Depression – breaking it all down (Part I)

I am not one of those people who believes that depression is all about thought processes, behaviour and ‘life style’. It is something far more deep reaching and fundamental than that. You cannot think your way out of depression, just as you cannot think your way into it.

However, I still see the important role of thinking in keeping you there once you are there and the dreaded making a bad situation seem worse!

Depression for me makes all the bad things seem inevitable and the source of the bad things far more powerful than it truly is. It is like a wall of despair, a vast amorphous barrier, so tall you cannot possibly see over, or around it. But when we focus in on this behemoth, we see that it is made up of individual components, and our perspective is that of someone hunched, low and defeated.

Stand up to your full height and the wall, whilst still imposing, is not so large. Focus in, and though you will see the strength of your enemy, the weak points also reveal themselves.

Breaking it all down –

My new direction is to break it all down in my mind; to dispel this mythic image of an undefeatable, invincible, inevitable foe. I know that the hostility of capitalist society is a very real thing, not just an imagined enemy. But lets use our imagination too break it down into realistic components.

Nature is being destroyed by the machine, but cracks in the pavement are full of life, chopped down trees unexpectedly sprout a thousand branches, certain species thrive even in this era of mass extinction. In ten years time an abandoned neighbourhood will become a wild garden, in a hundred it will become a grove, in a thousand there will be nothing left of it, strangled and hidden by thriving life. Nature is going no-where, and it is never far from regeneration. This ancient thing is more resilient than us, and we will always live in its beautiful shadow.

The officials who keep the machine running, do they truly believe in what they are doing? Would they not rather be pursuing some goal more true to themselves, spending time with their children, resolving emotions they have repressed, exploring and finding themselves? The amount of coercion and brainwashing needed to keep people in their place to blunt their true dreams and ambitions is proof positive that most people, even those in positions of power, are themselves led along and trapped by the madness of civilization. The lack of self-knowledge and true ambition, this is a reason to pity the machine-servants, hypnotized by digital screens, life void of meaning but for the targets from above and the will of invisible figures more powerful than themselves.

Advertising is everywhere, shallow, crass, idiotic pleas for conformity. But there is nothing democratic about advertising; it is there, but who wants it there but the sad corporations trying to control our choices? No one is really taken in on a conscious-level; eyes are rolled on the tube, people take the piss out of the sell-out celebrities, a bad pun elicits a long groan. Deep down, a subconscious lever may have been triggered, a greater sense of dissatisfaction and desire to go on holiday to ‘discover life in Greece’ (or whatever). But this is again an affliction – how many of us would vote to give powerful corporations thousands upon thousands of square metres of space to try and influence our decisions? The ubiquity of advertising only demonstrates how fucked up property and power is in our society, not the democratic will of the people. Some of the more idiotic populace might find advertising interesting or be consciously duped by its bullshittery, what can be done for such a hopeless minority?

It can be a loveless existence suffering from mental illness. You are vulnerable and need to be loved more than most people, but that same vulnerability makes trusting others difficult, and that same hurt makes you less desirable. The lack of strength and stability is a massive turn off. Month after month of failure and rejection makes the chances of finding a woman who is interested seem less and less likely, a feedback loop of frustration and disappointment. But all this doesn’t make things impossible, only more difficult. The spiral down into despair is one that is hard to avoid here; it is informed by the deep subconscious wounds and triggers of childhood, but it is not inevitable. Am I totally helpless and disadvantaged by this depression and anxiety? Everything to do with this mental illness and the abuse of the past makes the whole sphere of love much harder for me. Still, the act of breaking down how mental illness is contributing to isolation and lack of love dispels the mist, promotes understanding. It is the gargantuan wall which leads to despair, not the individual bricks. Maybe through understanding things will change and improve, though I cannot promise this to myself or anyone else. At least they cannot get any worse. Going from things are hopeless to who knows what can happen, I will have no judgements is a massive luxury for me at the moment. Neutrality – feeling neither loved or unloved, does not feel so bad.

End of Part I

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The long trail of tears

The long trail of tears leads back to the two original abusers, the abusers of my genesis.

So many of the struggles and problems now stem from lack of self-confidence, a sense that my feelings are not my own, that I do not matter at all, that I am worthless and deserving of punishment, that I should constantly monitor myself and feel guilty, that just as I cannot trust even myself nor can I trust others, that I should turn my anger and rage at being abused against myself, even to my own self-destruction and death, than to level it where it belongs.

Lack of self-confidence, lack of trust, it is keeping me here in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Believe me when I say I spend every day planning and plotting an escape from the witch I have to share my current existence with. The death-energy of this crone leeches my own soul, I need to plan escape routes and getaways, one day meet ups with friends and events. Anything to be elsewhere, away from the sound of spluttering and coughing and an old person complaining about their slow death.

But there is nowhere to go, or a strong voice inside says this, and I do not have the self-confidence to compete with people in this horrible capitalist system. And it is no mystery, it is because two abusive people used to fight each other, and fight me, and anyone around them. Two deranged gods locked in a death-spiral, who left the land they were to steward a desolate wasteland. For the first twenty years I was witness to that.

