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Wrote this in 2013 in what was, to this day, my lowest point. Was finally able to read it for the first time since and type it up (unfortunately because of how relevant it's become again, not because I'm so much better and beyond it). Posting here for posterity.

Warning: This is the closest thing to a suicide note I have ever written. It's not a very happy read, so don't feel compelled to continue.

06/08/2013
I’m tired of living. I feel bad all the time and, like anyone with depression, I don’t see a future for myself. Not because I am in some funk, but because I have years of experience to back me up. The stuff that drives people day to day, that gives them the ability to cope with life as it happens, I don’t seem to have that. Every small bit of stress is like a cataclysm to me. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to tell some stranger everything just so they can misunderstand me and interrupt me (“I’m sorry but we’re out of time”) and then bill me for services they think they offered. I don’t want to talk about it to someone I know and burden them with worry.
I cry when I think about doing it. I cry when I imagine writing my goodbyes. I’m crying writing these words. I cry when I think of the hurt and pain and confusion I’d cause people as they spend the rest of their lives asking, “Why?” That has stayed my hand so far. I don’t want to live but I’m held hostage by concern for other people’s feelings. I have this battle between my will to die and my fear of hurting others (and perhaps a small remaining will to live). They’re like two tectonic plates and my crying is the earthquake as they grind against each other. Only one is diving below the other, and my will to die is growing stronger.
For awhile things were looking good. I was looking at my future with an open mind. It was refreshing. It felt good, and it felt alien. I’m not used to feeling optimistic for that long (about two weeks). Except as I looked at each possible career path, I had to cross them off. Nobody is hiring; you need at least five years experience; there is a 2-3 year waiting list.
I got a job. I didn’t even make it three days. How can someone who can’t handle the present look forward to the future? I’m no good at this living thing. You have to be able to handle stress and I can’t do that. I broke down for an hour when my dad got on me for doing a poor job with the weed eater. He wasn’t mean about it. He was trying to help. He was also right. To get along in life you need to do certain things. You need to finish what you start and you need to do your best job at it. Simple things. I don’t have that. I forget. I get distracted. I make stupid mistakes and let others down. I cause them to have to fix my mistakes, to take up my slack. You can’t get ahead like that. My future, then, is like my past: long periods of unemployment punctuated by poor employment, jobs I quit before I’m fired, a life of being a burden to others, this friend or that family member, but still and always a burden. Tell me how you’d feel if that was your life.
Of course people will go, “Oh no burden, we love you.” Love holds them hostage to me, and in deference to that love I’m held hostage to life. But I don’t want to hold any hostages, and the hurt is getting stronger. Every tear weakens the shackles.
I used to say that I didn’t want to die, but something was trying to kill me with my own hand. That’s depression. I’m not sure that is the story anymore. My will to live is a lot weaker and my desire to die is a lot stronger. Cowardice held me back before, but I’m not so afraid anymore.
I don’t want people to walk on egg shells or to think, “Oh god, he did it because I said x.” That’s now how this works. My problem is not that nobody cares or someone said something mean. My problem is I hate myself, who I am, what I’ve become. I’m no good at living and I don’t want to do it anymore. It’s like I’m waiting for some excuse. Some quiet, subtle confirmation that now is the right time. Some impetus to finish the job this decade-plus long depression started.
I figure I have until the tears stop. Then I’ll be out of excuses. Then it can end.

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They say that time travel doesn’t exist. Pfft. Tell that to the procrastinators. Their whole lives are lived in the future. It’s a precarious mix between the negative of “My life sucks [now]” and an optimistic “Things are going to be great [some day]!” Sometimes I think that, for some of us, we live our lives so far in the future that we’ll die before ever living them.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. Just kidding. It sucks [now] but I’m sure it will be great [some day].

Well, at any rate, I hope it was... or is....or will be a good life.
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August 9, 2010
4:15PM

Yesterday after work I drove out of the parking lot and there was a man with a cardboard sign by the side of the road. He had a pack and a grizzled look. I wasn’t sure if he needed money or a ride. I could part with money—I had enough in my wallet—but was not willing to give him a ride. I’m sure that I could have found out which by reading his sign, but I didn’t want to look over there. I didn’t want him to see me “showing interest” and then have an expectation just to have me look away (in case he needed a ride) as if shamed. I was shamed. The light was red. There were no cars behind me. It was just a glance, but that was more than I was willing to give.
As I drove down the road I began to remember all those religious injunctions about helping the wayfarer. Well who the hell was this man, if not that? I almost turned around, but I didn’t. My fear of that confrontation was too much. I wanted to cry.

God forgive me.

