Broken Masculinity

A broken man, already void and empty inside, reaches out for love. Why, because it is all he can do to have some kind of presence. He feels like he needs it, if not to complete himself then just to exist as anything other than an isolated wraith, haunted by his own inferiority. When that love is denied, he is blasted off his feet as if by a  thunderbolt, his heart races with anger and a well of black rage immediately starts to bubble. No matter where he may have been, he is taken back to that place of psychological hell, dragged there in an instant, a child abandoned, abused, battered, humiliated, again and again and again.

I have experienced the above for most of my adult life. When I write about broken masculinity it is not as a psychologist, not as an outsider, and not as some enabled bald prick in a suit on a panel show with a fake city-scape background. It is from the ground up, from within the shattered fragments of a wounded psyche, from experience and from the heart. I know what is fucking-men-up in society because I have to live with it almost every day. Having the intelligence to know the causes does not help, being aware of the source does not ease the wounds. Nonetheless, it has become an object of interest of recent, and maybe I can shed some kind of light on it, and promote some understanding.

Abuse, neglect and childhood trauma have caused my own emotional frailty and instability. This makes being turned down into rejection, and rejection into a total refusal of recognition, something that I have been desperately seeking to make up for the void. And this void is deeper than most, and darker than most.

Women must be empowered to make their own decisions, and men cannot feel entitled to women’s bodies. It must be the case that all sexuality is consensual and non-coercive, which in turn means that the dynamic of proposition > acceptance / refusal is a necessity. People have a right to say no, and they do not need a reason to do so.

This means men need to face the fact that rejection is a necessary part of a just social dynamic. But this is not just an intellectual exercise. It requires being able to cope with rejection, which broken masculinities cannot do so well. Not whilst they are unsupported, disenfranchised, humiliated. Not whilst we live in a patriarchal society, which we sadly still do.

The standards set by society are subconscious projections of what we should be, ideals cast out by an emergent conflux of minds over history. The lion glorifies its roar, the bird glorifies flight, the fish glorifies its reflexes – those who project most powerful society’s values are those who can succeed at them (in subconscious bias) Being expected to be able to form relationships for instance, requires a certain emotional grounding and stability. Those without deep wounding and mental illness can form relationships more easily, and cannot understand what all the fuss is about when people fall short.

These expectations and pressures cause one wound to multiply into two – the first wound is the initial neglect and abuse, the second wound is the inability to live up to societal expectations. As a man this is exceptionally humiliating, as we are socialized to be proud and powerful creatures, strong and capable, rational and in control of our emotions. Such ambitions defy reality, that men are animals like any other. Nonetheless, the charade continues, the broken are left humiliated and enraged.

I have seen panel shows discussing broken masculinities, where enabled, entitled men gave advice to the tune of: ‘go shower, brush your teeth and socialize more’. For five minutes or more they spewed cliché after cliché, celebrating their own success and putting down others, self-righteous middle-American wanktards. These banal panellists were clearly people without significant mental turmoil, without inferiority complexes, without the deep psychological suffering which comes from alienation, abuse and humiliation. This makes their lame jokes an abuse of some of the most afflicted members of society, a demonstration of patriarchy at its worst. Powerful and enabled men who do not see the privilege which sustains them, men who are protected by civil society from the rage they help to create.

Broken masculinity is a real problem. This is not just a reflection on the inability for men to be ‘breadwinners’, a fallen pride of old. This is much deeper. This is about society’s denial of the black pit, the dark hole in the cellar, the demons spawned by seemingly innocent expectations. We live in a society where abusers are protected, where familial morality is afraid to speak of the abuse, neglect and trauma which happens in the home. Justice is not done, abuse is not answered for. The afflicted have no escape valve, they are pressed down and do not understand why, they must live in the constant shadow of their own inferiority, compared to people constantly flaunting their ‘wealth, freedom and happiness’. As the powerful patriarchal humiliator is protected by civil society, the rage is randomly unleashed in violence against those perceived as lesser, or turned upon the self leading to depression and suicide. Violence is rife is society, it is just hidden, a deep taboo.

