“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” – Theodore Sturgeon (Star Trek: TOS, Amok Time)
By and large, a good deal of the most tiresome aspects of human consciousness only end up being amplified within my agony-ridden mind. Disappointments are that much more disappointing, and the emptiness which follows is similarly that much more empty. The moment something presents itself to me, something that I otherwise thought I wanted, it usually isn’t very long at all before it suddenly becomes the kind of thing that I feel I need to discard, or flee away from, as soon as possible. And yet, it isn’t long after that, that I’m right back to thinking I want the very things that I’d otherwise just deemed were too much trouble than they were worth to keep. And so it goes, around and around, like a crooked carousel with cracked mirrors and corroded porcelain ponies. Just another self-cannibalizing loop to add to all the others which keep me trapped being a human ouroboros. It’s this near constant jerking back and forth between two conflicting states that, more than almost anything else, condemns me to an existence utterly bankrupt of contentment.
No matter which direction I go in, there’s never any different outcomes, and there’s never any winning. I feel awful alone, and I feel an ever so slightly different flavor of awful whenever it is that I’m not. No matter how casual a bond I have with someone, there’s an element of exhaustion attached to it that can’t ever seem to be erased. When it comes down to it, I don’t inherently want to do anything, but when another person is involved, suddenly it feels like I have to do something, even though I never genuinely want to. I’ve fought that feeling before, going on months at a time, but yet still it remained firmly at the core of my being, as persistent as ever. And if this is all it’s ever going to be, in regards to having to fight myself at every turn over the simplest of things, then I honestly don’t think their could be better evidence to demonstrate how urgently I need to cash in my chips as a carbon based lifeform and get the fuck out of this universe that I was never capable of existing in, in the first place.
How the hell is this all supposed to be? How the hell does any of this feel good for other people? How the hell do you compensate for the absence of something that’s so fundamentally irreplaceable? You can’t, of course, but it’s still pretty brutal to continually have to reckon with, insofar as nasty rhetorical questions go.
As of this moment, I’m right in the middle of another one of these loops I just described earlier. Out of desperation to escape the boredom/stagnancy of not having anyone to do anything with, I went ahead and reached out, and in doing so, found a couple people to play some online games with. And it’s all been fine so far, but all it takes is a few days, if that, and pretty soon I’m back to grappling with everything I’ve had to grapple with before, whenever it is I’ve interacted with anybody. Not all that much different to what I was dealing with when I was a young kid, in fact. It was more anxiety/shyness that exacerbated the problem back then, as opposed to the anhedonic depression that primarily hangs over everything now, but that core inability to make these things not feel exhausting, or to even understand them at all, remains as fixed and palpable as ever. When it comes down to it, all I feel compelled to do is lay down on the floor and rot, but there’s no salvation to be found in that either, as much as I wish there were.
As it is, all I’m doing with these people right now is playing video games, and while I still kill time with gaming, it’s hardly the compelling hobby it once was. Far from it. Most any day of the week it’s essentially the last thing I want to do, which in turn only makes me want to avoid these people as much as possible, but, truth be told, that’s pretty much a constant reflex for me whenever I’m interacting with anyone, regardless of the context. Playing with others does little to change that, although I’ll admit that it’s a slight improvement over always playing alone, despite the loss of freedom it asks from me in return.
And that right there is a big part of the reason why interacting with others will always carry with it its own share of terribleness. To be alone, after all, is to be completely free. The more of that you give up, the less free you are. Despite all the pain that comes with it, I’ve gotten far too used to that kind of freedom. Not to mention that the very first person I interacted with at length, in a one on one fashion, sucked away every last second I had to give without a second thought, which in turn makes all this that much more difficult to deal with, being somewhat scarred as I am from that past experience. Even sacrificing the microscopic amount of freedom it takes to play a game with someone feels like giving up too much. Not that someone like me really needs to be spending more of his time playing video games, mostly given how many uncountable hours it’s already hewn away from my, at this moment, deeply deteriorated hide.
But what else is there to do online with another person? Really not much else, it would seem. Chatting for chatting’s sake holds no value to me, and I’ve bitched and moaned about my problems enough to those in the past who have chosen to be a sponge for it. Either they’d get sick of listening to me, or I’d get sick of listening to me, and the latter has always been, to me anyway, the worst thing about it. And yet, it remains to be the case that the only topic with which I have any ability to speak on comes back to venting and pontificating about all the inescapably painful garbage that piles itself on down like a neverending rain of trash into the junkyard of my existence. In other words, largely speaking, all I know how to do is whine and complain.
All that aside, and needless as it is to say, anything that keeps me locked inside this dark little room marinating in my own misery isn’t (surprise, surprise) going to help matters actually get better, or if nothing else, even help me to cope with things a little better. Whether that’s doing random shit with people online, or seeing a therapist online, or doing anything else you could think of online for that matter, it just reinforces the isolation/depression that I’m already severely crippled by. I need a heavy and healthy dose of the offline world, but it simply can’t happen in the way it needs to happen. The kind of way that actually leads me to a life worth living. If you don’t have the strength to fight for it, and no one in the flesh is willing to help, truly help, then that’s it for you. It’d be wonderful if life weren’t so exceptionally difficult to get a handle on for the wretched and the waylaid of this world, wrecked and stranded as some of them are on their own little deserted isles of isolation.
But even then, assuming some sort of rescue were to come for the worst of them, the act of trying to integrate oneself into an environment so utterly foreign and alien to the only kind they’ve ever know, from an isolated island to the center of civilization, would involve with it a great deal of dislocation and disorientation. Deep and unabating sensations of displacement, even derealization, would be, at best, a years long struggle to overcome. It would all seem weird, wrong, and wickedly unfamiliar. And, depending how long the prior isolation had been going on for, it may never stop being that way. All that unease, and all that apprehension, would simply coalesce into a firmly rooted fixture of surrealness, far beyond any hope of dissipation. After enough time has passed in the wrong environment, healthy acclimation to a new one becomes next to pure fantasy. And this itself means that, horrifically enough, a large chunk of you will always be trapped on that desolate little island, or, in my case, this desolate little house.