What Happened When I Quit Coffee? (Everything Fell Apart)

I think most people are too afraid to tell you what I am about to report.

I don’t know why I am back here writing another confessional blog post. These blog posts don’t mean anything. They just fill the stomach of this gluttonous beast called The World Wide Web and make a few people a lot of money while us content generators get nothing but mediocrity and marginalization.

But really, I have nothing better to do. I am frustrated and maybe even a bit depressed and writing has always been how I process these feelings. You should see the stuff I don’t publicly share.

Two months ago, I gave up coffee. After three difficult days in bed with flu like feelings, I was free of the drug. I love coffee. My favorite time of the day was waking early, making a cup of coffee and then reading while listening to records. Coffee brought a feeling of euphoria and interest into my mornings. Most of my life I was miserable in mornings, but once I began drinking coffee, mornings became the time of day I looked forward to most.

Then I had to quit drinking coffee. In summary, here is what happened:

I was working a lot and thinking too much. I started a new business while running a full-time private psychotherapy practice. I am not a business person so all of this felt very unnatural to me. Obviously, I got run down. After three years without being sick, I came down with the flu. The flu turned into a bad case of shingles. After four weeks of having shingles, I thankfully healed without taking any medication. I rested a lot. Doctors where stunned I healed so fast without taking medication but I felt the ravages of shingles on my body. I felt weaker than I have ever felt in my life. Vulnerable. I would ride my bike or walk and feel like I could pass out. My anxiety kicked in. I started having anxiety attacks again. I was almost incapacitated. And as a result, I had to quit drinking coffee.

And because of all of this, my favorite time of day became the most miserable time of day for me. Few things are more difficult than being denied the thing you love most. In fact, all the times in the day became miserable. Life became one long unbreakable spell of monotony and banality with a bunch of never-know-when-they-will-happen-anxiety-attacks sprinkled in. I was happy to be free from the terrible wrath of shingles, but life with anxiety and without coffee was (and still is) difficult to adjust to.

This morning, once again, I woke up in a bad mood. Toward the end of the work week (Thursday), this is how I usually feel in the mornings. I am done with dealing with people. I have had enough of the whole racquet that goes into making a living. I am burned out on playing the game. I’ve had enough and don’t want to play anymore.

As I sat on my couch with a cup of hot water in my hand, this feeling of dread and hopelessness flooded my insides. I thought about the day ahead and dreaded having to go through it all again. Normally coffee would come to my rescue when I found myself in this predicament. Coffee would add a feeling (the high) of euphoria, excitement, energy and interest into the darkened penetralias of my soul. It would give me that push I needed to roll that Sisyphean boulder up the hill yet again. But now without coffee, I just didn’t want to do it. The climb felt too hard. I felt too uninterested and worn out. The hot water in my coffee cup wasn’t cutting it. Everything felt mundane and banal. Life a continual repetition of the same fucking things. Without any coffee to push me through these feelings, I fell into despair.

In that moment everything felt dull, monotonous and uninspired. My marriage. My work. My hobbies. My sex life. My intellectual life. All of it dull and monotonous. I didn’t want to do anything but sit there on the couch and not move. Watering my garden, meditating, reading a book- all of it, dull.

Is there anyone who experiences deep passion and interest in the things that make up their life moment after moment, day after day? Are there people who are almost always passionate and engaged in their lives? Does this really exist in reality or is it an unreal standard that has been created to keep us all trying to achieve it? I have a feeling it is just a myth, but still it bothers me when my life feels so monotonous, banal, passionless and without any genuine interest. Something in me feels like life should not feel like this but maybe this is how life just is. Maybe the American power structure that we all live under is what creates this kind of mundane, banal, monotonous, ordinary, law abiding life we all exist within. We are all continually trying to escape from how shitty it feels and this is the very thing that keeps the gears of power and capitalism churning.

We use booze, coffee, computers, sex, smartphones, TV, food- anything we can get our hands on to help us climb out from the reality of our existence within this system. We are continually trying to change the channel to a better station (I know I am). The coffee and booze (our most popular and most destigmatized drugs) help us to become more interested in things which would normally feel very dull and mundane. These drugs help us to feel passion again, in a life which has become passionless. We need our drugs, our drama and our smartphones to bring some stimulation into our lives or else things feel dull all the time. I mean common, the moment things feel dull or drama free, the most common thing for people to do is reach for their phones.

