Depression Triage

When I look back to the time when my life long depression started abating there’s things that happened by accident and things that happened as a matter of course that lead me out.

There’s precious little relief in being free of depression even in the second year since I was last suicidal, most of the time when I think about it it’s with tear-inducing astonishment at how bad it was or with fear that it’s returning.

And when I’m afraid there’s a checklist and a routine that I go through. Have I eaten well, have I slept, taken my vitamins, exercised, is anything hanging over me, am I isolated, have I connected with a friend lately, have I floated, am I over-exposing myself to negative things, etc and then if I’m really still lost as to any reason for my feelings I’ll journal about how I’m lost as to any reason for my feelings.

Four or five times I’ve written the words Depression Day One when a night has been so bad that I think I’m at the top of the spiral again and between the checklists and journals I’ve never written Day Two.

Listening to the Jocko Podcast yesterday he was talking about depression and he reiterated what he said on Rogan and a few other times that he doesn’t honestly know what it feels like to be suicidal so maybe he can’t help but he’s going to try.

I know what’s it’s like to be suicidal and I’m fully aware how most of the time no one can help. Signals bounce off the depression force field and become distorted. Attempts at help can really hurt. Meanwhile we want help but chastise ourselves when we think about seeking it.

So I know I can’t fix, I can’t save, but I can look back at the things I’m glad happened and the things I wished had happened sooner and maybe leave a bit of a road map.

The very first step and probably the very hardest is stop protecting other people from your depression. Caring about other people seems like a lovely thing that should help with depression but it doesn’t, not now. There’s boulders rolling down a hill to crush you and all your friends and you’re trying to prop them all up at once. You tell yourself you need to stop thinking about yourself so much and start truly caring about others. Depression triage step number one is you stopping the boulder that’s going to crush you because if it does you can’t stop all the others anyway. You can save people one at a time starting with yourself but you can’t save everybody at once.

And yes, this will feel incredibly selfish. Mostly because everything feels incredibly selfish to you. Having depression feels selfish. You’re telling yourself over and over that while you want help you don’t deserve it because your problems aren’t really real, it’s just that you’re a loser.

Well losers need help and no one deserves anything anyway so put that voice away.

You’ll tell yourself that this will make everyone else think you’re even more selfish than they already do. It’ll make everyone hate you, finally and completely and they’ll all talk about it all the time.

You know what? Everyone thinks everyone is fucking selfish. And your friends do occasionally fall into a conversation about “You know what [Your Name]’s problem is… blah blah blah misunderstanding and oversimplification…” 

This is why your friends can’t help you. They think you just need to get over yourself. The problem is you think that too and you’re trying. You’re ready to get so far over yourself you take yourself out of the life equation. You can’t get anymore over yourself than suicide.

Remember that this is triage – dealing with the worst wounds first. Doctors deal with gunshots before broken toes. You’re planning to kill yourself and your friends are, at worst, annoyed. You get to come first even if the broken toes don’t like it and you don’t like that they don’t like it.

The only way to deal with that is to get better. No amount of trying to save them from you before you save yourself is going to help; you’re just going to dangle the friendship further and further over the cliff if you keep trying to do that.

I know you think you need to suck it up, and you think everyone else thinks you need to suck it up, but you’ve been sucking it up, you’ve sucked it as far up as it’ll go, you can’t suck anymore – your lungs are bursting. You need to exhale.

So step two of depression triage is to get away but don’t isolate. Go out of town, go stay with acquaintances not friends or family. Get away from the suicide stimuli, the group of judging eyes or sympathetic glances, get away from offers to talk about it.

So often when I was depressed I’d end up standing helpless on street corner wanting to throw my phone in the sewer and disappear into homelessness. Everyone, including me, was audience to the story of my depression and all other possible endings had been narrowed out til only suicide was left. It was the only thing that made sense for us, that would solve all our problems.

Like I said – solving just my own problems and not (as I perceived) everybody’s problems with me felt too selfish. But if I could just vanish, just end the story as far as everyone else was concerned then on my own away from the center of the vortex I could get better.

And it works. There was a trip to BC that really helped me and later I did choose to be homeless for a while, by couch surfing rather than wandering off into the night from the bar.

One thing I wish though is that I’d paused life rather than stopped it. I walked away from everything and just left life in pieces. It’s probably possible to feel a clean break and some distance without leaving a mess too big to come back to.

But hey, there’s lessons in my accidental successes and in my deliberate failures.

