“What the hell am I doin’ here? I don’t belong here.”

I apologize for my rather boring blog posts over the past few (or several) working days.  I was trying to be as upbeat as I could, and to stop dwelling quite so much on my mood disorder and my otherwise disordered mental state, such as it is, because I feared that I would end up just turning readers off.  So, instead, I’ve focused on walking and blisters and silly things like that which, upon occasion, and in passing, would give a glancing blow at some interesting (in my opinion) subject matter like yesterday.

The fact is, I’m having severe, ongoing, worsening problems with my depression, and I feel like nothing I’ve done here or said here has been of any benefit to it or to me.  Or, well, what I’ve said and done might benefit the depression in and of itself, i.e., it might have made it stronger.  But that’s not necessarily good for the larger organism (me).

This is referring to the depression as if it were a being or entity in and of itself, with a separate nature and goals and criteria for thriving and so on.  It’s not, of course.  It’s a state of my own brain/body, a sort of self-sustaining but destructive pattern of internal and external interactions in a brain that’s already not exactly functioning in quite what might be considered a normal, or at least normative, way.

I’ve previously likened depression, as a state or an “attack”, to a hurricane—a self-sustaining pattern that forms and grows when conditions are right and is very difficult to break once it gets going.  I think that’s actually a decent analogy.  It’s certainly vastly better than the popular “chemical imbalance” notion upon which I’ve spat my vitriol more than once in the past.

As with hurricanes, I think it’s not entirely unreasonable to think of depression as if it were an entity of its own that tends to act to sustain and strengthen itself, as if it had intentions and a will, as long as one maintains the implicit awareness that this is a metaphor.  It’s easy to get into the habit of using metaphors so often that they stop behaving like metaphors in one’s head and start being, effectively, literal interpretations of things that are fundamentally otherwise, and it’s important to try to avoid doing that.  That way madness lies, as they say.

And madness does lie—almost always.  That’s one of the big problems with it.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make and to which I’m struggling to stick, is that depression acts as if it has a life of its own, rather as a tumor more or less literally acts as an entity in and of itself within the body, with its own “agenda” of self-sustenance and growth.

I’ve said to others, and to myself, that my mind is not my friend.  This is one of the reasons, for instance, that though I’m intrigued by them, I don’t think I would ever seek out an experience with any form of psychedelic.  My mental state often already has the feel of a bad trip of sorts, as I’ve heard them described.  I don’t want to pour gasoline onto that fire.

But I’ve fought with this entity in my head for almost as long as I can remember.  My brain, my mind, has always been weird—to me, relative to the people around me, and to many of them as well—though others also often seem inscrutable and inexplicable to me, at least in the sense of feeling things “in my bones”, though I’ve read and learned many things that give me at least an academic, intellectual understanding of things people do.  But I can’t say I grok them.

I’ve often said that basic primatology—particularly that which applies to primates that live in large groups—provides a sufficient framework on which to hang the vast majority of human behavior.  I suppose this should not be too surprising, since humans are primates, after all.  But it’s disheartening how rarely humans fully depart from the simple, chest-thumping, fang-baring, hierarchy-climbing, mate-seeking, dominance-submission behavior patterns that could with only a little simplification be transplanted onto the average baboon flange.

I cannot claim any superiority, of course.  My own, apparently “neurodivergent”, brain* is erratic and irrational even by its own—my own—standards, and I certainly cannot claim to be a well-adjusted machine running in optimal condition.  There are aspects to my machine that really are well put-together, and I’m glad for those, of course.  But they don’t seem to be enough to keep the whole thing operational.

I decided to give up even trying to look for help or improvement or to expect myself ever to get any better, and I tried not even talking—or writing—about it.  But that didn’t make for very good blog posts, apparently.  So maybe this one will at least be more interesting.  It’s truer to my inner state, if nothing else.

So, welcome to Hell, population one—I would like to say welcome to Purgatory, but there is no process of cleansing or improvement—of purgation—going on here.  There is only malicious, sadistic, hateful torment meted out by the demonic overlord of a realm repurposed for the eternal excoriation of a lost soul that is also the demon itself.

Okay, well, that paragraph was gratuitously melodramatic and misleading.  Sorry.  It makes the whole thing sound more exciting and impressive than it actually is.  Oh, well.  At least it’s not boring.  Except when it is, which is actually quite a lot of the time, come to think of it.  That’s one of the many forms of torture it entails.  Actually, that’s one of the big issues about it; even things that ought to be interesting are utterly mind-numbing, or seem so because the mind itself is numb (not comfortably) in the first place.

This is all a bit of mess here.  Again, sorry.  Returning to an earlier point, I’ll say that though the hurricane analogy is good as far as it goes, hurricanes have a tendency to peter out, eventually, as they move through the atmosphere, certainly once they go over land and lose the source of their water and heat, and then they kind of just fade away.  Certainly, no hurricane is going to destroy the Earth itself.

Depression, on the other hand, can absolutely do the equivalent of such planetary destruction.  In this, it’s much more like a tumor than a hurricane.  It’s a slow-growing tumor, perhaps like an indolent prostate cancer—the sort of thing you can have, and not treat, and yet you still might die of something else before the cancer ever would kill you (though kill you it may).  But even if it doesn’t kill you, it certainly doesn’t make you stronger.  It affects everything else in the system.  It steals energy from all the “good” things, when there even are any, and it further whittles away at those few good things by making a person intolerable to the people and things that are good in that person’s life, until nearly all of them are gone.

I don’t have any answers to this problem.  I know of ways to end the problem, but not to cure it.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any evidence that anyone else out there has any good answers.  Believe me, I’ve looked, and I’m “qualified” to evaluate such matters, in more than one sense.

The world was not made for us; it was not made for anyone; as far as we can tell, it just happened.  Ditto with human beings and other forms of life—even weirdo, alien, replicant, robot, changeling, mutants like me.  Ditto with culture and civilization.  There’s no reason to expect them to work flawlessly or efficiently.  They just have to work “well” enough to be self-sustaining.  That’s natural selection, and it’s not pretty.

Well, it can be quite beautiful, depending on your point of view, but even Darwin noted how slow, cruel, wasteful, and harsh it all is.  Nevertheless, it’s the only game there is, as far as I can see.

I so just want to fold and walk away from the table.  Right now the blister on my foot is inhibiting that somewhat, but it’ll heal**.  Then maybe I can finally take a long walk off a short planet.  I don’t see any better options.

*Every time I take new or repeated tests to check on whether it’s accurate to describe it that way, I keep getting results pretty resoundingly supportive of that hypothesis.  I recognize that I am not performing scientifically rigorous evaluations, since the one administering and the one to whom the tests are being administered is the same, and it’s only too easy to introduce bias.  But I don’t have ready access, nor the mental wherewithal to take advantage of it, to resources to get a more objective assessment.  And when I go online and watch videos and when I read books and articles, when I go to social media and look at available resources and groups there, and so on, I find that, while these people all make somewhat more sense to me than most other people do, I still feel severely weird even in comparison to them, and I could not feel comfortable among them or interacting with them.  I feel no sense that I could connect to the related communities—to any communities, really.  I feel like a creep and a weirdo relative to every potential group or person with whom I could consider engaging.

**I almost accidentally wrote “it’ll heel”, which would be funny, but the blister is on the ball of my foot, not the heel, so as a joke, even an unintentional one, it just wouldn’t work.

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