21 June 2005

A man of many parts, most of them faulty

Part One: Today I know there is no point to anything. Nothing I have ever done was worthwhile. I am incapable of accomplishing the simplest task to my satisfaction. Future days bring hell. I can never make myself understood. My worth is approaching zero. A glance in the mirror reveals the face of an idiot. I am my own harshest critic. A forty seven year old man speaking like an eight year old child...

Fifteen years ago I admitted defeat. My doctor prescribed Temazepam and Lofepramine. I systematically reject most offers of help and so of course I rejected these. The addictive properties of anti-depressants did not make sense to me. Detect the faint whiff of burning martyr? Yep, right on. I asked for help and when it was offered I turned my back. All I accepted was a sick note for work. I declined to talk to any form of counsel...

I am independent to the point of stupidity. I would perform my own dentistry if I knew where to buy novocaine. I don’t need help. I told the world to fuck off and I shuffled backwards into a shell of denial and misery. I lost friends. Who needs friends when you have misery to enjoy?

Part Two: I’m a lucky guy. The sun is burning my neck from high in the sweetest, bluest sky ever. I have two supportive sons and my wife, enough money and independence to indulge my passions to excess and a lovely house. I have the electronic gadgets I need and some I don’t. I am blessed with a loyal best friend.

I am free of addiction and I have reached middle age without losing any limbs. I have all my own teeth and a few remaining hairs. I have friends in the blog world. My corporate employer has yet again reached the point in the business cycle where they might consider paying off a load of old-timers. Just gimme that cheque...

Part Three: Which one is the real me? You know the answer, both are me yet both are faulty. Monday I am so pissed-off I can barely mutter a greeting to anyone. I want to hurl out all my prized possessions. Tuesday I listen to the best music ever driving with the windows down, write beautiful words and smell the sweet mown grass in my garden.

I am good at swooping from euphoria to misery, often within hours. I like the way I am. I don’t pretend to be anything I am not. Work colleagues think I’m unfathomable, I talk in riddles and appear aloof. Stuff ‘em, I know which people I value, they are right here.

And just when you think you know someone they unload all this... No, now I think about it you guys all read between the lines anyway.

"I’ve got a little black book with my poems in."Pink Floyd – Nobody Home


Kimberly said...

Nothing says more about a man then a man who isn't afraid of who he is, a man who isn't afraid to show who he is on the inside and out.

I think this is one of the greater pieces I have ever read that you've written PV.

I'm extremely proud to know you :-)

Dionysius said...

PV, I enjoyed your poem about London. It took me back to a poem I learned in the National School in Ireland when I was 9. It was by William Wordsworth and entitled something like 'Reflections Upon Westminster Bridge'.

Depression is a disease that afflicts great minds. (Winston et al). I know, I have battled it since my teens and I am now 57. I have done everything over and over. I have looked into the abyss too many times - and seen absolutely nothing. It is hell.

I now have been on SSRIs for ten plus years and in the history of the human species they are the first thing that has helped in my opinion. I would not be functioning without them.

The brand I currently take is called Effexor. Zoloft, Paxil, etc. are all good. You must be on a long term regimen to build up the serotonin levels in the blood and stay on them forever. Takes a month to notice any effect at all.

I am not a medical doctor (at one time it was a plan of mine) but on this subject I know way more that any of them. If you need more specific info you can use my email address which you have or post on this area.

Perfect Virgo said...

Kimberly - I have come to terms with my short-comings. When my mood swing is to the down side I just keep myself to myself. I guess I put out things like this to give people an insight into what lies behind the words. A glimpse now and again is ok I think. I am proud to know you too my friend.

Dionysius - thanks for such an informative and revealing comment. Thank you for your kind offer. I am reluctant with pills and have tried instead to modify my lifestyle to eradictate stressors. Fascinating that so many deep thinkers should suffer this affliction (ourselves included!)

The abyss is a good term. So you know the hell then, lonely isn't it? There is a piece in my archives called 'The Pit and the Pendulum' it touches on the same area.

Goodness me, Wordsworth mentioned in the same sentence as my London poem! Whatever next?

V said...

The blog world is amazing. You never know who you're going to connect with.

I'm very happy to have stumbled onto your blog and liked your latest post a lot.

When I was reading Part One, I thought someone had kidnapped my thoughts. And put them in writing better than I ever could. :)

doughgirl said...

The pit and the pendelum is one of my favorite pieces...that and the one where the guy on the boat everday turns up missing.

This post reminds me, I was standing at the gates of hell and something inside me said hold on. I did.

It's not easy, and those who don't know can't even imagine. The wreckage, the destruction that we have created that must be cleaned up, the guilt, the same..sometimes death we think would be so much better.

The flood of feelings that overcomes us, is enough to question sanity at times. After all isn't that why we did what we did....only the most intense pain and despair could make us suddenly want to feel everything.

I could go on, especially today...thanks Perfect.

Love ya

JJ said...

Are you sure we're not related? Boy, it all sounds so familiar to me. Yup, that's it we are long lost brother and sister.

Perfect Virgo said...

V - thanks for stopping by again, good fun isn't it. Those kidnapped thoughts are more widespread than we think I guess. I'm feeling fine today, the sun is blazing and the world is good...

Doughgirl - wow where do I start? Those older pieces have similar threads of loneliness running through them too. Yes the cleaning up is dreadful, feelings of guilt and having to start over agian.

