Searching for a Greater Purpose

Wine, bubble bath, candles, chain smoking and Nina Simone all at the same time. That’s what I did this evening. It sounds nice, right? I thought the idea sounded fabulous after the frantic day I had.

When I say frantic, I don’t mean I was running around like mad. My insides were. Panicked, trapped, afraid, restless and in one of the most heightened states of despondency I’ve been in in quite some time.

I told my grandmother once that I was feeling depressed. She told me that she preferred the word despondent – so now I use the word despondent instead of depressed.

I’ve been listening to Pandora and trying to put Jaron Lanier’s distaste of algorithms out of my mind. Sure it’s depersonalizing, perhaps even somewhat dehumanizing but I don’t care right now.

A lyric from a song I don’t know that is playing just said, “I’m afraid to die.”

I’m not afraid to die.

I’m just anxious that I don’t die before finishing my book.

It’s the only thing I feel gives my life any meaning.

At least, gives my existence meaning.

Yet despite this fact, I feel I’m keeping my best ideas bottled up in my head.

They need to come out.

I’m not procrastinating – not really.

Maybe I am.

I’m not sure. Either way, I don’t think I would still be alive without feeling that sense of purpose.

Maybe I’m afraid that if I do one great thing, that will outlive me, I won’t need to be here anymore.

So I put more than enough effort into research and brainstorming.

Give me 48 hours and I can finish a fucking novel.

I type 240 words per minute and my brain is never short of ideas.

But I stop myself because sometimes it feels like it’s all I have, and if I finish off my only passion that seems to give me a sense of purpose and meaning, then what’s left?

Stagnance, or maybe another idea. I don’t know.

Either way, I self-sabotage the speed of the work. But I still keep chipping away at it.

Anyway, the bath really was a good idea. Maybe the wine wasn’t the best idea. I don’t know why other than the fact that I don’t feel sober. I guess things could be worse.

It’s just that most of my waking hours are spent feeling fucked up and wanting to ground myself back into reality. So I don’t like not feeling sober.

I just have no fucking idea what I’m doing with myself other than whittling away at that novel and wishing I was making more progress, but letting the feeling of fear stop me. Because when I’m done, I’ll need something else to justify my existence. I wish that I could be satisfied with jsut being, not incessantly questioning my existence.

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “so it goes.”

P.S. I just announce I was done writing, but in all honesty I would like to add that I wish I had more wine.

Thank you for reading. ❤ Artemis


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Empty House

Lately my house is never empty, but tonight I am alone. I have slightly irrational fears about being completely alone in my house. I think it stems from last June, when things were at their worst and I was in a constant state of not wanting to be alive because all of my waking moments were filled with the constant feeling of complete and utter terror. The kind of terror that kept me shaking all day, that I would wake up to first thing in the morning, constantly with me. I was living alone at the time, this was right after I had broken up with my boyfriend and had him move out. Then the terror hit a few weeks later. Also after getting the concussion. What I’m getting at, is I was terrified of being alone because I didn’t want to live anymore, but I also was terrified of dying. Kind of silly, I suppose.

Feeling like you can’t keep living…

And feeling like you must keep living…

But being so afraid of the terror that you no longer trust yourself to keep yourself alive…

I had a friend come stay with me. He was one of my best friends from childhood. A total shut in otaku. It was perfect. He just lived on my couch, marathoned anime and played video games all day. I didn’t feel like I needed constant companionship – just the reassurance that there was someone around. And that was perfect.

He moved out of state in August to go live with his dad. I am so grateful for the time he stayed with me.

After he left, my best friend actually flew across the country with her newborn baby to stay with me for a bit, she was so worried. I am grateful for the wonderful friends that I have, even if most of them aren’t even in my state. They know that I would do the same for them if I were better, and have done.

The friend who stayed with me from June to August tried to kill himself multiple times over the years. I was always the only person who would go to whatever hospital he was at and just hang out with him. I didn’t get mad at him, or scold him. I just tried to be a good friend, because I knew that he knew that what he had tried to do was wrong, and he was already beating himself up enough for it as it was, and didn’t need to hear anyone lecture him. Sometimes all we need is someone to try to make us laugh and treat us like we’re normal. Sometimes I think treating someone who’s having a hard time like they’re a normal person is the greatest kindness we can show to them. Those are the best friends, and I appreciate that my friends have done that for me.

