Buy Double Meaning here.
Double Meaning Kindle version here.
“If you must write, risk your life to write.” So writes Charles B. Snoad in Double Meaning, a collection of deeply personal poems and essays. Inspired by thinkers like Jean Baudrillard and Albert Camus, Snoad shares his struggles with depression and his love of writing. As the title suggests, double meanings abound and some serious wordplay ensues as Snoad takes us on a journey through darkness into hope.
Also, I created a Kindle version of my second book, Nervous Lethargy, here.
My new book, Double Meaning, will be out soon! I ordered a proof copy that should arrive tomorrow. I already know, however, that I’m going to make some changes, after which I’ll need to order another proof. So, hang tight. I’m still on track for an early November release.
Four months ago, I announced that I had a third book in the works. Today this book has a title: Double Meaning. I hope to publish it via CreateSpace by November 2018. Details to follow. Meanwhile, check out the new design of the blog.
The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain got me thinking about my attempt fifteen years ago and the struggles I still face.
People who don’t know me well don’t see the real me—the reeling me. Although I’m not actively suicidal, I must fight every day passive thoughts about wishing to die. Some days I’m so depressed I have to force myself to take a shower. Being with people hurts. I tell myself that life is meaningless and I’ll always be miserable, unable to work full-time.
Someone I hadn’t seen in years asked me recently if I ever thought about becoming a teacher. I’m well-spoken, she said, and full of interesting ideas. I told her she caught me on a good day.
“Check with me tomorrow morning,” I said. “You’ll see I’m a different person.”
Of course I’ve thought about becoming a teacher, but becoming a teacher feels impossible. I’m not confident enough to stand in front of a classroom. I’m not brave enough to make mistakes—mistakes I might learn from. I don’t believe in myself.
People of faith often talk about doing God’s work. They’re called to fulfill a higher purpose beyond themselves. I worry that my calling never came and never will. All I hear is my own voice, putting me down, on an endless loop.
There is a counter-argument. My writing—regardless of my mood—is a spiritual endeavor and writing about depression and suicide might save lives, including my own.
Writing about my depression briefly relieves my pain. The moment I describe what I’m feeling, I no longer feel (as) depressed.
As we say, write or read a word—the second we “have it”—the word slips away along with its meaning. I write down “depression”; depression and its meaning(lessness) slip my mind, only to return.
A pessimist might argue that writing about depression is a symptom of my depression. I say that as long as I’m writing about something I’m not lying in bed all day in a bad brood.
There’s a rare condition called lexical-gustatory synesthesia in which people involuntarily experience food tastes when they hear, read or say a word.
I’m allergic to milk. A severe reaction can lead to anaphylactic shock, which isn’t fun.
If I were also allergic to words, would uttering “milk” make me swell-spoken?
In college I wrote a story about the time milk almost killed me in the fifth grade. People thought I was exaggerating my symptoms. I wasn’t.
If you must write, risk your life to write. Every sentence, in the end, is a death sentence.
If writing doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, you’re not doing it right.