Familiarity breeds contempt. No matter how wonderful your life is. No matter how great of a job you have. No matter how cool your partner is. If you see it or them in the same way every single day, you will start to hate it or them. Oh, but you should be grateful for the things you have. What bullshit. This sentiment just causes people to feel worse about themselves. I should feel grateful when I am miserable is like asking someone to feel grateful when they are stuck cleaning someone else’s filthy house. Possibly, the reason you are miserable, is because of the routine, the repetition, the lack of real interest, the mundane nature of capital driven life within the system we all live in. Just going through the motions day after day. The struggle to survive. Doesn’t matter how many wonderful things you have around you- if you are around them every day you will feel contempt towards it. This is why we love our phones so much. Every time we pick them up there is something new and different waiting for us. Why do you think social media is so deeply addicting? There is always something new going on.

In a sense, coffee would provide me with a new feeling every morning. It would help interrupt the feelings of banality, monotony, dullness, lack of interest, which are all a result of the system in which I live. Everyone is trying to out run these feelings all the time. What a recipe for disaster. Coffee would provide me with a feeling of happiness, stimulation, engagement and hope. Trust me, we live in a culture where almost every business, idea, building, book, movie, album and on and on was created because of coffee. America is a culture built on coffee. You are probably needing coffee just to read this right now. Without coffee most of this shit would have never been done because things would just feel too isolated and dull.

And this brings me back to where I was this morning. Not wanting to do a fucking thing. Just mired in the misery that has become our dull, collective lives. Not wanting to play the game anymore. Sick of the routine and without coffee to push me forward into enthusiastic willingness. I was expressing all of this to my wife who was sitting the chair next to me (lucky her), drinking her morning cup of coffee. She listened and added a few thoughts of her own. Her perspective was frustrating me. She couldn’t possibly understand as she drank her morning coffee. So, I sat up and asked her if I could have some of her coffee. Enough was enough. I drank half her cup and now here I am anxious, a bit more excited, slightly interested and as a result, writing this.

 

 

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Suburban Silence, Part One.

 

I don’t ever talk about it. No one knows I feel this way. They can’t understand. They don’t want to understand. They see the world the way they want to see it. To them I am just a twenty-seven-year-old fuck up.

I know they think I am a loner. I hate that they think this way about me. I want to have deep connections with other people. I want friends but I am picky about who my friends are so I end up with no friends. I know this may sound snobby, but I don’t go in on friends if I do not think they are worth it. I just cannot do the superficial friends thing. I can’t have friends that I only talk with occasionally. I know some people are recharged and energized by this but not I. I want my interactions to be deep.

I like people who have personalities that I can mesh with. Low key personalities is what I gravitate towards. I just can’t make friends with people who are loud and obnoxious. Most people tend to be this way so it is hard. I need friends who can talk about things that I like to talk about. I can’t just talk about the weather and superficial things. I know extroverts can do this but I can’t.

I don’t just talk to random people, but when I do they never fit my criteria. So I end up with no friends.

Sometimes I will make friends because I do not want to hurt the other person’s feelings but deep down I am not feeling it. I know that this is not the kind of person I want to be friends with.

I don’t know. I want to have people to connect with at a deeper level but I don’t go by myself to the places these people hang out. Feels too risky for me. I know I should push through this. I know I should just suck it up and go but I don’t. Being so scared and selective severely lessens the odds of me meeting people. I want to meet other people but I am so scared and selective that I don’t try.

If people initiate with me, if they start talking to me, I will talk their ear off. I am not able to initiate, which statistically lowers my ability to have friends. People who are able to initiate conversations with random people, have a lot more friends and fun experiences. This is an ability or skill I just don’t have.

To initiate feels morally wrong to me, even though it would probably be in my best interests to try and initiate more. But it feels like I would be being someone who I am not. But because I am not willing to be something I am not, I end up not getting the results I would like to have.

