Drinking, Drugs, and Skydiving

I’ve mentioned that my grandmother has Alzheimer’s. I’ve been helping my mom take care of her for the past five years. On Monday she had a stroke and was unable to communicate with my cousin or myself. She had fallen off her bed and was unable to get back up. We could tell she was in pain, but we didn’t want to move her because we didn’t want to further damage anything she may have broken. We sat there while I was on the phone with 9-1-1, waiting for the paramedics to arrive. None of us knew what to do. My cousin was a mess. She could do nothing but cry. I’ve never been good at comforting others. I can tell jokes and make smart ass remarks all day to make you laugh, but I’m not a hugger and never have been. The only thing I knew to do was to give my cousin one of my anti-anxiety meds to calm her down.

My grandmother is still in the hospital. It was determined she did indeed have a stroke and she has bleeding on the brain. We’ve been told it’s only a matter of time and that we should be thinking about hospice care for her at this point. I’ve made my peace with it. I think it will be a relief to myself as well as my mom. I don’t know what triggered it, but I had a breakdown tonight, just thinking that “So that’s what life has in store for me if I live that long?” I want know part of it. I was looking up states where it’s legal for assisted suicide and I believe that’s what I want to do. I’ll sign whatever papers I need to in order for someone somewhere to take me out of this world if I can’t do it on my own.

I don’t want to be trapped inside my own body that’s no longer working. I don’t want to be trapped inside my own mind half the time already. I mentally shut down tonight and could do nothing but let the tears flow. I guess I’m only human after all and I hate it. None of us are getting any younger. I try to ignore it and mask whatever pain I feel because of it with whatever drugs I have readily available, whether they’ve been prescribed to me or I’ve bought them from a friend or a friend of a friend.

I don’t know how normal people deal with life sucking so much, but I’ve found my way and it’s through substances; substances and sleep. I just want to drift off into darkness until the next day arrives and do it all over again. Is that what we all do? Does everyone just find ways of distracting themselves from the pain of reality and daily life? Do we all take whatever drug is thrown our way whether it’s pills, alcohol, sex, sleep, television, etc.? I even wonder about people who jump from airplanes and parachute and bungee jump. Are they just looking for some type of escape from the emptiness that consumes their lives?

How can we judge people who take drugs or drink when we’re all just looking for our own way to get by in life?

Infinite Jest and the Age of Addiction

After twenty years, David Foster Wallace’s grand overture on humans and addiction, Infinite Jest has only become more powerful. Since its publication, the world has moved past the events and years of the novel’s shaky mid-2000s dystopian world. But the most addictive force in Infinite Jest is a seemingly innocuous videotape referred to simply as “the entertainment.” Television holds the strongest allure and danger to Wallace’s many characters. It was an adversarial and endlessly interesting fixture in American life for Wallace, one that he wrote on at length in his essay “E Unibus Pluram.” “Television, from the surface on down, is about desire,” he writes. “Fictionally speaking, desire is the sugar in human food.”

At the core of Infinite Jest is a story about addiction and the different ways that people find themselves hooked. Wallace’s key argument is that to be human and alive is to be addicted to something, and the real power comes in choosing to what you might find yourself beholden. In his famous 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College, Wallace warned college graduates that, “There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” In Infinite Jest, Wallace’s addicts are largely centered around Boston, on a hilltop near Brighton that separates an elite tennis academy run by a family shaken by a suicide and a halfway house filled with a picaresque crew of recovering drug and alcohol addicts. What brings them all together is that mysterious videotape, “the entertainment,” a piece of media at once so literally captivating that it causes certain death. The viewer cannot look away and will forgo the entirety of Maslow’s hierarchy for the sake of watching.

The worship is more multifaceted than just television and narcotics. The young boys at Enfield Tennis Academy worship the perfection of their tennis games and the rising of their rank, a task replete with ritual, superstition, and devotion. Yet some of the boys also use tennis to avoid family angst, failure, or personal faults, and in that way too the uncanny need to play tennis begins to resemble other addictions in the novel. The halfway house residents are addicted to cannabinoids and alcohol and cocaine and opioids and murdering small animals. The most dedicated of them, such as the halfway house staff member and partial-protagonist, Don Gately, have exchanged the worship of painkillers for the worship of A.A. itself.