The thing is when you’re alone at home you can isolate and really fuck yourself up but at someone else’s house, especially someone you don’t know well, it puts you on your best behaviour. You keep yourself tidy, meals are scheduled and shared or you go out solo and try new places for lunch. Just having someone say “What do you want to do about breakfast?” makes a huge difference. Because what you want to do about breakfast is sleep til noon and cry but around someone who doesn’t know that you’re like hey, if there’s eggs…

Just find a place or places to decompress, places without loads of hanging boulders and overly meaningful glances. Like staying at hotel if you could. Or, and this is sincerely occurring to me right now, a hospital or rehab if you can/need to is probably great.

But a trip is probably best. I had friends when I was kid check themselves into the psych ward and I thought it was just terribly vain.

And third, to wrap up cuz this is going long, think of yourself as an athlete. I think there is a time and place to be a journalist of your won despair (obviously, as I journal about it) but don’t force yourself to do it constantly. An athlete mindset will get you eating right, keeping to schedules, tracking aches and pains and seeking treatment and most importantly – being an athlete isn’t about being happy and fixing everything. Real athletes train on rainy days, lift when they’re sore, lock on diets, it’s about results not pleasure and that’s such a relief when you’re incapable of feeling pleasure.

If your goal is I just don’t want to be miserable anymore then you’ll never achieve it. If your goal is to run faster that’s not only attainable and trainable with lots of handy advice and community out there – you can use your misery to help get you there. Your threshold for what is suffering is so much better than other people’s and you weren’t using it for anything. Now you can. You can turn those feelings into progress and progress will weaken the grip of those feelings.

Then you’re triaged. And if there’s any other survivors see what you can do. If not, at least you can look at yourself in the mirror and say you did what you had to do to save the most lives possible.

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Posted in Depression & Suicide, Pragmatism

Running is a test, so why didn’t you study?

I, like all children who have been told they’re very smart, don’t study for tests. (Parents and teachers, you should tell kids you’re proud of how hard working they are, not praise them for innate intelligence unless you want to sabotage them forever.)

Like most smart kids I relied on intelligence rather than athletics to gain praise. So I had pretty big gaps in my physical education and one part of being smart and not being a dick is admitting what you don’t know.

I did not know about running.

I was exhausting myself and hurting myself and each day I was watching videos trying to find out exactly why I was exhausted and hurt.

I still do that by the way. When I was learning to swim I watched videos everyday after the pool looking for the specific things that held me back and even now I’ll watch video right after a work out if, say, my back hurts after some kettlebell swings (which I now know is caused by swinging the bell to far forward rather than upward when it’s in front of you).

There’s no need for everything to be a hot take. Naivety doesn’t equal sincerity.

No one is naturally good at anything. Take a kid we’d call naturally smart and put him against an average college student. Bro is gonna crush the kid every time, kids don’t know shit about cars, politics, plumbing, whatever – we just call them smart if they pick up reading quicker than the other booger eaters they’re lumped with.

In music the only natural talents you ever heard of were the ones who backing from a multi-billion dollar industry. There’s a million other people who had that same thing at that same age and their talent went unnurtured.

And it’s the same with sports. We say someone was a natural athlete when they were young and then we coach them for decades.

Being adept isn’t being good, it just means starting was easier. And let’s face it, people do the things that come easy.

Anything easy is unlikely to feel important and vice versa, that’s just how feelings work unfortunately.

Anyway this is supposed to be about the terrible form I saw running my last half marathon.

I’m judgemental as fuck. It’s okay, you can say it, we all know. And after all my research there’s so many things I can’t unsee.

Now I know that one of the things that drives people into endurance sports is wanting to be exhausted, wanting to hurt in order to feel that they’ve ‘done’ something important.

Those people suck and are stupid. If you’re wiped out and injured after a 21k you’re not hardcore you’re just a fucking failure. Train up and run a 50k, then you can be wiped out. Feeling like you’ve done something important because you did something hard is the same as feeling you must be naturally smart because first grade was easy. You can make anything harder or easier but objectively you’re still just in first grade.

It’s like what I said a while ago about people working with hangovers. They did technically put in more effort because they were also overcoming a drag no one else was but were the results any different or did they just put in 150% to get the same 100 out? That’s not noble, that’s wasteful, that’s like not recycling.

So study, stupid first grader, because you can’t just repeat first grade 12 times and call it a high school education.

And study for fun. If you like running (or whatever your thing is, food maybe) then you probably like talking about it. Studying is just talking about it with people smarter than you.

