So I'm welcoming the world today; I woke up feeling a sense of connection that I haven't felt in a very long time. Connection to what? To you, to the universe--but most importantly, to myself. I knew I was still in there somewhere. Slowly, slowly, I'm re-emerging. My world collapsed a year ago--and it just kept on collapsing, like dominoes. I love how dominoes are used for visual effect in the film adaptation of V for Vendetta--V is about to face his end, a bittersweet finish, where the hero saves the world, but must himself die in the process. When I look backward at my life one year ago, I felt a lot like V in that scene. What had happened was bad, but there was more to come, and I had to keep moving forward no matter what--even if it meant I was only walking closer to my own end.
Have you ever felt like this? I'm hopeful you have not. I began dying, a little bit more every day--and like all humans--my death march was sprinkled with rallys. I would appear to be healing for a bit, but then fall back to the slow, constancy of my end. I surrendered; we all think we'd fight but it isn't always the case that you'll want to. If that's hard to imagine, I'm glad--in all seriousness--because it's an awful recognition to have. After SO MUCH pain and difficulty, compounded by a string of losses in a compressed period of time, I was done. Really done.
I used to wonder at the difficulty of things like depression or madness; being a writer whose many writer-heroes were either depressed, mad, or afflicted with some other pathology. I was frankly curious. I suppose it mimics in some way Alice's curiosity in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Speaking of which, he would be overjoyed at the renewed interest in his work--particularly his work that surrounded the real life Alice Liddel, his very young, very illegal muse...but that's a story for another time.
Not unlike Alice, I also faced drug-pushing, time-obsessed rabbits and totally mad hatters--all of whom felt themselves experts on my condition, all of whom appointed themselves judge and jury, pronouncing with total clarity what it was I needed. In today's society, there is a push to cover up the truth either by deflection or distraction. The message that society sends is clear: Don't ask, don't tell. Innocent until proven guilty. A few pills don't matter as long as you feel better, even if it's artificial--because the artificial is exactly what constitutes our current sense of reality. You may baulk at this statement--how can reality be artificial? I see that chair in my living room; I can taste that piece of cheese in my fridge; I can smell the rose in my garden. Right--of course you can--because I'm not talking about your literal reality. No, I'm talking more about the reality you believe exists in your mind--the nature of society and your place in it--a more existential look at what is real and what is not.
In this world, it has become almost criminal to THINK and FEEL on your own; the moment you start doing so, you cause a literal panic amongst your doctors, your friends, your family, your co-workers--all TERRIFIED because you have decided to wake up from the nightmare our social reality has become. Do you know that there are more prescriptions sold in America for anti-depressants and sleeping pills than ANYWHERE else in the WORLD???? And, if your anti-depressants aren't working, you can now add another kind of supplemental anti-depressant to bolster the one you're taking...in case you still FEEL something.
Please know, I am not criticizing the use of such medications--I am just questioning how in the last decade, Americans, and a majority of our population, too--suddenly NEED to take SO MUCH of this type of neurological drug. It should be raising an eyebrow or two, but most of us are too busy working, paying the bills, keeping our families fed, maintaining our home--and a whole laundry list of "to-do's" beyond that. With all of our "modern conveniences," we silently acknowledge that there is a price to pay. We believe this price is "worth it," even fair. I'm here to tell you, it's not. We are losing our humanity, that's why so many more of us are depressed--why so many more of us can't sleep without taking a pill.
I had to die to live; this was my sixth or seventh resurrection--I'm starting to lose count and I'm not even 40 years old yet. My major criticism of Stephenie Meyer's work in her Twilight Saga is showing a younger audience that it is okay if you have to die to live. But it isn't okay--it's NEVER okay. But that has become the tagline of the twenty-first century--we have become living zombies, Stepford wives, husbands, children, friends--no one wants to really TALK anymore; no one wants to, because then they might begin to THINK and FEEL themselves. Those posthumanist nut cases out there are cheering all of us on--keep taking our pills, keep allowing ourselves to be distracted, keep deflecting true reality--so that we cease to continue to evolve psychplogically and emotionally as human beings and look more and more to technology as our savior.
So say hello, world! However scary it may seem, it's no where near as frightening as being buried alive. I'm awake again--and I wish all of you reading this right now, both slumbering and sobering--the best of luck on your continuing journey.
Until next time, dear readers....