My boyfriend just left, because he works the graveyard shift. Which is usually convenient, because I like knowing that my roommate is home and sleeping while he’s at work. But tonight she’s staying at her girlfriends house, so I’m here alone.

I guess I’m also afraid that something will happen to me. I’m not afraid of the house being broken into, or anything like that. I’m actually quite good in situations where my life or someone elses is actually at stake, or at least I’d like to think so.

Instead, I’m afraid that the terror will return and I’ll be alone.

That I won’t be able to handle it.

That it would be so awful that I’d prefer to simply stop living than continue to live like that.

The terror hasn’t struck in full force for quite a while now, which is quite a relief. I’ve had plenty of bouts of anxiety and anxiety attacks, but not full blown terrorizing panic attacks where I’m in that state of being completely outside of myself while painfully feeling too much. I think the terror got worse when I started to feel depressed and have these agonizing existential feelings at the same time.

I know I’ve been throwing the word existential around a lot in my blog.

Here, I stole this from Wikipedia:

Existentialism is a term applied to the work of certain late 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual. In existentialism, the individual’s starting point is characterized by what has been called “the existential attitude”, or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.

The article also says that Soren Kierkegaard was considered the first existentialist. I did not know this, but I have been reading quite a bit of him lately. I’ve been reading a large volume of his collected works, and am also almost done reading The Seducers Diary.

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately. I usually am reading a lot. I read more than anyone that I know. I also have more time on my hands than anyone else I know.

I’ve been enjoying Burning Your Boats – The collected Short Stories of Angela Carter. I also recently finished reading (nearly) ever book by Robert Greene. Including a book on fear that he co-wrote with 50 cent, but just reads as a Robert Greene book. I particularly enjoyed The Art of Seduction.

I’ve been reading Perks of Being a Wallflower with my boyfriend the past few days. We’ll take turns reading Charlie’s entries out loud to each other. I like to read out loud, and I do it a lot. Tonight I’m finishing up The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

I’ve also recently re-read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which is a favorite of mine. And I’ve been finishing (for the millionth time) The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. There are many more. I usually finish at least a handful of books every week. Sometimes I’ll simply read all day long if I’m not writing. I tend to devour books in a way that most people don’t tend to believe. They’ll look at my bookshelves and say, “you can’t have possibly read all of these books.” Usually I just smile and say, “I think there are a few up there I’ve been meaning to get around to.”

Anyway, back to what I was talking about at the beginning of this post.

The fear of being alone in the house.

Right.

I was surprised because the one thought that soothed me when I realized I was going to be alone, before going into full on panic mode, was that I could simply write a blog about how I was feeling. Somehow, that thought made me feel better. It gave me something solid to do to work around it. That’s helpful. I’m beginning to think that starting this blog may be a positive thing for me, because it gives me an outlet. Even if no one ever reads it, at least it’s helpful for me, and ultimately I suppose that’s what really matters when you’re trying to work through all of your mental issues.

I still haven’t given up hope that I will get better.

I haven’t given up that I’ll travel the world.

Or be able to go places by myself.

Or be able to go places.

In general.

I don’t think it’s helpful that I continue to compare myself to a somebody that I used to be in the past.

Because the somebody that I used to be was recklessly spontaneous and would get on a plane at the drop of a hat, drive cross country for no apparent reason other than impulsiveness, and get into all kinds of mischief. Basically, I was the polar opposite of the person that I am in this moment.

The person I used to be, was the kind of person who would decide at three in the morning to go walk to the ocean, and strip down to nothing and jump in.

The person I am now is terrified of walking alone, can sometimes walk when someone is with me, but usually not at night, and the few attempts I’ve made at going to the beach, I’ve been unable to walk as far as the water.

I can hear the waves crashing right now.

I love the sound, but it’s also painful to

hear them, so close, yet so far away.

“Do not think I do not realise what I am doing. I am making a composition using the following elements: the winter beach; the winter moon, the ocean; the women; the pine trees; the riders; the driftwood; the shells; the shapes of darkness and the shapes of water; and the refuse. These are all inimical to my loneliness because of their indifference to it. Out of these pieces is inimical indifference, I intend to represent the desolate smile of winter which, as you may have gathered, is the smile I wear.”

– Burning Your Boats, The Collected Short Stories by Angela Carter

I’ve noticed that I tend to like to find a song that somewhat explains how I feel. I like ending my words with music. I think I’ll keep doing that.

