just a glorified excuse … – a Reassessment 6 Years On
JUNE 1, 2010 – the original post.
— I wrote this post 6 years ago, when I was sick. I had no children yet, and I hadn’t yet attempted to unpack the assumptions I had ruthlessly made about myself and about the function of ‘emptiness’. It’s a rather glorious thing now though – I can read this back, a passive observer, and see the wisdom so chocked by the fear and intimacy. This post is taking another look at the words I wrote back then … an attempt to re-create a glorious realization, if you like, in place of a glorified excuse.
I have been recently reading a poetic yet ‘self help’ formed book called “A million little pieces” by James Frey.
He is a seriously fucked up addict – alcohol, crack, glue… he is mentally and physically ill and looking down the barrel of a life spent in jail or dead when he is taken to a rehabilitation clinic.
In it he talks about getting better from addiction through AA meetings and seeking a higher power, and he comments that they are never really recovered they have just filled the void of their addiction with a new one – strip away their meetings and their God and their Dogma and they are back where they started – addicts needing to fill themselves until they kill what is on the inside.
“though the people in (the testimonials) are no longer drinking and doing drugs, they’re still living with the obsession. Though they have achieved sobriety, their lives are based on avoidance, discussion and vilification of the chemicals they once needed and loved. Though they function as human beings, they function because of their Meetings and their Dogma and their God. Take away their Meetings and their Dogma and they have nothing. Take them away and they are back where they started. They have an addiction.” James Frey – A Million little Pieces 91-92
I so relate to this – I think that my whole life I have had this huge gaping hole in me – in my heart. and I have fought to fill it with everything since early childhood, running races, school – excellence excellence excellence, boys, booze – more more more, writing, drugs – forget forget forget … but nothing has filled the gap quite like anorexia….for a while.
Yet, at the same time – it has only ripped the hole further, made it into a gaping, gasping fucking black hole in my universe that now there is no hope of repair. and there is no way to fix it so I might as well stretch it – grab hold of the corners of it’s depth and rip violence until I am completely overwhelmed, and I become yet a hole in the universe that
people see through and people don’t touch and I don’t feel.
— What happens when we discover so soon that there is no permanence – that the self is always going to remain illusive? I was so desperate then to un-see this. To grab onto something, not yet knowing that the transparency and the void that I was channeling were not nothingness or exclusive to ‘me’ – they were the truths that would one day set me free. Correction: Could one day set me free.
And if I was to go to some rehab – be given food, and therapy and blood tests as my Dogma – and be made to get what they call on paper with all their glorified excuses, ‘better’ – the hole would still be there – menacing and resilient, and I would live my life searching in vein for something else to fill it, something else to quieten the reverberating echoes it creates inside my mind. crushing me.
I hear things in its emptiness, and sometimes the emptiness creates a false sense of purity and security. Be empty, be nil and fear not, as you feel not.
the most common misconception of human nature is that we can change and manipulate our minds and bodies so much so that we can be someone else.
— I still love this line, and I think it is important. This ‘being someone else’ – making ourselves new, is not only so desperately sought in our society – its also taught to us from babes .. the American Dream, the capitalist success …. The family man … the feminist narrative … all of it teaches us that we need to be better. That we need to want more and that progress, PROGRESS, is what will drive life. The fuel of self.
No self man. No self.
Someone we admire. Just like ‘them’ or Just like ‘her’. In some ways, our biggest fall from Grace is in our constant dissatisfaction with ourselves and our obsession to present to the world these phony outward facades. So much so that we have lost trust in those around us, for who knows what face, what words, lurk beneath the surface smile. I could go on about this forever, not to mention the fallout that has followed seeing us hide among technology and materials, anywhere void of real human emotions and expectations ( Facebook, cell phones… alcohol…) in fear of what being open to the world and its truths may bring. Love is toned down, so that it becomes mere obligation to one another – gone are the days of Shakespearean romance and holistic need.
Reality – one day we will realize that we are the same person we were to start with. and all this time, all these years, we have wasted – searching with broken wings for something that was never to be. We will wallow in bitter regret, pining after our stolen youth and our wasted fervor – as the truth actualizes itself.
— I was so close. re-edit : “one day we will realize that we are no one person. And all this time, all these years we were searching for one self to adhere to our souls, we have been enlightened all along – searching with a winged promise that all we need is right here. We will sigh with a little regret, after the illusion of stolen youth and wasted fervour – but the truth will actualize itself. And we’re free.”
If only we had accepted ourselves – and worked within the mold to carve a life – then, maybe, it would have been worth living. Then maybe, the regrets would cease and the pain would live a little further from the heart. And this pungent odor of irony and mockery would not poison our current state
I have hollowed myself to match the galloping emptiness that haunts my every breath. I have stopped trying to be whole, and rather, embraced nothingness and in-completion.
— Keep embracing Sian. It’s the secret. The wholeness will not nourish.
Does it work? Do I feel I have mastered the art of escape from the Human Tragedy?
— No. NO. But I will. I will.