Monday, February 29, 2016

Existential Depression A-go-go: The Riddle of the More

I've been reeling from existential depression for the last five years. While I'm starting to feel like myself again, I don't know what to do with that.

I've grown bored with the concept of myself, and with the story of my life; like re-watching a movie or show you enjoyed as a child with adult eyes, and saying "why did I ever like this?" (Case and point, if you haven't seen the Super Mario Bros. Super Show lately, don't -- no, seriously, don't -- DON'T.) I can't distract myself from myself any longer though; I've floated that keg, and death ray lasers and swordfights are my baseline now; I need those just to take me back to normal.

I feel useless unless I'm actively engaged in the act of conquering, or training to meet that end. It's the only way to cope with my fear of powerlessness. I refuse to listen to anyone claiming to offer empowerment, because empowerment is bullshit -- it only imparts the illusion or perception of power. Powerlessness can only be truly overcome by the acquisition of power. 

I don't see myself fitting in anywhere -- ever -- because I don't want to be comfortable; I want to conquer. I need more, but I don't know what that "more" is, or could be. It's a riddle; the Riddle of the More. I know I must find the strength to change the things I cannot accept -- but how to go about that is a mystery I'm unable to solve.

All my goals are vague and unrealistic at best. When I set small manageable goals, I get bored and immediately return to chasing dragons. I can't determine if this is the cause or the effect of my quirk of only thinking on global terms. The end result is a man-against-the-world mentality that my previous psychologists have condemned as "difficult" and "quixotic," in lieu of doing anything constructive.

Although I might sound like I'm going crazy, I'm not. My last government-mandated periodic psychiatric evaluation indicated that I am totes sane. My only deviations from the baseline psychological profile are:
  1. I have an extremely manic personality. However, "this isn't a bad thing; it just means that [I] have lots of restless energy and [I] get bored easily."
  2. I rate abnormally below on defensiveness, "meaning that [I] am very open, even about things [I] ought to be defensive about." Flaunting my adventures in existential depression to whoever bothers to read it would be a good example of this -- but I've got nothing to lose.
It's been suggested by many that I seek professional help, but conventional psychotherapy wont work on me. The main problem is that when I say that I want help, I mean real help, which, by definition, excludes all of the following practices:
  1. Advice of a spiritual/religious nature, and/or other advertisements or endorsements of religion.
  2. Any CBT-based approaches, as my "intrinsically argumentative nature renders [me] immune to any sort of cognitive-behavioral therapy."
  3. Any and all agendas which attempt to mitigate or "cure" my lust for power. It is ignoble to think weakness to be virtuous. Whatever it is that fuels this desire, it is something that is be exercised -- not exorcised.
  4. "Creeping scope" or other attempts to work around the issue at hand.
  5. Palliatives, inspiring stories, or canned advice. If these could work, then they would have. I require a unique solution.
  6. Use of hypnotic techniques, including those which can be seamlessly weaved into ordinary conversations (e.g., slow and metered vocal intonation, use of nested stories, etc.)
Because performing any of the above-listed actions shall result in non-payment. I realize that my expectation of professional conduct precludes me from most forms of therapy.

I'm not being cute; those last two paragraphs were copied verbatim from my last query letter (well, minus the song clips).  See, I'm bothered by the fact that therapist's business models are such that they have no real incentive to actually help me. Yeah, they might make people feel good for a while -- maybe for a week or so; long enough to last until the next week's appointment -- like chiropractors. I've been told that I'm looking at this all wrong -- that I'm not paying for answers -- I'm paying for a process. Dude, fuck that with a stick of intermediate length. That's not how this works. I need answers that I can't come up with on my own, so I'm farming them out to a consultant at tremendous expense. That's what engineers do.

I'm also not real big on therapist's legal entitlement to rob me of my right to self-determine. Even more so now, because a non-suicidal buddy of mine was recently robbed of his personhood by a psychologist's creative interpretation of his subtext. He became a person again when they cooled their jets 5 days later, but now he's $13k in the hole because of their arbitrariness.

It doesn't matter if I was rude or alienating to the recipients of the above letter, 'cause I wasn't looking for therapy -- I touched that stove already. I was then, (and am now), looking for referrals for some kind of not-a-therapist or other options. I think that I can't get answers because I ask the wrong questions, though, I can't be sure a solution to my problem even exists. So, I figured a crowd-sourcing is my best bet, since soft power is infinite. I'm not sure what I'm looking for. One answer would be a guidance outside of a clinical setting; another answer would be "an enabler." I know that life coaches are out of the question -- and it's not because they have no kind of regulation or oversight -- it's because they themselves can't even clearly express exactly what the fuck they even do, or what services they allegedly provide.

Medication can't fix this problem, because if I had pills that made me feel like myself again, I don't know what I'd do with myself.

It's been suggested that I find gratification in a new career, but I tried that a year ago with great success. I can't play that hand again though, as my money situation doesn't enable me to continue pursuing an academic career, and I'm adverse to the idea of betting another 4-5 years of my life on another roll of the dice.

Keely suggested that I'd find myself in the works of Kurt Vonnegut, because literally every young woman I met in the last 15 years has told me this. Either I ooze Vonnegutivity, or I keep meeting and re-meeting different shades of the same woman, like some kinda mélange of Dark City and Joe vs. the Volcano. While I can't quite grok him, she also forwarded to the School of Life. They have this real unique approach where they print self-help books with the intent of actually helping people, instead of trying to get a quick payday off of some simplistic palliatives and trite fictional anecdotes.

They managed to help. I've known the Great Man Theory of History to be false of some time, but I didn't know what to do with it. Great men do not do great things; they merely channel the zeitgeist into action. Great men are ordinary men who, largely by circumstance, have become possessed by the zeitgeist, much like other non-metaphorical ghosts from the grainy horror flicks we watched as teens:
So, to meet this end, I've been grinding away at Project X. The details of Project X will not be discussed at this time; it is only important to note that it will aid and augment the zeitgeist currently surrounding us. That's why I've been kinda quiet lately. The problem is, that I know If I complete my project, I'll go back to a state of meaninglessness, and if I procrastinate, I'm no longer doing meaningful work, again leading to meaninglessness.

Any insights on how I can get out of this, to solve the Riddle of the More are appreciated. My responses will be public, so we can all be on the same page, eliminating the duplicity of work. Responses shall be congruent with the 6 criterion stated earlier; actions contrary to established criteria will be met with consequences.

1 comment:

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