It is a powder keg waiting to go off.

When the deep psychological wounding and isolation of men meets the misogyny of our culture, things start to get dangerous. I believe however that most dangerous is the psychological abyss, and that ideology and politics alone cannot triumph. I need only look at myself for a reminder that no amount of progressive politics and ‘enlightenment’ can make up for the sheer chaos of trauma and mental unwellness. The void is deeper in me than most people that I know, from this darkness it does not look like there is a way out of it (maybe this is the depression talking, maybe it is a truth I have live with for the rest of my life). I know intellectually what is right and just, being that moral person is extremely hard, the emotional turbulence keeps leaving me fucked.

I am a ghost, I do not truly exist. People see through me, ignore me. I have no fundamental being, no grounding or stability. I have no history, no future and a harsh present. I hear all these people talking about ‘egolessness’ through meditation – do they know what they are talking about? Do they also want to be dust on the inside, waiting to collapse into a deeper nothingness? I think they are just trying to escape their lives for a bit, I don’t think they want to be ghosts. Unloved I am made unlovable, I must have but I do not feel worthy of being given. I want to give, but no one wants what is given in desperation; my love is worth nothing. Disenfranchised, irrelevant, unstable, voiceless, sub-human – there is no advocacy for broken men, no real equivalent of feminism or black civil rights. Can one be formed without devolving into hatred, misogyny and patriarchy? Unable to cope in the free competition of society, unable to enjoy the freedom of material liberty, sexual liberation, freedom to forge an identity, constantly told I need to, that it is there for me – FUCK OFF. Every day is a searching for consolation, until the final day comes, then at last I can find peace.

There are no villains when broken men do fucked-up things to others, violence and carnage and callous taking of life. It is a tragedy every time, the deeply hurt being abandoned by something even more callous; white, middle-class, capitalist, patriarchal society, with no recourse but the ultimate self-destruction. By the time he pulls the trigger there is nothing left of him.

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The need for Exorcism

I often hear ‘we are all one, we are all connected‘ as some kind of optimistic mantra. I believe it to be true, it is the fundamental truth of the cosmos. But it is not exactly optimistic.

If we are all connected, then what I am is partly what my culture is. I have no choice in the matter; what is out there is in here. It is quite evident to me, one who has always been an outcast, a ‘failure’ and even an exile from society that things out there are unhealthy, dangerous and stained with generations of evil. But we are all connected – those things that I oppose are absorbed into me.

The values of an abusive family, of hierarchy and entitlement, violent masculinity and battered femininity – I don’t want it engrained in me, but here it is thirty years on. The values of a shallow, materialistic, sex-obsessed culture which prizes competition and possession over the continued existence of life on earth – it is shallow and vapid but I judge and loathe myself according to its shitty values. Even on a smaller scale the pathetic contest of friends or acquaintances for social power and acceptance – I feel like I need to somehow be involved, and that such things are right. But I know these things are wrong and horrid, but they are not mine to choose. They are there inside, lurking like demons. Even a stone can absorb what it is surrounded by, so imagine how vulnerable we creatures of flesh are.

This is why self-knowledge is so essential; if we can find where something comes from, we can achieve some awareness of it and reduce its power. But I do not believe we can achieve much alone, nor even with the help of an enlightened witness or therapist. It is a cultural exorcism that is needed – the worst values of humanity need to be extracted from us and scorched in cleansing flame. We do not need the mass-violence and mass-death that is awaiting us, we just need to be cleansed on the inside, such that the worst demons no longer even register as a possibility, or at least are so reduced as to be impotent.

This is not about inciting guilt in certain categories of people. It is about the ends – getting rid of all this fucking shit, and exorcizing it into the flames of history.

