I’m not sure that I can explain to you just how bad it feels.
It’s an emptiness like nothing you’ve ever felt before. Not like hunger. Or thirst. There is no longing, just emptiness, never ending, bleak and foreboding. Such basic commands of hunger are barked at you from a life long, biological/ primal master creating an urgency that causes you to reach for external resources, for it knows that you cannot satiate this sensation within the borders of your body. This parasite is a new, untameable and inconsistent beast of another nature. It tinkers with those basic functions that we so often take for granted, the will to sleep, the reminder to eat and drink and all of the hard earned survival tactics we’ve learned such as not to step out in front of incoming traffic or cut ourselves with sharp knives.
Everything outside of your own mind is a distant foreign land. So far out of reach. It is nigh on impossible to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of the world around you, not even nature can clasp your hand reassuringly and guide you into the depths of its warm bosom, for you are no longer a creature of this earth, you are not even alive, nor are you human.
It’s not even your mind that you are occupying, this may well be a disease of the mind but it’s not all experienced ‘up there’ and it certainly it eats away at some of the minds best work such as remembering things and being able concentrate on both menial and sophisticated tasks. It’s a sort of zoning out, a swift but hard to navigate zoom function which sort of sucks you out of one reality and leaves you hovering there, refusing to drop you in a new one. So you take on the impossible task of trying to figure it out on your own, which of course results in a complete breakdown in communication between your mind, body and ego and an identity crisis.
I decided long ago that religion could not fulfil me nor could it explain the meaning of life or the universe any better than a 5 year old on e-numbers could with access to a jumbo box of Crayola crayons and unlimited paper resources. In fact I quite smugly basked in the essence of not knowing, having given up the arrogance to believing that I had a right to know such things. But the meaningless and pointless nature of existence is gnawing at me today, cutting through to the bones of me.
You’ll notice that today my fingers can type, that my brain is able to engage enough with my body and my creative juices and somehow accessing its inner thesaurus and its deepest emotions all at the same time. It all feels rather indulgent. Still I must pounce on these moments and ride them out until they filter away as they can be so few and far between. With no inner sat nav or trust in yourself it can be a lonely journey.
One cannot connect to the things which once brought us great joy and comfort. Indeed we can stare at the same walls for hours and still not recall a single thought or feature from that which we studied so greatly. Contrary to what we have known since we were 5 years old the thigh bones are not connected to the knee bones. Instead they are sand bags, heavy and dull and cumbersome to control; what once took great strides and skipped and jumped soon became unwearable and detached somehow.
To say you are haunted, may sound cliche’d but when you have seen into the eyes of a haunted man, woman or child you see just how powerful our unfinished business and unresolved spectors can be. The ghosts of our past outlive our ability to function on a day to day basis.
Clothes go unwashed, unworn. Food sits, picked at and rotting or sometimes shoved into our mouths and into our bellies as a substitute to fill that void, that longing, to lubricate and soften that knot, that niggle, that doubt that we were ever really meant for this life at all.
Life becomes existence. Death becomes a more rewarding temptation than that.
Did I get dropped off at the right stop? No matter I shall drift on regardless.
I have heard of survivors, traded like animals to satiate the sexual urges or lust for power over others. I have heard of heroes who overcome a life so filled with loss and grief and those who rise from the ashes and battle on with a sense of purpose from whatever their darkest times brought too them. And yet I cannot find the first rung of that ladder, nor dare I seek it, lest my foot be too fearful to rise from the ground. Perhaps I have not yet suffered enough!
Some like to think of this as a privileged, western disease. The weakness of pampered fools. Others would have you think it was fashionable, a lifestyle choice if you will. Yet I can find you fistfuls of names who have taken their own lives rather than face the consequences of trying to fight with themselves for just one more day, all hope trickled away, their last remaining ounce of energy drained from tear sodden pillows and scattered throughout private journals stashed with well thought out suicide notes and research on the least messy methods of the day.
This darkness is no more a choice than the rising of the sun or the falling of dusk. And I rise and fall with it, head just above water, fighting for breath, kicking, fading..fading…