I feel so angry about this. I have to be something that I am not in order to get someplace that would benefit me. I want the benefits but I do not want to be something that I am not. I would prefer to be able to get these benefits by just being myself.

It makes me so angry.

I guess, I guess that if you are already the kind of person who is a sell-out it doesn’t matter so much but I do not want to have to become a sell-out to get what would be good for me. Yes, I want all the things that come from being a sell-out, but once you become a sell-out you can’t come back from it. You end up losing all your time and are always worried about work.

I don’t want to end up this way. They don’t understand this about me. It is not that I am lazy and a loner. There is much more to it than this.

I want to be able to maintain whatever sense of self that I have left. Maybe I am asking too much? Maybe I am not being realistic?

I know it is possible to work a job and still maintain a sense of self but I often feel like it is one or the other for me. Where would I get the energy to do both? I don’t know if I could personally do it without a specific kind of discipline. I’ve never been able to be disciplined. It is possible to do everything that is asked of you and maintain your sense of self but I just don’t know where all this energy would come from. But it could happen. I would have to be in the right mindset to make it happen.

I am just really scared of becoming that kind of person who says that they do not want to do something but they are going to do it anyways because they have to. I can do this. I can become this kind of person but I feel like once I do there will be no turning back. If I get to this point I will just be mad and pissed off all the time. It feels imprisoning. No time to do what you want because all your time is spent around work. I will end up mad all the time.

On Becoming A Gopher

I never imagined this sort of thing possible. How? There is nothing online written about this. None of the great philosophers discuss it. No contemporary theorist makes any mention of it. No one seems to have ever heard of such a thing happening to a person. But it is happening and it is happening to me.

I know it sounds odd to say, but I am becoming a gopher.

The gophers had been destroying my lawn. I hated them and did whatever I could to get rid of them. One day I was running water from my hose down into one of their holes. The water shot out and up into my eyes and face. I tasted something that tasted like fecal matter. I instantaneously become unwell. There was a metallic taste in my mouth and my eyes burned. Ever since that ordinary morning in my backyard, nothing has been the same.

I have grown hair in areas I never before grew hair. Short, stubbly hairs to be exact. On my ears, my cheeks, my arms, the palms of my hands, my forehead, my penis, the soles of my feet, my shoulders, my fingers.

I have had difficulty breathing. My breathing is shallow and fast. There is the continual presence of chest pain. My rib cage feels as if it is being squeezed together. I am in a continual hyperarousal, anxious state. Everything freaks me out and when it does I become immediately mad. I continually play with my penis to calm my nerves.

I never did any of this before. I was a respected psychotherapist for Christ sake!

Rather than being angry at the gopher holes in my lawn, I am now drawn towards them. Something is pulling me towards them and I have this odd desire to squeeze my way down into them. That is where home feels like it is. In those holes. Obviously, I can’t fit.

Instead I have been isolating myself in my writing studio. I have covered the door with books, furniture and anything else that will prevent anyone from coming in. I want to have nothing to do with the human race. Humans terrify me! Once I loved helping humans and now they absolutely terrify me. They are such a threat. I go out at night and collect food from the kitchen while my wife is sleeping, but I then immediately retreat into my safe space and erect a strong wall that not even the police and fire department have been able to break down.

I don’t want to see anyone. I am repulsed by any kind of high pitched sound. I chew on things. I lick myself in areas I was never able to lick before (the one benefit of this entire nightmare). I am terrified and nothing on the internet is helping me to figure this out. Once you cease to be a normal human being, the internet is no longer of any use to you. Accept when I look at pictures of female gophers I am incredibly turned on. I immediately masturbate. This is odd not only because images of female gophers are turning me on but also because before all of this happened, my sex drive was gone.

I don’t know what to do at this point. It is obvious to me that I am becoming a gopher. At this point I have no choice but to just wait things out in here.

Anyone else out there experience anything like this before? Please help

What The Hell Is Wrong With Being A Liberal?

I’m a liberal, although I don’t use that word much. Sometimes I have to remind myself that yes, I am a liberal. You could probably call me a liberal, liberal. Very liberal, meaning- just leave people alone and let them do what they want as long as they are not acting like angry idiots.

