Direct interference in a person's life does not enter our scope of activity, nor, on the other, tralatitiously speaking, hand, is his destiny a chain of predeterminate links: some 'future' events may be linked to others, O.K., but all are chimeric, and every cause-and-effect sequence is always a hit-and-miss affair, even if the lunette has actually closed around your neck, and the cretinous crowd holds its breath. Vladimir Nabokov, Transparent Things
“the background of your entire life, a background of anguish and anxiety, a sense that nothing goes well, that pleasure is unavailable and all your strategies collapse”.
- Leonard Cohen on depression
+ LEONARD COHEN: A FINAL INTERVIEW | September 2016| David Remnick from The New Yorker
Of course I am oversimplifying. When I tell you “sense of direction,” I mean what French neuroscientist Alain Berthoz terms egocentric memory which, he writes, is the “vestibular memory of self-motion.” To use Berthoz’s own example, this means intuitively remembering what it feels like to make one full turn in the dark —a movement-memory stored in the inner ear to call up later and translate, by complicated synaptic algorithms, into a pirouette. Negotiating space using landmarks is, conversely, allocentric memory. Most people, in navigating from A to B, are able to combine those cognitive skills.
All the Spaces Between Us: Struggling to Connect in a Pixilated World
"A lot of it is about suffering and how something always feels not quite right."
- My Muse
My wonderful muse was talking about something else but this line reminded me of The Leftovers. Especially after last night's overachieving and incredible season finale was stuck in my head.
"This, then, is the message of The Leftovers, revealed in the final minute of the final episode of the season. Pain, loss, grief, failure, shame: these things are real, and the damage they do is lasting and debilitating."
- “The Leftovers” finale: Frustrating and painful — but hopeful, too
This instrumental moves me. Everytime it was used in the show it was perfect.
[ Max Richter: November ]
"The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn’t they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for a little while? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise?"
Don DeLillo, White Noise
My whole world
The pressure's on
The pressures' on
This whole way's
The pressure's on
[ James: Pressure's On ]
“Friendship is less simple. It is long and hard to obtain but when one has it there's no getting rid of it; one simply has to cope with it. Don't think for a minute that your friends will telephone you every evening, as they ought to, in order to find out if this doesn't happen to be the evening when you are deciding to commit suicide, or simply whether you don't need company, whether you are not in the mood to go out. No, don't worry, they'll ring up the evening you are not alone, when life is beautiful. As for suicide, they would be more likely to push you to it, by virtue of what you owe to yourself, according to them. May heaven protect us, cher Monsieur, from being set upon a pedestal by our friends!”
― Albert Camus, The Fall
A part of you holds on
A part of you is gone
Leonard Cohen: You’re the kind of person that people get obsessed with for years. Too bad you’re too depressed to appreciate it.
For a long time I've been debilitated in bed. Thinking too much. Sometimes not enough.
There's a rain cloud above me. Like all the good days have come and gone and now there is nothingness.
To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness...I hope you're getting this down.”
— Woody Allen
Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation. If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life. It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest yet be judge
“I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness.”
By the grace of a friend I've turned myself On (depression is Off) and can do a few posts to amuse myself away from the slow buildup to my upcoming manic episode.
This has been the worst year for me. I've been inside a bed bound depression for three weeks now. I feel like I only have one friend. The only one who calls. She's a very funny, inspiring, beautiful, sexy as fuck, smart and mischiveious one at that. Alas, she doesn't live in my town. She's been my lifeline ( without knowing it) during this very trying year. I had a breakdown that destroyed the life I had spent years rebuilding. Gone in a flash. I'm back to square one. It's very unpleasant. I'm Fianancially1, Emotionally and Creatively bankrupt. My heart feels so empty. The Holidays are just a dissaster for me ever since my mother died. I long for someone. I'm getting old and it sucks..but there is a light at the end of my bed....I believe IN CHEMICALS. At least "I'm Still Alive" (this gets carried over to the next post Obvs.)
1 in fact: if this blog ever goes down 'cos I can't pay for typepad: Bookmark achtungbaby.org. I have to back it up over there eventually but it's years worth of stuff and I'm not in the mood to fuck with migrating to wordpress or whatever the fuck. unless one of you wants to do it.
"sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, isolation, or hopelessness; disturbances in sleep and appetite; fatigue and loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities; problems concentrating; loneliness, self-loathing, apathy or indifference; depersonalization; loss of interest in sexual activity; shyness or social anxiety; irritability, chronic pain (with or without a known cause); lack of motivation; and morbid suicidal thoughts."
I suffer from life and from other people. I can’t look at reality face to face. Even the sun discourages and depresses me. Only at night and all alone, withdrawn, forgotten and lost, with no connection to anything real or useful — only then do I find myself and feel comforted.
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness , dear, my happiness will remain,in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal’s black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.
― Vladimir Nabokov, Selected Letters
Nabokov, The Gift / Konstantin Samarin
I feel extremely lonely and sad. I’m used to being by myself most of the time and having my own space in time.
[ Prelude to a Deluge of Posts: Part 1 ]
And I'm working at trying to find a kind of language
where I won't be so easily modulated by expectation.
