I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 23, 2016 - 9:45 p.m.
I'm so sorry for scaring everyone. I was not exaggerating my fears but I'm afraid it came across as suicidal. I didn't think I was going to die, at least not a high probability but I was in a situation that I felt was an existential threat. I won't go into more detail. I am not ashamed but there are things I don't want on the internet for all eyes to see. If you are a friend of mine and we see each other you can ask and I'll tell you. But for the world I'll just say that I felt every bit of dread that I conveyed.
I am now at another friend, this time in City Island. I have been here before. I can get to my program from there though it's way too hard for going such a short distance. It's two buses to a train to either a bus or a 1.5 mile walk. This morning my friend offered to give me a ride to the train. That made things particularly easy. The bus at that end hooks up nicely with that train. Unfortunately, the busses to the train station don't hook up with that train. I have to leave far earlier. Coming home today I had to walk the 1.5 miles or wait 45 minutes for the next bus. That's what it's like outside of civilization aka New York City. Missing a bus here is rarely a big deal. It was a beautiful day so the walk was nice.
I saw a new psychiatrist today. He was on vacation since I entered the program. I liked the old one but I like this one even more. He changed when I take my meds, now it's in the morning. He doesn't know why the other guy said at night. That is not standard. It's all one to me.
I am seeing marked improvement in some of the other people in the program. That's encouraging. Of course I'm not someone that showed any outward signs of a problem. I have to tell people what's happened for them to realize it. I am usually filled with energy, alert, and in control of myself. I don't have the bouts of crying or anger or lack of affect as some of the others. Group is so much like a classroom situation that I feel comfortable. I was always good about participating in school. I got some validation today as two people wrote down books I talked about. One is The Cream of the Jest. I read the group the James Branch Cabell quote I have at the top of this page. I was delighted that it connected with the group. The other book was The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester and this ties in with the scary things I had to do on Friday. I was scared and couldn't get some terrible thoughts out of my head. Sometimes I drove them off with deep breathing but that didn't always work. I knew I had to stop thinking them so I tried a brain reset, the same as restarting a computer, a mental control alt delete. I did it by reciting something from the Demolished Man. It's a science fiction book set in a future where there are telepathic detectives that can read your mind if they have a warrant. Someone plans a murder and wants a way to not think of it when the detective reads his mine. He asks a friend of his in advertising for the jingle that's hardest to get out of your head, the ultimate earworm in today's parlance. There's no melody given but here's the lyrics. This is what I recited to myself.
Eight, sir; seven, sir;It really is impossible to think of anything else while reciting that. By total coincidence Skyler referenced it on Facebook so I know at least one other friend knows it. Who else knows it? Who else has ever recited or sung it?
I got to listen, though not watch, part of the Met game on Sunday. That was so nice. I still love baseball and I still love the Mets. Thor is officially my favorite player. I'm calling him "Thor" because I can spell that with confidence.
So odd but at my darkest time, Saturday morning, I saw that my fantasy baseball team, The Nashional Batnoses took over first place. We are still there. If we hold on to win this year it will be so weird, a partial compensation for the worst year of my life. It doesn't help much but it helps. Writing this helps. The responses from my friends have helped the most of all. How did the guy who had no friends in high school get so many people that cared about him? They like me, they really like me. It helps me to like myself. I am good and capable person with a problem. I'm not my problem. And I can still see the exquisite loveliness thought it's far away now.
I might still have to enter the Mordor and if I do I'll have to enter it alone, with no Sam at my side. Things are not better. This is just herbs and stewed rabbits in Ithilien before the Land of Shadow. All the things I feared might still come to pass. That's not easy for someone with anxiety. I'll just take it one step at a time and enjoy the rabbit stew while I can.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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