In the darkness of the hollow, In the wistful of the day, Comes a gnashing of the Daemon And the trouncing of the Bay. Leaves a mark upon the features; Plants a hook into the soul. Wants for loathing or self-hatred - Wants for wrecking of the lull. Choose the sinews of the monster - Horse of death, devoid of light. If you mount its mangy hackles It will drag you into night. Little solitude can linger At a time depression fraught. Either gallops gloom of gloaming Or a crafty concept caught. Makes for drowsy or for writing. Curl it in or fight it out: Tender tears to taint and tarnish, Fiendish fierceness flail and flout. Choose the dark and dangerous Daemon - Vapor’s Muse of shadow’s glare. Touch its fissured flesh of genius, Share its mind, but have a care. Whirling skirmish with a dark muse. Wrestling pen, now paper stained. Bleeds a vicious prose or poem; Heals the heart and mind, once pained.
I went on a trip on a train. I played my role as devoted, loving partner and got a little time with my Love. I found my story on the train ride back. I can’t write anything else.
Now I’m stuck on 4000 words. Approximately 180,000 words according to King’s book On Writing, and I’m stuck at 4000. I don’t know if it’s being off my routine so long, the stress at work, or being away from M and all that is comforting, but I can’t get the rest out. When I try, my head hurts. Yet I don’t have anything else that feels worth writing.
In my slump I find that when I can’t look at the screen and see the story my next inclination is to slither into slothfulness. I even turned on the stupid box today. Feels like I’m losing.
This is not political. I’m not taking a stand here on the right to bear arms or the logic behind background checks. I’m simply explaining why I personally do not want to own a gun. But it appears that to even make a personal statement of that “magnitude,” some would have me clarify my thoughts on their choice to have guns. So I allow me to answer in like fashion as some of my favorite gun-toting pals have shared with me on some of my other “issues.”
I have lots of friends who own guns. I don’t ever want my friends who own guns to feel like I look differently at them, or that I fear them. I don’t have a problem with their choices or how they live their personal lives. I just don’t like the kind of gun-freaks that want to flaunt it, make a big deal about it, and even flash it in my face that they own guns. You know the ones; they wear t-shirts that say things like, “Gun Control is a Tight 5-Point Shot Group,” or “God, Guns, and Glory.” I also don’t think they should prance around talking about their guns in front of children. I think it’s okay for gun-owners to raise children together as long as they don’t force their gun beliefs on their children and make them decide about guns before they are old enough. When I see pictures of elementary school children with guns in their hands, smiling parents standing next to them, I often wonder why CPS isn’t being called.
What really ticks me off is when they try to convert me. I don’t know if they get some kind of prize or a box of free ammo when they sway someone toward NRA membership, but I really don’t want them telling me that I should own a gun. That’s where I draw the line. Keep your leather holster to yourself there, buddy.
Here’s why I don’t own a gun. I think that when you look at the Adam Lanzas (Sandy Hook Elementary School) and David Berkowitzs (Son of Sam) of the world – there’s really only one little synapse or chemical imbalance in the head between them and us. I mean, how much does anyone really know about psychopaths, sociopathy, and insanity. Even the experts can only speculate. Likewise on the current research on depression, impulse control, and other brain and socio/psychological disorders that have blossomed like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis over the last 50 years. Fact is, what separates you from me is one false move, one spark of recognition, one apparent threat that turns a calm demeanor into a raging lunatic with a finger on the trigger. I don’t own a gun because I know myself enough to know that I don’t know what I don’t know.
I’m one of the most self-analytical people I know. So when I say that I choose not to own a gun because I don’t ever want to allow the possibility that I might use it on myself or someone else in a moment of darkness or a rage of anger – I don’t say that lightly. I have aged to the point where I control myself when people piss me off. I have overcome severe depression over the years and I’ve done it (for the most part) without drugs. So I’d pass a background check. All in all, I’d probably be just fine with a gun my home. In the state I reside now, I’d be able to get a handgun before you can hit “like” on this post. But I think I’d rather die at the hands of an idiot with a gun who doesn’t like that I love another woman, rather than hurt the ones that I love by taking my life or that of someone else. Some might say that logic makes no sense to them. I respect their right to disagree.
I don’t judge gun owners. I know there is a percentage of gun owners that take their own lives, and those that use guns to murder or rob. So I pray that everyone that owns a gun does so from a right mind and heart. I don’t know how I feel about the variety and types of guns there are out there. I don’t know what I think about limiting magazines, or types of bullets, semi-automatic versus automatic, etc. All I know is, if owning a gun makes someone happy and feel safe and normal – as long as they don’t point it at me or someone else – I’m okay with that.
chew and walk
rub and pat
i can do that
twist and shout
sweat it all out
rock and roll
deep in my soul
inside of me
no method to the madness
no clear reason for the sadness
broken glass toy
wash and wear
have a care
more for less
be a friend
make it end.