This is one of my favorite songs. It seems to fit my mood at the moment.

Oh no love, you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only
Make you care

Oh no love, you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been, no matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain, you’re not alone

– David Bowie

I am sick of the struggle.

Today is my boyfriends birthday. He’s having a party at his house – somewhere I’ve only managed to be a handful of times due to the extreme stress and anxiety that seems to onset when I go there. Not just the house. The car ride there (which is less than ten minutes), and the location I guess. It’s not in the best neighborhood, and I’ve had some pretty bad experiences there. It’s about a block away from where I was once cornered by a man threatening to rape and violate me, while I screamed at the top of my lungs and 30+ people stood around watching, doing nothing. Kitty Genovese comes to mind. Among other things, it just seems to be a stressful place for me to go. Granted, most places are extremely difficult for me to go. I’ve mapped out about a three block radius containing four or five places I feel like I can go with chances of panic attacks greatly reduced. Still stressful, but still generally okay.

I also feel highly sensitive to the type of people I’m around. Despite the fact that I just took several klonopin and a xanax (waiting for it to kick in), I have a pretty big fear of drugs. It took me years of dealing with extreme panic and terror until I finally gave medication a try. It does help, but I wish it helped more.

I’ve been putting lavender oil on the bottom of my socks and in my shoes, as per instructed by the Shaman that I mentioned in one of my other posts. It’s to help me feel more grounded and in my body. I think it’s working? I’m not sure. I really hate the feeling of not being in my body. It’s the oddest sensation, and I would rather not live like this anymore.

But back to my boyfriends birthday. He already left, because he has to be there to let people in. He was definitely disappointed when I said I was having too much anxiety to leave that moment. He’s going to come back for me in a while, and hopefully I will have calmed down enough to actually go. I feel so much shame, embarrassment, guilt, sadness, and even anger about my fear – or what I generally refer to as “the terror.” I will go to nearly every effort to avoid it, because I would quite literally rather die than have to experience being in a state of complete and utter terror for hours on end.. It’s so exhausting.

And I’m sick right now. I tend to get more anxiety when I’m feeling sick. It’s not terribly bad, but it’s been almost two weeks of being “really sick,” “kind of sick,” and “I think I feel better… wait no, still sick.”

I feel as though I should be able to just buck the fuck up and go. And do things. And live. But instead I spend my days cooped up in my house, writing, reading, and writing some more, with those moments broken up by sleep, the occasional video game or netflix binge. I’m currently reading the Encyclopedia of the Occult. It’s an encyclopedia, and I’m reading it cover to cover. Pretty interesting stuff. I feel like a nerd because I actually enjoy reading encyclopedias.

I think the only thing truly saving me right now is working on my novel. It takes me out of my own world that grows smaller and smaller by the day, and allows me to invent a new one. It also gives me a purpose. I’m doing something. And that’s nice.

I really don’t want to drink tonight. I feel sick, and I just took medication. But I’m afraid that if I don’t drink I won’t be able to leave the house. I’m afraid that if I don’t, my brain won’t shut off and will go into overdrive and overthinking mode. I’ll map out every possible horrible situation that can occur and obsess over every fucking thing that could go wrong.

It sucks. I got dressed up and spent over an hour on my makeup. I look kind of amazing. And I did my hair. When I look at myself, I feel like I actually look like someone who is well put together. I used to hate how I looked, and I had a lot of issues with myself and my body. I stopped thinking like that, because I have enough problems to deal with. At least I stopped hating my body. I actually love my body, and I think I’m beautiful. I just wish more people saw me, and that I could see more people. I wish I could say statements like that without people thinking that I’m conceited. There are bigger things to worry about, and there are more stressful things in this world than obsessing over your body. Not that I’m saying that’s not an important issue that a lot of people struggle with a lot. We all have our own struggles. I try not to ever say that I have it worse than anyone else. Hey, I might. But I don’t want to say that to anyone. I know it makes me feel bad when people try to tell me they know exactly what I’m going through, or even that they have it worse because x, y, or z. It doesn’t matter who has it better or worse. We’re all struggling. We all have problems. We all have our own demons that only we can face on our own. Putting each other down or trying to make yourself feel better because you’ve been through more rough shit or have/had it way worse doesn’t help anything. All we can do is relate to each other the best we can, and do our best not to put each other down in the process.

