Thursday, May 08, 2008

First Aid

I once happened upon a word in the dictionary that was the proper term for the period of exhaustion you experience after crying. That was some amount of years ago and I've never been able to find the word since. It has since became one of my favorites.

Making that post was therapeutic. Writing it reduced me to an absolute mess but what followed was a weird kind of serenity that has lasted since. I make myself miserable with overthinking, with overpoeticizing, with distraction. Ultimately, there's not a whole lot more to analyze than "I'm overwhelmed." If I knew that word, it would be the title of this post, because I feel calm.

The past couple of years have been my two worst. Vicious insecurity has coalesced with a number of unresolved, undiagnosed physical pains and discomforts, a series of minor and major emotional traumas (crushingly bleak night followed by vitriolic confrontation with neighbors, dry ice bombs, moving to college, death of cat, Bryan's suicide) and a variety of domestic/academic frustrations to pound me into the most compromised state of my life. But it's OK, because I'm putting everything above board now.

If I was writing in the same cycle that I've used forever, what would now follow would be some kind of fabricated sense of grand perspective, a makeshift resolve to change. But I don't know what's going to happen, how I'm going to make it better or how long it's going to take. What I do know is that writing about this makes me feel like I'm unwrapping rotten bandages, cleaning the wound, drying it, exposing it to light and air.

I'm not going to say "this is the true nadir, the low point at which I begin to climb my way back up the ladder," because I don't know if it is. I hope so. I hope that I am ready to get better. I'm optimistic, though. This feels right.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting on a train to visit my Civil War re-enactor aunt and uncle in Vermont. They have a beautiful house on a beautiful lake and a beautiful garage full of canons. They're planning on taking me to shoot their MR-15, which is some kind of gnarly-ass assault rifle used for exploding Kuwaitis. Should also be therapeutic.

I will say that I am guilty of being too consumed by my own worries about myself to pay attention to the things that are happening around me. I've been cycling through old photos, which is a habit of mine, and almost every series makes me smile or laugh out loud, because my life is full of wonderful, hilarious people. Sorry if I haven't done my part to return the joy you all seem so ready to share with me.

I think things are going to change. Here's a wish in the well.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Truth

I have a confession to make, and I don't want to. Definitely not. It's awkward for everyone - sorry to dump an icky thing in your lap. But right now it's something I have to do.

Everything I have written is one thing. Everything I have felt is one thing. Six years of blog is preface to one thing.


I have so much pain.

Here arises the gatekeeper to assurance, sneering, mocking,

"What do you know about pain? You with your middle-class everything, moaning about trifles, you whiny shit, you whiny whiny whiny whiny shit. Waaaaaaaaaah. Waaaaaaaaah waaaaaaaaaaaaah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."

I have so much pain.

I have so much pain in my body and I don't know why. I have seen so many doctors and none of them seem to be able to heal me.

I have so much pain in my heart and I don't know why. There is no poetry here. There is no esotericism, which is anaesthetic. There is so much pain. There just is.

These are the same pains. It's one thing and it rules me.

Everyone has pain in their heart. Everyone has rejection, insecurity. Everyone has a friend who killed himself, or worse. Everyone has a childhood with darkness in it, is saddled with doubt, loneliness, longing for transformation. But some people have a valve. Some people are very strong and I am not. It does not evacuate. I don't know why. Maybe because I don't evacuate it. I don't know why.

I am not content trying to pass the wound off as some kind of intellectual leverage anymore. That's a lie. I am exhausted from trying to hide it with flippancy, gestures of superiority, with pretend nihilism. I am exhausted by running from, obscuring the pain out of a sense of social obligation. I am so very, very tired of channeling it into judgmentalism, vindictiveness.

I know that this is not everything. I have been filled with beauty and love, but not for a long time. Not for a long, long time. Right now, every day is such a challenge. I don't know what I'm doing, what I believe, why I am filled with so much sorrow, how to change, how to heal. I have simply run out.

No, I am not suicidal, am not even Depressed really, just so god damned lost. So god damned lost and bewildered.

Sometimes I feel like there's an overpowering force at work in the world that seeks to destroy that within us that allows for happiness. And right now I feel overpowered.

So to know it, I am naming it.

I am naming it Enemy.