At this stage of my life, I do not believe we can ever be truly free from evil, we will always be scarred by the past; haunted by dreams, bad memories and associations. I may live out my years broken with no real chance of salvation, no matter what I try to do – I just do not know. Yet what we can do for certain is cleanse society of evil for the next generation – they are the ones who have a chance of true freedom. This is not to say we should live only for them and neglect ourselves. It is to say that we have the power to give them much better lives than we had, and this should be one of our first priorities.

Our all being connected is not, of course, a negative thing. It is our reason for being and its realization the only way to divert the capitalist leviathan from its destructive onslaught of nature. Being connected also means feeling the love and joy of others, the satisfaction and comfort, and our being open and sensitive to others is ultimately worth it. I merely wish to expound upon how vulnerable we are to what we do not believe in.

The self is much deeper than what you say you are.

Mental illness is a weapon of Power

Power does not like dissidents. Theresa Mays do not like activists and artists, idealists and innovators. Theresa Mays like power. Power needs a way to neutralize dissidents, and in the West this cannot be done with brute force so openly. So power instead uses despair, depression, anxiety as a weapon. Power lets the ghettos it creates do the dirty work. The human cost is immense, their hands appear clean.

Theresa Mays do not want you to be well of mind. These fucked-up soulless people want the well we drink from to be poisoned. It is not enough that their souls are spent in moral underachievement, they must pass on their spiritual disease to everyone else.

You might think that the more the system pushes down the more people will rise up, but this is utterly false. Disempowered, depressed, downhearted people will not strive for change. The riots we saw in London earlier in the decade were a childish lashing out of despair – they were not a rising up for change. Most of the oppressed will take out their anger on whoever is around them, within the cages of the estates they are forced to live on, within the abusive families they are forced to grow up in (I can tell you all about this one for sure), within the broken social systems they are surrounded by. It is people who are well of mind, confident, educated, intelligent, with their heads above the noxious smoke of capitalism who have the power to instigate change.

So the Theresa Mays want  you to be as fucked up and hopeless as possible, hooked on a cocktail of drugs and false hope to cope. You need only be capable of following orders, expending yourself on productivity, waging wars and turning a blind eye to injustice. What happens after your time in the office matters nothing, by then you are useless to them. What happens after you have ticked a box and cast your bullshit vote for some disconnected twat is immaterial to them. None of this requires you to be emotionally healthy, to follow the simple creed ‘know thyself’. We live in a cynical machine.

And a cynical person is an obedient one. They don’t believe change is possible, they will tow the line however much they intuitively know it is wrong. A despairing person is immobile, an anxious person easily controlled and desperate.

Depression is not treated by the system, it is overruled by it. Medication is prescribed, the sad soul is deemed to be a case of ‘chemical imbalance’ or individual malaise, rather than what it really is: a psycho-logical reaction to an entropic system which is destroying itself, disconnecting people from nature, a war against the imagination.

Power may not be the direct cause of mental illness in every case, but it will use it to its advantage in every case. There is no real treatment available for depression and anxiety for a very good reason. Your sadness is their growth and your despair is their hope. The system wants you to destroy yourself – either in service to it, or in the alienation  that comes from struggling against it. The system is inimical to life, beneficial only to a tiny minority. Forget about relativism and atheism and nihilism and all of this weak-hearted  bullshit – we are facing evil. There is evil in this world, something undeniably malign and insane. The worst slave morality known to mankind, where the slaves themselves will keep the wheels turning because to stop is to face a stark reality. And some people would rather die, or see everyone else slowly killed, than do that.

I can try to take a more balanced view of things, write in a more nuanced fashion. The system still provides some free support, it has not completely decayed from the days when you had half-decent housing and a NHS which seemed to give a shit. CBT for instance is still available to everyone, at least in a limited way. You can get some good from this mental training, even if it is poised toward the interests of evil. But the fact remains that this discipline does not serve to make healthy people; it is still a warped intention. It strives to make stoic, obedient drones who know not themselves, still caught in the hive, still lacking in imagination! How can the system which encourages mental illness possibly attempt to heal you?

There is not much nuance to it – the Theresa Mays want you by the balls or dying a slow death.

