Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It's not that I haven't been writing anything new for this blog. It's that none of it seems worth posting. It goes nowhere. About depression -- and understand that I'm not only, not always depressed. But it's a dominant theme right now. And as I say, there's no real point in just observing the fact of it, its solidity, from different angles without actually moving away from it. So I haven't been posting them. Thus, from last night:

I have a plan at least, a sort of plan, a coping strategy in the offing. I'll search through the Psalms, looking for comfort. Until it passes, this, um, mood. It just mounts up, the hopelessness, the list of reasons why nothing could work out. I know it's just a negative cycle of ideations.

It goes on, but it goes nowhere. When I hit the word ideations the spell checker didn't recognize it, so I googled it to check, and the first thing up was Wikipedias "suicidal ideations", and that sent me along a winding rabbit trail. Indeed, I'd used the word with that resonance humming in the background. But as I had cause tonight to say, somebody has to find the body, and I couldn't do that to anyone I cared about. My father used to go on, first, about how cowardly suicide was, and then, during his hours-long "lectures" as we called them -- madness -- he'd tell us about how unhappy he was, and we would be, and it was a curse that his father had, and he did, and we would, and we'd pass it along. I know, you shake your head. He must have thought, in some way, that his frankness was a blessing to us. But sons are not toilet paper. I never hugged my own son to get something out of it. I hugged him, a lot, because I loved him. Point is this: my father also talked about holding a shotgun, if you get my meaning. Sort of a double message, eh? Inconsistent. Double-bind. So that's the word, ideations.

That's what it's like inside my head. Everything links to something else, and round about we go. But it's not really appropriate, mostly, to rehash endlessly like an obsessive-compulsive retracing his steps to make sure the door is locked or the gas is off. Handwashing, counting steps, avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, looking to the left every time a dog barks. Woof. What good is it?

This, from some other night: Last night's revelation -- which cannot have been a surprise, although its clarity was unique -- was that I never let go. I cling as if my life depended on in, to the status quo. It seems I'm desperately afraid of change. I want security. Never had it. Probably why I want it.

Who could possibly care? Am I Proust? Endlessly fascinating in my endless fascination with myself?

I have no deep connections, no intimacies, I'm entirely on the periphery of every situation. I had a rare desire tonight to just hang out with friends. Except I don't have any friends that I hang out with. Socially, I mean. Task oriented stuff I do, once in a while. That's a fair part of what jiu jitsu was about. And it's nice to have someone to work out with, now.

I, I, I. Aye carumba.

Some pretty ugly emotional stuff. I've come to suppose it's not brain chemistry. It's deeper than that. It's almost deliberate, in the choices I make. There's the circle of our self-awareness, and the jaggedness and spikes that stick out from it, that we think is what's wrong. But inside the circle, there's something monstrous. I catch a glimpse of that now and then. It wants me dead. I've neglected it too long, and it's insane.

So much insanity.

Sorry to be so dark. I like the fantasy that people read these things and somehow have a human connection, remote, safe, but that engenders care. No real good can come of it, unless someone prays, and God answers, and I can hear it. It's probably true that God has been screaming in my ears for decades. But I have a lot of damnation inside me. I need to be rescued, but I don't seem to want to allow it. What we'd do for someone else, we won't do for ourselves.

Reading this, it seems too raw. It's too unguarded. Not particularly great writing -- pretty simple, straightforward, but it is guileless. Probably why I didn't post it. Obvious platitudinous non-revelations. No wisdom in it at all. Just petty facts, interesting, if at all, in the starkness of their expression. I want to be cared about. I need help. I'm self-destructive. Isn't everybody?

I'm avoiding discussing the details of my life. They're pretty petty, and would engender impatience in any reasonable person. 'C'mon, just move on.' There are details that you just wouldn't believe, and if you came to, you'd really get a glimpse how twisted my soul is. I'm so tired of that.

But I don't know if that's true, about what you'd believe, or if you'd glimpse my soul, twisted or not. Probably why I didn't post it. How would I know what you'd believe. And my past isn't so very very dramatic. Yes, there are some truly bizarre things there, but we can believe the bizarre.

So there's this. I had cause tonight to mention a coping mechanism I'd used, years ago, during a time of great chaos and approaching despair. I'd sing a silly little happy nonsense song. Didn't matter what, just to do it. One of my boys, who'd had an unblessed life before he came to me, still had a bright and beautiful spirit -- optimistic. I pointed this out to him, and told him it was something I really liked about him, and he said something like, "You might as well be happy."

We can't choose what happens. We can choose how we react. I wrote a while back about loving God, and how I might very well not love him. But I have resolved to thank him. And I find that thankfulness seems to be a pathway to love. I've noted it before: "Jesus wept" is the shortest verse in the English Bible. But "Rejoice always" is the shortest in the Greek. We are emotionally bilingual. We might as well be happy. We might as well be thankful. We might as well rejoice, always.

How? I suspect by just pretending. It's what I'm trying to do. Sing a happy song. Be thankful for blessings that haven't happened yet. Since we're dealing with emotions, which are not real things, we should be able to control them by imaginary means.

Or am I going on and on about obvious and self-centered things again? Forgive me for that. Sometimes I'm not brilliant.



paul asjes said...

I really liked this post. That sounds weird, and I hope it comes off right.

Anyways. Everything that i have ever let go of has claw marks in it.

I have been obsessed with Philippians recently.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3

I feel a strong connection with your writing most times I read.

I don't know what made me think of this, but have you ever read Walter Wangerin's The Book of the Dun Cow. I highly recommend that you read it.

I have always admired your wisdom and insight. I know I am kinda flighty and gushing at times; I am strange. But I wish I could give you a hug right now.

Jack H said...


I wish I could accept one.