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Anytime I think of writing a journal entry I can’t think of anything specific to write which undermines, in my mind, the point of writing. If you have no ideas, then what is there to write about? Anything else is just faking it and feels so pointless. But that is the wrong way to look at it. What I need to do is put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard. Damn the torpedoes, I don’t actually need something to say to go on about it. And really, the point of a journal isn’t to write something amazing each day, it’s to write something each day. To have daily writing established as a habit. Maybe I’ll ramble. Maybe I’ll draft interesting articles and plan my future. Maybe I’ll drool on myself. In any case, I’ll still be writing.
Right now I’m in a write stories mood, but as per usual that interest doesn’t translate into any actual writing. I don’t know what story to work on in any moment, and any I consider just seem too big for that moment. Like many, I dream of writing some epic novel, but I need to focus on just writing. Ray Bradbury's advice is to write a short story a week. After one year you’ll have 52 stories. It’s impossible for them all to suck. And suck or not, along the way you’ll have written tons of stories. You’ll have the writing habit, you’ll have that writing experience.
I, of course, don’t have enough story ideas to write one a week, but creativity is a muscle. Good ideas aren’t something to be saved for that perfect moment. Let them loose. The more you set free, the more your mind will think up. I’ve learned this again recently with Twitter. I marvel at some accounts and how witty they can be, but I also notice the more I post, the more I reply, the more things I think up. I have exercised that muscle, and little by little it gets stronger.
I do have several stories that I like enough to be full books, so “demoting” them to short stories always seemed so wrong. J.K. Rowling didn’t come out and wow the world with a collection of short stories. She came out with Harry Potter. And who doesn’t want to be one of those authors who seem to appear out of nowhere with a book that sells millions—never mind all this authors who first spent decades writing short stories—and captures the imagination of the world. Ahh to dream. But it’s silly to seriously consider coming out of nowhere with one first real writing and have it magically become a smashing success. It’s silly to imagine writing something so good that it should even be a smashing success if you don’t have any real experience with writing.

I used to write poems in verse. Songless song lyrics I called them. I wrote them because they were short, and I could commit to finishing one without having to sign the next 6 months of my life away. Small bites; chew thoroughly before swallowing. I should do that with stories. And never mind choosing which should be a short stories and which should be ‘saved’ for a novel. All should be written as short stories. If some turn out really well, there’s nothing stopping me from expanding on them or rewriting later—and I’ll have a good foundation to build upon in the “rough draft” of the short story. If some don’t pan out, I still will have gained the practice and experience in writing them.
Basically, in quantity vs quality, I always chose quality, so essentially I waited around for some magic lightening bolt to hit me and I would suddenly spew forth greatness. So I put off quantity. All of it. Zero quantity has zero quality. Last year I learned that “talent” in drawing is less some inherent gift given at birth and more the marriage of technique and practice. I have no inherent talent to draw, but learned I could draw things I never would have dreamed of being able to before. It needs to be the same with writing—something I do have at least some in inherent gift for. I can build on that if I just do it. Quantity is my weak spot. If I take care of that, quality will take care of itself.

I had no expectations for this entry when I started. I had no ideas of what to write about, just a rare urge to “oh what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.” I am happy with how it has turned out, both in composition and purpose: I was able to put ideas down without rambling too much and in the process I organized old thoughts, conjured up new ones, and gave myself more clarity here at the end than I had at the beginning.
And that should be the point in writing these entries.

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2 Punk Rockers or Play a lick ♫
Things have been going well, lately. Very well. I got my residency sorted out at school (that was a big issue) and am now scheduled for summer classes. And it sounds like, according to the guidance counselors, that virtually all my transfer pre-reqs will be accepted. I could be done with my AA by end of spring semester next year. They’re still processing financial aid forms so I haven’t gotten the ‘offer’ yet.
A few weeks ago I saw a short video by some navy admiral talking about the importance of making your bed. In the military they really focus on that, and it sounds soo stupid. But he then explained how, when you make your bed, you start your day with something productive, and that productivity can carry you through your day. And if you have a stressful day, you get to come home to a made bed. I have never been one to make my bed. But ever since then I’ve made my bed every day and also open the curtains to let natural light in. I find I feel more like being productive with natural light (my usual lamp light set up has me feeling more relaxed). I’ve found an unforeseen ‘side effect’ in that I’ve kept my room a lot cleaner. Basically, it’s really hard to have a dirty room when you have a made bed, so I’d end up picking up or organizing a thing or two here and there each day. And now, using the ‘touch it once’ philosophy, I’ve even kept a clean desk.
It sounds really dumb, but the simple things sometimes carry you the furthest. I’ve started studying Japanese, too. Really.. just because it interests me. It’s not really relevant to my life or particularly useful for me, but it’s where my current interest is, so I decided to go along with that and make the best of it. German would be better and Spanish better still, but I’m not as interested in those, and since interest is all I’m basing it on, I’m going on that. A few times I’ve told myself, “Bahh, this is stupid. I’ll never use it.” But I’m still carrying on, basically because I kind of want to finish what I start—or at least push it to a higher level than I have in the past. I’d love to be bilingual, and which language doesn’t really matter. Though it is interesting that the most useful one (Spanish) interests me the least.
I go through phases in life where for a week or three I’ll feel happy/productive/interested, and then it fades and I find myself back in the usual listless rut I’ve established. I’ve found myself several times already slipping back to that, but so far have been able to notice it and re-focus myself. I don’t know how long this phase will last and I’m not really concerning myself with it. I’m just making the best of it while I can, one day at a time. And I’m feeling pretty jazzed about going back to school.
I've also started an online math course to refresh my knowledge about that. I'll have to take an entrance exam so they'll know where to place me, and the higher I score the fewer remedial courses I'll have to take, which equates to less time and less money spent. There's a few other courses I've been looking at too that I'm thinking of going through to prepare me for those classes.

Sometimes I write really good entries, and sometimes I write like a high school freshman in remedial English. This appears to be the latter.