Recently in the news and while hanging around other people I have heard a lot of negative assessments of liberals. Liberals are failing. Liberals are not doing anything. Liberals need to get their acts together. Liberals are responsible for the mess America is currently in. Those irresponsible liberals. Liberals, liberals, liberals. The liberal criticisms seem to go on and on.

I don’t take these criticisms personally, because I am a liberal. But I cannot help think that people fail to understand what being a liberal really means.

The most important aspect of being a liberal is not caring what other people think. Ok, you feel that way? Fine. A liberal respects other people’s right to think and believe whatever they want. A liberal does not interfere. We respect other people’s human right to be free. All we really ask is that you keep your IQ above a certain level.

We may not agree, some liberals may even protest against certain freedom restricting thoughts and beliefs of others, but liberals always respect another person’s right to think what they want. Even a Hitler or Trump character is free to think what they want as long as they agree to not act like an angry idiot.

This is why liberals tend to have more fun than everyone else. We are not hung up on ideas of right or wrong. God, I mean good or bad. Sin or purity. It is well known in Human Psychology that no one likes the person who is having more fun than everyone else. Humans have a predisposition towards resenting those other humans who are having an easier and more enjoyable time at life than they are. Such is the nature of the greedy human animal. It always wants more of what it does not have.

Liberals prefer to let other people do what they need to do. Liberals are not haunted by a personal God who follows them around and continually instructs them on how to live a righteous life. A liberal follows his/her own inner compass of integrity and justice. We decide for ourselves what feels right and wrong. Want to have sex with that person? Go ahead. As long as everyone is having their personal freedom respected.

Whenever this inner compass feels like it is being thrown off by someone else’s lack of integrity and justice- liberals have been known to protest. This is why liberals are often the ones holding signs that say things like: This Sure Beats Working For A Living, All Marriages Are Equal, Tired Of Carrying Signs, Pull Out, You Can’t Fix Stupid But You Can Vote It Out, I Hate Crowds, Build A Wall Around Trump I Will Pay For It, Nasty Women Unite, I Am Holding A Sign. But the degree of injustice (taking away another person’s fundamental human rights) and lack of integrity must become extreme before most liberals hit the streets. My Arms Are Tired.

Most liberals just want to live their lives. They want to be left alone to do what they want to do. They do not want any God, politician, police officer or man-made religious decrees telling them how they should live their lives. A liberal has little need for this. Liberals find their own intellectual way and are guided by ideas of human decency, self-reliance, integrity, intelligence, justice.

Liberals respect other people’s right to do whatever they want as long as they are not hurting anyone else. We understand how to live a good life without needing to be told. We get it, now leave us in peace.

A liberal just wants to be left alone to enjoy their life. They do not want to tell others what they should or should not do. Let people be free, is the main idea of liberal ideology. Liberals can drink, have sex, go to wild and fun parties, say whatever they want, live authentically, do what they want. Other (more restricted, repressed and ideological uptight) people do not seem to like this.

These other people (which, are most Americans) seem to believe you should have a more principled, structured and restrictive way in which you live. To hell with that. I try and stay as far away from these ideas as possible. These ideas are time bombs just waiting to go off.

No thanks. I will keep doing what I want and let these other people be free as well. I will keep to my liberal self and stay out of the way of these more restrictive and ideological people. You don’t have to worry about a liberal. You never hear of a liberal shooting or blowing anyone up. Liberals don’t start wars or go on rampages. We don’t have time for that- we have too many books to read! It is some of the more restrictive and uptight ideological folks who seem to do that sort of thing.

A liberal does have an ideology. It is impossible to live in society without being ideological. Even the depressed person who refuses to get out of bed is practicing an ideology of despair and sadness.

A liberal is highly principled but they do not fly their principles from their front door step. A liberal believes that everyone should be allowed to be free. Everyone should be left alone to live how they want to live their lives (preferably they would watch much less television and read more good novels). Do not interfere with other people’s business, is what a liberal believes. And please stop flying those ridiculous flags from your car but if you need to, go ahead I guess.

