I’m Not Depressed, I’m Just Bored

I really can’t make such a sweeping statement and get away with it, I know. But there is a truth to this in any case.

I’m a thinker. People have all too often told me I “think too much”. And I’ve all too often taken this as an indication that I’m doing something wrong. It would make sense that way, because my habit of thinking constantly about everything has given me countless sleepless nights and endless days of rumination and its resulting misery. I kept thinking something must be wrong with me, that people were right about my overthinking. But now I think that everyone else is just underthinking. Ignorance is bliss after all.

I can’t stop thinking because, Jesus, how can you, when there’s a universe of unexplored intellectual territory? My problem is not that I think too much. My problem is that I get overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information that I am constantly taking in and processing. Because of this, I have more often than not just avoided thinking altogether by dulling my mind with substances and television shows. That was a godawful spiral if I ever knew one.

Sedating the thinker in me didn’t make it go away. In fact it made me even more restless, and bored with everything and everyone that came my way. Often there was some novelty, but it wore off quickly because I’d dulled my mind too much for it to enact its natural process of excitedly exploring the new stimuli it encountered.

It went from everything being interesting to everything being boring. And some huge part of me broke down badly because it knew this was not natural for me, this was not who I was. The thing I loved most about myself, the thing I found interesting about myself, was incapacitated, so of course I was bored. I was bored with myself.

It took a while of being sober before I remembered who I was again. And boy, I cannot tell you how exhilarating it felt when I realized I was back. My mind, like a hyper child, once again pursuing knowledge and information, inspired by discovery and exploration again.

Everything became interesting again. And the thinker is back. A couple of weeks ago I did regress because I made the mistake of isolating myself too early in my recovery. And I found myself unwittingly bored again. So it’s not surprising that I broke down the way I did. But I bounced back surprisingly quickly and dramatically too. And that in itself is interesting to me. Delving into my own behaviour and thinking, the cause and effect of what went wrong those weeks. I’m analyzing it now, where not long ago I would have conveniently avoided and ignored it, only to repeat the same loop over and over indefinitely.

The biggest factor in my recovery prior to and after my short visit to hell a couple of weeks ago has been the return of my intellect, the thing I prided myself in most all my life. My constant thinking, I am now able to channel and guide into avenues that are of profound importance and use to me and to those around me, and though there’s a long way to go before I can optimize this process and stabilize it, I’m back. I’m back and better than ever.

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Dice (9/6/18)

I think I met the Devil today.

He asked me if I’d like to play.

“At what?” I asked, just playing it cool.

“A game,” he said, you ignorant fool!

“Okay, let’s play, but what’s the stake?”

He didn’t expect the stand I’d take.

“Your friend,” he answered with a smile.

“And you your throne and favorite child.”

“That seems fair,” he laughed at me.

And as we sat, he conjured coffee.

I scowled at this, and he knew why.

But on I played without a sigh.

And so we played a game of chance.

Which felt to me more like a dance.

“Three rounds,” he said, “and nothing more.

A pair of three will earn you score.”

First round, I threw, snake eyes, no good.

He cackled then and up he stood.

He crouched low down and shook the dice.

And forth they fell, of course — three twice.

Next I rolled a pair of threes.

“My girl,” he cried, “you’ll win with these!”

He rolled again, this time he lost.

The next round, one of us, would cost.

“Let’s roll together, my lady dear,

Since you so dared to face your fear.”

We each each took two, and down four fell.

Now one or two are still in hell?

Undone

There used to be this great big tangle in my head. Like those old Christmas lights you’d just rather replace than try to unravel. I avoided trying to untangle that mess most of the time, and, even those times that I did try, I would just hastily tug and pull from here and there and somehow make it worse in the end… And then just dump it back in the old box until next year.

And when push came to too much of a shove, I was determined that, this time, this time I’d unravel it all and decorate that goddamned tree. And this time, slowly and surely, I did unravel. I did such an amazing job of this unravelling process that, forget everyone else’s surprise, I was shocked out of my wits.

As time went by, and the unravelling neared its end, I found broken lights, frayed and rat-eaten wires, and I didn’t think I could repair it myself. And without even trying, I asked for help, having forgotten that, all this time, I had done this whole careful unravelling myself in the first place.

And when I asked, everyone told me a multitude of different and conflicting ways to fix this or that. Some even tried, and failed, to fix it all themselves. And because they couldn’t, I thought I couldn’t.

And I gave up again.

And I bunched it all up, not even bothering to wrap it carefully around something so that it would stay untangled, and just shoved it back in the box for the next year.

Well. It’s next year.

Here goes. Just me this time.

Should I use duct tape?

No, I probably need electrical tape.

Yeah that’s it.

What else do I need.

Let’s see now…

Grace

No one can walk the line between sanity and insanity with grace. And yet something in us all never stops us from trying. That thin line, where genius and ability is oft to be found, is the umbilical cord between life and death.

As we walk, we stumble, slip, and many of us never get back on again. Many of us choose to walk alongside the line, either comfortably and unremarkably, or in total isolation from reality and what it means to truly live.

And many of us cut short the cord, choosing not to travel the length of the tightrope from birth to the six-foot drop at the other end.

But for the rest of us, some small voice we often forget we have constantly tells us to keep walking. Get back up and keep walking.

We lose our balance from time to time, wobble. We strain our muscles in an effort to stay stable. We perspire and tear as we inch along. But eventually, we figure out how to just get by.

And with madness and inertia ever licking at our heels, ever competing to seize and engulf us forever, we gently continue our quest for grace.