Current Music: "On hold" music from the IRS

7 Punk Rockers or Play a lick ♫
Well the fog returned and I spent the last few days being basically useless. My social anxiety has gotten worse. It’s to the point where if I even hear voices out in the living room I don’t want to come out of my room lest I have to say hello. Yesterday my aunt’s son-in-law came over with his girlfriend and her kid. Even though it was like 8:45PM and I hadn’t eaten all day I still hid in my room, not daring to venture out until about 40 minutes after I couldn’t hear their voices anymore.
Today while I was sleeping I got a call back from a part-time job I had applied for. The prospect of calling them back had my nerves strung tight. I spent the rest of the day in bed with the covers pulled snug and shivering. My hope is I can call back tomorrow, that maybe my system will have by then adjusted to the idea. I can tell myself that I’ve got nothing to lose. If it goes bad and I don’t get the job then I’m still in the same boat. If I do nothing that is what will happen anyway, so I might as well give it a shot.
But the mind, my mind, doesn’t work like that. I do have something to lose. I don’t fear not getting the job, I fear going in there and having this authority figure see right through me and say how worthless I am. He doesn’t even have to say it. A simple incredulous look on his face that seems to say, “You thought that you’re qualified for this? for anything?” would be enough.
For me, human interaction is a performance, one where I have to put on my human costume and fool the world into thinking I am a real human being. Social anxiety is my stage fright and I worry I’ll be laughed off stage at any moment. I don’t fear not getting the job, I fear having all my feelings of loathing and self-doubt confirmed by someone else.
While in bed I couldn’t help but think about the fruitlessness of it all. That getting a job, going back to school, that making something of my life was just too much work and I didn’t know if I was up for it. That’s when it dawned on me that my depression was back. Depression isn’t just, “I feel sad.” Depression is when the fundamentals of logic shift inside, and all the stupid rationalizations for ending your life that would have anyone else shaking their head (or throwing up) suddenly make sense. That thought is only horrifying if you’re healthy. If you’re depressed... modus ponens.

I’m really glad I’m back on my meds. And at least I now know that if I go off them it will return. I’ll stay on them forever if I have to. I started writing this because it made me feel better before, and with ~3 weeks left before these pills are supposed to take effect, I need the help. If my social anxiety precludes me from talking to anyone else, then at least I can have a conversation with myself. And so far—this time, at least—it seems to be working.
1 Punk Rocker or Play a lick ♫
Youtube is what they promised us when they first cut the strings, unwrapped the box and unveiled the world wide web to a dial-up, DOS world. It’s where you go to learn about damn near anything. Back in Kentucky, when my brake pads were worn, I’d go to my car friend and watch him do them. Sometimes he’d let me help: I’d hand him a hammer or a C-clamp. Good job.
A couple years later my brakes needed changing again, as well as some more complicated work to replace the brake piston, or the shoe, or the caliper... I didn’t even know what the pieces were called. But I didn’t have my car friend for to use: I left him 2000 miles in the past. Damn.
But I DID have Youtube :fangirl!: A few searches and there I found them: several videos of people doing various brake jobs on similar makes and models to my car. It took me seven hours to do the one hour job, but dammit I DID it. I was a mess of grease and oil, brake fluid and rust, but it felt good to be dirty from doing well.
My biggest problem with Youtube is the commenters. I don’t know what it is, but Youtube commenters seem to be the worst, stupidest most racist of any website that doesn’t directly cater to idiots and racists. I watched some police pursuit videos recently, and if the criminal happened to be white, comments would be about police methods or commentary about that specific chase. If the criminal was black, then nigger nigger nigger! PROOF that those monkeys are inferior! Ugh.
Now if I can just watch some ganglion cyst removal videos then I’ll be ready to operate on myself.

I'm feelin': chipper chipper
Current Music: Hozier

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My mind has cleared ever since I wrote the other day. My mood has been better and I've been able to focus more. I've even been less tired. Yesterday (well, technically this morning) I marveled at how late it was, yet I wasn't tired. Usually I'm tired all the damn time. I went to bed because I felt I should, but even then almost got back up. When my alarm went off today I wok eup right away and hopped out of bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Good.
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As with many, many of the ideas that I have come to me in bed shortly before falling asleep (shortly being relative: it takes me ages to fall asleep). And as with many, by the time morning comes my ideas have been forgotten or my resolve has dissolved.
So it was the other night when, lying there, I quite randomly decided that shaving my head would be a neat idea. It wasn’t out of any depressive or destructive train of thought, I just randomly thought it would be cool and for the first time felt that maybe I could handle whatever self-image/everybody’s looking at me issues that it might stir up. It was a liberating thought.
But I was sleep, and I was in bed, and I knew that many a midnight impulse melts away in the morning light. And so it was with this—to an extent. I still have it as an idea worth considering, it just needs enough consideration. Lots of it. Over the course of time. Lots of time, maybe.

Cool story, bro. Main character goes to bed, fall asleep. Nothing happens. The end.

Actually, it sounds cooler like that.

I'm feelin': happy happy
Current Music: Elton John - Original Sin

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I thought about writing some observations on the big D (not that, you pervert). I was thinking it could be a journal entry, maybe even an article! Or maybe I just liked how the ink looked on the page and was happy that my mind, for one day at least, was clear enough to thoughts into words for at least a little while.


