from the next thing I’ve got to do***
I am in the process of watching a friend of mine melt down. If you ever want to learn about powerlessness, then watch someone you care about melt down emotionally and mentally slowly. It is one thing to watch someone fall apart, but yet another to watch someone slowly disintegrate. My friend has been sober a long time. They keep finding himself in this place of nothing changing in their life. Lately they’ve had ideas of suicide.
The fates lead those who will, drag those who won’t.[i] I have an idea that my friend is unwilling, or as the painter just informed me, incapable of going to that place inside. I can’t even describe it, that place inside, by any sort of adjective or any other form, because I don’t think you can describe the deep-seated emotional conflicts that persist below the level our consciousness in any way to make sense out of them.
They are unknowable, unspeakable, and cannot be dealt with with the brain or mind.
Like as I have said before, I don’t blame anyone for not going into that abyss I went into. It cost me many things on the outside.
So as I am sitting here watching my friend try to hold on to whatever it is that they are trying to hold on, it causes me to reflect on my own journey.
Depression is the inability to construct a future.[ii] I have to be honest and I don’t know what my future holds for me as far as what I am going to do for work, etc. But what I do know is that I get so much reward out of helping my fellow sufferers that I cant perceive myself doing anything different than where my path is taking me.
My buddy however only sees the bleakness we are limited to seeing when we are in the middle of our depression. When “it”** is dominant, in incubates us in the despair, hopelessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, uselessness that it knows so well.
“Logic doesn’t overcome pain.”[iii] They keep trying to revert back to logic, i.e. berating themself for not being able to function in the world. It is so wicked to hear those voices just pummeling a wonderful person. They cant stop them, I cant, you cant. Only one can, and when I am in the middle of that abyss, it is not the default position I go to for the most part.
“It something like jogging ten laps on a track, where I run ten miles and end up exactly where I started, only tired.” [iv] Whenever I see my friend they are exhausted. In the mornings, the afternoons and even in the evenings.
The physical toll the emotional struggle with my Ggod Damn Demon takes is enormous at times. Sometimes the struggle is so much on the inside that it leaves me exhausted before I ever get out of bed. That is tired!!
[i] Joseph Campbell [ii] Rollo May [iii] Claudia J. Strauss [iv] Jim Ralston, The Choice of Emptiness.** See an earlier post, “The Root of “It””***my friend Jerry
Better to seek forgiveness than permission!