It Was the Little Things

It was the little things…

The way she looked at him when he talked about profound philosophical ideas. He was always so animated and impassioned, and she was always moved by this. There was a light in his eyes when he launched into one of his wild, wondrous discourses or tirades (“triades,” he called them). She knew this light well, for it mirrored her own, and this insatiable thirst for knowledge and discovery that she herself had felt all her life, she had never seen matched by any other before. In fact, she’d never known anyone to even recognize at all this light in her eyes.

It was the way she smiled while he talked like this. He thought she was being smug, but the truth was that she was reveling in the pleasure of the affection and fondness she had for him, which she could never show. She was always smiling to herself because the person she was seeing before her had warmed her frozen heart, helping her mend the broken pieces. She smiled because she was appreciating and marveling at his brilliance.

It was the way she would be walking and talking with him on the street, and when crossing the road, she’d put her arm out in front of him to stop him from stepping into the path of a speeding car. This happened too often to count, as the absent minded boy would always be too busy chattering away about Steve Jobs’s philosophy or hyperthermia to look both ways properly.

It was the way she lifted him up when he was down, sometimes in the subtlest ways, sometimes with a lot more heaving and hauling. It was the way she reinforced the things he didn’t know he needed validation for. She was loyal to a fault. Even though they owed each other nothing.

It was the way she did not merely tolerate how difficult he was. She, in fact, took great pleasure in this. She loved how arrogant and self-centered and difficult he was as a person. She had always felt that some people had a right to be that way. She had always taken pride in one thing about herself and that was her intelligence. And she would not pretend to be humble about this. She would say to people, “It’s not narcissistic if it’s true.” And this was how she felt about him too.

It was the way she saw in him more potential than even he, as perceptive as he was, could see in himself. She had a gift for identifying the extraordinary. And her great desire in life was to enable and facilitate it. She had a way of helping him identify the patterns and connect the dots inside his own mind and character. And she encouraged him to pursue promising trains of thought when inspiration struck. At first she would do this by strategically asking questions to challenge and develop his ideas. Soon it became a matter of seeing the seeds of an idea germinating, and she would directly prompt him to write and explore and develop. This was how she loved him. She loved him so intensely, that when the occasion called for it, she would even throw a metaphorical punch or two to ground him or to challenge him to build from the chaos that had reared its ugly head.

It was the way she let it slide when he broke promises to her, or when he didn’t pay attention to something she said or asked. Or when he dismissed her or ignored important things she would try to talk about. She didn’t complain or show her pain when he ditched her at a gig or the movie she’d gotten them tickets for. She didn’t hold anything against him for long. She didn’t berate him like the girlfriend that she was not and never would be. She didn’t give him the silent treatment or snap or become passive aggressive. She didn’t fight with him, no matter how hurt she felt when he said or did something that broke her heart. She couldn’t bear the thought of making him feel guilty, because she knew he owed her nothing. She could bear even less the thought of him feeling no guilt at all. And she certainly didn’t want him to think she was still trying to win his affection. Because the truth was, she had decidedly let go of him. She loved him too much not to let him go.

It was the way she paid attention. To the things he said, the things he did. To the person he was and was becoming. She paid such close attention to him that in the subtlest of changes to his interaction with her, she sensed an ending was just ahead of them. She knew. Before he ever said a word about it. And she told him this. Her instincts had told her to thank him for the friend he’d been to her, for inspiring her and having faith in her when everyone else had given up, for helping her see for herself who she was and what she was worth, and she told him she would never forget that. She said she hoped he wouldn’t either. She said that when they would have to go their separate ways, which she got the sense was a fork in the road that they were about to reach, for once, parting ways would not be quite the sorrow it tends to be.

The truth was indeed that she had let go of him. She wasn’t over him, no. She just loved him too much to be selfish and cling. She wanted him to be happy. Even if it wasn’t with her. He would be the last leaf to fall from her Tree of Life. And she was okay with that. Because seeing him happy and having played some role, however minute, in his progress was its own reward. So, when she sensed that the time was near, she set out to find for him the perfect parting gift. The one and only thought she had was a notebook. It was just… so him. She wrote a note on it before she left it for him to find when he got home one night. She said that she wanted him to remember that she was always in his corner. That she was always his second biggest fan (second only to his mother, of course). She asked him to remember her for loving the extraordinary, incredible, and difficult man that he was.

And that was all.

It was the little things she did. That he would never know.

The Lover and the Beloved

What is it about love that makes you want to become a better version of yourself?

Whether love broke your heart, or it lifted you to higher ground. Somehow, if circumstances are just so, love can inspire you to evolve.

I’ve had both.

I’ve had my heart broken by love, deep, powerful, intense love, and it sparked in me an unstoppable mission of self-actualization.

And I’ve had love uplift me to heights I’d never known existed.

Or rather, it jolted me awake and reminded me that not only was I unfathomably potent, but also that committing to a path of constant personal development was, despite all past evidence and patterns, worth the effort.

And this, regardless of any promise of love requited.

True love, felt for an other, begins with true love felt for one’s self.

This sort of love for self has dual effects:

First, true love for self is apparent to others; thus it will inspire others to love themselves, and, later, others, truly.

Second, love for self opens wider the eyes of the self so that it sees in others a mirror, of sorts, and, thus, this love for self extends beyond the self, to the others.

This love for others is not conditional.

And thus, it needs no requiting.

It is its own reward.

Never more so than when the reflections in others, the fruits of your unconditional love, become evident to you.

This is an unparalleled challenge:

It is a constant struggle to stay so true to self that love can be inherent in all thought, action, and interaction.

But with each moment it pulls through, each time a battle is won, this sense of self and awareness branches out wider, it takes route deeper.

The lover and the beloved become brighter.

And a dark sky becomes filled with the light of billions of twinkling stars.

Beacons shining to guide home the lost and the weary.