The Swallow of Sadness


I am not a happy person, or hardly ever.  Much of my outlook is bleak, especially for myself.  No matter how hard one tries at something, they usually offer some sort of failure.  Even the greatest successes are surrounded by innumerable false starts, and abandoned projects, and the broken promises that often intervene.  But I am not here to whine, and it certainly isn’t my nature to offer encouragement, or a story about how I overcame misery.  Because I can’t.  Because I am still here, being swallowed by ethereal sadness.


I can’t really pinpoint why this comes and goes with such overwhelming passion, this despair.  I don’t have a bad life.  But I keep getting frustrated and irrationally angry.  I hear things and see things and sometimes those voices and visions try to convince me of things beyond my ability to know.  And of course this sounds crazy–it is crazy, and believe me, I have talked with doctors about it.  And I am fully aware that it’s nonsense, that it is chemical imbalances or a panic attack, or any of the other psychiatric explanations for irrational thinking, but none of this changes the fact that these problems continue.


Writing seems to be my best therapy, working out of troubles that are otherwise overwhelming.  My thoughts are hardly violent in the real world–no plots or plans or even wishes against people I despise.  But in the writing everything is one form of apocalypse or another, whether personal or universal.  Even many of the pieces here (outside of these occasional journal entries) are about the collapse of some form or portion of the world, about the devolution of civilization and civilized behavior.  And I see all of this going according to my ideas, in the real world, and I find it frightening.  I do not believe I am causing it, or anything else, but such prognostication of my once gleefully horrible thinking is what is causing such strange voices and visions and ideas.  I am not religious, a vocal critic of all organized religions (yet I am not so presumptuous to dismiss the concept of a sort of universal center sparking the wonder of life–I might not believe in it, but would be willing to take my lumps should I prove to be wrong about something that can never be proven), and it is very confusing that my insanity can mix in these clearly religious ideas into a nervous suggestion of prophecy.  I have great interest in the development of belief throughout all human history.  It is probably the most significant social influence on society over the past 4000+ years.  Before that, at the dawn of imagination, a lone creature stuck its head out of its cave at sunrise, unhappy as always, and thought to itself there has to be something more.


This joylessness I suffer–a pain that isn’t and most of the time shouldn’t be taken as an illness, is a plague nevertheless.  It seems like there is a lack of control over such thinking.  The words roll over and roll off in a stream-of-consciousness (my standard method, followed by usually deep editing–Recording Editorial History has sometimes published sloppy first drafts as I moved along to something else), vomiting out any thought.  This is how many of us think in the age of social media, thinking ahead while still involved with something else.  It is why we’ve lost so much meaning.  It is how we have all become so divided, this random self-direction, this self-absorbed manner of walking in the street while texting, bumping into someone and blaming them for interrupting you.  This is our attitude and I suppose I find it depressing.  It hits deeply.


In the end I see the reason why I sometimes get this way, these crazy, manic episodes.  It is because I see the world so harshly, and too many times the world proves my visions true.

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