 

Pressing the reset button on depression

After many weeks of being in a downward, depressive slump, the reset button was very recently pushed!

It is an invaluable, nifty little button that, and it gets better. It was my own action, my own agency and choice which pressed it.

I was feeling trapped, repeating the same week over and over again. Seeking fulfilment in the familiar, in places that when I stand back and look at them, are not really so good for me.

But taking on the aspect of a harlequin and a jester, I organized a show which helped turn all that, brought many talented folk to the stage, and left me with a sense of euphoria and achievement, surrounded by the closest possible friends.

Depression reset!

I have often read about how magic mushrooms and MDMA and the like can have this effect. Well who needs them! No high is going to come close to a successful performance, for this combines mastery built up over years with the fulfilment of my own narrative.

This is very good news indeed. All of my other ‘resets’ hitherto had been seasonal, something almost arcane. This was more direct.

I may not have the power to determine all my circumstances. And I may not have the power to completely react to those circumstances. But within this complex formula of self and destiny, I can at least make choices and carve out a place in the world such that the worst of depression and indignity can be blasted away for a time.

And sometimes a breathing space is all you need.

Know thyself

They want you to deny what is true.

They want you to turn away from what is happening inside your very self.

They want you to heal their wounds and fill the black hole of their souls…

It is no mystery to me where self-destructive energies originate from. The pornography and the drugs and the listless consumption, the social competition and the striving for impossible goals. It is only a mystery to one who dares not to know themselves.

Life is filled with wounds and they can only be healed with acknowledgement. They must be brought out from the depths and overcome with the aid of enlightened witnesses. The work must be done to rid us of their chains before we can move forward.

Yet the great illusions of society; halo-wearing authority and idealized family, protects abusers and wrongdoers and humiliators, forces us to be silent.

Wounds are caused, atrocities committed, but they cannot be spoken of. They must be swallowed down by the sufferer, carried like a great burdening stone so that an abusive tyrant can have his warped rule and his illusion of conscience.

It is a pointless arrangement, no one wins. The tyrant, filled with unacknowledged wounds, is a black hole which swallows all love and encouragement. Until one decides to look within, they are hopeless.

There are those in this world who have elected to be only the mask that they wear. Such people, the ultimate cowards of the human soul, have turned away from their true inner selves. Not only this, these blind would lead those with sight; their way will poison the well for everyone else, and drag all that is good down to their gutter-level. They can do nothing else.

From such wretchedness spring the cruelties of the world we see, the destruction of nature, the wars between nations, consumerist nihilism, the lust to dominate and enslave and abuse and abuse and abuse and abuse and abuse.

These things might be called ‘human nature’ by those who dare not seek the better explanation. They may seem inexplicable to fools who do not even know what lies inside the cavity of their own bodies, such is their ignorance.

Someone who doesn’t even strive to know the very mind they experience the world through, what can they know? Someone blind to their own dreams and their own creative will. What can they say that is of any worth to anyone?

It is no easier to face the world from a place of ignorance. The wraiths of the soul haunt everyone who is scarred, in dreams and extreme emotions. Ignorance is no bliss, but to be reduced to a bovine state, to cage oneself and lash out for the lack of self-knowledge or understanding whenever dark emotions bubble.

The philosophy of mindfulness can feed into this ignorance. To believe you can be a creature of the present is nothing if not naivety. Whilst mindfulness provides useful tools for coping in a hostile capitalist world, it does not answer the question of how to heal our wounded souls, and provides the unreachable vista of ‘living in the present’ to further make us feel like we are falling short of Buddha-like enlightenment. Self-knowledge can only be achieved through the understanding of human beings as total beings – of past, present and future in conflux around our minds. There is no escaping the inner depths, no enlightenment from it, no ultimate control of what occurs down there.

The subconscious root-mind has to claw at us for us to hear, and drag us into its dark domain where we cleave to light and life. Perhaps not everyone gets that call with the same potency. But what happens to human responsibility if knowing the very essence of ourselves is something outside of our control?