I've druged myself with what I fondly call chemical truth serum. I need relief. My fastidious life has taken such a turn that I just want to dig a hole in the ground and jump inside and cry. Alas, my medicine does not let me cry at all. Any and all "sad"-like feelings get turned into "boredom". Lately I've been thinking long and hard as to why I saved myself. Why did I bring myself back from the brink of extinction? What are all these tribulations leading to exactly? I have to do whatever it takes to avoid self examination.
“My heart is beating like it’s lonely, like there’s nothing else inside of me.”
Junot Díaz, 'This Is How You Lose Her'
"Its easy to know what you want to say, but not to say it."
Mario Vargas Llosa
"Se escribe para llenar vacíos, para tomarse desquites contra la realidad, contra las circunstancias"
Mario Vargas Llosa
My inspiration is coming at five ideas a second and seven songs a minute. My computer can't keep up. My browsers have fatigue. So many open tabs. I've hacked my brain and created a sort of momentary synthetic hypomania. That's in addition to the obscene amount of Red Bull in my system, probably enough for a heart attack. I have to ride the wave as quickly as I can before it washes away. The posts have been multiplying like little Gremlins today1. I'm going to finish this which I've been writing for a while in my head ( which means the better more graceful parts are probably gone b/c I didn't write them down ). I actually wrote something along these lines, a long text post, between May and August, in small parts, but it never looked good once I was sober so I eventually deleted it. I kept thinking I could salvage parts of it until I gave up. I woke up on the I don't give a fuck side of the bed today.There's some sort of filter that comes off during my curent state. Everything goes.
I've tried rebooting myself so many times and it just doesn't work. "what I am is what I am, cause I does what I does" as Fiona Apple said. I'm not on some quest to find myself. I'm just stuck with who I am and annoyed with what I can't change. Irritated and full of Regret. I know who I am: a thematic tome of unrelenting desire and failed romances. I'm very hard on myself.
Sometimes I find it offensive that I need anti-depressants to live. As if there's a sort of Natural Law that says we should all be Happy that does not apply to me and chemistry has to keep me breathing. A synthetic existance. Mostly it leaves me bored, with hints of quiet desperation.
There is currently no girl, no woman, no Romantic Interest. Only Lustful daydreams of a mistress. I'm a blank canvass with a drip of red pain falling halfway down the middle. And this painting is stuck on a wall.
I was telling the most Lolita girl I know how much I wish I had a photogenic female friend in this city to take my own photos for posts on here. All my girls, they get married. All the nymphets are now older and having babies.
Andy is right. I don't want what I can't have anymore. This is a much practical stance.
Well, I'm off to write my first short story in years. It's called "The sexual frustrations of a man without a serial number"
1 written between 9.20 and 9.22
“Toska - noun /ˈtō-skə/ - Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”
“…I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.”
My birthday is coming up tomorrow. I'm tired of getting older.
“I often find myself wishing that depression was a visible thing, like a terrible rash, a wound or a swollen limb. Something you could point to and say "See? *That's* what's going on with me. I am hurting." Something that would cause your loved ones to wince in empathy at the realness of it, rather than have everybody walking on eggshells wondering if today would be a Good day or a Bad day.
Depression is invisible. It's embarrassing. It's something that's extremely difficult to talk about, especially when you most *need* to talk. It makes you sound like a broken record, and then you become afraid to speak anymore.
You feel like you're poisoning everyone around you with the black, toxic ink of negativity that's filling every cell in your body. Standing up and walking to the bathroom takes effort - forget doing laundry, making food, answering questions or smiling. Forget being a functioning member of society. Forget enjoying the "little things" in life. When you're deep in a low period, your aspirations evaporate as if they were never there. It's like every good thing you ever built your life on has suddenly been revealed as being a lie or a waste; you feel cheated - but more than that, you feel too paralysed to do anything remotely constructive.
Depression is like drowning in thick tar, and as I said, the worst part is how shameful and humiliating it is. You sense people thinking "I wish they'd just get over it!" (as some people actually say, out loud). You feel that if you could summon the courage to say how bad things really are for you, you'll be dismissed or laughed at. You worry that you'll drag other people down with you. No matter how hard you try - to be cheerful, to be consistent, to be healthy, to seek therapy, to reach out to others, to be happy - it never seems like enough. Life is an excrutiating daily effort to keep clawing out of that deep hole, hand over hand. The slightest trauma can undo months of work.
This is my experience, at least. Everyone's is different. But the thought I keep coming back to is that if this were a visible disorder, people would find it easier - both to endure it and to help someone recover from it. It would be easier to know what to do. People would feel less helpless and in the dark about it.
The greatest benefit of all would be the satisfaction of watching the wound healing, until there was barely a scar left behind."
+ Comment on: Michael Angelakos, Passion Pit Singer, Talks Bipolar Disorder
I would never kill myself, but you can kind of let yourself die.
Life is such that I will not be able to attend a friend's wedding in New York. NYC, the only place in the world I never feel depressed at.
+ The Eagles: New York Minute.live
The absence of sleep leads to thinking about the absence of love. My body aches loud enough to make me forget how lonely it is here. All I hear is the line "my brain says I'm receiving pain" from "My Iron Lung". I need distractions.