Sunday, 11 July 2010

It is impossible...

I haven't logged on since I wrote my last post three weeks ago.
I think I thought it was my last post.
It would have been a nice note to end on wouldn't it.

I want to thank you for all your kind and positive comments. I will find the time to comment back I promise.

The first thing I noticed when I logged back in was the number of followers I have. 456.
Four hundred and fifty-six people thought my words were worth following. I'd never really thought about what an extensive number that is.
Of course I can't leave.
And I can't leave for many reasons - this blog is like blood letting. Take that to mean everything that blood letting can do and for every reason that it is done.
But more than that, this blog gives me a connection to people who understand me, people with the same wires crossed in their brain, the same creatures crawling underneath their skin, the same heart beating the same desires to the same rhythm... I'm part of a community and a family where I feel safe.

I started reading a fantastic book before I got this job. And then I abandoned it - for some subconscious reason or another.
It's called 'The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression'
I've read a lot of books recently to try and understand why I am the way I am, but this has been one of the best. I recommend reading it if you can.
Let me quote from it's introduction:
"Every creative person came out of the womb ready to interrogate life and determine for herself what life would mean, could mean, and should mean. Her gift or curse was that she was born ready to stubbornly doubt received wisdom and disbelieve that anyone but she was entitled to provide answers to her own meaning questions. Was she the only baby born on that day that way, with that gift or curse? No one can say. Nature-versus-nurture questions are unanswerable, except in superficial ways. What is clear is that some people grow up doubting and questioning while the majority don't. These meaning investigators are our creators, and they are prone to meaning crises and consequent depression by virtue of the fact that they find meaning a problem and not a given."

The author then quotes from the suicide note left by the painter Ralph Barton in which Barton says:
"I have had few real difficulties. I have had, on the contrary, an exceptionally glamorous life - as lives go. And I have had more than my fair share of affection and admiration. The most charming, intelligent, and important people I have known have liked me - and the list of my enemies is very flattering to me. I have always had excellent health. But, since my childhood, I have suffered with a melancholia which, in the past five yeas, has begun to show signs of manic-depressive insanity. It has prevented my getting anything like the full value out of my talents, and, for the past three years, has made work a torture to do at all. It has made it impossible for me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that seem to get other people through. I have run from wife to wife, from house to house, and from country to country, in a ridiculous effort to escape from myself. In doing so, I am very much afraid that I have spread a good deal of unhappiness among the people who have loved me."

This struck such a chord with me. You will see in the things I am about to tell you that I am this same person, running, never satisfied, never content, never happy with life as other people can be - even those who have less than me.
My creativity - this blog - stems from my search for meaning in my life and the emptiness I feel.
It's true, other people may diet or be unhappy with their bodies, but they don't stop their lives for it or kill themselves over it. Their lives are enough. Their heads are quiet and tame. Nothing about them is tortured - for they do not torture themselves.
But for me - and I think for many of you - average and normal and mediocre is not enough. Being loved is not enough. Being pretty is not enough. Being slim is not enough. Nothing, nothing, nothing, is ever enough.
That sentence summed me up perfectly:
It is impossible for me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that seem to get other people through...

Why do I choke back the tears every morning on the train into work?
Something is missing.
And how could I ever explain that I don't know what it is, but on the surface, I channel it into beauty and thinness.
It's because I'm so fat and ugly right.
Not fucking worthy of a magazine cover I have never even wanted to be on.


Right now I'm like a tiger trapped in a cage.
I'm wild.
I need extreme highs and lows.
I can't do this fucking mediocre in between.
I need to be drunk and dancing with a guy getting high off my body. I need to be waking up in the morning rotten and  in despair, sleeping to numb the pain of loneliness and the despair of ugliness.
Alex. Mediocre in between.
I want to be outrageous. I want to be extreme. I don't just want love and sex - it's not enough.
I want to be living on the edge. Flirting, feeling hunger, feeling power - getting high off all three.
It's how I'm wired.
I can't numb this. I can't numb myself. I can't numb my personality. I can't numb my brain. I can't numb my senses - the core of who and what I am.


My life mirrors my journey into central London every day. A steady train on a steady track, stopping at every scheduled station right on time.
'This train terminates here. Please ensure you take all your belongings with you.'
I want to be free:
Free to cry
Free to exercise until I can't move
Free to starve myself
Free to write, explore and understand
But I promised I wouldn't fuck this up. Do you know what not fucking up means? It's means I sit in an office from 08:30 to 18:30 and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner so I can perform. It means I've put on nearly 8lbs. It means I can't bear to look at my body again, I can't believe the places I see fat. Clutching it on my back, huge chunks around my waist and belly - thighs as vast and ominous as the sea, arms squeezed into tight shirt sleeves, hideously stretched across a broad back.
Everything. Ugly.

The City of London. The centre of greed and materialism. Killer of humility. Killer of humanity.
"Money doesn't buy happiness." It hasn't bought me a stable lifestyle or a cure for mental illness. Money has not made me prettier or thinner.
In fact, I can almost feel every pound I earn wearing down the edges of my brain, adding another inch around my waist, draining another drop of the blood that makes me feel love and joy.
How can this be the same city where Shakespeare wrote and dreamt and loved? I used to walk along the transcendental Thames and breathe in the purity of creation. Now my vision is blighted by my office amongst slick investment banks and greasy men in obnoxious pin-striped suits. Money. Deals. MONEY!
A person becomes: "That's money right there that is."