You may not be able to dive to the depths whenever you please, but you can have the gate ready to open when the blackness inside calls, to accept the dark passages of our wounded souls and venture into it shield raised and heart steeled when the time is right. There might even be allies near us who can help us in this difficult quest.

All the people who live for illusion, those live-for-nothings, have a chance to accept the truth that they are wounded, that there are no gods on this earth, and that we must take final responsibility for our souls before the end of our days. However destroyed our mental state, however unfair our circumstances and however unsupported we may be, we can strive to be true to ourselves. There are no excuses.

I have often written about the burden of the Sinbearer – one who is hurt by an authority and forced to be silent, to carry that weight. It is a burden which always crushes and destroys, and which serves no purpose.

Here is the truth of the matter – it is you, or him.

Will you speak the truth of his wretchedness, unbind yourself with your own will to freedom and daring, or will you self-destroy in primal acts of repressed rage and frustration, addiction and self-harm?

I know much of this has been rather black and white, good and evil – this is acknowledged. But I believe it is ultimately true, that evil is as real as anything else in the world around you. There is never a time where to be blind to oneself can lead to anything but destruction, and our dying world is proof of this. This is evil itself, the supreme ignorance and supreme indignity upon oneself.

Nature contains suffering and predatory behaviour – it is inevitable that we will suffer somewhat. It is also filled with beauty and a will to live and exert tremendous power on the gaian world which birthed us. In human beings we can largely control the darkness and be Whole together, our will to power can create incredible art and music, our souls can rise to become gentle stewards of our part of the world, creating edens of nature and technology.

This is if we want such a world – we certainly have the potential. And to want such a world, which we could begin to make tomorrow, we must first acknowledge the pain that is inside us all – to liberate ourselves from the rule of the tortured and the insane.

This cannot be done through the power of love and forgiveness alone, though it is a potent force. Thus we must struggle to the last of our strength to acknowledge our will to power, rise up and be seen, heard and understood. To not do so is to live in wretchedness, so what do you have to lose?

The consumerist spray of chemical roses

An entire sense is being denied. An entire sphere of experience, something so utterly primal and fundamental, is being drowned out. It is another thing being killed by consumer society. and this thing is scent.

Consumerism has reached into the lives and habits of the ordinary people, and sold to them ‘freshness’ in a pressurized spray can full of toxic chemicals, or a colourful bottle of fabric conditioner.

It has even colonized the shitter, because now you can buy a spray to protect that small lake of water from the occasion of human effluence.

I remember as far back as Secondary School people being publicly put on trial by inquisition and humiliated for not having a bath every single day. One of the worst insults going was that someone had the scent of a human being. It took till adulthood to realize how these conforming kids were being influenced by the sick, anxious society around them.

Consumerist hygiene is not about basic cleanliness – it is about feeding on anxiety and promoting what is artificial to people who are trained to be insecure and overly self-analytical. It is about the creation of artificial needs through its control of custom.

If you are trying to run away from the realities of your own body, you are not going to get very far.

It is not only a shame that something artificial is seen as good, but that what is truly good is seldom experienced. Scent is an entire language, one that is being denied and underdeveloped by homogeneity.

It is not a trivial matter, we are being made less sensate. People will never know what it means to have developed scent-senses. They will never know that even their own comfort is at stake, as they are constantly surrounded by artificial chemicals, rather than what is natural. Worse they will impose their anxieties on others by social law.

Chemical roses and chemical blooms, clothes covered in poisons to be washed into the seas, a planet poisoned for the vanities and stupidities of a species which seems to be doing all it can to promote misanthropy and self-destruction.

What could be more idiotic and futile than trying to mask what you truly are?

Noticing the change of days

There was a cold snap in late February, a late come winter. A Siberian wind brought snow and brought cold, real cold.

By some mysterious working on my being, it was the end of the worst of my insomnia. The cold made bedtime so much easier, so much safer and more snug. I felt like a bug in a coccoon!

The cold brought a certain crystal clarity. It meant a bit of planning brought to the day, an extra consciousness and mindfulness. It was hard to endure, but clearly it led to some kind of shift.

