profit individually from this potential, but they definitely profit from being part of a tribe of such individuals.

And here’s what will really bake your noodle : they profit even more from being part of a tribe that has some deep pheremonal method for making sure there are always some of each needed role in the tribe.

Right down to kinds of inborn personality traits new babies develop.

I will talk to you nice poeople again tomorrow.

 

I should not play puzzle games

Even I find myself to be worryingly weird sometimes.

Case in point, the events of this afternoon, which started something fairly innocuous and ended with my stressed out, shaking, and miserable.

It all started when my good buddy and feline head adornment Maelkoth pointed me to a particular game company called Rusty Lake and, in particular, their game Rusty Lake : Seasons, which is an escape puzzle type game in the horror genre.

The game is superb, and to think it was the company’s first. It has an amazingly spooky atmosphere, genuine scares, deeply disturbing imagery, puzzles that are extremely clever without being absurdly difficult (and that takes real skill), and a fascinating plot involving murder, insanity, time travel, and a cockatiel named Harvey.

So feel free to try it yourself. Be warned, though, it’s scary as heck. And it might well suck five hours of your life away like it did with me.

But nothing I am about to relate about my day should be taken as a reflection on Rusty Lake or their game. I am in awe of their skill and knowledge.

it should instead be read as a reflection of my fragile mental state that is the result of forty years of accumulated layers of neuroses piled on top of one another like some kind of mentally deranged baklava.

That said, let our tale begin.

I started playing it, and immediately got hooked[1], which should have been my first warning sign. But I had frgotten the harsh lessons of my relationship to certain kinds of game from the past and so I plunged on enthusiastically.

And for most of the time. I was having fun, and so I didn’t notice my dangerously escalating mental stimulation level until the end, where things got real bad real fast.

I guess that’s the way it is with stimulus rushes, whether they are chemical or natural. You don’t notice how fast you are going until you are way out of control.

Oh, and speaking of chemicals, I had a fair bit of Diet Coke in me when all this went down, and I am sure that was a big factor in how far it went.

Anyhoew, I enjoyed myself for most of the afternoon, but eventually I ran out of gas. The unusually high level of agitation burned through all my blood sugar and sent that spiraling downward while at the same time, the high speed formance demands on my brain wore my nerves down to their raw little stubs.

And so I went into a pretty dark mental state where I was miserable and in multiple forms of pain but could not stop because I was going way too fast and had nowhere healthy to put all that energy should I try to slam on the brakes, and so the only way out was to finish the fucking thing.

My physical state wasn'[t much better. I was trembling, my heart was racing, my head hurt, and I was freaking out like someone who just woke up at the controls of a crashing 747 and has never even flown a Cessna.

And that’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder what the fuck is wrong with you. I mean, this was a video game, not the Indy 500. I was twitching like a speed freak and feeling like a coked up race car driver who just heard something go CLUNK.

And then seen their right rear tire roll past them, leaving a trail of fire behind it.


And I’m back. Decided to lay down for a bit to give myself time to cool down from all the game induced insanity.

And it worked. I feel a lot better now. Still pretty raw, but better.

So what happened? Why is it that this partciular knd of game does such prfoundly messed up things to my head? I mean like… WTF, dude?

It definitelt has something to do with the mental stimulation of puzzle solving. Other sortgs of video games do not tax my mental CPU nearly as much as one of these puzzle based games.

That’s because the puzzle genre requires multifaceted multi-threaded problem solving that involves examining things from many different angles all at once and I think that really wears my poor overclocked brain out.

And the escape subgenre in particular packs these kinds of tricky puzzles together so densely that it is no wonder that I end up in a strange mental state if I don’t make sure that I take them in via small, managable chunks.

And even then, maybe I should just skip the whole thing. I am old, fat, and diabetic, with a lot of blood circulation issues, and I should probably avoid things that bring me to a high state of agitation while sitting down.

That’s how fat guys die.

To add to it all, this all happened in a period where my body is re-adjusting to my diabetes medications, and so who knows what the hell is going on with my blood sugar.

Plus, I had a light lunch today because part of that re-adjustment is low appetite, and no matter how much I tell myself that I ave to treat food like medicine during those times, that shit is still very hard to negotiate with when the chips are down.

So yeah. Typical personal clusterfudge. Somehow, event conspire in a way that seems downright choreographed to produce a huge emotional moment for me, and afterward I am left wondering just how brilliant I must be in order for my subconscious mind to be so goddamned clever.

I suppose it has to be if it is to fool my oh so clever conscious mind.

That train of thought does not go anyplace good.

So here I am, with full knowledge that I went through manic Hell today because I chose to play the wrong kind of video game.