For many people who have never experienced major depression, it can be hard to understand why, on any given sun shine laden day, a person can be low and have no apparent reason to explain it. Those who have experienced it will tell you, there’s no question more annoying, or that can turn the pain into a burning desire to rip someone’s head off, than this one: “Why are you sad?” Even marginally intelligent people, when dealing with an actual tangible “something” that makes them emotional, can figure out a way to deal with it. Asking questions like, “What happened that’s got you down?” to a major depressive is like asking a Harley owner if her bike is broke because it needs a new fan belt.
Just chalk it up to gang warfare in the brain. As best I can tell from what I’ve read or been told, it’s like this. There’s these three stooges on the molecular level who like to call themselves “The Monoamines.” Individually they are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine*. Serotonin is a sort of “trafficker,” and deals with neurotransmitters in the brain to help move messages around. When it gets low or doesn’t show up in force, messages don’t move like they should and symptoms can occur. The other two fools are like enforcers, only in a positive way. They don’t break your knee caps when you don’t pay up, they give you a high when you do. That’s why some depressives turn into addicts – because drugs and alcohol can serve to boost these two clowns (at least for the short term). If you prefer to see the movie rather than read the book, check this video out.
So you would think that someone with major depression would want to take advantage of prescription drugs that help fix these brain wire wars. Maybe save everyone else the mystery of being around them? Some do. Some have played that drug roulette and won with a solution that helps them. But try and see it from my point of view. Let’s say you just bought a shiny new sports car. Imagine someone telling you they have done the research and had some trials and would like to use this new chemical to help keep it shiny when it rains. This new batch of chemicals will not only keep it shiny when it rains, but it will keep off the dust and dirt when driving it regularly. Are you skeptical?
You should be. What are the unseen effects of this sludge that keeps your car looking so good? What if it means that your car will lose its resale value in half the time it would have otherwise? What if it looks great, but smells like a paper mill? What if it looks great, smells just like a new car, but there is a very slight chance that you will encounter circumstances while cruising that cause the chemicals in this auto-pharmaceutical to explode, killing you and everyone around you? Would you take that chance?
Never trust an MD to prescribe any kind of antidepressant. I suspect many of them work for the sludge companies. Either that, or they are just blissfully ignorant; Hippocrates be damned. I once had an MD see me for under 10 minutes, ask me a few questions about the depression I reported experiencing, and prescribe me Effexor. It was the 24 hour capsule and, although I feared taking drugs for my funk, I was desperate. I waited until bedtime and downed the thing at 9pm that night. I had the deepest, most disturbing sleep I’ve ever had … every two hours. I dreamed of dark shapes, muggy, stale air, and reptile like movements. I sat bolt-upright in a cold sweat every two hours on the dot. I felt creepy-crawlies on my body and sensed evil demonic elements all around me. I checked the clock each time, went into a brief panic-mode for fear I would not make it to the morning; then I convinced myself I preferred the dark tank of my dreams to the freakish alter-reality around my wakeful self. I had to be driven to work and home the next day, and had to get help finishing sentences on a project I was on. The drug committed homicide on every thought I had before I could finish them. It held me, a helpless hostage, until it finally wore off that evening at bedtime.
The sludge lackeys recommended I try a different sludge. Trial and error no doubt. No thanks.
There’s another, non-medical way to look at depression. Spiritually, depression is quite easily explained as severe selfishness. Don’t get flustered with me. I’m not one of those religious ignoramuses that blame people for lack of faith or prayer when they are depressed. I know this explanation sounds shocking and insensitive. Americans especially don’t like that word. Hmm. Try and see it in a non-blame way – a kind of psychological diagnosis. Because my experience is that it really applies.
Of course, don’t ever tell that to someone who might be dealing with depression unless you are just evil or cruel. Instead, ask them for some help. Seriously. Be sensitive to their stripped-down exposure by putting yourself out there with them. That’s the highest form of love. And if you have no need of help in any way (talking about a struggle you have and asking them for advice, or help moving some things from one place to another, or help getting organized) … then do this. Find a volunteer service project and tell them you need someone to go with you because you want to help, but feel awkward going alone. It’s brainwave therapy for the mind.
The chemical mafia that controls moods can affect your thinking patterns. We could argue the chicken-egg question – is it selfishness that causes depression or depression that causes selfishness? None of that is the point. When you can’t own a gun because you are afraid you might use it on yourself one day – who the hell cares about the blame game? Point is – doing things to help others and giving of your time helps shift thinking patterns and the types of things the brain focuses on. This, in turn, helps adjust production of the three stooges and can improve mood.
- Matthew. (onetheology.com)
- Study shows volunteer mentors have positive impacts on at-risk youth (portorchardindependent.com)
- Find volunteer opportunities or get ideas for random acts of kindness