You made me think hard with your excellent point about being 'overcome by feelings,' yes you must experience the darkest most desperate feelings in order to realise how badly you want the sweet and beautiful ones.

Love ya too DG.

JJ - Ah thats it, we are related! I'd better do some genealogical research to check but that's another whole story...

I have been unravelling my family history for ages. I can trace a line to 1750 in the heart of rural England.

transience said...

this was such an intimate peek into you i almost felt like i was trespassing.

i lifted the veils of consciousness and found you.

that line just hit me, i don't know why. knowing the little bits and pieces of you is such a rare honor. thank you.

recoveryroad said...

I'm with you all the way on this one, PV.

one day I think what a mess I've made of my life...it's all fucked. And then the next I (really) believe that sobriety has given me a new beginning and my immediate problems will soon disappear.

I flip-flop from one to another.

Loved the guitar pic. :-)

Paperslut said...

The guitar pic is v, v cool. Is that a Gibson, btw?

"I don’t pretend to be anything I am not."
*doffs hat*
*scratches head, cos not wearing hat*

finnegan said...

This tug-of-war mood diptych you've painted is, like Dionysus mentioned, often syptomatic of a powerful mind.

Most afflicted with violent mood swings continue to sink into an abyss that grows deeper with each passing day; like trying to struggle out of quicksand.

Your beautiful writing and soul-baring honesty seems to have become a vital spring of human understanding, perhaps the best of all medicines.

I too swing between black and white moods, but I always feel happiest when I turn that swinging into a dance.

Wardo said...

I think everyone has a certain duality. They have the face they wear for others, and the other one that looks at them in the mirror at 5:50 a.m.

I enjoyed the raw emotion of this, and even more so the poetry submission below. Very interesting!

I was wondering about the Gibson too - don't tell me it's a vintage gold-top? Is it? I could have owned a '55 gold-top with original hang-tags in place about ten years ago. It was only 3 grand. It was a lot of money to me at the time...and it would have been worth it. Damn my indecision!

The other regretful miss: a mint condition 60's Fender Mustang, Sonic blue. Coulda had it for $300, with original hang-tags and case. Didn't buy it - thought it was too small and had a jangly sound...And then, everybody found out that's the guitar Kurt Cobain preferred, and these things became impossible to get for a good price. Yar!


Perfect Virgo said...

Transience - I started to write about depression several weeks ago but lost interest! I looked at the words again this week and this time I found a way to say how I feel.

I loved the little line about 'lifting the veils,' I hadn't originally intended to make this so personal but depression is personal. Trespass away my dear - the honour is mine.

Kenny - when you feel down you pick up a Les Paul and hit the power chords. Life feels better then. I am surprised how many of us here feel high highs and low lows.

Wonderwall - welcome. Yep, Gibson Les Paul. I too take my hat off to you!

Finnegan - at heart I am an analyst. I am forever wondering and trying to interpret things. 'Just live and enjoy' my friend says, but how can you when you need to know all there is to know?

The saddest thing of all is reaching the very bottom of something you thought was interesting only to find it too is worthless.

I'm no dancer I'm afraid Finnegan but I do know about understanding and compassion. Ultimately I hope my writing ends up with a spark of optimism, either in the same post or a later one.

I loved your reference to the 'best of all medicines,' I really do believe that writing can be therapeutic. Today I feel good and there are no clouds on my horizon.

Argus - I am delighted you liked the poem. I try bloody hard with those and never know if they sound crass.

Gibson Les Paul Standard in Bullion Gold, 2002. Way too expensive but a fantastic toy for a guy to have! I commiserate over those lost guitar opportunities you listed... I am tempted by the latest US Fender Tele but I am struggling to justify it!

Yes we do show different faces to different groups of people, and I thought you guys should see a bit of this one. Thanks for reading.

RuKsaK said...

What a beautifully open post - you display yourself with such comfort of the pain - soul-opening seems to be certainly your forte.

My writing gives you bugger all of that - wish I could try a bit more like you because it's brought you a lot of love it seems to me.

Jen said...

I understand this. It's amazing how moods can change so abruptly from day to day. Hang in there.

Perfect Virgo said...

Ruk - comfort and pain in the same sentence would normally be a contradiction but you've hit the nail. However we feel, it's ok as long as we are comfortable with that. Love is something I have come to appreciate fully in recent years. that makes me a very lucky man...

Jen - I'm hanging in there... The one good thing about mood swings is you know from experience you'll come round sooner or later. By the weekend I'll be perky.

Kimberly said...

Weekends make us all perky :)
Gotta love em'
but anyways, just think about the next holiday you'll take again, maybe that will cheer you up!

Perfect Virgo said...

Kimberly - extra reason to be perky this weekend, I take delivery of a new toy... I'll remain cryptic and release more of that on Saturday.

We took this year's holiday early (April) so might there be a chance of another!! Have to do some sums...

I have next week off work on my own so I'm looking forward to idling the days away around the house and garden :)

Grace said...

I think recognising and accepting these multiple parts of your personality shows great strength! I too suffer the swings but struggle to accept it! :-)

Perfect Virgo said...

Grace - lovely to see you again. Thanks for your supportive words, these are tough issues aren't they? I'm awake early this morning too in the sweltering heat!

Two faces on the same head make us more difficult to fathom, I think. So we make friends with people who understand ;-)

justme88 said...

This is wonderful. Very moving.

Perfect Virgo said...

Justme88 - welcome and thank you.