Television, much like “the entertainment,” is its own form of worship. It’s the desire to be seen, the desire to be a voyeur. It’s the desire to be approved of and to feel communal. Yet our concept of television has rapidly changed since 1990s, when television was still considered the “boob tube,” a uniformly low art that was acknowledged as an aesthetic horror driven by shows like Cheers or The Price is Right. No one would confuse them for art. Now, we have entered — or passed through — television’s Golden Age, and the duplicity and seduction of the media have become hidden behind good storytelling, compelling acting, and excellent cinematography. The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and more have changed TV from a knuckle-dragging affair into something sophisticated and worthwhile.

Many of the shows that have marked the Golden Age of television first aired around 2000, right at the start of the current opioid epidemic — a spooky correlation, if not a scientific one. Since 1999, opioid overdoses in the United States have quadrupled as a result of increased prescriptions, heavy marketing from big pharmaceutical firms, and a cultural familiarity and acceptance with seemingly casual drug use. In the new century, our nationwide desire to be tuned out, euphoric, and entertained seems to go beyond both medium and function. While many of those who find themselves worshiping television are unaware of the effects of something like “the entertainment,” perhaps no character is more aware of his addiction than Don Gately, an addict recovering from his own enthrallment to Demerol and Talwin, who would find himself at home in the America of today.

Fall 2015 brought a sobering study: Death rates for middle-aged white Americans had started to increase, bucking other demographical and historical trends. The cause behind this grand uptick in fatalities was largely attributed to drug and alcohol abuse, which has become brutal and rife in America’s small, postindustrial towns and regions like New England and the Midwest. Heroin and its potent synthetic successor Fentanyl seem destined to find people, particularly those whose circumstances leave them unable to realize traditional markers of personal success in America. To be rural and “working class” is to live in an economy and culture that is increasingly focused on technically skilled and urbanized workers. To be left behind by your country, as one might feel in rural New Hampshire, is to open the door to something sinister but palliative: opioids. Opioids activate the reward centers of our brains. They give pleasure and a sense of wellbeing. They provide momentary fulfillment and satisfaction with one’s life. Tolerance to prescriptions leads to cheaper, easier-to-get opioids, namely heroin and synthetic versions thereof. The how of these addictions is relatively simple, with doctors trained to relieve pain and large pharmaceutical companies pushing their products heavily to their masses, but the why feels more elusive.

Infinite Jest is set roughly in the mid 2000s, right into the thick of a prescription drug epidemic. Despite it being a novel inherently farcical and dystopian, Wallace’s troupe of addicts have only become more commonplace. It’s no mistake that in Infinite Jest two agents from rival governments, in fear and admiration of the power of the entertainment, discuss the seminal experiment of Rat Park: a foundational 1970s study of drug addiction that showed that rats when given a rich, fulfilling environment tended to avoid readily-available, opiate-laced water, but when faced with a stark and denuded cage, the rats found themselves hopelessly hooked on the same opiates. The denuded cage for a person can take a variety of forms: economic stagnation, faltering relationships, lack of enrichment or challenge in one’s life.

The question for Wallace then is what exactly does it mean far a person to be in that cage? Early on in the novel, one character struggles with an infestation of cockroaches before coming up with a rather brutal solution:

The yellow tile floor of the bathroom is sometimes a little obstacle course of glasses with huge roaches dying inside, stoically, just sitting there, the glasses gradually steaming up with roach-dioxide. The whole thing makes Orin sick. Now he figures the hotter the show’s water, the less chance any small armored vehicle is going to feel like coming out of the drain while he’s in there.

This is perhaps the most heartbreaking image of addiction, not just of being imprisoned and slowly dying, but also being unconscionably trapped behind an invisible force field. It’s to not realize that you are dying only that it is happening slowly, and to know yourself as the most disgusting, and hated of creatures.

While narcotics might present the most desperate and fanatical way to dismiss the denuded cage, there’s a more salubrious method among American households. As Wallace argues in “E Unibus Pluram,” television offers a perfect release. Instead of testing the parameters of one’s crappy cage, TV offers escape: perfect families, perfect bodies, perfect jobs, and challenges that are deemed perfectly manageable by the implicit promise that the characters — and thereby the show — will triumph through to the next season. Now, in this Golden Age, the families are more real, the plot lines more complex: we feel smart, sophisticated, involved. If early TV was the heroin, now we have the Fentanyl. While watching Breaking Bad you “get” that Walter White is an antihero. In The Wire, you “get” the comparisons between drug dealers and the police as factions of equal merit. These things are like delicious breadcrumbs of self-confidence, completing little puzzles for our neurological reward centers. Make no mistake that each of these crumbs was laid down by an intentional hand, drawing us further and further in. Now, in this Golden Age, TV has snuggled up close to the critics that once derided it as stupid and trivial. TV as art makes Wallace’s original statement in “E Unibus Pluram” ring just as true:

Television culture has somehow evolved to a point where it seems invulnerable to any such transfiguring assault. TV, in other words, has become able to capture and neutralize any attempt to change or even protest the attitudes of passive unease and cynicism TV requires of Audience in or to be psychologically viable at doses of several hours per day.

