Sunday, June 4, 2017

the track

my life is full of joys and success
and i am hyper aware of just how much i am blessed
deep down in my core i am truly grateful
but here on the sun-kissed surface of my soul i am dispirited, depressed
by every traumatic event
by next month's unpaid rent, by every abuse, by every betrayal, by every injustice, by every bend in the trail that was almost a break

we're told that depression is a chemical imbalance
a physiological malfunction
but the truth is that depression is a psychological symptom, not a physical cause
perhaps it's "pessimism writ large", or else just "optimism overwritten"
i've recently learned how my years of ptsd and burnout are doing the same sort of long-term damage to my frontal lobe as psychiatric medication
only without the benefits
that my personality has been gradually decomposing into a downward spiral stairway through the gates of hell
and as i circle around and around i see every interaction's intention as its dark timeline alternative,
i see threats in every attempt to bridge the gaps that have grown steadily between the orbits of our island soul galaxies
i wrap my anxieties around my sense of self's instabilities like a warm, electrifying blanket that makes my blood boil and keeps the cool, fresh air at bay,
that makes me stare at sunsets then quickly turn away before i have a chance to let the beauty stray to touch my heart and linger
that makes every smile fade too fast because it feels too good to be true so i overthink it away

but i do remember how to laugh sometimes, and not just nervously
and i do remember how to scan event horizons for capsules of goodness that have been frozen in time
i remember how to identify constellations in the tiny pinpricks of light that take eons to get through my dark nights and know that this lonely rock i'm standing on is just one drop in an infinite sea of misery
that we've all hit rot bottom collectively
and that our only hope is to remember that we didn't choose to be born in a world of outsiders and aliens while our ancestors' stories echo in our ears telling lovely lies about the old worlds, smaller, manageable worlds where life was simpler and people had character and words like "better" and "happiness" actually meant something
before we ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and woke up to see that we're a shame of cowardly lions scavenging the ruins of a paradise overrun by flying monkeys and small men hiding behind loud voices

that we're heroes-in-training
without swords
or shields
or training

nobody ever taught us how to defend ourselves
or that we *could* defend ourselves
instead we've been raised to shackle ourselves in the miseries of our forefathers,
raised to repeat their mistakes by raising the stakes that our very lives are riding on,
raised to space out repeatedly tugging on the sleeves of one-armed bandits
begging for the money to pay overdue fees for our borrowed sins
but this house of god is just another casino and the house always wins

on my black days, with my grey underbelly of bloated clouds threatening a shitstorm and heavy with acid indigestion rain
with the leaden thump of my charcoal heart pumping polluted fumes into the rivers of toxic sludge coursing through my veins
my body is a reflection of the world outside, a world overpopulated with slaves to the cold and the cruel while we fuel the machines of our self-destruction with our desperate self-absorption
panicking our way from paycheque to paycheque

in our spare change time we build ourselves shrines and we tend to our tiny fenced-off gardens
we seek to find other strangers to invite into our houses in the hopes that they'll be of like mind
but every time someone craps on our carpet we become a bit more disheartened
we learn not to trust or take chances
we become shut-ins finding fortitude in isolation because it's only possible to maintain control of a social situation when we keep our own company

internal battles don't give black eyes, only black hearts

but this is the end
beautiful friend
i hear the alarm and i pull myself out of bed
i drink my drug to wake up and face the mourning
i spend dawn to dusk panning for the missed gold and precious stones that didn't wash up on the wall street banks of debt river
i spend long hours thinking upon simpler times
when we didn't matter
when our feelings didn't matter
when we denied and drank away our pain just to get through each day
when suicide was a crime against god because it robbed the lord of his pay
and how we've still got one foot standing in that grave
but i have to say that in spite of all this i am grateful

i may be tied to the tracks and only questionably sane
but i can't save myself unless i can see the oncoming train

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