Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Underdog

In a profound sense, I have always remained the underdog. All my life I have suffered spells of depression, sinking into the brooding depths of melancholia, an emotional state, which, though little understood resembles the passing sadness of the normal man as a malignancy resembles a canker sore. The depressive knows what Dante knew: that hell is an endless, hopeless conversation with oneself. Some days I chisel my way through time, praying for relief. The etiology of the disease is complex, but is thought to include family history, childhood influences, biological deficiencies, and -- particularly among those of aggressive temperament -- feelings of intense hostility which the victim, lacking other targets, turns upon himself. In my case, the deep reservoir of vehemence I carry within me backs up at times, and I am plunged into fathomless gloom. At such times, thoughts of self-destruction are never far away.

What a creature of strange moods I am. In times of disappointment, rejection, or bereavement, feelings of hopelessness overwhelm me. I told my psychiatrist: "I don't like standing near the edge of a subway platform when a train is passing through. I like to stand back as far as possible to get a pillar between me and the train. A second's action would end everything."

I've no desire to quit this world, but thoughts, desperate thoughts, come into the head. Like Nietzsche I believe that the thought of suicide is a powerful comfort: it helps one through many a dreadful night.


Evydense said...

Hi Gary:

I have been 'secretly' reading your witings for some days now, partly because I share a lot of the same feelings, but mostly because you seem to able to capture the feelings in your writings so much more profoundly than I can.

I'm finding more and more that there is a 'cyber-support' group 'out there', and in a somewhat twisted way, I suppose, it's comforting to know that there is strength in numbers.

Your words both give me pause for thought, and the strength to get through some days.



Evydense said...

Me again:

I got your reply, both in my e-mail inbox and as a comment on yesterday's blog entry (Jan 31). I haven't figured out this "how to leave a comment and where do they go" business of blogging yet, so I apologize if this gets all screwed up.

I added a reply to my own blog, but thought you may not receive it, hence the duplication here!

I didn't use the word 'secretly' in any sinister way! I just meant that i hadn't done the cyber-handshake thing yet, and wanted to let you know that I get something from your writings. I know the whole idea behind bloging is that everything is public domain, but I still do a lot of personal self-editting, so I guess that's where i was coming from.

Certainly no offence intended!

Shiv said...

ugh! lots of reading to catch up on. this law school thing is taking its toll!

i am still searching for words to talk about the post in which you sought to explain my interest in your writings.

all in good time!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see, I've been able to heighten your self-indulgence. You're lucky you have the luxury to be loyal to your depression and use chronic suicide ideation to convince yourself that you deserve this luxury. Many people around the world are not afforded this luxury. I know you will not get this now, perhaps later when you feel a bit better.