I didn’t write much through March, April or May because I was too busy being a spring bud! The Spring and the sun does something to me, as I am sure it does many. It awakens something.

I have never been more aware of the presence of real-life forests faeries – known to the common tongue as blackbirds. I have never been so attuned to them, playful and silly and beautiful of song.

My energy levels have increased significantly. I feel like I can go out a lot more. Being able to sleep properly most nights is fantastic. The sun rising at 4am means night is not so deep, and much less scary. I don’t mind waking so early, as long as I can sleep again til a more sensible time.

Noticing the change of days. I longed for the sun and now it is here, must not take it for granted.

I remember the first proper day of sun, when Britons emerged from their shells and turned the high street outside my house into a catwalk! It was so showy as to be terrifying. Now it has toned down a bit.

Summer is that time when there is too much to do, and only enough time to do half of it. If that. We have to live with that and not be buried beneath the anxiety of ‘missing out’.

Being able to volunteer-work three days a week in organic gardens is doing me a wonder. To be useful and loved for it is such an important thing, something a life of unemployment and inactivity in the shadows of capitalism denied me for so long.

The will to fight those shadows did not increase the darker they got; its only with daily small victories and growth that anything can mustered against it.

There he goes again, bringing the c-word into things! But its true, isn’t it? Nothing of human artifice can match the dance of a thrush and its song. Nothing we make or do can replace that deep inner-shift of the seasons, or the joy that comes after our long, deep winter time.

The sun is out, and its my new ‘therapist’, for now! I feel now is a time for outward growth and advance, the truly deep introspection can wait til November.

It is amazing how obviously false individualism is, and all this talk of ‘control’ over our souls. We are creatures of the world and the sun, it has never seemed so obvious. Change our conditions, and you change our souls.

The change of days is as close as we can come to transcendence. Today I note it.

A person of colour…

The equality of species is the cry of the enlightened

They see the web on interconnection that allows us to exist

And that oneness is what is sacred.

The difference between a man and a horse

Shrinks the more you think about it

Realize where we came from

What we all need

And what we will evolve into.

 

If the difference between species is no gulf

Then what of the differences within a species.

This I believe to be truth…

 

 

You can believe that there is ultimately no such thing as race.

You can see the world through universal eyes.

You can believe that everything you have done

Is your own deed, without privilege or oppression.

You can believe that we are all one

And that it is time to move past archaic divisions.

 

That won’t make it come true

Because the great white sharks in charge have the power

To poison the well for everyone

And they do.

 

You can say you are not black or white or brown

Just a soul in a body

But will your oppressors see you that way?

And will racists be so enlightened?

And is it in your interests to relinquish your collective might at this point in history?

 

It is ok to see through the madness of the game power plays

But still play it, because that is how you survive.

 

 

 

Imagine you were offered a pill…

Imagine you were offered a pill. Upon swallowing that small, white, round thing, you would cease to feel any of the symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders.

No more insomnia, no more panic, no more suicidal thoughts, no more angst, no more awkwardness, no more feeling isolated, no more feeling like an alien, no more despair.

All of these things would vanish in a matter of minutes, and they would never return. The rate of relapse would be 0%, the pill was that perfect.

Would you take it?

If you have, then you may have just destroyed a large part of yourself in one fell swoop. Seeking a purely medical solution to a spiritual problem, you would have abnegated responsibility to discover yourself, betrayed your soul in a Faustian pact.

Imagine the power it would give the manufacturers of such pills, to dominate others in such a way. Surrendering to them, you would be free from one terrible affliction but, as the saying goes, out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Depression and anxiety can get in the way of ‘life’, but then, what is this life and why should we live it in this way? Insomnia can ruin a work routine, but why would the deepest part of yourself commit such self sabotage? Could it be that the routine itself is the problem, more so than the insomnia?