Liberals don’t need guns. We don’t need uniforms, wars, bombs or badges. We don’t need ideological and religious belief systems or political smart talk. We don’t even really need newspapers, bureaucracies or mainstream media outlets (although some liberals are media junkies). A liberal just needs good books, a feeling of deep integrity, a glass (or a bottle) of wine, some good music, a nice garden to care for, maybe a joint every now and then, a day or two a week to do whatever they want and a few other intelligent, non-gun owning and creative people to hang around with.

So what the hell is wrong with being a liberal?

The Nonconformist Writer

“Very few people read my stuff,” I said.

“But you are a great writer, things will eventually happen for you,” she said.

“I don’t think so. I post things that I write online and still after a decade and a half of regularly doing so, get two, maybe three likes. No one seems to care about what I write. No publishers knocking at my door. There are so many people out there who get thousands of likes on the things they post.”

“Did you think it would be different for you? Did you think that the kind of things you write about would get lots of likes?” she asked.

“I don’t see why not. I do not see why my writing would not attract more attention.”

“You are not writing about things that get widespread attention. You are choosing to write about things that the vast majority of people do not want to think about and are not smart enough to comprehend. You are not giving people what they want. You are not a conformist writer. Those writers who get lots of attention are mostly complete sell outs. They are crap. That is not what you are doing,” she said before walking into the bathroom and shutting the door.

 

Why can’t I remember to take off my shoes when I walk in the house? I said I would. Why do my testicles hurt so much? When I talk with carrots they always provide me with wisdom. I’ve been thinking a lot about female breasts. I wish I could have a sexual experience with an attractive and slutty young woman, an experience that brings me back that feeling of youthful, sexual excitement. Why wont my dog learn how to pick up her own crap? What is going wrong in my brain? It is true. I guess the vast majority of people do not want to read about these things.

Conformist writers are everywhere. The internet has exponentially exploded the epidemic of the conformist writer. The internet and bookstores are infected by the human waste conformist writers create. Conformist writers ultimately do no good in the world even though they tell everyone else how to. They perpetuate the mechanisms of capitalism. They help pacify and normalize individuals and turn them in to well-lubricated workers and consumers. Conformist writers instruct other people how to live happy, economically successful and spiritually fulfilling lives even though they themselves do not. They write simple and uninteresting (not challenging) dramas that reflect the vegetative needs of the majority. Conformist writers help keep mediocre people mediocre through the spread of mediocre ideas.

Ultimately, conformist writers are interested in one thing: wide spread popularity. They want to be known and this is why they write about things that the vast majority can relate to. They want to be adored. They want to be accepted by the vast majority. They want to be seen as smart and great. They want to achieve the same thing I would like to achieve, success as a writer, except they sell out and take the short cut there. They want status and cultural legitimacy (just like I do). The conformist writer has completely and absolutely sold out without even really knowing what they are doing because they are too dumb. “Show me the money and the likes!” is what the conformist writer is saying. They use the craft of writing (often very poorly and unartfully) to peddle their goods. To sell the vast majority mediocre and popular ideas about how to live, profit and live unintellectually stimulated, complacent lives.

The conformist writer takes no risks. They don’t know how to take risks. The conformist writer is frozen by fear, full-of-shit and this is why most of what they write is incredibly dull and will be forgotten as the years drag on. The nonconformist writer is always taking risks. They are always putting their status, economic situation, security and cultural legitimacy at risk. The nonconformist writer lives on the edge, because this is the only way to expose the absurdities and truths about the human condition in which they live. Conformist writers perpetuate the status quo while nonconformist writers break it down and are often seen as freaks, losers, failures, threats and aberrant outsiders because of it. But if it were not for nonconformist writers (and those others who tell the truth about what it means to be or not be a free-thinking human being) there would be a lot more suicide, alienation, despair, oppression, bad ideas, dull art and violence than there already is. Nonconformist writers articulate deeper, often taboo feelings that everyone feels but very few talk about. I have deep gratitude for nonconformist writers. They provide me the creative consolation, philosophical insights and friendship that I desperately need in these conformist, mediocre, legislative, religious, economically obsessed, Hollywood fabricated and bureaucratic times in which I live.