Well, I went off on a rant.

I painted my nails and I messed them up because I felt the need to write. Writing can be such a huge compulsion sometimes.

Anyway, I’m going to end this with a song that is kind of but not really related, but maybe a little bit. Either way, I love it and this is what was playing when I started writing this entry.

Fuck Existentialism

Making your mind go quiet can be maddeningly loud.

At least, the process of trying to get it to do so.

I try to silence it. These thoughts. The thoughts mostly consist of fear.

Anyway, I’m sitting here. At my computer.

I tried to watch motivational talks on YouTube. And some Eckhart Tolle talks. Those are calming.

I’m supposed to be leaving in a little under an hour. Historically, I have a hard time with leaving. The house. At all.

So I’m sitting here, drinking a fruity cocktail pumped up with alcohol and too much sugar so I don’t have to taste the alcohol.

I hate drinking.

The only thing that I like about the effects of alcohol is it makes me less afraid of the world.

Or perhaps it just injects obliviousness in my bloodstream, and it helps me cope.

But only if I wash it down with some benzo’s.

So, I’m sitting here.

Getting drunk.

Thinking about meditation.

(“Drunken Master” comes to mind out of nowhere)

Trying to meditate off and on.

Failing.

Feeling uninspired, but inspired at the same time.

I suppose I made it far enough to put words to a page.

I miss typewriters.

I have over twelve of them.

But they’re bulky, and they lost the convenience they used to hold for me when it comes to writing.

I still love them.

I have been going out successfully. For the first time in six months. I feel as though I should be more proud of myself.

I should feel like I’m making progress.

Mostly, I just feel like nothing I do is good enough.

But it’s a hell of a lot better than I was doing six months ago.

I’m still convinced and utterly fear-ridden with the feeling that those feelings will resurface. Waking up already in the throes of a panic attack, before my brain has even had time to process that I’m conscious of the waking world.

I saw a shaman the other day. She’s pretty famous. She called up a famous psychic. Together they determined that I’m suffering from a group of entities that have attached themselves to me. According to the shaman, and the psychic, they are fear-based entities that want revenge, have nothing to do with me, and are attaching themselves to me because they have something they want done. That’s kind of creepy.

Before the shaman and psychic came to this conclusion, I was told that the spirit of a woman who had died in my room had attached to me (who also happened to be agoraphobic), and had transferred some of her negative emotions to me. I’m still not sure I quite understand that. According to the shaman and the psychic, the negative group of entities that have attached themselves to me have been blocking her. She’s been trying to get through and wants to help, but it’s like she’s behind glass.

And then there’s my therapist who sees all of my problems as self-created due to one bad fucking thing after another happening to me in my life, culminating in keeping me in the clutches of complete and utter terror.

I’m not sure what to believe, or what to think. It would be nice to be able to not take responsibility for my fears, problems, and debilitating neurosis.

So what’s right?

Do I even believe in negative spirits, ghosts, and entities attaching themselves to living beings and keeping them in a fear-addled state of consciousness?

Apparently the entities that have attached themselves (according to shaman and psychic), wanted to keep me from doing something that I had started in June. That was the month I started writing my book.

Apparently, my book has the potential to be a huge hit, and possibly even make me famous. As cool as that sounds, the thought of being famous absolutely terrified me – unlike most people in our society it seems.

Sure, I would like to be successful. But being famous? Meh.

Anyway, there’s a good chance of all of it being complete and utter bullshit.

But those are some things that happened to me in the past week or two.

At least five psychics have contacted me to tell me they believe there is an entity, or multiple entities, that have attached themselves to me.

Honestly, that feels like too much of a coincidence for me to wrap my brain around.

I’m just trying to figure out how to live, and how to stay in my body.

Feeling like you’re not in your body is kind of fucking terrifying.

Feeling like your consciousness is floating somewhere way outside of yourself, while you desperately try to get grounded back to Earth.

The safest I’ve felt in a long time was falling asleep handcuffed to my boyfriend. It made me feel like I wasn’t going to float away. Is that twisted? I’m not sure.

Sometimes I get this feeling like I’m just going to drift off into space somewhere. Like I’m a balloon, with no real anchor on the Earth. Like I’m just a wisp of air, a fleeting feather of consciousness that could be swept away into the void, into the nothingness, at any time.

Usually that feeling intensifies when the fear hits at full force.

