Light and Darkness

Light and Darkness

05.05.2019

The advantage of extreme mood swings is obvious: As fast as bad episodes occur, they can disappear. Today, especially in comparison to yesterday, was actually quite good. Although I didn’t get anything productive up and running, I wanted to take some rest after the stress of the previous day. This may sound a little like a vindication, but at least I keep the routine of daily writing, even if it’s just these thoughts here and I write them again at night and nothing in the morning. Nevertheless, the deed itself counts, the when is secondary. Because I have decided to write regularly in the evenings, I somehow feel forced to go to bed earlier, because the silence for writing with pleasant music takes place in the dark on my laptop. There are no streams or games to distract me, but I have complete focus on what I’m doing right now. If I can somehow manage to get my crazy sleep rhythm back on track, then that’s fine with me. It’s the small steps that establish our habits and ultimately shape what we perceive as life. Here they are again. The Instagram slogans. Very good. Another sign that things are looking better again. Fortunately, Word has a practical search function that allows me to find these placative statements later and perhaps at some point actually give them their rightful place. If I then become a mega hip influencer, because all sorts of people like my super profound thoughts, that wouldn’t be without a certain irony. Then, out of the suffering, which is often part of these words, came something good in the end. I don’t want to die. In spite of an experience like yesterday this decision is certain for me. I didn’t finish it then and I won’t do it now. I believe that my struggle, my experience is too significant to give up. Not only for myself, but also in its symbolic effect for others. If, at some point, I finally decide to publish these lines, other people may be able to draw new courage from them. You will see the unfiltered abysses through which I sometimes walk, but also the way out. Or at least some valleys and oases that promise improvement. Perhaps this linguistic picture actually frames life with mental illnesses very well. While some people walk the sunlit cliff street of life, some of their fellow human beings fight their way through the abyss right next to it. But while the sun is making its way, for a few moments it illuminates even the darkest abysses and sometimes this brief moment is enough to awaken new courage, new hope, another attempt to escape from this abyss. Perhaps someone throws them a rope which they can only see with the light of the sun and can now finally grasp, or a few protruding stones bring a strenuous but promising ascent into the realm of possibility. Whatever it may be, these short moments of light can mean the decisive difference between life and death. I know I am just writing these words because today I was lucky enough to wake up with this light, but even during my darkest hours in the past months, I never wanted to put an end to my life. I knew that my head was telling me lies, that I was not this completely incompetent loser as it would like to portray me. That there are many people who care about me and value my work. I know that it is possible for me to help many people with my words. To give up now would be to destroy the work of years and possibly cause a reaction in others like “Well, even this guy gave up at some point because he had no strength left”. I don’t believe that living with mental illness means eternal agony and damnation – or even a death sentence. I believe that it is possible to immerse the abyss in glowing light and see hope where before there was only darkness, pain and despair. A better life is possible.

Pleasures of Self-Destruction

Pleasures of Self-Destruction

04.05.2019

Today was…extreme. In many ways. The fact that I write these words in the middle of the night before going to bed and not, as usual, in the morning after waking up, already speaks for itself. I actually wanted to go to the ASP concert and meet Alicia. Instead I struggled half a day with panic attacks and spontaneous howls. I tried to get rid of my ticket so that at least somebody would get some joy out of it and so I drove halfway through town to give it to somebody who wanted to try to get rid of it on-site. People were everywhere. So many people. I could literally feel my pulse accelerating with every second I spent among them. I just wanted to scream, wished they would suddenly disappear. I had to think of Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. There’s this one scene where he’s pestered by a crowd in front of a running studio camera and confronted with a situation he can’t control. A quiet “leave me alone” is followed by a louder one, then another, until he finally uses his powers to teleport all the people away from the TV studio. Unfortunately, I am not Dr. Manhattan. Although that’s probably better. Otherwise, many of the places where I find myself would very quickly be very empty. As long as I was outside, I could still keep myself under control, but as soon as I had returned to the safety of my own walls, these powers left me. Again and again I had to pause because emotional pain took my breath away and I lost the fight against tears every time anew. The desire for a few milligrams of Tavor and a knife had rarely been so strong. I haven’t felt this extreme despair for years. For so long I thought the worst was over. I had hoped that I would never have to go through these extremes again. But now I’m not so sure anymore. The desire for nightly excess returns. Drugs, sex, alcohol, no matter what, as long as it simply destroys me. Anything is fine by me as long as it numbs my feelings. I miss those days. When nothing mattered. It was only the rush, only the excess, only the countless nights in a state of altered consciousness. Sure, now I live safer, healthier, better, fitter and all the other beautiful, shiny depictions. But with every day that passes I feel more fucked up than ever. What do I care about alcohol poisoning if I feel at least for a moment a bit less? My best friends have been trying for weeks to persuade me to go back to therapy. Fuck, I admitted it to myself a few days ago. And now what? Now I want rush and a knife. Life at the crossroads. I have to decide how I want to spend the next few years. Either in excess and die before I turn thirty or listen to the advice of wiser people and seek professional help. My mind knows exactly what to do. My completely crazy emotions are not so sure. They love the rush. They remember the intensity of those nights back then. How reckless I was then. Nothing was important, just the moment. Night after night spent in crowded clubs and bars, sweating, drinking people around me and for a short time, the pain disappeared. But when it came back, it was all the more violent. It was also the time when I was repeatedly driven to the clinic by ambulance because my mind could no longer bear the strain. Or I myself drove to the psychiatric emergency room with my roommate in the middle of the night to get some Tavor which at least calmed me down a bit. The excess and its drawbacks. There’s always a morning or night after, but it’s usually much worse than anything that happened before. So I’m lying here in the middle of the night wondering what to do with myself. Therapy seems to be the best of all options. Would at least increase my chances of survival several times over. But will I be able to wait at all for months? Do I have the strength to wait so long for help? Maybe a clinic would be better. At least for a while. Until I have regained some stability. Oh, I don’t know either. My thoughts are confused. I would love to cry again. But I probably won’t find an answer through that either.

