Welcome to my World

Where else can you get a really good look at a train wreck of emotional dysfunction
and not be right in the middle of the thing?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sisyphus Lives

Hoo boy, another crappy day at work as I desperately try to put one foot in front of the other under the crushing weight of my depression.  (Being a powerless, underappreciated wage slave doesn't help.)  At least I didn't drink last night and reset the clock once again.

But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
{Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus"}

Monday, August 25, 2014

Temptation, Frustration

So bad it makes him cry...
{The Police, "Don't Stand So Close To Me"}

In spite of my best intentions, last night I let myself get over tired again, resulting in an unproductive day and a powerful desire to drink.  Just yesterday I was thinking about how I didn't want to keep going on this exhausting emotional roller coaster of binging and sobering.  But still I wanted to drink so bad this afternoon, to squeeze just a little bit of pleasure out of my evening.  To not worry about anything, including getting to sleep, which often feels like dying to me.

So it's all come back round to
Breaking apart again
Breaking apart like I'm made up of glass again
Making it up behind my back again
Holding my breath for the fear of sleep again
{The Cure, "Disintegration"}

When you have the brain of an addict, you binge on anything that gives you pleasure (e.g. booze, drugs, sex, video games, TV shows, etc.).  You're loathe to stop because you're so scared—with a blind, unreasoning panic—that you will never find anything enjoyable or engaging again, that the misery you're so familiar with will be your permanent lot in life.  This is why the most successful recovering addicts are those who are able to fill that void with some other positive thing and see the horizon beyond the pit of their emotions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Magical Thinking


I have a superstitious dread of making positive changes and plans for the future.  I'm trying to chart the course of my weight loss and dig myself out financially, but I'm hindered by the fact that I fear some unspecified calamity will happen if I plan ahead.  A pervasive fear of things that might happen—horrible scenarios that could possibly play out—haunts my mind, especially when I'm trying to make beneficial changes, and derails my efforts to better myself.  I'm also afraid and suspicious of being happy because that's when something bad happens in books and movies and because of memories from my own experiences that have had an impact way out of context.  Apparently I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Worshipping at the Altar of Consumerism

Like a good American, I did give my life a lift out of the doldrums by making a big-ticket purchase.  (On credit, I might add.)  I bought a shiny new laptop.  My old computer is only three years old, but some of the keys are wearing out.  And its lagging behind in the high-powered specs needed to play PC video game, including the video game I'm eagerly awaiting to give meaning to my life.  In my defense, I did get an amazing deal on a machine that can hold its own against other models $500 or more.  I also got 12-month no-interest financing, so I've devised an aggressive budget to pay for the thing.

Personal Roundup

I'm in a weird place with my sobriety (16 days and counting), though one I've been in many times before.  I've recovered enough to give a shit about getting myself organized, but not enough to have any energy to actually do anything about it.  So I have all of these notes to myself and piles of half-started projects strewn about my apartment.

My anger issues aren't much improved, either.  I'm still working myself up into a rage over stupid, pointless stuff (which is everything).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And Miss Lonelyheart's Pen


For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
{Coldplay, "Viva La Vida"}

Man, I got all weepy listening to Coldplay on the drive into work this morning:  the predictable result of chemical dependency and less than two weeks of sobriety.  How much longer before I cast aside all reason once again and try to drown my feelings in alcohol?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Prepping My Future Failures

I'm going through the mental and physical effects of acute alcohol withdrawal yet again.  I'm trying to stay strong.  I'm trying to get my life on the right course.  But I've been trying to do so for the last thirty years.  Failure has left an indelible stain upon my existence.  Perhaps failure is all I will ever know, and trying and failing is the proper course of my life after all.

Thought For the Day

Misery.  There is nothing but misery.  Joy is an illusion...an aberration.  Misery is the natural state—and the end state—of consciousness.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yo-Yo'd Back Again


Cock a snoot, loop the loop, hock the hula-hoop
But now it yo-yo'd back again
{ABC, "The Power of Persuasion"}

Oh, how I'm paying for my sins!  One minute everything's fine and I'm even feeling a little hopeful.  The next moment I've dropped over a cliff of depression and despair.  Now matter how early I go to bed, I'm exhausted all day but still have to smile and produce and justify my time.  Just a casual reading of this blog demonstrates how my life is an endless cycle of hope and failure, effort and frustrated ambition.  Am I doomed to grind my wheels until life grinds me down into oblivion as I beg only for release?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Taste of Pleasure

Well, I've been drinking again, adding to the steaming pile of failure that is my life.  I had to have some dental work this past Tuesday, and I was given nitrous during the procedure.  While I'm glad that there's something to help manage my anxiety, the taste of anxiolytic euphoria set my mind abuzz, and not only did I resolve to fall off the wagon, but I also decided to steal narcotics from my parents' home for an orgy of pleasure.  I think the experience of certain pleasures triggers me (and addicts in general) to crave further pleasure, to keep pressing the lever until we starve to death.  Fortunately, after my head cleared, I came to my senses and didn't carry out my plans.  I'd been having so many close calls with falling off the wagon over the past week and a half.  Each time I was tempted, drinking again didn't seem like a big deal.  But I was always so thankful for resisting the next day.

