The Quintessential Downward Spiral and the Crushing Grip it Commands

Yes, that title was unnecessarily wordy and perhaps even- dare I say- pretentious. Here you are reading it, however, so maybe there’s something alluring about the word quintessential – a word I don’t think I’ve ever spoken aloud, even through the host of presentations given in a previous life which aimed to impress my audience, but often fell short of that mark. Maybe if I’d used words like quintessential more often during my visually pleasing, yet admittedly dry PowerPoint presentations, I would have progressed further in my career and not became the miserable “Smeagol-esque” creature whose words are temporarily occupying your attention.

That brings me to the topic I ponder for the evening; though, truthfully it’s been dragging me down more and more lately. The “downward spiral”- and I’m not referring to the NIN album which ironically catapulted Trent Reznor’s musical career to a whole new level of success. I’m talking about my own personal downward spiral, and how it is so very difficult to escape. It’s a phenomenon which is one of the cruelest tragedies fate has to offer. Painful as it is to experience, it can be equally as hurtful to sit by and watch helplessly as your loved one is caught in this vortex. Your words, the strongest of your efforts, your tears, and love which would otherwise move mountains is often not enough to save the ones unfortunate enough to be caught in the grip of this nightmare.

Now some of you may be thinking to yourselves Dude, do you think you could be any more overdramatic? Shit happens, bro! Activate your testicles, and drive on- emo was so 2000’s! To them I say, Dude, do you think you could be any more simplistically judgemental? Shit- as the bumper sticker has indeed plainly stated- clearly happens to all of us humans; but sometimes some particularly difficult shit hits us at a time when we are vulnerable, which leaves us exposed and prone to even more shit, which before you know it has snowballed into a pile of shit which has become hopelessly unmanageable! Now if you don’t find yourself aligned with the former reader’s line of thought, then I would imagine that even if you haven’t personally gone through a downward spiral yourself, you can identify with my words because you have been unfortunate enough to watch a friend or loved one struggle through such an ordeal. I think there is nothing so painful as being unable to steer the one you care so deeply for away from their demise, as they knowingly plummet to the bottom. Sadly, the only person who ultimately holds the reigns in that situation is… well, the person in the spiral!

Great so I’ve exposed a phenomenon which did not need exposing, since it’s some fucking unstoppable force or whatever. Perhaps…. but why does this happen though? I can only accurately speak for myself in this matter.

I will freely admit that I’m like hella chronically depressed. I have some theories on what the root cause of that depression is, but maybe I’ll explore that another time. For the time being, that is a factor which comprises my being- for better or worse. That, in and of itself, may be the short and simplified reason as to why I’m caught in a spiral. My brain doesn’t currently produce the right combination of dopamine/serotonin or whatever to be resilient enough to bounce back from failures and adversity; as such, each setback in life prevents me from moving forward.

I wasn’t always like this though. So my own state of “not-giving-a-fuckness” was brought on by circumstantial factors. By the way, feel free to throw the term circumstantial factors out there in your day-to-day conversation just to see what kind of reaction you receive. It’s bound to raise an eyebrow or two during your routine dialog with peers and such.


*** Two days later… ***


So what was I rambling about? My downward spiral? Yeah, it simply represents a lack of resilience in one’s character. I believe I am being objective in saying that it is also a byproduct of low self esteem or confidence. There’s no one size fits all formula for this problem- at least Google hasn’t gone public with it yet- but generally it is those factors (depression, lack of resilience, low self-esteem) married with a series of unfortunate events which result in the person losing any and all hope in life. I used to care about my appearance, how much money I made, what kind of car I drove, you know, all that materialistic bullshit that is indoctrinated into American children’s lives from the moment they can be plopped in a stationary bouncer in front of a glowing screen, on through until they die of cardiovascular problems brought on by McDonalds and insurmountable credit card debt and student loans.

But hey, if anyone’s actually reading this, please share your thoughts! Have you been caught in this downward spiral phenomenon, but live to tell the tale? If so, how did you escape? Have you been unfortunate enough to see a loved one go through this ordeal? Please comment below, so your misery can be distributed amongst us.

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Another Day… No Dollar Though

That’s right, another day of existence is added to the growing collection of days which will be forgotten and meaningless. I have nearly lost my “Mojo”, or if it isn’t gone already, it’s on life support in the ICU, being cared for by Dr. Kevorkian. I’m having a hard time seeing the glass as being half full lately, because I’m seriously struggling with doing anything more than existing. I have been on/off with maintaining sobriety- which considering my circumstances, is pretty fucking commendable, I’d say. To elaborate, my significant other has kinda picked up one of my nasty habits, and fucking took off with it on her own, at a speed that has more or less surpassed my usage. So there’s one thing that I can etch into my legacy’s stone tablet of significant life accomplishments: pusher of addictive and dangerous substances, and sharer of misery. My point is that it’s damn near impossible to quit anything addictive, if the person you’re living with has the same habit. So I suppose it’s the circle of life, or poetic justice, or fucking whatever that I would afflict that curse on a loved one, only to have it come back and gingerly goose me while I’m trying to get my ish together! If I had a nickel for every time karma shot me with its painfully righteous darts, I’d still only have about a half dozen nickels. Yeah, I’m not a bad guy who goes around screwing people over, but when I fuck somebody without the lube, it will most assuredly come back later to fuck me unmercifully, harder, and with even less lube.