So, I will not have many readers. I probably will not find any literary fame. Not many people will read or like what I write. I will continue to work hard at my writing and pound on this keyboard every day; risking my professional, social and economic life for very little in return. My writing will be known to only a few but the nonconformist writer is always writing to the few. I will be writing in a void. Alone and stuck inside my own head just like every other isolated messiah. Ok. Such is the fate of the nonconformist writer. In the end, I will know that I told the truth about myself and the surrounding world in an unusual way. This is the job of the nonconformist writer anyways.

 

“You almost done in the bathroom?!” “I really need to use it!”

“Wait a minute dammit! I am using it now!” she replied angrily from behind the locked bathroom door.

I squeeze and wait.

The Making Of An Indebted Man

I was perfectly content spending all day and night in my chair. Yes, I dealt with intense anxiety but that is only because when a person spends a lot of time sitting still in a chair they become very aware of what everyone else is staying busy to forget- death. I was very aware of the inevitability of my own death and not knowing when it would come made me feel very apprehensive. But I dealt with it and aside from this, I felt very content spending all day and night in my chair doing whatever I wanted.

I read my books. I stared out the window. I watched the sun set and the sun rise. I drew pictures. I followed my breathing. I meditated upon various things. I remembered my youth. I masturbated. I ate food that was delivered to me from a health food co-op. I felt peaceful. I lived off money that was provided to me by the generosity of others. I was not doing anything with my life and as a result I felt like I was living fully.

My mother would occasionally visit me and become mad. She always brought me flowers (I don’t know why). My mother bringing me flowers made me feel very uncomfortable. Why was I just sitting in that chair? She was angry that I was not doing anything with my life (my father could not even deal with visiting me). She could not understand that I was doing everything with my life. She wanted me to get up more. She did not think that spending all my time in a chair, alone in my room was healthy for a young man. I told her that the greatest thing about my life was that I was a man free of debt (I told her this because I knew she lived buried in debt).

My father and my mother owned two large homes. They had numerous credit cards. Several cars. A small airplane. My main memories of my father and mother are of them sitting around the kitchen table with a large check book opened and stacks and stacks of bills piled up in the center of the table. As a kid I knew that I did not want that to be me. But then my mother said to me one day when she came to visit: Debt my son is a wonderful thing. It is what our society is built upon and it is what allows us to have a good life. I didn’t know why, but my mother’s words often had a strong unconscious influence over me. They made me do things that I knew I really did not want to do.

A man dressed in a standard business man’s suit came into my room one day. He was carrying a briefcase. I was at the point where I was trying to teach myself how to walk on the ceiling. I would not sit in the chair as much and instead I would learn how to walk on the ceiling. That would feel like a valid accomplishment to me. I was obsessed and fascinated with the idea of learning how to walk on the ceiling. My imagination was running wild. The man offered me an American Express Card, a MasterCard and the opportunity to have any graduate school of my choice paid for by a loan. He told me that these things would drastically improve my life and I decided to think about it.

Should I give up learning how to walk on the ceiling? Should I not be spending so much time sitting in my chair, enjoying my life? Suddenly I felt bad for the way I was living. Irresponsible. Failed. Maybe there was a more adult way to live? Maybe debt could give me an even better life than the one I already had? I would at least make my mother, father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, uncle, aunt, wife, creditors, debtors, president, congress people, advertisers, business owners and others that I was not aware of proud. When the man dressed in the standard business suit returned to my room I told him ok. I signed several things. I took the cards. I chose a graduate school that I would attend and the man told me when I could start. He gave me a check that he told me I would pay back someday in the distant future. Congratulations son. You have made a smart choice for the direction of your life. Welcome to being a contributing member of society. This idea made me nervous but I went to graduate school anyways.

I got a graduate degree. I was then offered a house and decided why not. It would be nice to have my own home. A different man in a suit told me that the house could be all mine if I just signed here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

I got the house. It was a nice house with a large backyard. I bought furniture for the house with the cards that I was given by the first man in the standard business suit. I was then offered more cards by various strangers who seemed so happy to give them to me. Credit cards were being offered to me by everyone. I had never felt like such an accomplished and trustworthy person before, so I said yes to all of them. I figured this was the responsible thing to do. I had made it! I bought a car. I rented an office and started the business that I was told to start by the people in graduate school. I bought more furniture for my office with the cards that proudly displayed my name on them. Suddenly I felt like someone important. I felt like I was living a legitimate, adult life. I bought patio furniture.