God it sucks to be me.

But I guess someone’s got to do it.

Otherwise I wouldn’t exist!

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. I first typoed that as “hooker”, and wouldn’t THAT be one heck of a game.

Another day in the swamps of Hell

I am in my usual post bad sleep state.

You know the drill. [1] Mental fog that is thick and clinging. Sickly sticky flop sweat all over me, making me feel glazed, like a ham. A vague tingle permeating all my body, no doubt the rest of sleep apnea’s oxygen deprivation. Disorientation and a disconnected and detached confusion. Heavy feeling in the limbs.

And so the words are not coming easy right now. I am drinking some Diet Coke and eating an apple, and hopefully one or both of those will help liven me up so I can think and pulls my collective poop together.

If not, I will just have to push against the veil in order to get anything done. Like usual.

Oh well. This too shall pass. And I have reasons to be happy with myself. I finally got my diabetes meds, and so my blood sugar should be on track soon. No more attacks of keen cutting hunger, hopefully. [2]

That shit gets real old, real fast. I suppose it’s my body’s response to dropping blood sugar levels. But fat as I am and with all that I eat, I should not be getting gut wrenching hunger pangs three hours after a full meal.

And most of what I eat is real food, too. So it’s not the malady of modern malady of mallbnutrition, where people are fat and starving at the same time because they don’t get enough nutrition from all the crappy food they eat.

So what do they do?

Eat even more crappy food.

It’s downright barbaric, when you think of it.

So anyhow, I am on track to get my health back. And my career, because I applied for five different jobs on UpWork yesterday.

So, yay me on that. Dunno how much of a chance I have at any of them, I don’t meet all the qualifications for any of them. But none of them are hard requirements, just “preferred candidates” type stuff.

I mean seriously. 1000 hours of paid work on UpWork? In your dreams, people. Especially for those of you looking to pay as little as possible.

I mean sure, I could put an ad on craigslist looking to buy a three bedroom apartment in the middle of downtown Vancouver for a dime, but it wouldn’t be very realistic.

Beside, I am brash and cocky enough to think that the overwhelming power of my talent as exemplified by my work is enough to compensate for such minor concerns.

I hope to continue job hunting till I get something. I was a much healthier person when I was working. I had purpose and direction and definition in my life, and I desperately need all three of those in my life in order to help me retain my shape.

Otherwise, I lose resolution and dift into being as I am now, a vague grey cloud that blogs and plays Skyrim.

And that’s not enough to keep a soul alive. A body, sure. A brain, most definitely.

But not my soul. Not my heart. There is so much more to life than I have been experiencing. So uch so that it scares the bejesus out of me sometimes. Just thibnking of that big,  loud,  intensely real world out there makes me so scared that it makes me want to burrow even deeper into my safety pit and shut my eyes tight to block it out.

But it’s also the cure for what ails me, I have a massive number of unmet needs. In fact, arguably, I haven’t even made it to the second from the bottom layer of Maslow’s hierarchy yet. I have food, shelter, heat, and water, and I have friends.

But the rest just plain ain’t there.

And the only way I will cure this malnutrition of the soul is if I embrace the real world. That’s like, the very first step.

Not all at once, of course. In baby steps. It’s like exposure therapy for phobias. You don’t cure someone of arachnophobia by going right for the tarantula on the shoulder on day one. That will only make things far, far worse.

So, baby steps. Seems simple enough. But there is always a strong force on me that wants to turn away from the world and silently weep. A part of me that is permanently freaked out and can’t handle anything and can’t possibly get far enough from that big bad real world in order to truly calm down.

And it can’t be a straight up fight between the two sides of me any more. That’s not going to work. Instead, I want to give that silent weeper a deep warm hug and hold on tight until it is all cried out and then listen while it tells me why it’s so scared and pours out its heart to me and tells me the whole sad story, warts and all.

So, look for a reply to my letter to myself some time soon.

Probably. Hopefully. Whatever. Either way is fine.

In fact, I had planned to write that today, but the bad sleep left me in too mentally messed up a state to focus enough to do it.

Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow I will have all day to myself. Tonight, I am getting together with tout le gang to go out for dinner then hang out here in Fanhattan.

So I didn’t have the luxury of waiting till my mind cleared before the bloggening.

Right now, I am going to lay down again, probably take a nap. Hopefully, this time, I will wake up feeling better.

It’s been known to happen.

And I am too tired to do anything else anyhow.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. “Now to work here, you have to have deep knowledge of one of our tools… ” “Yeah yeah. I know the dril.”l
  2. Why do some people have a problem with the word ‘hopefully’? They say the word ‘hopeful’ is enough. But it isn’t. If you swap it in, it doesn’t work. “Hopefully, it won’t rain. ” makes sense. “Hopeful it won’t rain” does not. Who is being hopeful?”

