feeling like shit tonight, so i cracked open jenny offill's dept. of speculation and a pint of haagen-dasz' cookies and cream, which is damn near impossible to find, mind you. figured the combination of the two of them could help fend off these convictions of colossal failure because, god, melodramatic is apparently now my default state of being, and tonight's a particularly bad night.
on page 7, it says:
i found a book called thriving not surviving in a box on the street. i stood there, flipping through it, unwilling to commit.
you think that the mental anguish you are experiencing is a permanent condition, but for the vast majority of people it is only a temporary state.
(but what if i'm special? what if i'm in the minority?)
i write a lot about suicide, which means i think a lot about suicide, and i think about how being suicidal isn't sometimes a continued, prolonged state. i think of it as cycles, as ups and downs, except the downs aren't simply downs but a single, profound thought resonating in your brain, your body, your heart -- i want to die -- and you keep coming back to this, maybe not everyday but continually, constantly, always thinking of when and where would be best because, when it comes to dying, you need a plan. sometimes, it's not about executing the plan but simply about having one in place, a sort of emotional protective net to fall back on because it's comforting, knowing that there's an alternative out there, that there's always that thing you can do when all of this -- whatever this is -- loses every shred of meaning.
(sometimes, i think about faith and how it shouldn't be so easy to reconcile the two. i think about God and the church and how it's constantly failed the depressive, the mentally ill, the suicidal, and i think there's nothing to reconcile -- we will continue to struggle with this pain, and the church will continue to fail us, and God -- i suppose God will be there for those of us who believe in whatever capacity we choose to believe.)
and i think about how, no, this "mental anguish" has nothing to do with permanence or temporality because there are good days and then there are bad days and it's never a comfort to hear everything will be all right! or you'll be okay! because what the hell does anyone know, please take your goddamn platitudes elsewhere. and maybe i shouldn't be writing blog posts when i'm feeling like shit (and why did my "hello monday" posts get so personal, anyway), but it also feels good to be able to write about suicide and what i think about suicide without the cloak of fiction, so at least there's that.
i also haven't read much at all over the past week because i find myself unable to commit to a book at the moment. hopefully, i'll get more into dept. of speculation and finish it over the next few days. and i received kim thuy's mãn and alex ross' listen to this over the weekend and purchased michael cunningham's the hours, joan didion's the white album, and patricia park's re jane (i might have a problem, this is true), so let's read more this week -- there's such a wealth of worlds and beauty and humanity in these blocks of paper bound between pieces of cardboard (or thicker paper), which helps me derive infinite comfort in the knowledge that i will always have books, that my melodramatic shit has made them even more important in my life, and, for me, that is sufficient.
(also, the cover of the hardback of dept. of speculation is beautiful, so what the fuck happened to the paperback? had to order this off the internet because i just could not have the hideous paperback cover.)
(if you're reading this post, this blog, thanks for reading. i really, really mean that.)