The plight of the depressed, aside from depression itself, is the continually being misunderstood by those who cannot accept that others are not as happy as they. “Turn that frown upside down,” they tell us, friends and therapists alike. “Just think happy thoughts,” like the solution to our problems is a simple formula and golly, I didn’t know it was so easy. But our problem isn’t simply that we’re not happy—people with depression can feel happy, at times. Our problem is the elephant in the room, it’s depression, this disease that makes living so painfully difficult that not living starts to look like a good replacement. So maybe I can explain it, at least a little.

In our best times we lie through our smiles. We can “turn that frown upside down” but it’s only to please others. It looks good on the outside, but inside we’re still frowning. We can “think happy thoughts” but there’s no joy in them. We’re not fooled. You cannot lie yourself to happiness, but you can lie to others to appease them. And so we do, because it’s easier than explaining and watching their eyes glaze over from being sick of hearing it again or listening to the superficial sounding platitudes of someone who doesn’t understand.
In our worst times we collapse and watch helplessly as the fragile dikes we built with the last of our hopefulness crumble and panic and despair flood in. If we cannot hide you will finally see how we really feel. This is when we cannot lie anymore; we cannot flip the frown because our whole world has flipped on us. Here the tears come to even the most resolute of us. In our desperation we look for any way out. Not all of us make it. The persistent Choice demands to be made; always there, an escape, and many survive only through hasty, desperate excuses or bald cowardice.
And every day is the struggle to keep from falling apart. It takes so much just to live. Life is exhausting when you have to find a reason for every breath, and every breath it’s harder to find another reason.

I can only speak from my own experiences. Every person is an individual, so not all symptoms are the same and no cure is universal. But that is, to some degree, what it is like to have depression. So please pardon us if it sounds like we’re making excuses. Sometimes they’re all we have.

I'm feelin': accomplished accomplished
Current Music: Birdy

1 Punk Rocker or Play a lick ♫
Looking back on my younger self and... I don’t really like me very much. I’ve often mused that I was probably my best during my senior year of high school. I had a boost in confidence (thank you puberty) and just felt great. Yet at the same time I remember chatting online with a girl I went to school with and, of course, turning the talk sexual. I’d ask her a bunch of personal questions and have a a prepared set of rationalizations for if and when she objected to one of them.
”Have you ever done X? Did you and your ex ever do Y? Did you like it? Heyy, come on, it’s just a question. I don’t ask anything I’m not also willing to answer.” What a creep. And this to someone I had to face in class.
But that’s not the bad part. The bad part is I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I never felt awkward around her because hello! Exaggerated sense of self-importance! My stupid justifications weren’t just bullshit to elicit jerk-off fodder (though they were that, too). I believed them. I never saw myself as doing anything wrong. I was too stupid to feel ashamed. What a creep.
Looking back on my earlier journal entries, though, I’m kind of impressed. Sure, a some of it is stupid stuff I can chalk up to being young and dumb, and that exaggerated sense of self-importance is still there, but there’s some touching stuff, too. I don’t like me very much, but others have. Women have fallen in love with me—every one of them a better person than I am. Looking back I remember the feelings I had (most dark) but I can also see the glimmer. Every post is the hopefulness inside me wanting to get out. I can see there was a beautiful person inside, chained up and weighed down, but existing, at least. I can be a witty, snarky bastard. My experience in online communities (well, in Second Life, anyway) has shown me that when you remove the 360° presence of reality and can communicate through text, I’m a fast thinker and fast talker and extroverted as all get-out. So there exists somewhere inside this burnt and beaten shell a human being that, with a little help, can still make something of life.

tl;dr: I botched life but I could have been beautiful. And perhaps I still can.

(Thanks EB)
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[This post is another downer. Sorry folks, I'm a broken record over here. I'm not doing it to get attention or gain sympathy but to archive and organize my thoughts. I'm not active in communities here anymore so it feels safer to "let it all hang out," as it were.]

I just realized that I don’t feel things like I used to. I don't feel. I used to have various moods and emotions; good and bad, magical and nostalgic. Earlier I had some music playing and it made me feel nostalgic, but only for a moment, then the moment passed though the song kept playing. And that has been my life lately: Devoid of feeling, devoid of emotions except one: regret. When I do feel it’s from when I’m looking back...

My 20s, for all their problems, were a magical time. I was young, felt smart. I had a lot of the problems then as I do now (though I didn’t understand it quite as much then), but they hadn’t take such root yet. I’d often feel quixotic (you can find that mood in earlier entries), like serendipity was in the air so thick you could cut it with the dull knife of an overused cliché. I’d have bad times though, and listless times, frustrated times. I’d feel all sorts of things. But now...

Now when I look back I feel regret at all the wasted time and forgotten dreams of my lost decade—and my seeming utter inability to do anything about it. Many of my days are spent listlessly, without feeling or ambition in life. I just exist in a fog of self-doubt feeling all the more worthless for the pointlessly existing. I often like to look at life events from the perspective of years later... in the distant future when things are good and I’m remembering the bad times... oh how hard it was, "But it made me who I am today, and for all their negativity those bad times are a part of me."
Bull-hockey. I don’t feel that now. I can’t look at this as some story where this is some period of character development, or some stage God puts me through to become a better person, because I’m stuck here like this because of my own inability to make it better. I suck because I suck and it sucks but that’s it, so suck it.

