Sunday, 8 December 2013

Behind the Fossette

It was by mere chance that I was born this way. There was no divine plan, no omnipotent overseer of my fate. It seems to me to be a ludicrous pretension that any heavenly king would have the remotest interest in any one of us. But that's just me. The odds of my existence at all are severely negligible. The combination of factors leading to my appearance on earth, from the cosmos exploding into life to the chance moment of conception, are so unlikely to have lined up with such definite perfection that I might be forgiven for believing my life was not only an accident. Perhaps even some part of me wants to believe I am here for a reason (everybody likes to be needed). But it's clear to me that there never was any plan for me being here, even if there are any number of reasons for me to stick around. It was nothing but an accident, and in my present state of mind I see it as a rather unhappy one.

Strangely, my implacable godlessness has in my happier moments had the effect of stirring something like true wonder and awe inside me. The world is a beautiful place, what does it matter to put a label on a maker when we can't ever possibly know? I don't need false piety to exert twisted morals on me so that I know the right thing to do. I'm still a good person. I know what is right without having to be told. I try to look out for friends even when it takes more from me than I can really afford to give. The most enduring effect of my Roman Catholic upbringing was undeniably a poisonous lie. The feeling of guilt so intertwined with all christian theology has left a lasting impression on my personality. I am predisposed to self-doubt and self-loathing among many other personal failings but throwing an unnecessary weight of guilt onto my shoulders for things I don't even believe are wrong is a sin I find unforgivable.

For about a month or more I have been holding back a leaky tap that disguises a waterfall of existential dread behind the fossette. Incrementally, my words are drying up as my days spent in bed become more frequent. God can't help me. No-one can. Not that I am contemplating suicide at this moment. Maybe if I had the conviction that I really had nothing I wanted to stick around for or wasn't grasping at something I can't grip. Maybe then I might have gone ahead and done the job already. On that point however, the knowledge that when I am dead and gone means just that, and not an eternal sleepover at a celestial retirement village fills me up with excited certainty that life needs to be lived all the more intensely now.

All I really feel I know now is how much I dislike this improbable collection of genes and protein cells. I'm not sure what it is I wanted to be but it is not this. It occurred to me today that one of the most evil long-term effects of depression on me has been the absolute and final destruction of any shred of true inner confidence I might have had. The outward show is only an act. As it happens, put on more for myself rather than anyone else. If I decline further inwards then I return to a useless waste. I will cease to improve but regress. I won't be a good friend, although I am beginning to feel like I give more than I get anyway. My brain will turn to mush and I will return to the days of crying at soap plot-lines hiding in my bedroom. It's already started.

It was suggested to me that I don't want help. Implying my depression is contrived, I assume to exude pathos. It seems an unfair criticism to someone who has spent his entire life considering how to be at least contented. I have lost count of the number of doctors waiting rooms, anti-depressants and therapy sessions I have had. The number of self-help books I've been through to find the treasure map to confidence. You may laugh but I've even gone to the bible for answers (there weren't any). If I were in complete denial I might claim there was no truth to the charge, but we both know better.

It is a shame that we only experience the world from inside our own bodies cage. Perhaps if I could interchange the senses of others with my own I might find myself not thinking as I do. Maybe in a far off evolution. As it is I am stuck with myself. On the flip-side we should be grateful that no-one else is.

Anyway, I guess I have spilled over enough for one evening. It is approaching quarter past two in the morning and I want a cigarette.

I should finish by crediting Christopher Hitchens with helping to put a lot of these ideas in my head. Unfortunately his effect on me was posthumous but nonetheless impressive for it