Have you felt it before? That over powering feeling that you are full; so full you are over flowing, you’re bursting with… nothing? That’s how I feel now. It is my duty towards myself to write about this nothing; to empty the nothingness on to paper in the form of words so that there is space in my soul for what I would rather fill it with.
Do you think there should be a Lack of Gratefulness Disorder? Do you think by saying this I have disrespect for the person who suffers this terrible illness? Then you misunderstand me. This aspect of the disorder is perhaps one of the most painful. Painful not because you are not appreciating what you have, but because you are so acutely aware of your blessings and your lack of appreciation of them and you are suffocated in guilt. Suffocated because no matter how much is going on, no matter how lucky you are for all you are involved in; there is this huge gap; filled and overflowing with nothing. It’s something nothing on the outside can fill. And you, in desperation, try to fill it. You, at first, try with interest in the outside world, friends, love, hobbies, shopping, TV, politics, revolution. You wait, you watch expectantly and the emptiness grows, the space that holds the emptiness deepens. You then try and fill it in more desperate, more extreme ways; drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, over spending, over eating, risk, you take a razor and cut yourself, attempting to fill the gap with pain, with blood; but nothing. It haunts you, it tugs at your heart and it distances you from the whole world and everyone in it. This emptiness: you become it.
It is a curse to be intelligent, inquisitive, self reflecting. But ignorance is a greater curse because life is wasted on a life of floating on the surface of feelings and emotions. I tried a few times to lay back, relax, float and only touch the waters that pass quietly below me as I float; but even at those times my hair floated behind me weighing me down, I had to keep going and hoping for forces to move me along quickly in fear that if a stopped that mass of hair would wrap around my face and neck and drag me back down again. But the truth is, I was never floating. The “I” was somewhere else. The body was there, obeying the laws of the sea. But the “I”, the invisible mass has laws unto its own that no one can interfere with. This “I” was sinking more at those times in the deepest part of that sea. The depth of an ocean unimaginable even to me.
It is at precisely those moments that the detachment between body and soul is at its greatest and I looked in at myself with great amusement – and pity. I knew that when those moments of self denial were over, the self scrutiny and analysis would be deep and harsh and their call would have to be obeyed. Condemnation, the daily bedtime tablet. The slashing of the spirit that has let down and been let down. The deep sense of shame of existing as I am. The shame of having not contributed to an improved, better world. Where do I run from that? From the reality that my entire existence today was worth nothing, that I added nothing of value and lifted nothing of decay from this world that I occupy. How desperate this leaves me to seek approval and relieve pain of any sort, not out of kindness but to save myself from the night time blame where I am my own hangman. I am a slave to this emotion; a slave to being able to answer, “Yes!” confidently to questions such as “are you worthy of being loved, of living?”.
These midnight rambles are the most important. I am the prosecutor and lawyer at the witching hours. I am so harsh on this soul and I know it. I try to defend it, but the emptiness and what I have tried to fill it with are witnesses to the failure of the day. I have not acted well. I have not understood the purpose of the hours or the interactions with the people I have met with and I seem to have been blind to all the signs. Would have spending the day alone been any better? Are those nights safer from the whippings of my own remorse had I spent the day alone? Hardly ever. Do I have to go protect olive trees in Palestine, or build wells in Africa, do I have to donate a kidney or sign my organs away after death to feel that I have deserved the air given to me to breath? Perhaps. Perhaps even then I will feel the guilt that I am only doing it to be able to beat insomnia of the conscience…