It's back, and I don't know whether to be relieved or upset.
For days and days I have been checking: putting my ear to the ground, looking at my mental furniture to see that it is not shaking in tell-tale sounds of an earthquake, glancing at the volcano on the horizon as I travel from one state to another, in a very habitual way, like one looks at a clock (but doesn't really read the time), to see if it looks any different. It is here now. I've come back home to see a stranger with his bags in my rooms, a familiar stranger, a familiar demon, and I don't know how I feel enveloped by this old, but new, fog.
One thing I look for, desperately, is a sense of certainty. A way to predict.
Years and years, you'll have seen me talk about them here or somewhere else, when I do talk about it, when I do try to put it into words, when I do try to make sense of it. It's a chemical imbalance. It can't be a chemical imbalance unless a doctor says for sure. I don't trust psychiatry or psychology. Everyone feels depressed. This is not normal. Maybe if I take some medicine I will be able to tell what happy is like. Maybe it is because I am dissatisfied. The hypotheses pile up, and I am experiment and participant observation, subject and researcher, policy-maker and population, all rolled into one, all standing in the same space, like that Italo Calvino story.
It feels like there is no point. It is the stalker in all your photographs, always in the background. It is like death, but not in the most important way.
Meditations on death
There are two ways you mean "I want to die." I say you although I mean me and most of the time I can handle wanting to die, but sometimes it freaks me out. It freaks other people out too so let's just say you.
The first way you mean is, I want an end to life. You're tired. You've suffered. You want an end, a full stop.
The second way you mean is, I want death. To die, to sleep. You crave nothingness.
The two may seem to be the same, and in a way, they are. For the former there is a cure. You move. You change friends. You run away. You pick up a new book or go for a boat ride. For the latter, you could be in the most beautiful place in the world with people you love and it will make no difference.
In depression the optimism for me is that what I have is the former. That is why I need to get out of here. It is my only hope. It is my way of saying, I want to live. It is possible for me to live. The detractors, of course, say, But what if you're as unhappy there [there being not-here]? Then what? Then, it is the second kind and all of them, in their wise-ass way, in their wiser-than-thou way, in their stubborn way of validating their own awful choices, are wishing it upon me. Naturally that makes me resentful.
But why can't I live here? Because it would be death: it already has been.
Most of the people who 'want to see me happy' actually want me to not be depressed anymore. There is a difference there, too: the depression gets them down. They're not actually concerned about me. The ones who want me to settle, they too want a sick kind of validation. That is culture, that is socialization: a perpetuation of the election of the same choices. That is why people take offence when you tell them you hate the institutions they love, or this piece of land they've slapped an ironic, grandiose, impossible name on, or their shackles of ideals.
Underneath, there is anger. When I do feel something strongly, other than worthlessness, other than existential misery, it is rage.
I will not talk about love, though I suspect that it is a way of binding me here. Could be a survival mechanism. Over the years, it's turning into less of a challenge for the waves eroding it.
Happiness feels like the moment in the horror movie when everything seems to be okay, except you know that the killer is right behind the protagonist. The relief is surely short-lived. Meaningless, even.
I've had a long period of relative okay-ness. I have been able to feel happy, in a way. Each piece of me that dies leaves possibilities of happiness. At the end, there is the mirror image: death in life equals happiness, death in death equals happiness. It's funny. What is the point a life like that? Maybe it is that friends and family will finally shut the fuck up. Their superficial cares will disappear. Eventually it will be possible to forget the person who died, eventually the mourning will have turned into a mourning period, a phase.
I am two people. There is the person saying these things. Then there is the person who will deny them all later.
Sometimes one wins.
Sometimes the other does.
When they work together it is dangerous.