I said goodbye recently to my therapist before she left for her new job. I know she’ll continue transforming lives, including her own. I’m taking a break from therapy now to clear my mind. I can resume treatment with someone else whenever I like.
Childhood trauma, I’ve learned in therapy, has altered my relationship to time. It’s been hard as an adult to maintain a coherent personal narrative, an uninterrupted story of my life. As a creative writer, however, I’m free to fill in the blanks and disconnect the “not’s”—those self-defeating thoughts telling me I’m broken, useless, and lost.
My imagination is a powerful tool of persistence. Showing myself compassion in reverse, I write a story, in present tense, about consoling my past self as he struggles to survive. In the same story, I write about consoling my future self as he continues his recovery, thanking him in advance for being gentle with me now and encouraging me to stay alive.
Whether I’m prewriting, writing, or rewriting, my life story remains a work in progress.
“Without the threat of death there’s no reason to live at all.” –Brian Warner
We are told to exercise, to improve the quality of our lives, to above all be happy. We buy a Fitbit. It counts our steps, checks our vitals, monitors our sleep cycles. Measuring, labeling, categorizing—our Fitbit is a body sensor and a mind censor. A census-taker of souls.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves: the final goal of science and technology is to exterminate death. It may take forever, but future generations of scientists will risk their lives to get dying under control.
Are we not heading towards a man-made eternity without God? Are we not destined to create a permanent Heaven on Earth that would put to rest all hope of an afterlife?
Thanks to technology we’ve forgotten how to die.
We must resist the consumerist imperative to buy ourselves more time at all costs. Embrace death. Let it come for us, naturally or accidentally, as a devastating act of mercy. A blessing in demise.
To kill death with technological precision—to be forced to live with ourselves forever—this is Hell Unending. Death by a thousand eternities.
A sudden thought: what if throughout my adult life I continue to repeat childhood traumas? Is every day, every relationship, an unconscious re-creation of events over which I had little control? Maybe I’m fixated on variations of the same thought—the One Big Idea—that of recovering a self I barely knew?
The universe has its own issues. Space is occupied with making the best of a bad situation. Time finds it tough moving forward with respect to what’s passed.
Where am I going with this?
Sleep is hard to come by when you’re always dreaming. The stars and I—we’re the same, really. We shine brightest when nobody’s looking.
I find myself returning to Nietzsche’s thoughts on eternal recurrence. Time is cyclical, not linear, the theory goes. You have lived this life many times before and will live the same life over and over into infinity. But it’s not just your life: every intimate detail of the universe plays back on a loop, the same record with the same grooves.
This sounds both tragic and glorious. Horrific and divine. If you’re seeking comfort, I say live today like it’s the first time you’ve lived, as if this is your original life, such that you will it to happen unchanged forever.
Every day is significant because it returns to you and you to it, but—pop a Prozac—this may be the twentieth or two-millionth time you’ve lived this life and there’s no changing things. Actually there is no “original life,” no counting incarnations, no beginning to begin with.
It’s an impossible thought. An absurd proposition. A blog I’ve written many times before and will come back to again and again.