Al the Eel*

It’s difficult being awake.  I’ve slept very little in the past weeks.  Perhaps months, my temporal sense is bad when I’m well rested and much worse when I’m exhausted.

I have little control over waking life, save the extension of it into the times set aside for sleep.  My insomnia is as likely a stab at asserting control as it is natural sleeplessness, though the heat in my room is too much and I never sleep well in warmth. 

I am very tired.  I have been, and continue to be unreasonably depressed.  I don’t take much joy from anything, so I don’t do much of anything, leaving me with the sense that I’ve wasted my time, so I don’t sleep, so I’ve no energy to combat the enervating pain in my back or the sluggish flab that’s accumulated over and in place of my musculature.  No arms against the see of woes, not much upper body at all.

I’m breaking down and more and more my habitual method of accelerating through the rusted stoppages is resulting in damage rather than return to proper locomotion.  My belief that flogging the engine will force reformation to true, that doing a thing harder will make the thing better, is proving less and less a viable mode of operation.  Perhaps it’s due to my age.  Perhaps to my months of indolent passivity, or the years before of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgeries.  Maybe it never worked and this ache is the result of thirty years of doing things upstream or against the wind, demanding contrariety for the sake of it.

My old scars ache.  As if all the granulated tissue is capitalizing on the weakened vessel, the sea rats flocking to and pulling down the sinking ship.

Because of this self-centered grousing I rely ever more heavily on external validation that refuses to come.  I’m coming to see my maladies as the physical manifestation of my failure to achieve anything of merit.  What personal successes I’ve accrued refuse to reinforce my egotism, I don’t today care what I’ve done now that no one else seems to.  I feel I’ve been found wanting.

My seifu tells me to meditate more.  The last shrink I saw said to relax, to be easier on myself.  Both suggestions require a self-control I don’t feel I posses.  That I could fix me myself seems a fallacy.  But, rationally, I know from the bottom of the well the whole world seems underwater, the sky seems inaccessible.  It’s easier to the be the eel that sits in the dark and grows and changes to suit it, never attempting, never considering, escape.  Living for a century with eyes bulging and spine twisting until I’m suited to the confined dark.*

One could strive for the surface, but eels don’t climb.  I’ve never been able to swim.  I sink.  I am coming to know, realizing, that perhaps my failure in both metaphorical and literal senses of the word may be a means of self-preservation.  Because I don’t swim, I sink.  Hitting the bottom allows me to push from it.  I must fully be grounded before I can push back toward the surface.  For me, hitting bottom is the means to rise past the middling depths in which I’ve been mired for the past year.

I promise no affirmations.  I promise no hope and sappy decries of overcomence.  I state mean truth, that for me depression is cyclical and my attempts at subverting that cycle only lock me into space below where I’ve set the emergency brakes, the elevator still dragging downward.  But if I wallow, if I accept that at times life is hell and that there is no reason to it, if I accept all the guilt and impotence and self-loathing of it, that I might sink faster, and upon reaching the bottom might get my chance to push up.

Today I am miserable.  Tonight I may be worse.  But in accepting that I accept that change is within one’s affection.  Tomorrow I may sink, or tomorrow I may rise.

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One comment

  1. I don’t see you as a failure in any sense. I hope you can overcome your current bout of depression, because you are a great person and deserve to be happy.

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