Could one imagine that the new season of House of Cards, inspired third-hand by Richard III, could be considered low-quality in The New York Times or any other critical venue that once trashed television as cheap and vapid?

From the easy access of cheap, reliable, and deeply enthralling television, comes the very Wallacean term: “binge-watch.” The concept of consuming television in large swaths as if it were another narcotic like alcohol or cocaine or Oxycontin has a self-imposed irony to it. In Infinite Jest, one of the characters has an eerily prescient and predictive moment that anticipates the addictive, binge-watching nature of online video streaming:

What if — according to InterLace — what if a viewer could more or less 100% choose what’s on at any given time? Choose and rent, over PC and modem and fiber-optic line, from tens of thousands of second-run films, documentaries, the occasional sport, old beloved non-‘Happy Days’ programs, wholly new programs, cultural stuff, and c., all prepared by the time-tested, newly lean Big Four’s mammoth vaults and production facilities and packaged and disseminated by InterLace TelEnt

If I call the six hours I spent watching the old seasons of Parks And Recreation “binge-watching,” then I am doubly insulated by, first, acknowledging upfront the gluttony of it, and, second, by the irony of calling it a binge in the first place. If I jokingly pretend I’m binging on television, then it’s ironic because watching television is better than knocking back a case of beer, right? Yet television, like narcotics, has a certain intentionality behind it, as Wallace lays bare in “E Unibus Pluram”: “Because of the economies of nationally broadcast, advertiser-subsidizer entertainment, television’s one goal — never denied by anybody in or around TV since RCA first authorized field test in 1936 — is to ensure as much watching as possible.” Wallace’s conclusion is as true as ever, but due to the allure of the Internet as the new “low” art, filled by Youtube, Reddit, viral videos, and vociferous memes dominating the sort of repetitive desire that an American Gladiators marathon used to hold, TV had to change its tactics. Ultimately, the new strategy for capturing their viewers, to convince them of their true desire to watch more and more, was a sea change towards quality entertainment, turning TVs strongest critics into its greatest allies. After all, it is hard to feel poorly about spending a Saturday watching an entire season of The Wire, when its creator, David Simon, won a McArthur “genius” Grant

As a novel, Infinite Jest is intended as a loop. Once you finish the last page, the story pushes you to return to page one in order to put all the clues together and understand what you’ve read, over and over again. The final “joke” of Infinite Jest is that the book is intended to be almost as endless and mirthful as the addictions it depicts. To miss the desperate worshipping hidden beneath the strange, erudite, belly-deep joy of Infinite Jest is to fall prey to its pleasure. The ease of access to satisfaction in the Digital Age, from smart phone to Oxycontin, is perhaps even easier and more gratuitous than Wallace envisioned twenty years ago. The desire for distraction and appeasement has rushed up to meet this pleasure in all its forms, in these new ways to worship that shield the reality of disenfranchisement or pain. To have looked into the abyss of addiction, as Wallace does in Infinite Jest, is to see all of life’s worst parts washed away by a torrent of pleasure. But what if the pleasure took too strong a hold? What if, in the end, you could not look away?

Infinite Jest in the Age of Addiction

Ramblings After My Psychiatrist Visit

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and laid everything on the table that had been bothering me. I was honest, which I never have been in the past with any psychologist or psychiatrist I’ve had … not fully anyway. I have to fill out a little questionnaire every time I’m sitting in the waiting room as I wait for her to call me into her office. “On a scale of 0 – 3, how are you feeling today?”

“On a scale of 0 – 3, how hard was it getting out of bed for you?”

Things of that nature. Three being the most difficult. I answered three on everything except the suicide question because I know from past experiences that when you’re feeling suicidal, you never want to tell someone you’re feeling suicidal. I wouldn’t even tell any of you I’m feeling suicidal. One day you just won’t hear from me anymore. Deal? Deal.

