I made a pact with myself a long time back – when I was young and callow and about 200x more sensitive than I am right now. I said to myself (or rather to the Black Dog part of myself) , “Look, Rothinzil. Whatever you do, *whatever* you do, you’re not going to destroy yourself physically. Or do anything which could potentially destroy you physically if you were feeling in a particularly bad mood. You’re not going to drink. You’re not going to experiment with drugs. You’re not going to drive fast, or ride in cars with people who drive rashly. You mayen’t think your life is worth anything but there are SOME people (parents, immediate family) who’ll be pretty disturbed if you do anything stupid. Besides, NOTHING is worth that. NOTHING!”
The message percolated into my consciousness pretty well, right from the Shakespeare-reading part of my brain to the medulla oblongata. So that I don’t have to fear, well, destruction by action.
But unfortunately I haven’t been able to solve one thing. That is to say: destruction by inaction. What do you do when you’re so tired that you don’t particularly care if everything goes to hell or high water ? What if everything you cared for disappears down a hole and you’re just too goddamn tired to get up and run after it ? If every part of your personality dissolves under the pressure of your circumstances, until little is left but banal things: Hunger. Thirst. Sleep. You can make a pact with yourself to not destroy yourself physically, but the question of destroying your potential and your dreams by not taking up “arms against a sea of troubles” – well, the only guy I know who struggled with it was Hamlet and so far as I know he wasn’t terribly successful at it.
In other words, what if the Black Dog doesn’t actively make life hell for you but prefers to come with bag and baggage and settle down comfortably into your psyche ?
Rationally, of course, the answer is pretty clear. I need to get my act together before it’s too late. Somehow, I must compel myself to find peace in action, of some kind, because the other way lies destruction.
Sometimes it is very hard though. Physical self-preservation, the medulla understands. This, not so much.
Ah well. It just will have to understand, won’t it ?