I said in my interview for this job that the only way you can measure success is by how much money you earn. I was wrong. You measure success by how happy you are, and fuck anyone else who judges you differently.
Happiness is so fucking rare. I'm sure you've learnt that.
Don't ever do anything unless it's in the pursuit of happiness. Don't ever want anything else.


12 comments:

  1. O,

    I totally feel you on this post. I was in the same position two months ago, working the daily grind and what have you. Forced to eat in order to have enough energy to function as a normal business person for a whole day (and not pass out at the wheel while driving home - lucky you get to take the train). I was away so much from my apartment that there were days that I literally couldn't work out or restrict/purge properly and to my liking. I had so much shit going on every day that I couldn't even truly panic when I noticed my work clothes growing tighter and tighter around my thighs, arms, and waist. I quit that job. I am slowly but surely losing the weight I gained and I finally feel somewhat at peace with the body I live in. I got another job that pays a little less but gives me a lot more time to devote to myself and what I think is important. I'm not saying you should quit, because your job sounds a lot more promising than the position I gave up, but I second your declaration of the pursuit of one's own definition of personal happiness.

    A

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  2. "Something is missing." I feel that constantly. I eat to fill the void. then gain weight. Then the void grows. I then restrict to numb the empty feeling. But when I think its safe. The emptiness crawls back in slowly.
    Its a horrid cycle. One I can't live with. But can't live without.
    To be or not to be??


    x

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  3. god you were so happy to GET this job.
    i know you will think i am silly not worthy of your...whatever, but you might have adhd.
    "I have run from wife to wife, from house to house, and from country to country"- so typical.
    try one last thing: stimulants.
    ritalin, whatever, just try.
    if they don't speed you up, but make you calm and concentrated, you got it.
    might help that these kind of medication reduces you appetite. and then quit and write a novel.
    and another one. you will keep on running, but reach much more while you do it.
    yeah, have you read this? i doubt it. this is a community in which i should tell you you are strong and beautifull. how should i know? i think you are because just beautiful people toture themselves this much, the mediocre are usually quite pleased with their looks. but whatever.adhd, i know what i am talking about. i know you wont bother to react. but still i couln't help writing this. cos - me too, i just can't stop running.

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  4. "It has made it impossible for me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that seem to get other people through."

    and god, no matter how much one would wish for that feeling to go away, it never does.

    thanks for the post ophelia.

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  5. Autobiographical? Egotistical you mean. Although it can hardly be helped. What else are you supposed to write about in your own blog, when nothing of note happens in your life, except yourself? I don't deserve your compliments but they are appreciated nonetheless. I have been a lover of your blog since the beginning. You are the only one on my blog roll who was there purely on the merit of your writing, having had no personal contact with you, no comments, nothing (until now). I have loved you from afar, and it touches me that you now deign to notice little old me.

    Blog on my lovely, you really do have a head full of beauty. xx

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  6. I know the feeling, love. Everything you said in this post, i can completely and totally relate to. I wish that i could give you advice on finding that happiness... but i really don't even know how to find it myself... Just know that you're not alone in all of the pain you're going through. I love you! I hope that helps.

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  7. Oh I totally identify with this post. I feel like I am physically incapable of enjoying my life. Like I can't start living my life, for scrutinising it. I can't even make simple choices, like decide to get up, or eat breakfast, because I feel like I can't face those minor decisions without tackling the major ones: who am I? And what am I doing? And where am I going?

    And then, like you said, channel it into the superficial and use my body and my imperfections to beat myself over the head with. I will face the world when I'm perfect. Because then everything will be in place. Except it won't. And why does it matter that some model or celebrity is more perfect than me? Who am I kidding that that is every expected of me?

    I want to pursue happiness but I don't know how. Seems so hard to find these days. Brief moments of happiness are fleeting and then it's back to default empty zombie. Sleepwalking through life.

    Sorry this is all about me. I just love your posts because you ALWAYS seem to reflect how I'm feeling. Yet express it so much more eloquently, with such beauty and power; I feel compelled to show you the piece of me it's touched.

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  8. There's a chemical in your brain
    It's pouring sunshine and rain
    Life will never be the same again
    Your manic. MANIC.

    It's a good song.

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  9. I relate to every word of this--the dissatisfaction, the need to laugh and jump and cry and cut just to avoid mediocrity, the need to feign or chase or give up on purpose. I've been told that it's borderline PD *shrugs* But in any case, we're all in this together then, right?

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  10. Do you think it would help if you decided to blog more often and open your world out a little more? If you were held accountable it might help you progress. What do you think? It's just a suggestion. I like to hear what you have to say. And I'd like to hear it more often.

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  11. As I say every time I'm here- it'll all be fine.

    Hope you're well. Hit me back!

    Technolust

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  12. i understand. it sounds lame and shallow, but i do. always. love.

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Don't be anonymous, leave a name at least so I can identify you back :)