If you’ve been following my blog then you’ll know things haven’t been going as smoothly as I’d like. I told her this much. She asked what had been going on. I sat back and took a deep breath and was forthright. “I just wake up every day and think that I’m done with this whole thing,” as I motioned with my arms. “This whole life bullshit. I’m done. I’ve had enough. I’m not going to kill myself when I get home. I’m not going to kill myself tomorrow or next week. I’m just done with life and what it has to offer. I’m not impressed. I get the gist. We wake up to do the same thing day in and day out, especially me. Nothing ever changes. Everything stays the same. The only thing that changes for me is what kind of confrontation I’m going to have with my grandmother that day because she doesn’t know what reality is anymore.”

It’s nearly impossible for me to get out of bed most days. I have to drag myself out of bed. The first time I do it is to just take a piss, but then I climb right back in and go back to sleep. All I’m doing is looking for an escape, and I told her that much. I just want out. I don’t know what it is to be happy and I’m not sure if I’ve ever known that. She asked if I could go back and change anything at all what would I have changed to set things on a different course to happiness. “I would have told my parents to use a rubber because I sure as shit didn’t ask to be brought into this world.” I think that’s where the problem starts. Too often we have people bringing in other people who are full of emotional and mental issues that they were born with and that could have been prevented by just not being here in the first place. Now we’re stuck here unless we decide to check ourselves out or someone or something does it for us. At this moment in time I lack the constitution for suicide, but in a few years’ time … who knows?

Anhedonia is a real bitch. I was thinking that was I was walking my dog an hour ago. I miss my old dog Denver. I miss how he’d wake me up, excited and ready to go for walks. I miss everything about that dog. I have a dog now that I ended up with just because I have a soft spot for dogs in general and she was being treated poorly by her owner. She’s the opposite of me. She loves people, but doesn’t like other dogs. I love dogs, but don’t like other people. I can’t introduce her to other dogs and hope they’ll enjoy each other’s company because she wants to be a cunt. I was walking her earlier and just thinking, “I just wish I could get rid of you.” I felt terrible for thinking that, but at times I’d like to take her to a no-kill animal shelter, but then I’d feel like an asshole and I’d feel that way for the rest of my life because I’d just be one more person in that dog’s life that gave up on her. It’s just not the same with her as it was with Denver. I want Denver back, but that’s not going to happen. His ashes are going to continue to sit in the urn in the living room and all I have are memories.

That’s something else people say that doesn’t help ever. “At least you have all those good memories with him.” Those good memories just start to remind me of what a great dog I had and how he’s no longer here anymore. Memories aren’t always a good thing. They’re rarely a good thing because they remind you of a point in your life when things were better and then you shake your head and realize you’re no longer in that moment anymore. It has passed and it’s never coming back, but you have to keep going on without it.

Am I making progress with my therapy? I don’t know. It’s nice to have someone to talk to and I’m glad I was able to get my meds refilled. I’ve been without them for a while now so I’ll get them refilled at some point today and get back to you once they’ve worked their way back into my system. At this point, right here, right now, I just want to be in a coma for a few months. I want complete and total silence and darkness. I don’t want to be conscious or think about anything. I started to ask my doctor to prescribe me some kind of drug – any kind of drug – to just make me feel … nothing.

Things Are Great … Until I Wake Up

I’ve shrunk back into my shell as of late. I don’t want to talk to anyone or go anywhere. I don’t think a lot of people get that. They say they understand, but I don’t believe they do. “I understand. Do you want to talk about it?” isn’t understanding. I just want to be left alone. I haven’t been online or answering texts or anything of the like because I just don’t want to.

The depression has set back in again on top of the stress of looking after my grandmother, which gets worse with each passing day. I have to make sure she’s not wandering outside, which I just caught her trying to do. It’s hard to find time to take a shower because in those few moments that I’m in the shower I don’t know if she’s going to slip out the backdoor and try to go on one of her little adventures to God knows where.

The only solace I seem to get is from sleeping every chance I get. I go to bed earlier and earlier just so I can ignore the world, ignore her. I look forward to her bedtime because it means she’s not going to hurt herself in some shape, form, or fashion. It’s nice when she keeps herself busy by sweeping or something of that nature. She does that for a good 45 minutes to an hour, but once that’s been done she’s looking for something else to get into. I said before that I swore I’d never have children, but taking care of her is just like taking care of one. We’ve even discussed putting locks on the cabinets because she’s been caught twice trying to drink dish detergent.

I see my psychiatrist tomorrow so I suppose I’m going to have to tell her all about how my moods have plummeted since the last visit. I have been without my meds for a few weeks so I don’t know if that has something to do with it, or maybe I just want to feel numb to all of this. I want to sit down and space out and not really be here. I don’t want to be in my head, either. I just want to be far away mentally. Maybe hypnosis would help? I don’t know if I really believe in hypnosis. I just want to be happy, or content at the very least. I don’t want to struggle day-to-day with all of these intrusive thoughts that I have. I don’t want to worry anymore about what tomorrow is going to bring.

