Duck Down

This past year I have been mostly —
Dismissing myself, especially my former self. Trivialising what I loved and what mattered to me. Cuz now you’ve “grown up” and you get praise for “growing up”, doing adult things, pretending you endorse values that are “good and proper and necessary” but make you sick, cuz, y’know you’re supposed to “put away childish things”.

And the impetus for any “grown up” behaviour is actually my desperation to get acknowledgement/praise from others and to fit in (which don’t seem like very grown up motives). And also the fatigue from justifying my behaviour to myself (or others) cuz the world indicates that this behaviour x is not normal/healthy/correct/worthwhile.

With a fear that this is the way you have to live — directing yourself by precepts that you despise — if you want to live in some kinda physical comfort. Although I’m telling myself that this isn’t true and hating myself for cowardice.

I’ve lived so long thinking that the best I could ever hope for was a pat on the head — good dog.

I’ve been suppressing this realisation — the emptiness of praise/acknowledgement and the worthlessness of pursing it. Suppressing it cuz I know that this is my automatic method of conducting myself and I don’t know how else to behave.

I’m not sure how much of the past 2 1/2 years have been a bad idea. A lot. Lots of picking up of habits that seemed like “improvements” but were only partially so. Were I well enough I’d be looking for a new city in which to live. Or country.

Tired of trying to reconfigure the pieces, now I’m like, fuck the pieces; I want to throw everything away. (I have discovered much amazing musics in the past 2 and a half years, so was not all rubbish.)

'Scuse any LOLcattery in my writing. All the seriousness of previous posts is boring me now. I'm doing non sequiturs, keeping on track is rarely satisfying and sometimes feels contrived, but not anything else (e.g. contrived but clever).

There are tenets/presumptions, that like memes I’ve willingly allowed myself to be infected by. Despite several “god, what the fuck am I doing?” moments of supposed realisation there’s still a sense that things are horribly wrong.

I have much reassessing to do, and (metaphorically speaking) a manifesto to re-write.

I realise that for the past year or so I’ve been feeling that there’s a competition on. And I’m not sure what the rules are, but I can tell that I’m not doing very well at all. I dearly want to get out of the competition, but I don’t recall how I got into it in the first place.

It’s like being in a dream, you know something’s happening although you can’t see any evidence of it. I have, a few times, been relieved because I believed myself to be out of the competition, but later find evidence that I’m still in it.

I feel as though my being unwell is some kind of punishment for breaking, or not understanding the rules, like when I was a child something unpleasant might happen to me and I’d be told that “it served me right” because I hadn’t done “the right thing” (although I’d never been told what “the right thing” was).

I’ve miscomprehended something. Or just missed something. And now what?

Florence a character in the book The Good Soldier carries “heart medicine” with her in a flask. Amyl nitrate that, as she had a weak heart, might one day save her life. After her husband learns that Florence has committed suicide, he discovers what the flask actually contained —

"How could I have known that, during all the years of our married life, that little brown flask had contained, not nitrate of amyl, but prussic acid? It was inconceivable."

“Leonora says that she had that flask, apparently of nitrate of amyl, but actually of prussic acid, for many years and that she was determined to use it if ever I discovered the nature of her relationship with that fellow Jimmy.”

(Prussic acid is a liquid form of cyanide.) She carried it around just in case. A comfort. If the worst happened she wouldn’t have to face it.

The full text ofThe Good Soldier


I used to feel, I think maybe I still do, a huge comfort in the idea that if life ever got so horrible that I couldn’t stand it that I wouldn’t have to. Then I can extricate myself mentally from the tangle of crap I’ve caught myself up in, somehow helps me not trivialise myself. Though, it’s quite an impotent idea as I never came up with a method that I’d be willing to undertake. I’m not being flippant, I think the idea of suicide has been a crutch when nothing else really could be, that this isn’t going to go on forever, this “living” business.