Posted in fitness

Youth

When Tim Ferris got his dad eating right and working out for a year his dad’s doctor remarked you’re ten years younger now than your last visit.

Chronological age is really just trivia. The age of your body is a matter of wear and tear, it’s how much you’ve decayed. We’ve all seen people who lived hard when they were young and look indecipherablely old in their 30s. Hell, you might pass someone on the street who looks brutally weathered but in reality they’ve only been alive 22 years.

I started worrying time was running out in my mid 20s – like everyone does. The fear is that if you don’t ultra-peak at 25 you never will. I wasn’t as bad as most people though; when I was in bands at age 26 I remember people who were 22 to 24 recoiling in horror like they were going to catch it, they were going to catch being 26 and lose two years of beauty and invincibility that expire the minute Tinkerbell stops clapping for you.

Later in life, the actual ripe old age of post-30, I realized time was not running out. There’s actually such an upsetting abundance of time it’s ridiculous. I went from thinking I have to do something truly huge and meaningful in the next 3 years! to thinking what the fuck am I going to do day-to-day for the next, like, thirty?

Work out. Work out was the answer. And I’m probably younger in measurable and immeasurable ways now than 6 or 8 years ago. I am youthful in my attitude; more optimistic and welcoming than ever before. While exercising – especially cardio – and eating right keeps me energetic.

I just don’t know what the particular value of that is anymore, I don’t have any ambitions. Time isn’t running out because there’s nowhere I want to be before… before what?

But I’ve got more energy to do it. And I guess that’s what we associate most with youth, energy. The reason to be in a band in your 20s is you can go days without sleep and recover from drinking insane amounts. The thought of going on tour now, when I’m so in love with rising early, structured work outs, structured meals, and quality sleep, is laughable. But it was great back when it was great.

Or maybe it’s Potential. Aging can feel like your potential is running out; you’re closer to being doomed to yourself as you are, unascended. Which I actually don’t mind; I found it to be a relief when I admitted exactly what I had to work with in the present rather than always imaging how things would be in the future.

The thing about unlimited potential is it’s dishonest, it’s delusional. Being a youthful dreamer with time and potential means you never have to do anything right now; there really always is tomorrow. Right up until you’re 27 and scrabbling because it’s going to take at least 3 years to do everything you wanted to do this year.

The last symptom of youth is fury; furiously trying to get two hours worth of achievement done each hour. I ended up suffocating everything I was trying to do with relentless pressure followed by reckless drunkenness whenever the pressure blew off.

Then I crashed landed into being 33 and realized it was a landing I could walk away from. And in a plane crash the living may envy the dead but they don’t elect to join them, they just start walking down the mountain.

I found shelter and nourishment in the athleticism I adopted just to pass the time, just to not be so me all the time.

As always this post was supposed to be about something practical – like how you should start taking creatine in your thirties to protect body and mind from natural decay – and wound up being a retelling of my life narrative that’s melancholic and yet soothing. To me and only me.

I think we’re capable of accessing a vision of ourselves as a happy, youthful, senior citizen – we just really don’t want the in-between. It sort of represents a failure if you’re still a normal person from 25 to 60. At which time all the majestic circle of life quiet humility stuff, I assume, kicks in.

But like The Onion says Dying Lion Sure Doesn’t Feel As Though He’s Completing Some Great Cosmic Circle.

That’s right, today’s metaphor round up is we’re all lions in a plane crash.

Quiet humility is a trait we do not associate with youth and yet it’s when we get all our best shit done. I guess as we age we just have to work harder and harder, smarter and smarter, in order to have the time to be whimsical – to be young for a night now and then.

Posted in Depression & Suicide, fitness, Pragmatism

Coining a new word – Plantasy

A fantasy is something that is pleasurable because of its unreality. The word gets used most in terms of sex because the door of language only opens into sex, never out; words can go from neutral to sexual but never sexual to neutral.

Just like how names are boys names, then unisexual, then exclusively girls names.

But really a fantasy can be anything. If you watch a movie and think if I was directing this… that’s a fantasy. And it’s great and safe because it’s just in your head and everything would just work out – unlike in real life if you were to suddenly be at the helm of a motion picture you’d fail so quickly and terribly people would lose their jobs, ruin their careers, and be unable to feed their children.

That’s the joy of Monday morning quarterbacking – the defining parameter is your omnipotence.

So that’s fantasy, it’s inherently whimsical. It used to be called a flight of fancy but no one could get away with using that term anymore. Although you can see the etymology.

And we all known what a plan is so I’ll spare you.

