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Sat 08/03/08 at 23:33
Regular
"Author of Pain"
Posts: 395
I often say that life has a habit of kicking me while I'm down. I'm man enough to admit that I'm guilty at least of lying prostrate and waiting to get kicked more often than not. At heart, I'm a sucker for punishment; I crave a scapegoat for my own innumerable failings.

I see people all the time contriving some prophetic epiphany, declaring to all and sundry that their life has been hard but that despite their hardships, they wouldn't change a thing. They crow and preach that their pain and suffering has built a bridge to greater glories, loftier existence and some sense of moral superiority.

I look at the rapidly diminishing value beholden to the face that stares back at me in the mirror, and I'm forced to ask myself if I, too, can make such a righteous and pious statement of indifference to my own travails. Perhaps I lack the mental constitution to derive satisfaction from the roads down which I have chosen to travel. Perhaps I have yet to experience the elation of whatever mystic apotheosis allows others to discard their tribulations in such a carefree manner. Or perhaps those who would set examples for us to follow through their effervescent prophesying exist merely as philisophical placeholders; unobtainable templates of intellectual majesty, dangled like golden carrots in the upper ranks of some moral celebrity, forever beyond reach.

Whatever the reason, the point is that I look back upon my life as a sculptor might frown at a misshapen lump of baked clay crudely assembled by some rank amateur. I wonder how much better it could have been if I could undo the permanence of the kiln's heat. If I could go back to a time when an instant of inspiration and hands adept at moulding such things could turn a disasterous abortion into something more akin to a work of art. Changes could be made, each one spinning an infinity of new possibilities, each greater than the poorly defined original.

People caw that hindsight is a wonderful thing. I disagree. Hindsight haunts me; fills my dreams with reminders of my mistakes, and conceives nightmares of how those mistakes may yet come back to ruin me. Hindsight holds me firmly in a prison of my own memories. Shaming me with the many things I've done that I shouldn't, terrifying me that despite my best efforts, I will make all the same mistakes again.

I ask you what I could possibly achieve that would invalidate all this anguish and atone for all my misdeeds. If I made a billion tomorrow and gave it all to those who most needed it, would I be granted forgiveness from those I've disappointed and betrayed? Could I forgive myself for the things I've done and the people I've wronged? I somehow doubt it.

So, would I change any of it? Night and day I wish for just half the chance. To make a change, to make a difference, to start over and do it right this time. In such depravity, many turn to religion. The flawed logic being that although this life was lived in error, wasted frivolously and filled with regret, that all can be forgiven and entry granted to paradise if you just want it badly enough.

Not this huckleberry. If I can't live with the sorry, pitiful waste of life I've endured thus far for a single lifetime, why would I want to be reminded of it for eternity? All I can do is wake up every morning and tell myself that I can make it through another day; morbidly curious as to whether it can actually get any worse. One day, naturally, it'll all be over.
Sun 09/03/08 at 09:39
Regular
"Author of Pain"
Posts: 395
Thanks for the response. To be clear, this wasn't a cry for help. If and when I decide I need help, I won't seek it on general chat forum... I don't know what I was expecting when I posted this. I tend to come up with this sort of verbose self-effacing diatribe when I've been drinking at home alone. I certainly didn't think I'd get a reasoned analysis of my mental state though.

Perhaps your advice is something I might one day be able to take, and you're probably right about most of what you've said. Except maybe therapy. I've tried that already and it didn't work out too well.

Lengthy introspection aside, the real problem I think I'm facing is a crisis of passion. Or rather a lack of passion. I'm running short of things in my life I care anything for. Days are a routine, nights a vacuous time-wasting exercise to advance the clock to the next day. There's no real content, and in a way, that's sort of how I want it, now that so many things I've cared for have eventually brought only pain.

I don't have any trust left. No faith in the fabled good nature of man, no belief in gold at the end of the rainbow, and no sight of the alleged light at the end of the tunnel. In a way, I'm reconciled to this. I can live my life at arms length from the rest of the world, safe in the knowledge that while I may be lonely, at least nobody can hurt me any more, and the only person I can hurt is myself.

I've all but given up on everything I ever wanted for myself. Wife, kids, fluffy dog and two family holidays a year. I don't want these things now. Well, that's not strictly true - I do want them, I just refuse to risk further suffering by allowing any of it into my life. So it's just me.

And I know I'm sitting in a puddle of my own misery, waiting for the deus ex machina to drop out of the clouds and make the sun shine on me. I need to take action to sort my life out such that it at least has the structure to allow me to live my life the way I've accepted it must be lived. To this end, I'm giving serious thought to giving up my job, my house and everything else, and moving abroad somewhere. A new beginning. It won't solve my problems, but I'll get some distance from some of them.
Sun 09/03/08 at 09:22
Regular
"Laughingstock"
Posts: 3,522
Grix wrote: Make friends with it, almost.

Easier said than done of course, but it's the ultimate solution. If you let it embrace you it'll squeeze the life out of you, but if you embrace it you can slowly wrap it up and put it in a safe pocket. (Fortune-cookie wisdom la-la-la.)

Everything's never going to be all right - that's what brought me out of what is commonly referred to as depression. I let the emptiness at the heart of existence heal me with it's meaningless. Redemption by way of not avoiding the void.
Sun 09/03/08 at 00:10
Regular
Posts: 23,216
I used to feel like this, very much so. I could obviously word it a lot better than you though.