I know this all sounds really dark, but it’s not depression, at least not how I used to have it. That was much much worse. This though, it isn’t so much that it’s bad just that... that I’m nothing. My life is on hold, my soul is in stasis. And it’s been like this for a long time now. I moved across the country to live with a support network (relatives) so I could deal with my depression. Only people with depression aren’t the most gung-ho of people, so it took me a whole year to do anything about it, and only then because my dad made me. But that’s been almost two years ago now, and here I still am; no worse, no better, nowhere.
I’ve been off my anti-depression medication for a few months. After moving to my Aunt’s last November I never transferred my prescription (inaction is easier than action, apparently people who used to have depression aren’t so gung-ho about GTD, either). I have been wondering if my slowly deteriorating emotional state is because of that. I am trapped in my woes due to a state of constant inaction. The Depression Demon isn’t back but good god am I fucked up.
Anyway, I had a doctor appointment last Friday and got back on the pills, same as before. They take about a month to kick in, so we’ll see. I’m also waiting to hear back about making an appointment for a pysch eval. The doctor asked me if I had anything else, like bipolar disorder, as that could affect what medication I should be taking. I don’t her I’m not diagnosed with anything, but only because I’ve never been to a doctor to be diagnosed (no insurance, no money, lack of gung-ho, etc). But I have plenty of problems and whether they are caused by depression or occurred concurrently along side it, they’re still here and they’re making it hard to function as a real human being. I'd like to get all this stuff figured out. I sure as hell can't do it by myself.
Since moving to my aunt’s I’ve barely left my room. I’m a borderline agoraphobic. The world fucking scares me and I can barely leave to buy groceries or mail something at the post office. I had a job interview a few weeks ago. They called me to schedule a time the next day and when I got off the phone I nearly had a panic attack. Or maybe I did have one, as I ended up in bed and in tears and feeling like the world was closing in. I’m a damn invalid.

I know the “answer” is to put one foot in front of the other, to take baby steps until I can take full steps. To, as people would say, “Pull myself up by the boot straps and get on with life.”
People are full of shit. If the answer was as simple as that, then it wouldn’t ever be a problem. You don’t tell someone with a broken leg to “just walk it off” because that would be ridiculous. So it is with this. “Just get over it” “Think happy thoughts” and “Just be more social” are all mental/emotional illness equivalents of “just walk it off.” As if saying it made it so.

So that was kind of a rant tacked onto a woe-is-me spiel. I should probably end with something positive and touching that wraps all this together, but I’ve never been good with poignant endings. I just sort of awkwardly stop and yeah. But I wanted to write this to organize my thoughts, even though my short-term memory is so bad that I forgot two of every three thoughts I had organized. I didn’t go into detail about my various mental/emotional problems or a bunch of other things because my hand is tired and is beginning to cramp. Asshole.
But writing has helped. I was lying in bed thinking this stuff over, but too sleepy in spite of my insomnia to do anything about it. Lamenting my lack of feeling, I made a little du’a and, you know what? Suddenly I felt the energy to get up, turn a light on, grab a little sketch book and my fountain pen (which writes my chicken scratch beautifully on the drawing paper) and get to writing—and still have enough energy to then type it all out.

Okay, here’s something good. I discovered a new band (new to me) the other day. They’re called Tangerine (link). They’re an indie band from Seattle. I first heard their song "Feel The Same”(link) and just fell in love with them. I’ve had one of their songs stuck in my head nearly this entire ti—alright alright, you shitty fucking hand, I’ll stop. It’s about time for Fajr anyway.

Salaam~

Current Music: It's all in your mind

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I’m living with my aunt now. I moved here back in... October or November. I was going to go to school in the fall but that fell through and then I procrastinated and missed the winter term (I don’t know how funding would have been anyway). So now... Spring? I haven’t felt very productive or proactive the last couple weeks, which is partially why I’m writing this. I need to be productive. I look back over the years of repetitive nothings. The same day in and day out of nothing on top of nothing. For too long my goal hope in life was to make enough money (preferably through some lucky huge payday) to be able to afford to sit at home and do nothing. I have trouble working. Not physical work, but mental work. My mind can’t focus on anything for more than few minutes (if that...) and when I get a problem that requires any sort of thought (I won’t even say intense) I feel the... frustration rise and basically put my system into shut down mode. I don’t even like thinking about it, or thinking unpleasant thoughts. “Gosh I haven’t done anything in my life, maybe I should...ugh..think about something else.” I’m in a bit of a writing mood these days, so it’s like “Hey I should write one of my story ideas.” Of course it’s just a phase and will fade like every interest of mine. I was just thinking a couple weeks ago about ‘that old writing interest’ and how I didn’t care about it.
Actually it’s kind of funny. What got me thinking about it again was considering how George R. R. Martin uses an old DOS program to write his books. I’ve always been a stinker for interesting tools of the trade, and it made me want to do some writing... perhaps in the terminal. I started looking at nano and vim and emacs, then at the distraction free apps. I purchased Ommwriter awhile back but didn’t use it much. It wasn’t scratching the itch though. Too modern, too new-agey to tickle the old fashioned funny bone that got activated in me. Then I found FocusWriter: distraction free with customizable themes, typewriter sounds if you want them, the ability to set the focus to specific lines (like iA Writer) and even to set daily writing goals. Oh, and it’s free. So I paid a $10 ‘tip’ to the maker, because it’s just too good. This is the first time I’m using it. I set the theme to be something like Zenburn, with it’s blackish grey background and easy on the eyes text. Yum.