I see my mental health problems as a quest, an immense riddle, one that cannot be easily sidestepped or shut down. It is useful to sometimes be free from it, distracted or medicated in extreme situations, but only as a break from it, not a total transcendence. As much as I have been on my knees and begged Mephistopheles to take away the anxiety, the vulnerability, the despair, I don’t really mean it.

These dark feelings and deep shadows are there for a reason. If they were not, they would not be there. If you have any degree of sensitivity, you will look upon the world and feel as much of its despair as you do its joy. We are in a troubled time, politically, ecologically, economically, spiritually, you name it. Our systems are failing, and many of us are clinging on to them to the bitter end, for, to use another cliché, better the devil you know.

But there are those of us who, at the very core of our souls, feel absolute revulsion for these broken systems and the price they are exacting on humanity and the world of beasts and plants. This albatross around our necks (there he goes again!) is a necessary one, and is in fact the only real hope of change.

Imagine you were reading a novel, a fantastical one where a hero must overcome herself, confront her deepest demons and strive to discover what is truly inside herself. She may never fully triumph, never fully reach some ‘enlightenment’ or god of healing, but the journey she makes, the heroism of her character,  the artfulness of her life, all of these things are inseparable from her. If the hero of the tale simply popped a pill and lost all motivation or drive to self-discovery, then what a terrible tale that would make. It would be trumpeting complacency as the highest virtue.

Complacency is the curse of civilization, for all complacent civilizations are swift to collapse into decadence. The shadow that stalks us, forcing us to evolve, to get better – this is what drives change.

The pill of all-healing would return us to complacency, and thus to the destruction of our true selves. Such ‘light’ cannot exist in our grey world without doing immense harm to the chaotic, beautiful balance we live in. Already people hide from their emotions by wearing the masks of capitalism and individualism. The price the world is paying for this is immense.

I live in my own shadow, a much taller and more powerful version of myself, and I would not magick that looming power away for anything, or anyone.

There is no pill that can take away all of our problems. But there is a change of perception and paradigm we can all make – to see depression and darkness as a sign that something is wrong out there, and thus drive us, when our energy returns to us, to change it.

 

Rethinking despair

I am someone who periodically goes though short periods of despair. In these dark moments, I feel hopeless, lost, dependent and incapable. The anxiety is high, insomnia is almost inevitable, there are sometimes thoughts of self-harm, and lots of self-loathing. The way out seems distant, and the light at the other side is no comfort in these horrible moments.

These are uncomfortable and painful feelings. They really make life feel like it is a burden to live. But I am starting to rethink despair.

Despair is not nice, but I feel it can be a drive to positive change. The feelings of hopelessness, whilst unproductive and destructive, do have the flip side of forcing re-evaluation.

We learn through failure. Strength is rising when you fall. Being proven wrong is a necessity to finding what is right.

In order to be a truly ethical and good person, we must evolve and change; for this is the way of nature. This means we need the openness to be challenged, and sometimes to be proven wrong. Being able to lose battles, it seems, is as important to winning them.

Imagine an unconquerable will, that overthrows an oppressor and takes power. What will happen when this all-powerful, immovable force stays in power for too long? What good would that do the people?

I do not advocate feeling despair, at all! It is not exactly a choice. And it is not exactly nic. There are certainly better ways I can go about having the modesty to re-evaluate my life. But despair has been an effective way of doing so thus far; a heavy price to pay for necessary change.

I know that high expectations and a need for instant results feed despair like nothing else. Its very easy to feel like you have failed when ‘not being there yet’ leads to feeling like a total failure. My challenge is to change my pace, accept that I am not there yet, progress slowly, and be patient.

This way I need never feel self-induced despair again, and can change and evolve in a healthier way. Nonetheless, those heavy days of despair were intense bringers of change, they showed my courage in continuing on through it, and I do not feel regret toward such dark  emotions.

Since Sunday I was feeling a strong sense of despair. It ended today. I do not feel exactly great, or stable, but I have made some re-evaluations, gained some courage, and change my ways according. For all the hardship and indignity, I feel again that I will get somewhere better, slowly but inevitably.