In seriousness, you do face a small choice, or a big choice, depending on how your ego is feeling. By living through your mistakes and constantly berating yourself for the life you have lived, wishing for some chance to go back and change it, you're not living a life at all. And what it comes down to, I've been beginning to think about, is maybe it's just a simple word. Responsibility.

I would assume, and correct me if I'm wrong, by writing this out is a sort of release, and a sort of trying to order your thoughts? Otherwise it's a sort of cry for help, or a 'look at my woe' post. Maybe there's a few other options but I can't see them right now. Or as a cry for help, in a way, perhaps you're looking for someone who might be able to give you a bit of wisdom on the situation?

Not me I'm afraid, but I will say something about responsibility. Look into the dark recesses of what you dread most about yourself. What do you worry about? What do you worry about becoming? I would guess to that in this kinda way you're not wanting to let go of the past, you're thinking about the future too? Like if you could change the past, you would have more of a present, and a future?

Well tough you can't. But if you can look into yourself, find what you hate about yourself, and lo and behold.. accept it? You don't have to simple say 'oh I'm a murderer, never mind eh!' but simply 'I have murdered someone, and instead of wishing I could change the past, I need to take responsibility for it and allow myself to accept what I have done'. Mourn for it. Understand where you went wrong. Cry for it if needs be. But you can't change it. Not even a messed up defence system of changing your memories will hide it from you.

Ever heard of the five stages of grief? Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Whilst I do not doubt that you have felt depression, do you think, when it comes to grieving your past, that you're only at stage three? Bargaining? It sure as hell sounds like it. It sounds, wherever you like it or not, that you're in the midst of change. And this can last months, years, whatever. There's no set pace for it. In fact, I don't always trust it's in the right order, but then depression can be anger turned inwards, so perhaps that's number two right there too. And perhaps the depression shown here isn't the emptiness and analysis that people seem to find so common.. but genuine sadness, tears, and a feeling of loss. Which again of course, leads to acceptance.

All I can advise is.. honestly, get real. As far as I can see, you posted this on a public forum and therefore I have every right to reply. If this was just for you to sort your brain out, then I'm sorry but I felt I should comment.

You cannot change your past. It's not as easy as letting go and moving on, as some people seem to describe it.. but a process of accepting it, taking responsibility for it, and carrying it with you not as a burden, but a companion. Make friends with it, almost. If you think you're fighting it, then you're wasting too much energy and I would advise you start thinking about how you can face it.

There are some things we are in control of, and some things we are not. Accept both. I also advise you get therapy. They're not there to fix things for you, but help you understand yourself so you can cope better.

You think you want to change the past? Believe me, in a few years time, you'll look at this and think all this belief about the past was a complete waste of ****ing time. But hopefully you won't bother mourning that.
Sat 08/03/08 at 23:33
Regular
"Author of Pain"
Posts: 395
I often say that life has a habit of kicking me while I'm down. I'm man enough to admit that I'm guilty at least of lying prostrate and waiting to get kicked more often than not. At heart, I'm a sucker for punishment; I crave a scapegoat for my own innumerable failings.

I see people all the time contriving some prophetic epiphany, declaring to all and sundry that their life has been hard but that despite their hardships, they wouldn't change a thing. They crow and preach that their pain and suffering has built a bridge to greater glories, loftier existence and some sense of moral superiority.

I look at the rapidly diminishing value beholden to the face that stares back at me in the mirror, and I'm forced to ask myself if I, too, can make such a righteous and pious statement of indifference to my own travails. Perhaps I lack the mental constitution to derive satisfaction from the roads down which I have chosen to travel. Perhaps I have yet to experience the elation of whatever mystic apotheosis allows others to discard their tribulations in such a carefree manner. Or perhaps those who would set examples for us to follow through their effervescent prophesying exist merely as philisophical placeholders; unobtainable templates of intellectual majesty, dangled like golden carrots in the upper ranks of some moral celebrity, forever beyond reach.

Whatever the reason, the point is that I look back upon my life as a sculptor might frown at a misshapen lump of baked clay crudely assembled by some rank amateur. I wonder how much better it could have been if I could undo the permanence of the kiln's heat. If I could go back to a time when an instant of inspiration and hands adept at moulding such things could turn a disasterous abortion into something more akin to a work of art. Changes could be made, each one spinning an infinity of new possibilities, each greater than the poorly defined original.

People caw that hindsight is a wonderful thing. I disagree. Hindsight haunts me; fills my dreams with reminders of my mistakes, and conceives nightmares of how those mistakes may yet come back to ruin me. Hindsight holds me firmly in a prison of my own memories. Shaming me with the many things I've done that I shouldn't, terrifying me that despite my best efforts, I will make all the same mistakes again.

I ask you what I could possibly achieve that would invalidate all this anguish and atone for all my misdeeds. If I made a billion tomorrow and gave it all to those who most needed it, would I be granted forgiveness from those I've disappointed and betrayed? Could I forgive myself for the things I've done and the people I've wronged? I somehow doubt it.

So, would I change any of it? Night and day I wish for just half the chance. To make a change, to make a difference, to start over and do it right this time. In such depravity, many turn to religion. The flawed logic being that although this life was lived in error, wasted frivolously and filled with regret, that all can be forgiven and entry granted to paradise if you just want it badly enough.

Not this huckleberry. If I can't live with the sorry, pitiful waste of life I've endured thus far for a single lifetime, why would I want to be reminded of it for eternity? All I can do is wake up every morning and tell myself that I can make it through another day; morbidly curious as to whether it can actually get any worse. One day, naturally, it'll all be over.

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