My music interest of the week (and who I am listening to now) is Lana Del Rey. I got her albums (the illegal way) Born to Die and Ultraviolence and I really like them. Actually, on the music front, I’ve decided I want to start buying all those albums I torrented over the last 10 years, at least the ones I want to keep, and dump the rest. So many albums I keep just to... have. Like it’s a status symbol so I can tell someone, “Yeah I have 4 million songs in my iTunes. I am obviously a superior specimen then you.” And I notice that when I buy the album (in a physical medium) I enjoy it more. Knowing I EARNED it makes me happier when I listen to it. A lot I’ve gone and bought on vinyl, too, so my collection of new vinyl is growing. With the resurgence of vinyl, you can buy it at Barnes & Noble and even Fred Meyer now. They don’t have big collections (Fred Meyer’s was like 6 records. I bought one) but they have it. I did the same at Costco the other day when I saw The Wire for sale, each season about $17 so I got them all. Even if I don’t watch it again (though I’m thinking I should), I watched it before after torrenting it, so I wanted to ‘get right’ and bought it for that reason. Karma, morality, whatever. I can’t buy everything right away but I can get some at a time, especially if I get a good paying job. Gosh, I feel better just talking about it, or maybe I feel better from writing this.

On writing though. I have so much to learn on stories. That’s what killed my last writing phase. I was working on a story and got to a trouble spot and felt the frustration grow and just quit. I felt it was crap. I know even the greats get that feeling but that didn’t help me at the time. People say you need to write x many words in your career before you can truly become good (or maybe it was hours... like the 10,000 hours rule). I don’t want to have to practice or work at anything. I want to have a story idea, write it and of course it will be GREAT the first time and I’ll make a ton of money and I can afford to sit at home and do nothing for a few years. Get rich quick. Perfection the first time. Yeah. The space game idea: learn to program, make the game, get rich. A -> B -> C. Turn around time, 2 years, max. Uh-huh. It’s that need for instant gratification. In reality, if I were learn to program, the space game would be the project I have on the side that I can toy with and practice what I learn on, while I learn and work on other things. Then maybe 5 years later I will be good enough, or have enough, that I can make something of it. With writing, too. I need to drop the silly idea that I can, that I HAVE to get it right the first time like I’m entitled to success, and just write for the experience of it, for the fun of it. Write a story. Maybe it will suck, who gives a shit. Write another then. If I get good later and go, “Hey one of those earlier stories I already wrote, I could do it better” then do it better. Who cares if I’m doing it again.
Heh... I looked at my epic fantasy idea, which I’ll never be able to use in its present form because I thought of it after reading LOTR for the first time, so it has too many, what’s the word, cognates? in it. Though some idea from it I could use if I could apply them in another manner. I was looking at some of the content there and it’s just awful. That’s ok though. At least I still have those old notes, because in addition to being awful, it’s also pretty detailed in some areas. There is more there than I remembered there being.
But I’m really digging Lana Del Rey. And that’s all I’m going to say today.

2:05PM
Or that’s all I was going to say then. But then and Rey don’t rhyme so well. I finished watching the Lord of the Rings extended editions. Each movie is like 4 hours long, but they didn’t so long. I like them more than the hobbit movies, which seem to have been made more for teenage boys and kids. But I tend to prefer darker and more real, and it’s a darker story in LOTR anyway. “There and back again” versus “There is no hope and we’re all going to die.” I’d kind of like to read the books again but I don’t know... I read them a second time a few years ago, and I’m not sure it’s been enough time yet (unlike A Song of Ice and Fire where if it’s been a year and a half I’m ready to go again). I started reading The Children of Húrin, but not with a lot of gusto. I left my Unfinished Tales collection in Kentucky. Oh well, there’s wiki pages nowadays anyway, and I’ve been gobbling those up.

Another day, another year, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Meanwhile I’m still growing older. A year ago I ‘settled’ on computer science/programming, but of course the interested faded. All interests fade; to the point where I don’t WANT to do them anymore. “This is a bad idea, ugh. I’d hate every minute of it for this, this, and this reason.” So I can’t pick anything, or at least not anything for more than a few weeks, maybe a month. Then I’ll have several months of not wanting anything. Yeesh. I took medication for the depression and it worked. Maybe I need something for this...this ADD or ADHD or whatever. It’s pretty serious, whatever it is. I’m not going to play that, “I’m undiagnosed with something and I’ll keep it that way!” game, like I did with depression. Sitting around fretting, “I don’t want [people to think] I just want medication like some crutch.” In the end it was just an excuse not to act. Screw that. If you have a bum leg, grab yourself a crutch. Quit limping all over the damn place and hurting yourself even more, ya cripple.
Course... I haven’t even been to the doctor to transfer my prescription stuff here, so I haven’t taken them for 2 months or so. I’m not sure but I’m thinking that maybe I can, to some degree, feel the difference. The big difference they made (after the initial euphoric period) wasn’t my day to day moods, but they kept me from getting caught in the downward spirals. So I don’t know if I’m back to the old me these two months without the meds, and I won’t really know for sure until one of those happen. In a way I guess I’d kind of like to find out. Can I quit the meds and move on? On the other hand... they’re cheap, don’t have negative side effects and is that really a gamble I want to be taking right now? My life is too much of a mess to be taking risks. Or... or maybe I have little to lose so why not risk it now? I don’t know. Probably just an excuse not to act =P I should see a doc, get this prescription transferred, and check out about the ADD/ADHD/whatever. That’s all I’m going to say about that (for now).
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Ahh, take a step back as I sacrifice more potentially productive moments at this altar of my ego.

