They whispered in my ears and I listened. They kept me awake and sometimes it would sound exactly as if dogs were barking by my ear, and my name hissed over and over to me as I began to doubt. Never acquiesced never ever gave in and began to believe in the hardness of breathy hallucination only that I was worth nothing a fever of trickery swimming through think stinking mud holding pain like it’s a gun or a talisman or a glyph.

All of this mass mutilation of reality hit my senses one by one blow upon blow the shitty student house I was in was stripped away. Happened quickly, I know that is true, but it felt slow

All this a swamp a stamp a landfall a whirlpool the ground giving way fall the fall the FALL the most real vertigo. The moments all of it blazed branded into my brain.
And then black and it just went on and on there was no respite no total separation no coma of numbness the cancer of self hatred eating growing through every break and twist in the real. The dark inside stretching forever into the distance and I was blind with fear I knew that any more and any longer I would never come back.
Nothing within that mass swinging tumult could take me away from the pain of the moment that I was in THERE WAS NO RESPITE immolation the only constant pain loathing purified rarefied.
It was mixed state in extremis I could feel it crashing into abjection sobbing before whirling and flying back up and this was where fear began and slowly took over. I accelerated into full mania knew that was where I was going but as I raced into it my memory stopped. Five or ten or twenty minutes later I came falling down and everything in the room in the house was smashed I had no MEMORY from each. New cuts my wrists ripped open blood pouring from them and from the opened veins in my elbows.
It KEPT GOING. I couldn’t stop had let Cerberus from the leash and all three heads were nuzzling my brain. Up into a blackout pure and down into despair and desperation and for the first time mortal fear, terror of death at the hands of me as memory-less puppet, the mannequin marionette unknown. Not my hands, someone and something else another me trying to kill me.
This is when I knew terror. I knew that if I did not stop I would do it. Never come down cut my throat but get it RIGHT. I didn’t know what I WAS as I went up into it. A rotation at intervals of twenty minutes fear crossing my heart squirming in my gut white pale with it went to look in the mirror face covered in blood I could see in the broken shards. No memory, just the knowledge that I wanted to die and was capable of doing it. No understanding of whom I was or what I would do.

Clarity slipped a tiny splinter but pure and real and I found the phone and went back to hospital. Voluntary and afraid.

That was the last time only in the sense of the completion of its extremity. It took me four more years before I stopped drinking and finally tried in my heart’s core in my heart of hearts to heal.
But that was the key. The epiphany. The Answer; that there really was none.
Whatever redemption I have found it is driven by that fear and that terrible knowledge. And by will. By WILL.
I will never give up the responsibility of sanity is MINE as much as I can choose I will choose will force it shredding strength as it returns and returns and returns, exhausting inevitable, seasons of pain I will NEVER stop fighting.

At the edge, at the corner of Nietzsche’s Abyss, there is only really death.

Post script.

Still here. Sober for eight years. Paint for pain, write for release. Sing for absolution.
To me there is no meaning to life other than that which we give it; that we apply to it. We INVEST meaning into our lives with our time, with our efforts and with our love. And there is no succour in madness.

I have inscribed on my cigarette case “tempus fugit. Memento mori.”
“Time flies. Remember you will die.”

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