But a Plantasy is a new thing. It’s a fantasy that has a narrative structure, it has a lot of and thens sprinkled throughout, it has a beginning but it never starts. Sort of like how all religions have the apocalypse written out and it’s totally going to happen that way someday when it totally does happen.

Like Bob and I have a Plantasy about opening a diner called Healthy As Fuck. See, there’s a misalignment with our knowledge and love of healthy eating and the fact that we make pub food so we naturally came up with a place where we would flourish and details just keep getting added. After a month or so of joking conversation about how we should have a place with a really healthy, work out oriented menu and one column labeled cheat day, Bob came in and very seriously said we have to source our meat locally and organically. the jokes come in dribs and drabs until they’re not jokes anymore.

When you have a fantasy the feeling that it could come true makes it more powerful in the dopamine, endorphin, whatever mental jerk off part of the brain.

I have another Plantasy about doing podcasts because everybody these days has a Plantasy about doing a podcast. I wanted to do one called The Socratic Method where we discussed one culturally ubiquitous word that everyone thinks they know but never defines. Success is the first example, everyone knows it when they see it but has a hell of task describing it or aligning their description with anyone else’s.

And in every episode when someone said everyone has their own definition implying all interpretations are equal I’d call them a chicken shit pussy. In, like, a fun way though.

I also want to do a podcast called What The Sequence Should Have been where we re-arrange the song sequence on albums to tell a different story because looking at songs in sequence was one of my favourite things when I started listening to music and albums that were vaguely conceptual like Downward Spiral and Anti-Christ Superstar, then it was my favourite thing when I was in bands, and now when I listen to records all can think is well this song should be before this song because blah blah blah and then I text someone about it because those thoughts have no home.

Bands, and musicians in general, are the ultimate at Plantasies. Most of being in a band is coming up with names and themes for other bands to start. Remember how we talked for months about starting a hardcore band called Wolves Of Chernobyl? It’s that all the time. And btw there is a real band now called Chernobyl Wolves which isn’t as good.

Of course some people use Plantasy as an escape just carrying around the idea of the thing they’re going to do when they quit this job. But then they only think about it on rough days and lord knows they never work toward any part of it.

Which is actually what fantasy is for. There’s no harm in thinking paradisical thoughts when you’re slogging through some shit. Guys in POW camps in Vietnam came up with amazing shit they were gonna do when they got home and it got them through the times of torture when they thought they weren’t gonna make it home.

And you know what? A lot of survivors came home and did it.

In a prefect world we’d all turn our fantasies into plans and our plans into memories but in this much more casual reality where we’re in a prison camp that’s really really big and open and has free wifi it’s fun to nurture a good Plantasy among friends.

Posted in Pragmatism

Knowing When You’re Vulnerable

I heard someone use the acronym HALT a while ago; Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. Don’t make decisions they say when you’re Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired.

It caught me because I knew about 3 of them, I’m aware of HAT problems, but it never occurred to me that loneliness – the that certainly has plagued me most in my life – was a weakness.

But suddenly I can see that loneliness is a sense like hunger or cold; you believe the state is perfectly manageable when you’re not in it. When you are, and it’s building and building, and you get tunnel vision, and desperation takes over you do things your rational, dignified mind would never let you do.

Like so many things in my life I’ve become so accustomed to loneliness being the emotional background noise of my life I can’t simply identify it on a whim, I have to look for external signs that it’s built up. Like when you notice your stomach aches and then ask yourself what was the last thing you ate and when and then you realize nothing is wrong, you’re just hungry.

I catch myself talking faster and trying to be entertaining when my loneliness level is high around people. I detect that I’m being needier than normal (my normal level of neediness is headphones and pretending I don’t see you so the jump to wanting someone to not-leave stands out to me like a dildo in my peripheral vision) then I ask myself what was the last thing that made me feel socially fulfilled and when.

When I’m alone of course I’m usually not lonely and usually not bored, if I’m bored it might mean I’m lonely and if I think I’m lonely it might mean I’m bored. You get it.

Alan Watts referred to the television as The Anti Solitude Device. People just put on the TV then putter about the house because it takes the edge off the uncomfortable silence they’re experiencing with themselves. This is why the most watched shows are the most boring, mayonnaise shows. Romance novels outsell every other genre not despite their trite predictability, but because of it. And of course… music…

So much of our culture since the disintegration of small social units like families, unions, bowling teams, cults, likeable bands, whatever has just become loneliness band aids rather than loneliness solutions. Social Media poisons the well in two ways: 1, seeing all (and only) the highlights of a lot people’s lives while you’re bored makes a person feel ashamed and shame makes people withdraw; while 2, it let’s you keep track of little things in your friend’s lives eliminating the need for small talk. Small talk is dumb you say but without small talk there isn’t big talk. Every big, under-the-stars, cathartic, inspiring conversation started with hey, what’s up while sipping on a beverage not hey, this is super fucking important fill my emotional needs while cranking symphonic soundtrack music.