Reflections on Madness

Reflections on Madness

03.05.2019

Fuck. Everything hurts and I don’t even know why. That’s kind of profoundly unsatisfactory. Besides: Fuck. Again, I haven’t managed to do anything productive with my day. The most useful thing I did was work out, but it’s part of the routine anyway, so it doesn’t really count. Hm. Routine. Maybe that’s the solution to all the questions and problems. Maybe I have to let the work on my book become a daily routine and schedule time for it regularly. One hour every day for the beginning. That’s 60 minutes more than I’ve spent on it in the last few weeks, so it’s a huge step forward in any case. After that I can still hang around for the rest of the time and feel like shit. Wuuuiiii. My head spins freely, but that’s okay. Still, those 60 minutes sound like a pretty solid plan. It’s a start. Somehow I finally have to get back to being able to go on with this project and I certainly won’t do that by sitting here every morning complaining that I can’t get anything done. Well, there’s something liberating about that, too, but I don’t think anything will really change with such a simple statement. And somehow I don’t want to sit here tomorrow and think about the fact that it didn’t work again. So: Action Plan! Today I will spend an hour to work on my book. Tomorrow too. And the day after tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And, oh, it becomes clear where I’ m heading. Routine and such. Important! Remember! Man needs routine, otherwise he will wander through life completely confused and has no idea what all this nonsense is all about. But instead of writing, I could also play Dota all day long. That’s true. But I could also write an hour and still play after that. Then I would at least not feel so completely useless and degenerated. Wouldn’t that be an attractive trade-off? I mean, I’ve been sitting here every day for days writing about how crappy it is that I can’t get my shit together. Maybe, just as an idea, it wouldn’t even be SO wrong to counter this at least a little bit. So that for once I don’t feel like the last piece of garbage, but perhaps just like the second last. Small steps and that. Wouldn’t that be desirable? Once again spending a day where not everything feels wrong and meaningless, but you can look back with a little pride on what you have achieved? Wouldn’t that be worth fighting for? Wouldn’t this moment be worth dying for? Well, perhaps not necessarily, the joy about that moment would not last too long. But a little pathos has never harmed anyone, least of all me. Or? OR? Ha! What a splendid lie! Heavens, what a roller coaster in my head. Once here, all of a sudden there and no idea where it’s going next. If only real life were always so simple. Close your eyes and do it. Live and don’t think about tomorrow. Wait a minute. Wasn’t that a Bollywood movie at some point? Where are my fucking singers and dancers?! How incredibly absurd (but also somehow cool) it would be if suddenly cineastic dance and singing interludes were played randomly in one’s own life. I could get used to the idea. But I’m afraid that sooner or later the whole thing might become a bit too exhausting and you’d rather do without it again. Fascinating. I wouldn’t have expected to write about Bollywood today. My head surprises me every time anew. Or are these just further symptoms that I am slowly but surely drowning in complete madness and wallowing in this insanity? I don’t know, but if this is madness (which I don’t believe, by the way) then it seems to be quite entertaining. At least for me. And since I’m the only one reading all this stuff so far, it’s not going to kill me. However, it would be interesting to learn how outsiders would react to these mental digressions. Damn it, I’m really curious. By the way, I have the suspicion that many people feel that way and so many things jump around in their heads that they would like to say or do, but don’t dare because of social fragility. Unfortunately. Otherwise it could be very entertaining. But if I ever reach the point where I publish these lines unedited, it could be quite exciting. If anyone is interested in my messed-up life at all. Who knows.