A letter to myself

The first thing you need to know is that I love you.

Truly. Deeply. Madly. Badly, even. I know I have been very hard on you in the past and that was wrong, and I am sorry.

I won’t even try to defend it. It was wrong, period.

And, well, I respe ct you too much to lie and say that from this point on, it will never happen again. We both know that change is not that easy and that you can’t just wave your magic wand and become a totally different person overnight.

But please, please know that no matter what happens in the future, I do love you and want the very best for you.

I just learned a lot of bad habits growing up and it will take me a while to unlearn them.

The last person you expect to be the victim (and perpetrator) of a cycle of abuse is yourself, I guess. You’re too close to the problem. You think there always has to be one villain and one victim and they can’t be the same person.

And yet here we are.

And I want to do better. I really do. But that means you and I have to work together on changing things. I can’t do it on my own.

If that makes sense in this situation.

I guess that means that villain (me) has to work with victim (you. who is also me), and that might not seem fair. Why should the victim have to have anything to do with the villain, let alone work with him? Why should the villain get away with all that abuse instead of having to suffer like his victim did?

And all I can say to that is that, fair or not, that’s the only way this will work. We are stuck with one another and so we have to learn to live in harmony with one another or this depression shit will keep us locked in this here cage till the day we die.

And that starts with confession. I’ll start.

Son, I have been just plain rotten to you. The absolute worst. Worse than our actual dad ever was. Where he left off, we picked up the ball and ran with it. Larry Donald Bertrand, our father, could not have judged you more harshly even at his angriest.

And I am truly sorry for that. I guess when you have a lot of bottled up anger and bitterness with no way out, you take it out on yourself, and that only makes it worse.

Again, not an excuse, just an explanation.

I have judged you by unhumanly harsh and utterly arbitrary standards and then punished you for failing to meet them. I have persecuted you unrelentingly and unfairly to the point where the only way to escape my judgment was to stay home and do nothing that had any impact on the world.

Only meaningless actions could escape my wrath. And then I got mad at you for not doing anything with your life

And that only made things worse as well.

So from now on (more or less), we are starting over. Pretend you’ve just been born. No past, no history, no context. It’s a new year and you are a new you.

And despite the dire comndition of the world these days,  you have the whole wide world of possibilities just waiting for you to go grab them. You are old by the clock but young at heart, and the world needs people like you to get things done.

You know how they say youth is wasted on the young? Not so with you!

And you are absolutely loaded with talent. There are people in the world who would give an arm and a leg and half their genitals to have even one tenth of what you have.

All that, plus you’re crazy smart and one heck of a nice guy. That is one heck of a package. That is way more than enough to get your life started in a positive way.

So what if you are not that good at life’s little details? Fuck that. You’re a genius, you don’t have to be good at life. Find a home for your talents and the rest will take care of itself. The world has support systems in place for the fragile geniuses of the world.

You just need to prove yourself to be the useful kind of genius first. And you are a brilliant and hilarious writer. Everyone says so.

So what are you waiting for? G out and meet that wonderful world out there! Notg because you are supposed to or because you are a loser if you don’t or any of that counterproductive judging crap I have laid on you before.

But because you want to do it. You deserve to do it. When it comes to personal assets, you are Fort Knox, and it’s time to go spend that gold and have some fun.

And who knows, somewhere along the way, you might even get that normal life you have wanted for so long. I know you and I have seen you looking in the toy shop window at that big shiny merry go round called everyday life, where people have jobs and lives and social circles and co-workers and relationships and sex and all the other good things normal people take for granted.

It’s all out there waiting for you to claim it. The only thing stopping you is yourself.

Meaning me, really. And I promise to do better. To stay out of the way, to support you without hesitation or judgment, to stop nipping your self confidence in the bud before it has a chance to grow and blossom, like a killing frost.

Fuck that, You are hot and incandescent and alive, and it’s high time you felt that way. To hell with rational restraint and sickly safety.

YOU ARE ALIVE. YOU EXIST. YOU MATTER. YOU COUNT. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU ARE NOT BROKEN, TOXIC, PATHETIC, HOPELESS, HELPLESS, OR A LOSER. YOU ARE A BRILLIANT SHINING WONDER THAT BRINGS WARMTH AND WIT TO ALL WHO KNOW YOU AND EVERYONE WHO GET TO KNOW YOU IS BETTER OFF FOR IT. YOU ARE AMAZING. AND I LOVE YOU. SO DO A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE. AND WE ARE ALL VERY PROUD OF YOU.