I'm 32. I haven't done anything with my life. But at least I didn't end it.

So what's next?

Next week I have an appointment with a therapist. So depression's been licked (thanks to drugs. I'm under no illusion: stop the drugs and the vacation ends), but there's all that damage to my inner psyche. What am I to do with that? I feel like I am not fully capable of dealing with "life." I have a thin skin. I can't commit. I get upset and want to give up at the smallest provocations.

I don't remember if I mentioned it here, but I like to describe depression as a house fire. The house is your soul and depression burns away at it. You want to make changes, to improve, but you can't until you put the fire out. And putting the fire out doesn't mean, "Yay! you've one! Now you're done." It means now the work can begin.

So that's where I'm at. Standing here with this empty shell of a soul, only I don't know how to clean up all this ash. So that's where the therapy starts. I hope.
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Alright so, this is long but it's important.

I’d like to weigh in on the Pirates vs. Ninjas debate. But to appreciate my point, we need to first turn to the nature of science.

See, science works by observation. You observe something, your observations take on a certain pattern, and from that you begin to deduce certain conclusions:

“Hmm. When I touch this bright red coil on the stove, it burns me.”
“It did it again.”
“And again.”
“And again.”
“Conclusion: this bright red coil is hot and I ought not touch it. Also, I’m probably an idiot. But I ♥ science so that’s ok.”

The problem science has with God is we cannot observe God; there are no phenomena that occur in nature attributed to God that we cannot—scientifically, thanks to Occam’s razor—better attribute to something else. You know that is a true sentence because it has a semi-colon, and only smart people use semi-colons, and smart people know what they are talking about.

God made the sun? Okay, you can believe that on your faith, but scientifically it’s a big 'ole ball of hydrogen, helium and unicorn piss. We know cause that’s what we observe.

God created Man on the nth day? Okay, you can believe that on your faith. That’s okay. But... based on our observations, the best argument appears to be man evolved from some other creature (no, not monkeys). That’s what the fossil record seems to suggest.
It’s just science.

God, of course, cannot by definition be observed. God cannot even really be defined, because to define means to make finite, and finite and infinite are mutually exclusive. That’s why there’s no Proof with a capital P for the existence of God: to Prove It would disprove it, and you’re back to square one. You cannot Prove infinite exists, because you can never observe infinite. Count to infinite, and you’ll be the first person to be able to Prove the existence of God (so, so far, only Chuck Norris knows the answer to life’s Greatest Question).

Now let's see you see some guy standing on the corner. He’s just some bloke standing there. He might be a nice guy or he might be a dick, I don't care. Ask him for a buck, bum a smoke or keep on walking. Whatever.

Now if that guy were a ninja, you wouldn't see him, because if you could see him, he wouldn't be a ninja. Ninjas are, by definition, unobservable. Because they're friggen ninjas! The guy can CLAIM to be a ninja, but he could also be a damn liar. I wouldn't trust the smokes he gives you. And the dollar is probably stolen.
Sure, you might hear something behind you. You'll think you saw something in the corner of your eye. Something ends up broken. Someone ends up dead. You can attribute all this to ninjas and you can take that on faith, but scientifically the ninja has not been observed so it can't be proven. Maybe it was a ghost. Maybe it was a cat. Maybe the dead guy assassinated himself. Maybe it was a pirate.
It may have been a ninja, but you can't prove it was a ninja.

So I guess... I guess that means ninjas are God? Maybe that depends on what your religious persuasion is:

Hindu: Ninjas are Gods
Jewish/Muslim: God is a Ninja
Christian: God is a Ninja that has mastered 3 martial arts

So to the original question: Is there any doubt? Come on. Are pirates better than God(s)?

I don't think so.

I'm feelin': amused amused

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So let me see if I got this straight. Girl gets gang-raped by 4 boys. Boys brag about it to their friends, one even sends a picture of him doing it to all his friends. Slut-shaming begins. So, naturally, the cops decide to close the case due to lack of evidence. Great work there, guys. Months later the girl commits suicide.
Anonymous takes up the case. They have the suspects identified in 2 hours. Suddenly cops re-open case due to "new and credible evidence." Great work there, guys.

We scoff at all those barbarians in Pakistan and Afghanistan who cruelly murder their daughters with "honor killings." How uncivilized of them. They need to be more like the West, where we just mock and tease and shame the slut until she does it herself. We keep our hands are clean.

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I'm such a dreamer. Growing up, I was almost always lost in a dream of what life could be. As I got older, the dreams turned into fantasies of what life could have been. I used daydreams to hope, now I just use them to cope. They don't feel real to me anymore, they don't feel possible. The future that could have been has been turning into the past that might have been.