I just want to check out. I want to call it quits. I know I can’t, but how I do think about it daily. Like I said, the only solace I get is when I’m sleeping. I remember something a friend of mine said a while back when I asked how he was doing: “Everything was going great until I woke up.” I know how that feels all too well. We laughed at the comment back then, but as the days pass by it’s not so funny to me anymore when it’s my reality.

When you’re torn between not wanting to wake up and not wanting to die, either … what do you do?

Anti-Natalism and Mental Illness Mash-Up

I’m back again. This is my second post of the night. A lot of my posts deal with my discussing my mental illness as well as my anti-natalist views. I figured why not post a blog that touches on both of these topics? People get the wrong impression as far as anti-natalists are concerned. They think we’re a bunch of misanthropic assholes who just think the world should burn. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty misanthropic, but I consider myself a philanthropic misanthrope. I try to do good by others and extend a hand if someone needs help, but if the human race were to die out tomorrow then I think it’d be for the best and we had it coming for a long time anyway.

Mental illness seems to run in my family. Dad was bipolar. My sister’s bipolar. My mom suffers from depression and anxiety. I think about people who have mental illness in their family who have children and wonder why they decided to have said children. I wonder the same thing about people who have issues such as diabetes, cancer, and things of that nature that run in their families. Why do you want to pass these things onto other people? It’s cruel if you ask me.

People don’t consider what they may be putting their offspring through nor what they may be putting themselves through. I’ll never have children so I’ll never experience the pain of losing a child, but for those out there who suffer with mental illness and have passed it onto their children, what if your children don’t deal with it as well as you do? What if they can’t or don’t get the help they need and do something drastic? It could lead to something tragic, something tragic that could have been avoided had you just not decided to procreate in the first place.

Procreation isn’t fair to the unborn. You’re giving them a life that they didn’t ask for and quite possibly a life they’re going to not end up wanting as they get older. What then? I suppose you could get them help with a professional and get them on some meds, but those don’t always work. Speaking from experience, I’ve been through my share of meds and therapies to try to “get better” and I still struggle daily with thoughts of suicide. They haven’t been as prominent in recent months, but they’re still at the back of my mind. What’s usually on my mind these days is wishing I’d never been born in the first place.

I, like billions of others, had no say in this matter. I just struggle to understand why my parents wanted to have me knowing what ran in the family. Is it any surprise to anyone that I’d be stuck here suffering through the same issues, suffering with the same thoughts and feelings? The shitty part is that I think as I get older, it gets worse. I’m just getting closer and closer to the grave and for some reason it’s starting to worry me a bit and I don’t know why. I wasn’t always afraid of death like I am now.

Why do you want to put others through things like this? It’s not fair to them. We all know life isn’t fair so spare others from experiencing that. Spare others from experiencing thoughts of their own demise. Spare others from the stigma that’s associated with mental illness. Just spare others from pain by leaving them in whatever realm they’re in before this thing called life begins.

I Like the Way You Work It. No Dignity.

Everything is testing my patience today. For one thing the two dogs are restless and I just want them to settle down for the night, but that’s not my main issue. That’s just a minor inconvenience at the moment. They’ll eventually calm down. The main problem I’m having is family related. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but my grandmother has dementia. I’ve been helping my mother take care of her for the past five years. My grandfather had it as well, but he passed three years ago (or maybe it was two years ago. I can’t remember.)

The rest of my family lives in their own little world of denial and seem to think that she’s going to get better. There’s no cure for dementia. It gradually gets worse until the person’s brain pretty much just withers away and they die. No one but my mom, my sister, and I see this for some reason.

At one point it was mentioned by one of my mom’s sisters that I do more to help with my grandmother and that triggered an “Excuse the merry fuck out of me!” response considering I do more to take care of the old bat than my aunt had ever done. I am someone who constantly says how much I do not want children and stand quite firm when it comes to that. I don’t want to take care of a child, much less a 90-year-old woman who acts like a child. If you don’t believe me then spend an afternoon with the woman and see. She pouts, throws tantrums, can’t wipe her ass (and I’m sure as fuck not going to wipe it for her. I leave that for my mom and aunts.)