So go out there and show the world what we already know : that you are straight up phenomenal and a wonder to behold.

We’re all pulling for you to go out there and shine. Shine so bright that people a million miles away are warmed by it.

And who knows…. maybe even you.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Where do I begin

Wow. That opening. To me, it seems like a parody of romance movies. It’s too self-consciously pretentious to be real, right?

Not only is it real, the movie was a huge hit. So what do I know?

Got my ass to my MD today, and I am proud of that. I ran out of my diabetes meds ages ago and lacked the gumption and wherewithal to make the appointment to get more.

And then, of course, the issue became how embarrassed I was to have let things go like that and that pushed me even further from doing it.

That’s the depression talking, of course. Doing its thing where it compels me to further and further self-neglect by having one mistake create another, and so on.

But it’s a new year, and I am determined to get my life back on track, and the first stage of that is getting healthy again.

Or at least as healthy as I was three months ago.

The appointment took longer than usual because most of it wqas conducted by a very sweet but not at all ready for prime time medical student.. A round-faced Asian girl named Laura, who I am sure will make an excellent MD some day.

After all, some things you can’t learn any other way than to do it badly for long enough to get better at it.

Roller skating springs to mind.

So Laura was a tad lost at sea. Luckily, she had a  benevolent and patient person to practice on, namely me.

I admit, I was getting a little bored and twitchy by the end of our 45 minute appointment, though. Even I have my limits. Another half hour, I might even have gotten cranky.

Or maybe not. I am still testing my testiness. I know that learning to be cranky or at least snarky now and then is a vital part of my recovery because it means I am developing the ability to protect myself emotionally and express my true emotions.

But it’s rough going. I am so terrified of hurting people. My therapist has repeatedly told me that people are a lot less fragile than I think and that they can handle me being less than perfectly pleasant now and then.

And I know he’s right. It’s not natural or healthy for someone to have no capacity for grumpiness. To hold myself to this extremely high standard of behaviour is lunacy. Most people are irritable some of the time.

And this exaggerated sense I have on the power I have to inflict harm on others with my words and how I express them is probably just my depression in disguise, right?

Yeah,. Probably. I guess.

But I can’t shake the image of myself as some combination of Sam Kinison and Dennis, the fat kid from Head of the Class, lashing out at people with all the power of my psychological insight and withering wit like I am Hannibal Lecter as an insult comic.

it could be pretty brutal. I am a very unbalanced person and that kind of thing can lead to horrifying consequences when it finally rights itself.

And all that suppressed rage comes exploding out of me like canon fire and I end up hurting a lot of people with my id driven verbal attacks.

It’s just plausible enough to be crippling.

That’s why I want to find a safe release for all of that ire. Some way it can express itself without harming undeserving others.

So I need to find deserving others, I guess.

That’s not who I want to be, though. I don’t want to be another angry screaming fat guy who can’t take it any more. I don’t want to lash out blindly. I don’t want to be the sort of guy that everyone avoids at parties.

Might be too late on that last one, actually. My social damage makes it hard for me to mingle. In fact, just typing the word mingle made me anxious.

That’s one of the worst words in the English language to a social phobic like myself.

Back to the point. So I don’t want to be The Angry Guy.

But it’s who I am right now, and I would be better off if I expressed it and got it off of my chest instead of letting it dester and rot inside me, poisoning me from within.

What I really need is a lngthy course of emotional dialysis. Clear out the toxin in my psyche. Filter out the bad stuff and replace it with good, clean blood.

Anything to make this feeling of deadly dirty decay go away.

I could turn my rage into political commentary, I suppose. It’s certainly the right age for it. But becoming a professional ranter has always seemed like a dark path to me. One that leads to heart attacks and income tax and turning into a jaded and bitter hack.

And it’s so limiting! What if I am feeling positive and happy and want to put out a feel-good message that will make people feel better about themselves? What then?

And why the fuck am I having a serious anxiety attack right now? It hurts so bad, like I am haunted by my very own personal banshee is screaming and wailing and scratchings its claws along the cliffside inside me.

Perhaps blogging and caffiene don’t go together as well as I thought they did.

I know! I will magically transform the anxiety into excitment!

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Instead, once I am finished my words, I am going to do what I always do in response to negative emotions : I am going to lie down until they go away.

And go away they will, because you can only remain adrenalized for so long without reinforcement before your body scrubs that shit out of your blood and returns you to whatever state youi consider normal.

Am I normal? Not often and never on purpose.

Hopefully, after some lights-out time, I will be able to relax and the mean ol anxiety attack will lose focus and wander away.

Because this shit fucking hurts.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.