Now I am on the fringes of that harmful, deranged little culture they created from not knowing any better. Just at the fringes, so close to the edge, so close to an escape. But it is society that throws up the walls, its not just those two who were abusers, it is the very government that is supposed to look after vulnerable people like me. They run the anxiety-machine, the treadmill, the hate-engine. There is no turning to them.

The past repeats itself over and over again. I confront the past because I don’t want it to control me, not because I want to live in it. Why would anyone want to live in such horrible, abusive conditions? Childhood for me is synonymous with violence and humiliation, why would I hold onto it?

Those who do not face their past will repeat it. True to form, the cycles are repeating themselves, the same derangements exist, even if watered down by time. The inanities of that family, now like old dragons sitting on their hoards, people disconnected from themselves because they had to repress everything to survive the struggles of the world, or just for their own lack of responsibility.

Yet I must still bear that responsibility and the humiliation of semi-dependence. A burden which destroyed so much of my life and yet is all I know. The subconscious connection formed in childhood is unbreakable, so I must live with an unfixable situation, at best a stand-off of silence with pitiful liars and tyrants.

If you never had to face this, you should count yourself lucky. When I am attacked by horrible people and dark spirits I know how to deal with them, and I expect them to be there. They will never defeat me, no matter how long it takes before they are extinguished and never again face me.

And none of this is to lay blame or deny responsibility. It is to find why I feel the way I do, and how to free myself from it to truly move on, and move away from the endless cycle of violence and abuse. For those within it there is nothing I can do, each must choose for themselves the path they tread.

It all falls apart…

I have always known of the entropic nature of things. Things naturally decay, wear away and fall apart.

From the earliest age it is possible to be sentient, I was. I was quickly made aware that the world is full of violence and danger, and immediately had to adapt to survive in that world.

I never had a good ‘take off’ into this world. From day one, I had to endure and survive violent, demeaning abuse at the hands of a non-father figure. His vile words were just as powerful in destroying my sense of good, justice and worth as his chaotic beatings.

So I have been under no pretentions about this world, and the sheer scale of evil and injustice in it. I never fell from grace or lost my faith, because it was never there to begin with. I know chaos and violence, for I have felt it with my own senses.

The nature of the world, if you put it in flowery euphemistic language, is change. But if you are brutally honest with yourself, it is entropy. Things fall apart, break down, collapse and die. They do not flourish forever, they fade and lose their colour. Even good things collapse, the best King imaginable will die, his castle crumble, his benevolent Empire subverted.

I am actually at terms with this reality, and I do not lament it. There is still space for some good to occur in life, to meet some good people, and achieve some moments of happiness. It is worth making the whole of your ‘journey’ before you naturally perish, life is not all sadness and misery.

What I am sad about is the sheer pace of entropy in my own life. Things fall apart quickly, they unravel before they are complete. Looking back at this year, it is unravelling and collapsing at a high rate. Much of what I achieved is dissipating. I have left a growing community I was part of, suddenly feeling the need to leave and cut myself off it. None of the relationships with women I pursued came to anything; those rose-lined paths led to dead-ends every time, walls of coldness which did not answer to my humanity. The band I helped to hold together was too much of a burden for my lacking energy, so I must let everyone down before we have really had a chance. Maybe some of those strands can be picked up again along the line, maybe not.

It seems that my lacking, brutalized core makes any sort of stable foundation impossible. Solid, lasting achievement, long-term relationships, these things seem intuitively difficult for to get to. Lack of confidence or openly feeling worthless is pointing towards a life of alienation and celibacy. It repulses others and denies trust, as well as crippling me and forcing me to let go of what I hold onto. It isn’t the only part of me, there is much that is loyal and good and strong, but the darkness is a strong one which emerges like a demon at the most inopportune times.

I know everything falls apart eventually, nothing is forever. But if only it did not collapse into entropy so fast.

What hasn’t dissipated or decayed is a deeply felt sense of injustice, of being wronged and violated. All of my songcraft and wordcraft is about it, all of my creativity channelled into understanding and expressing these sentiments.  This could possibly be the strongest thing I ever feel in my life, greater than any love or achievement or anything. I only need to imagine where I could have been if not for this deformity and disability, a past of violence and shame, to feel that this sense of being wronged is justified. And to imagine a society which was not so demeaning to people of colour, and so callous toward its ‘poor’. Imagine if I had enablement and privilege, the kind of which I see in the closest people around me, what I could have done with it with all this creativity and resourcefulness.

In Winter 2016 it all fell apart and I had to start again. It was a painful process, and on balance has led me nowhere better – just somewhere different. Now again, not two years on, I have to repeat something similar.

I am getting old enough to realize my patterns now, to know what I can and cannot depend on. The eventual decay of all-things is still there, hanging over us all like a spectre. Perhaps the one consolation is that I can always be ready for it, and laugh in its face as it laughs in mine when it comes to our final meeting.