Thank mother fucking god that hasn’t happened in recent days.

I honestly would rather die than feel the dread, the terror, the harrowing experience of dying for fourteen hours straight, only to do it again the next day, with no relief in sight.

It’s exhausting.

The corset generally helps me feel like I’m more in my body. Although sometimes it feels confining when I’m not in my house, or if I’m in the car. Other times it feels like it’s anchoring me. Like it’s keeping me from floating away.

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to float away. I just don’t want to be terrorized anymore by fear, dread and panic. It’s so tiring. So exhausting. Words can’t do it justice, but putting them to the page helps in its own way.

It’s odd how I can’t seem to write any of my true feelings down in a notebook, or on a physical page of paper. Only when it’s being typed to screen. It feels less personal that way.

When I journal, I only write good things. I write what I’m grateful for, no matter how shitty I feel. I write about the things I love. I write about what makes me happy. I have to keep giving myself reasons to stay alive. I feel like I’m actively trying to stay alive. Not that I’m going to kill myself. It’s just that I feel like I could die at any time, that I would die if I stopped trying to be alive.

I know that sensation is purely in my head. Even if I wanted to drop dead here and now, it just doesn’t work that way. I assure you though, I don’t want to die. In fact, there are a lot of really cool things I need to do before that happens. I don’t have a death wish – quite the opposite. I love life. I just feel like I’ve been deprived of it.

When you stay inside for too long, you begin to feel as though you aren’t truly alive. It feels like you are already dead when you aren’t out there living a life. Then again, I don’t know what it’s like to be dead. Although, I am a reincarnationist, so I’m sure I’ve experienced death before. I just can’t recall what that’s like.

And I’m in no hurry to know what it’s like.

What I would like is to know what it’s like to be fully alive again. To be free. To be carefree. To drive down the freeway, wind blowing through my hair, blasting punk rock at full volume, winding through highways and deserts and mountains.

Getting on a plane. Spontaneously. Going to a distant country.

The fucked thing is that I could do that if I didn’t have this fear.

I have the resources.

Shit. I’ve been saving to go to Japan for over a year. And I’ve saved more than enough. But there’s no god damn way I could make it to the airport. Let alone make it through the plane ride. And who knows. Maybe you can die of a panic attack.

No, I know you can’t. My old psychiatrist loved to tell me this over and over.

“No one has ever died of a panic attack.”

My biggest confusion around my own panic attacks, is that people say they pass within 10-15 minutes.

They really, really don’t always. Sometimes they can last between 12-16 hours for me. No shit. And this is why I’ve developed a severe fear of drugs. Because I couldn’t think of anything else that could make me feel so fucked up and terrorized for 16 fucking hours. But no. It was a panic attack. They all were. Panic. Pure panic. Once the panic, once the apprehension sets in, it’s all over. Toast. Done for. Forget about it. A downward spiral.

In the past year or two I’ve had so many amazing opportunities. The kind of opportunities I used to dream about when I was panic-free. Talk about fucking irony, right?

In the past year I’ve turned down a trip to France, a trip to Italy, a trip to Japan, a trip to Mexico, a trip to Hawaii, and a trip to “anywhere you want to go in the world.” Oh, and Australia. Work opportunity.

I wanted to go to all of them. Before I started experiencing the panic, all I dreamt of was being a world traveler. Thankfully I made it to a few other countries and continents before the panic completely overtook my life. And 35 or so states.

It just doesn’t seem fair. I know, I know. Life isn’t fair.

But what really really pisses me off, is when people tell me they are envious of me. I get that more often than I’d ever like. I hate it when people envy me. It’s like… you have no idea what I have to go through just to exist. You have no idea. You have no idea how much pain I feel every day. And not just physical pain. Physical pain is fine. I can deal with that. It’s crippling mental pain that I can’t deal with.

Existential crises are the fucking worst. I used to think they sounded really cool when I was fifteen years old and discovered Sartre.

They’re not.

Seriously.

I really wish I didn’t understand Nausea.

I would be happy to not know what it feels like to go through an existential crisis. It’s a hard thing to come back from, and I’m still working on it.

Anyway, I have to go soon. I’m on my second drink. I made it strong. I feel as though my sentences are deteriorating by the moment, my brain becoming sluggish, and my rational mind going numb.

I feel this has been a sufficient rant to get me through the night.

Here’s to hoping.