The tiny, curated updates let keep track of our friends but not keep connected.

In the Blue Zone study of groups of people who live happily and healthily over a hundred the number one thing they found was strong social connection. In the globe spanning study the only thing they found that was as dangerous to longevity as loneliness was smoking. Diets and exercise were different group to group – although none is similar to the Western Diet and sedentary life obviously – but no one happy and healthy over a hundred is lonely.

So just like hunger where you need to eat healthy and not eat constantly to really enjoy food – we need to stop band-aiding our loneliness with the emotional empty calories of crap TV and music, and social media; take the time to feel and acknowledge a little loneliness, enjoy some solitude and find strength in it, then really relish when you do get to spend some quality time with people you like.

And really give yourself to the moment, listen to them and savor how it makes you feel. If it’s quality the need for the band aids, the empty calories, the digital addictions, will fade into the background and then be gone.

Voids are hungry, the more you feed them the more they want and the stronger they get. You can’t just shovel every little thing in. You gotta let the void exist and when you do it will shrink.

Posted in Pragmatism

Running – what’s an advantage

Drug is one of those words than everyone knows and uses but can’t pin down a definition and Performance Enhancing Drug is even harder.

If I eat a smart breakfast and you don’t I’m going to beat you on race day. I have an advantage. Making sure to eat foods that have what I need and not eat stuff that interferes with optimal performance is more important than physical training. But that’s not drugs and not an unfair advantage, you say, because that’s food, we all need to choose our diet.

There are things the body doesn’t make and therefore needs from diet, we call them the essential amino acids like Omega 3s, and there’s things the body can make but doesn’t generally make enough of – like creatine – so it’s important to supplement.

And so you might say those are nutrients, not drugs.

I have Testosterone. We all have it, some people have an irregularly low amount and may need to supplement it to be at a normal baseline, but if you are at a normal baseline and take it then you’re cheating. What’s the socratic difference between testosterone and 5HTP?

(5H by the way is a serotonin precursor meaning if you have a naturally low amount you’re unlikely to ever feel joy –  and you’re definitely a better runner if you’re not miserable. Hell, I wasn’t even a runner until I wasn’t miserable.)

Okay, so something that takes you over normal human range – even if it is naturally occurring in the body – is a PED.

So what about oxygen. If you take oxygen before a race you’ll perform better. We’d all say that someone huffing on an oxygen tank before a race seems cheaterly but what about people who just have a better V02 max (which is the rate oxygen gets to your muscles) by being born at a higher altitude, do they have a fair advantage because it’s a matter of birth? Being at the peak of the natural spectrum just by being born higher is probably going to lead to a win every time any yet we’d punish – or at least frown upon – anyone artificially compensating for being born closer to sea level.

Things have to be universally applicable though. If we let one person take oxygen then we can’t stop anyone – including the super human breathers – from taking it and therefore no changes the whole field just shifts. Then the disadvantage is to whoever isn’t taking oxygen.

And there’s a shoe that some wanted to ban for giving an unfair advantage, for being too good of a shoe. But isn’t that the point of shoes? We’re all wearing shoes, there’s no one competing in running who can’t afford shoes so you can’t claim unfair economic advantage.

I have yet to mention a single drug but if you stacked all the things I’ve talked about into a person you’d have a hell of racer. Hell, I didn’t mention caffeine; that literally is a drug that will enhance your performance but you can take it openly during the race.

I listened to someone talk about their carb gel and sports drink strategy for their first marathon and felt kind of disappointed in them. Like, did you run or the race or did you just science it? Where does the athlete end and science take over? If there was something – a drug, or a shoe, or cyborg legs – that allowed anyone to run a great marathon with no training then there’d be no point running one.

I guess the question is what are we really testing when we run a race? How good of a runner you are? That’s a matter of how well you eat and train so that’s what we’re really testing. Who’s the better runner will be decided before race day, after that it’s just a little bit of luck that keeps it interesting. It’s about how hard you’re willing to work, it’s grit and dedication that we admire.