There was a time, many years ago (2002?) when I gave up on all my childhood dreams of greatness, because I realized I could not achieve them. That's when my dreams quit being plans for the future and simply became fantasies. Fake. Pretend. Instead of imagining what I could be in 10 years, I'd pretend to be someone else, or maybe myself in an alternate reality where I got things right. A favorite fantasy became me going back in time and jumping into my body as a Freshman in high school with what I know now and getting it right (and stopping my mom's death, 9/11, inventing Facebook, etc. Hey, if you're gonna time travel...).

For years I wrote off my consistent, repetitive lack of forward progress as personal laziness. Looking back now I realize there has been so much more going on. I talked with a friend a few years ago. She described some issues she had. Things like a crippling perfectionism, which gives rise to procrastination. The symptoms she described fit me really well. And her friend was going through the same thing. The thing we all had in common was: we all lost a parent when we were younger. Then it clicked: I'd been affected more by my mom's death than I realized. On the surface, sure I was merry-go-lucky me. I only cried once when she died. I was too busy being numb, too busy comforting others, too busy just moving on. While I never felt it didn't happen, I think I went into a state of denial, and never came out. And all the while I thought I was moving on, I was being crushed inside and didn't even know it.

I am a heavily guilt-ridden person. I over-analyze things, I hold myself to a high standard that I never achieve, and never lessen. Compromising my standards, even if impossible, is to me a lie. If I achieved a lesser goal, I wouldn't accept it. Which is a shame, a person needs some success in their life.

Strung out like some Christmas lights
out there in the Chelsea nights...

I'm feelin': contemplative contemplative
Current Music: Hotel Chelsea Nights - Ryan Adams

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I saw Lincoln the other day. While I did enjoy it, I did not enjoy it as much as everyone else seemed to have. They all thought it was GREAT. I just thought it was good. And that is because I had some problems with it.

You see, I was spoiled by No Country for Old Men showing me how you can make great scenes without music telling you how to feel. Ever since then, I've come to resent when movies use a score to tell me how to feel. Unfortunately, Spielberg LOVES to do this. I wish the movie had another director, say, Bozo the Clown. Every time Spielberg says, "All right, cue music" Bozo can slap him upside the head with a stuffed sock and say, "Homey, don't play that."

The problem with music in this movie was it was so patronizing. You hear the strings start and you just know a speech is coming. That takes away from the power of the speech (by cheapening it into a gimmick) and makes the whole movie seem preachy. Guys, slavery was bad. We know that. You don't have to tell us.
Another issue I had was the title was a misnomer. The movie wasn't about Abraham Lincoln, it was about the 13th amendment. Lincoln was just, as fate had it, a principal character. (Also, one would think a movie about Lincoln, about the 13th amendment, taking place in 1865 that we'd see some of, you know, the civil war?)

Hate hate hate, all this negativity. Was there anything I liked about the movie? Sure! Specifically, the language. Boy those speeches (especially if they weren't in a poignant moment and therefore didn't have much music to accompany them) were a blast. I noted that, while I don't know if they actually were smarter politicians back then, but they sure SOUNDED smarter.
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Blank. Vacant. The expanse of these last years carry no water. Empty. I hold my head in my hands and sigh. Beaten. Broken. I wander dimming in memories and drowning in regret. You might think with the constant torture of ever-present mistakes that the senses might numb. I am numb, but the pain continues as sharp as ever, and worse. Shame sears and regret burns. Oh how it burns. I am an addict of my own discontent.
As the years drag on age destroys the beauty outside and regret ruins the beauty within. I decompose inside. Would that I could go back… but no, I cannot. I look back at all of my mistakes and wonder where to pick up the pieces. But the pieces are all dust, and so is my heart.
I'm beaten, beaten and close to giving up. My past love, I miss you. The past me, I need you. The past… the past…

I am not the girl I once was. I am not the woman I should be now. I am nobody. I am nothing.

Julia...

(August 2011)

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Hey, Look at me!

Hello LJ. It's been awhile. Lots of things have happened, but not much has changed. I live elsewhere now, and I know more about myself. I don't like what I had learned.

I quit updating because I guess it just ran its course. I had a love/hate relationship with having a public journal. A mix of "Hey, look at me!" and shame for such vapid posturing (I never did care for drawing attention to myself). It was a good six year run. Then I was done and didn't look back. Now I am back. If not for good, then at least for now.

I thought I'd post another entry today so that if any of my still-friends (too lazy to clean your lists, folks? :P) see it and only it, they won't think, "Crap, he's checking out!" I kind of want to post more now. I don't mean I've been feeling it lately, I mean right now. The urge hit me just a few minutes ago. And in spite of my shoddy internet connection, here I am doing it. I think the compulsion comes from a desire to be beautiful. I want to spill beautiful, touching words like magic. A stream of consciousness, a river of dreams, a... whoa there, pretentious, no? Maybe that's the draw of a public journal. The performance of writing something and putting it out there. The act of seeking. Hello audience, here I am, attempting beauty. We all need a little beauty, especially the depressed (and yes, I am depressed. Have been for a long time). I need this.

I'm feelin': Sadly quixotic
Current Music: Alan Price - Time & Tide

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