I’m dealing with my own mental illness and on my particularly bad days it takes all I have to crawl out of bed. I do what I can because my mom asks me to do it and I want to help my mom since she’s done so much for me all these years. I know my mom doesn’t fully understand my mental illness, but that’s my fault for not really opening up about it like I should. She does understand a bit of it, though. She has also informed her sisters about it and that I’m not capable of taking care of someone else with a mental illness like dementia.

It seems like a game of catch when it comes to my grandmother, just tossing her around from one family member to the other. In all honesty, I wish they’d just put her in a home. That may sound cruel to some of you out there reading this, but I think it’d be the best thing for her. She can get constant care. My mom and one of her sisters both work full-time jobs, which is why I’ve stepped in over the past five years to help out. My mom’s other sister is retired and who the fuck knows why she doesn’t just take her? She’s too worried about it cutting into her vacations she takes with her husband, I suppose.

I’ve been stressed ever since my grandmother returned and I’ve been avoiding her in order to avoid a fight. I used to never swear around her, but there was a time a few months back where she was fighting me as far as taking her medication and I had to yell at her, “Take your fucking pills!” Do I sound like the kind of person suited for this fucking job? I didn’t think so, either.

I don’t know why living into old age is something people strive for. If you’re going to lose your mind then you might as well take yourself out because it’s not pretty. Fuck dying with dignity. There’s no such thing.

Dead Before 40

I don’t know how to describe what I feel. I’ve been told that I write well, but when it comes to writing what I feel and how I react to certain situations I’m not sure how they come across to other people. I’m bipolar. My manic episodes aren’t what you think of as manic. I don’t go on these huge spending sprees or let loose and go crazy. I’m kind of simplistic manic. I’m calm and collected. It’s “hypomania.” I’m not full on manic at all. My sister is full on manic. My dad was full on manic. I don’t get those symptoms. I just feel a little better than usual. My mood is elevated more than normal. I’m not sure how to describe it.

I’m up for doing adventurous things, but nothing too risky. If someone says “Hey, want to climb a mountain today?” Fuck yeah! Let’s do that! I can carry on with my daily life when the hypomania comes along. It’s when the depression comes along that I don’t feel like myself. The depression is what gets to me. I’m just now coming out of a depressive episode which has lasted for about two months now.

I explained my moods to my psychiatrist. I go from feeling normal, which is like getting to the top of the rollercoaster, but then it plummets tremendously and I don’t know what to do with myself. I relate it back to my dog, Denver. Denver was my best friend. I had him for 14 years. He was a puppy when I first got him. I’d take him for walks every single day, twice a day. I enjoyed my walks with him. However long he wanted to walk, that’s how long we walked. I’d let him sniff whatever he wanted and just let him go about his merry way. That was me when I was feeling normal. When my depression crept in I knew things were different. I’d try to pull him back toward the house. I’d get impatient. I wanted him to do his business and let’s get back so I could just go back to bed.

Now that Denver is dead I don’t feel the need to get up for anything anymore. I sleep all day. I look at my phone and see messages from friends and I just have no desire to reply to them. There’s nothing I have to say and nothing they can say that can make things any better. I want life to just stop. I want a pause. I want an end. I want an out. I truly don’t know how to describe what I feel. I think the best way to put it is that I don’t want to feel anything at all. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to feel like shit about shit that I can’t control.

I think about things from my past that have been said and done and I ruminate over them and obsess over them, wishing I could take shit back. Do people that I hurt remember that I hurt them? I’ve said some stupid shit in my 32 years on this planet to people. Do people think back on stupid shit I said to them and have a good laugh about it? We all like to think that we don’t care what others think about us, but deep down I think we really do. I know I do and I have no reason to give a shit. Why should I give a fuck what I said to some asshole in kindergarten? I do, though. I give a fuck and I wonder if they think back on what I said and have a good laugh about it.

I like to think there’s an unspoken rule that things that happen or things that are said when we’re drunk don’t get mentioned when we’re all sober the next day. I know that’s not true, though. Friends of mine subtly bring up shit that I said or did years ago when I was hammered and I quickly change the subject. I don’t want to be reminded of what happened back then. It just brings up bad memories that I’d much rather forget.

I think I’ve gone off topic as I tend to do. I just know that I beat myself up when it comes to what I’ve said and done in the past and I wish there was some way I could fix that, but I don’t think that I can. I think that’s why I try so many drugs – legal and otherwise – to try to fix myself. I don’t want to remember a lot of what I’ve said and done in the past. The only solace I find is in the fact that I’m going to be dead before I reach the age of 40 and none of this is going to matter in the slightest.