One explanation is that we, the community of running, don’t want you to take anything dangerous to your health (because if you take something that’s going to fry your liver and win then everyone has to take that or not bother running and then the sport’s over) but runners do dangerous shit all the time – people die from drinking too much water and depleting their sodium but no one is calling salt a PED. Dying is as grit and dedication as you can get for this stupid hamster wheel hobby we do.

Ultimately it is a matter of agreed parameters. If you enter a barefoot race wearing shoes you’re outside the agreed parameters, if you take a short cut during a race you’re not racing smarter you’re straight up not running the same race that everybody agreed too.

The parameters are arbitrary, not socratically defined, and sort of voted-for-by-participation but they exist if you’re in a competition. To paraquote Matt Fraser (peace be unto him), if you want to take steroids and get super jacked then go ahead, I can’t stop you, but if you sign up for a competition that explicitly says you’re not on steroids then fuck you.

It goes back to the hiding instinct; if you don’t want anyone to ever know you did it then it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing. It’s not a catch-all but it’s a good box to check pretty frequently.

It’s weird that oxygen before a race feels out of bounds and sports drinks during doesn’t but that’s the culture and all cultures are weird when you look at them.

Posted in fitness, Pragmatism

Your Feelings Don’t Have To Be Scientifically Accurate

Without knowing I suffered under the weight of my own objectivity for a long.

Objectively it doesn’t matter where you live; you could live in a palace or a crack den you’re still just as alive and still going to think thoughts and die and it’s all ultimately equal.

I was always shutting down little, personal feelings – especially if they were positive – and trying to live in the biggest possible objective truth – especially if it was negative. To me all pleasure was selfish illusion.

When I was looking at apartments on my own, rather than with a girlfriend, for the first time I found myself still thinking I don’t matter but so-and-so will like or dislike this. I was just projecting my own subjectivity into someone else’ voice. So I acknowledged that while it’s true that it doesn’t capital M Matter where I live, it’s also true that my subjective feelings exist that the fact is I prefer one place to another.

Simple pleasure for simple pleasure’s sake isn’t being a bad existentialist – it’s being next level.

Most people don’t think like me, most people struggle unknowingly under the weight of their own subjectivity. They think this is what happened and this is how I feel about it when really it’s this is how I feel so this is the story I tell myself of what happened.

Knowing that, you can work with it.

I just wrote the summary of the half marathon and mentioned that much of what you think about during a run is just useful illusion. You need to think whatever is going to make you a better runner. Trying to think too objectively, too accurately, too self-awarely, during a long run will make you suck.

Running is an extremely rhythmic thing and looping thoughts and mantras are common. The first time I ran 10k as the dark tunnel set in around me I was thinking over and over – You will be tested. And you will win.

Now if I’d been too objective I’d have to correct myself and say that this isn’t really a test, 10k is an arbitrary number no different really than 9.68k, and even if this were a test the certainty of victory can’t be accurate because the whole point of a test is that some people make it and some people don’t.

It’s like if I was looking at a cloud and rather than letting myself feel like it looks like a lobster I tried to force myself to feel like it looks like droplets of moisture in a randomized pattern.

Just say it’s a lobster-cloud and lobster-clouds are nice and the brain is an interesting broken little thing and move on. I wasted a lot of energy and made myself really unhappy out of an obligation to be smart.

Now of course there is a hard line between what is an illusion and what is a delusion. Technically all movies are illusion; you know that that’s Robert Downey, Jr who has his own real life and history pretending to be Tony Stark who has a pretend real life and history but you go along with it until you slightly but not really forget. Just like you know there aren’t giant lobsters in the sky.

When dealing with their own emotions people often fall into the trap of thinking the lobster is granted reality by the fact that they see it.

I’ve had a homeless guy threaten to kill me with anthrax to prevent me from letting a monster loose on earth again and I’ve had people tell me that I’m constantly putting them down when I only see them twice a year. Delusions exist but they are not real.

Even in writing this post which is supposed to be about how my obsession with objectivity was actually just veiled depressive negative self-talk I can’t shake the fear that any subjectivity is absolute subjectivity.

And now I have the insane feeling that if I think everyone but me needs to stop being such a solipsist that’s kind of solipsistic of me and hurray for that rabbit hole…

The point is you’re allowed to enjoy the movie of life, you’re allowed to see lobsters in the clouds, once you have some objectivity you’re allowed to enrich things with the life-spice of subjectivity, rather than reduce everything to a truth so cold it hurts.

Posted in Depression & Suicide, Pragmatism