All metaphorical sex acts aside, I am fighting with the vigor comparable to Ben Stein’s voice to get my life back on track. Sure there isn’t much enthusiasm there, but I am droning through at a flat, continuous pace, slowly and painfully making it through the day and looking back to say “at least I didn’t off myself”. For some that may not seem worth writing in a blog that few will even read, but these days I try to celebrate even the most pitiful of deeds (or ‘non-deeds’ as it were), because what else do I really have?

I would like to believe that my worst years are behind me- but honestly I would probably being doing myself a disservice, as they could be much worse. I’m kind of hoping to at least keep this streak sub-mediocrity, anti-accomplishment behavior going just a bit longer. As long as nobody expects anything of me, I will not disappoint!

About to Throw the Towel In

It’s simply wonderful to bear witness to the marvelous feats which humanity is capable of and bask in the glory of others’ good will, yet be all but completely impervious to their inspirational qualities. I don’t even remember what it’s like to be inspired without resorting to artificial means. I used to believe the hype- TV, movies, music, and more recently, social media platforms. Instagram is like the big dog amongst big dogs for pseudo-inspirational fluff. Fluff is all it is though- it looks amazing on the surface, but once you look past the perpetually smiling, youthful, beauty that is perhaps just a little too perfect, you’ll find the strings of corporate entities with an endless thirst for capital, ratings, votes, or points in some system which has no real meaning beyond abstract ideas for the Toms, Dicks, and Harrys of the world.

I realize I’m laying it on a little thick here, people, but that’s only because one day, in the unlikely event that I knuckle up, dig deep, and cast aside the demons that have infected my mind, I can look back on these words and partake in the merriest of chuckles. For a sadist will reflect on his own afflictions with a comfort not found anywhere else, since only he truly knows the depths of his own misfortune and misery. When that day comes, I will join the millions of drones, drudging through a life fueled by apathy and distractions that slowly but surely consume life- one day at a time, and relentlessly.

Either that, or more likely these entries will gather metaphorical dust and serve as the tragically accurate memoirs of a self-loathing moron, too lazy to be inspired enough to take back control of his life. Tomorrow is a different day, right? …right!? Because, ya know, all these days are exactly the same now- no miraculous break throughs visible on the horizon, or even conceivable at this juncture. I don’t see myself passing “GO”, nor collecting $200. I will do what I can to keep from catching fire, but I have come to terms with the notion that I will most likely drown in the process.

I Hate This Place

So it’s my birthday today. I really don’t have anything significant to post other than I truly understand what it’s like to be at the end of my rope. You always think you’ve reached the end, but it turns out there’s always just a little bit more you can give. I’m sure you can relate, right Internet? Like you think in the moment, how much more shit could possibly hit the fan? It turns out there’s always just a little bit more… shit, that is. The shit doesn’t always come, but it doesn’t hurt to anticipate the shit before it comes at you. Then, when the shit doesn’t come, it just makes life that much more tolerable. So the moral of the story is shit happens- sometimes it doesn’t though.

Outlook Bleak, Feeling Hopeless

So not that I want to start this blog thing out on the wrong foot, but I’m just tossing this out there. I am suffering from a severe episode of depression right about now. For those who have been fortunate enough to not slip and fall into this deadly mire, steer clear of this and return on a more productive day.

So until I devise a pseudonym, I’m going to be very vague and say that when life hits, it hits hard. Sometimes it hits really hard. This is universal, so don’t let Instagram fool you into thinking that there are millions of people living the sweet life without a care in the world, all fucking giggles and sunshine. Instagram was designed that way on purpose to make you feel inadequate. When you feel inadequate, you feel empty inside. When you feel empty, you seek to fill that emptiness. You’ll fill it with stuff- clothes, gadgets, trinkets, shoes, food, gambling, alcohol, pills, dope- but at the end of the day, you’re still empty. However, this emptiness was born of inadequacy; an inadequacy that was manufactured by an app that comes standard on almost every Android device. You see where I’m going with this? You can fill in the rest.

As much as I’d like to just let myself sink into the depths of this quicksand known as depression and never emerge, I have people who are dependent on me and need me to perform as a functioning member of society. So alas, I trudge on and face the day, willing myself to persevere. That sounds absolutely stupid when I read that aloud, but it really is that difficult sometimes. Why do some people end up with a noose around their neck, a needle in their arm, or with brains splattered across the bathroom tiles, while some not only find happiness, but thrive in this misery?