Then came two shitty, shitty days at work where I busted my ass (for eleven straight hours on Wednesday) only to be criticized and called unprofessional for requesting half a day of comp time for all the extra hours I had to put in to get done what had to be done.  In the cosmic scheme of things, I've never actually had a bad day, but the more grievous suffering of others does nothing to ameliorate my own challenges.  Just making it through my day when things are going well is a constant struggle.  I'd had enough, and I drank Thursday and Friday and Saturday.  Which brings me to where I am now, two days sober.

The Will Towards Death

It seems, then, that an instinct is an urge inherent in organic life to restore an earlier state of things which the living entity has been obliged to abandon under the pressure of external disturbing forces; that is, it is a kind of organic elasticity, or, to put it another way, the expression of the inertia inherent in organic life.
{Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle}
I just don't know how long I can go on like this, trying to build a life on a foundation of nothing.  I don't believe I have the strength to navigate the barren desert of self-improvement needed to reach the promised land of a more actualized existence.  So do I surrender to being an irrelevant drunk as I've done before?  Do I kill myself as I've tried before?  Do I try to go on some kind of disability, which brings with it a whole host of challenge and problems since there is rarely help for those who need it?  I simply do not know.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Matter of Character

Am I really as kind and sympathetic and patient as is essential to my self-esteem?  Or am I just pathologically afraid of conflict?

I have a genuine empathy and desire to help, and yet I also have a pathological need to be liked and a fundamental belief in the futility of argument.  Is the path of least resistance I generally adopt with others the result of a heightened awareness of interpersonal dynamics and existential detachment, self-absorbed disdain or simple fear?

Usually Find It

I had another random realization yesterday:  When I was in my 20's, "going out and looking for trouble" meant getting drunk and hooking up with a one-night (or shorter) stand.  Now it means trolling the grocery store for a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Thought for the Day

People are never more dangerous than when they think they have everything figured out.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Head in the Sand

I have decided to switch my internet home page at home and at work from Yahoo! to Google for the time being.  I'm doing this to take a hiatus from the news stories Yahoo! displays and to stop obsessing over all the issues I worry about.  Homosexuality in particular is quite topical—and obviously quite important to me as a gay man—as LGBT rights struggle to find their place in American and global society, but I'm worn out over the back and forth in the news and commentary.  (And God forbid I read the comments on gay news item!)  I have thousands of articles and links to articles saved on my computer so that I can read them more closely and "process" them, and sometimes I stay awake late at night just scrolling down the Yahoo! face page and clicking on (and often saving) article after article.  It's all just too overwhelming and weighs me down with anxiety and negativity.

I know this sounds like first world apathy and deliberately putting my head in the sand.  But I'm not going to be at my best for quite a while, so I need to limit my external stimuli and focus on getting my life into a stronger, more stable place.  One of my therapists taught me that I can't help anyone when I'm not emotionally secure and leveled-out, and I can't personally do much about the major problems seen in the news.  I try to live as green and as simply as practicable, and I have a cause that I champion.  Information overload is actually quite a common problem in the internet age.  Dear Abby recently wrote a column about it.  Maybe someday in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to get current once again.  Then perhaps I can comment on issues of the day in this blog, instead of exclusively focusing on my struggles with sobriety and psychopathology.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

After the Fourth

My depression kept me in bed until 3 p.m. today.  But I finally got myself up and made it out to exercise.  I was feeling quite low on the walk to the gym.  Depression is like a prison for your mind, a lockbox around your head...You sincerely believe that you will never feel better or ever feel any pleasure in anything.  I'm trying to give up caffeine this long weekend, so that probably isn't helping matters.  My outlook did brighten after thirty minutes of cardio, and I also weighed myself.  I've managed to get back under 250 pounds.  Granted, I'm like 249 and seven-eighths and a half, but dammit, I'm under 250 pounds!
I had a very nice Fourth of July yesterday, which was fortuitous since I was keen to fall off the wagon Thursday night and Friday afternoon.  I finished helping my mother with a project on the computer.  Afterwards, my parents took me out for lunch, and we then went to my apartment.  My father helped me install a window air conditioner in my bedroom (that my mother bought me) while my mother took it upon herself to tidy up my place.  (So yes, I am quite spoiled.)   That evening, I went out to an Independence Day festival at a local park with my two friends and their three children to hang out and watch fireworks.
Insult to Injury
As you can see, my parents are very good to me and always have been.  I realize how lucky I am to have grown up in an intact home where I was loved and to have benefitted from a thousand other blessings in my life.  However, it also makes me feel quite guilty because I'm generally an unhappy person.  I feel as if my moods are an affront to my good fortune or, at least, that said blessings would be better going to someone who might appreciate them more.  I mean, I do appreciate everything I've been given in life, and I do make an intense—and exhausting—effort to rise above my biochemical handicaps.  So I really can't do anymore about the ugly mess that is my psyche, but I still feel overwhelming guilt all the same.