My mother, father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, uncle, aunt, wife, creditors, debtors, president, congress people, advertisers, business owners and others all seemed proud of me. They all wanted to talk with me. When I walked into other people’s businesses I was treated with respect. I had accomplished great things now that I was a man in debt. Suddenly people wanted to spend time with me and pay me for my time. I could buy whatever I wanted but the strange thing was that I started to feel very sad and had no idea why.

I missed those days when I spent day and night just sitting in a chair. I regretted that I had not learned how to walk on the ceiling. I was too busy and occupied now. If I spent too much time sitting in a chair I noticed that I felt bad. I tried but I always felt like I should be doing something else. I checked my iPhone a lot. I had a business to attend to. A house to run and keep clean. Things needed to get done and just sitting in a chair felt like I was letting important things remain undone. Now I was not anxious because of the reality of death, but I had dozens of others things that I worried could go wrong. My hair started to thin and fall out. I felt a dark despair in me that I had never felt before but began using my cards more to buy things and an effort to get the despair to go away. I bought expensive healing products to heal the diseases I felt like I was vulnerable of catching as a result of living a more stress-filled, adult life. I drank more wine to make the anxiety dissolve away.

I would forget to pay bills. I didn’t have energy to pay bills. How did my parents do it? I didn’t want to pay certain bills. Why should I pay my student loan back, when this was the life it had gotten me into? The man in the standard looking business suit had not told me the truth. I felt more and more depressed. More and more trapped. I longed for the simpler times when I was perfectly content just sitting in my chair. I just wanted to be able to walk on the ceiling and do other spontaneous and creative things. Instead, my life became routine. There was nothing else to do.

No one else seemed to notice how much I was suffering. I thought about ending my life. I thought about how trapped I felt. I felt rage towards the men in business suits and my mother for giving me terrible advice. I felt set up. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and was given Lexaproby another man in a nicer suit. After several weeks of taking the pills I started to feel better. I started to feel a bit more relaxed and content in my life. It was working! The despair and anxiety subsided and gradually I was not so miserable going to work. My sex drive vanished, I put on a bit of weight but when I sat down at my kitchen table and paid off the stack of bills, it didn’t feel so bad. Now I could begin getting my credit score back on track. I could start exercising, meditating and maybe even reading again. I could begin to just enjoy working, driving, buying things, hanging out with other people, taking care of my house and living an average life in the suburbs. It felt nice. I lost all interest in learning how to walk on the ceiling but who cares, that sort of thing doesn’t matter anyways.

Yuck. Yuck. And The Feeling Of Yuck.

Yuck. Yuck. And the feeling of yuck.

Yuck.

It all feels so empty. Uncomfortable. I go check the news online. I go read from a few websites. I read a novel. I fill my pipe with marijuana and take a small hit. Anything to rid myself of this feeling of yuck.

I have often heard this feeling of yuck referred to as existential pain. It is the feeling that your life is not measuring up. You are failing to be the person you want to be or think you should be. You are failing to be great. You are failing to meet these societal expectations of how you think you should be. Failing, failing, failing. And this fear of failure is causing you to feel like a no one. It is causing you to feel like you are doing everything wrong. It is causing you to feel like your life does not matter. You have failed and when you die you are going to fade away into obscurity.

When you just sit there and do nothing things feel yucky. All that emptiness which is caused by a fear of failure comes up. We all know this feeling and most of us just stay busy, keep doing things to avoid feeling it. If we just stay busy, if we just keep buying things, working, having kids, making money then maybe we will feel like we are measuring up. Then maybe we will feel like our lives will not be for nothing and we can be relieved of this feeling of yuck.

Good luck.

I eat. I listen to music. I write these futile essays and post them on various blogs. I go to a job in an effort to earn a decent living. I make art. I read novels. I watch films. I drink wine and meditate. I do all these things in an effort to keep away the existential pain. But it always returns. First thing in the morning when I just sit there. There it is. What am I going to do with my day? How am I going to try and make my life count today? I don’t want to do any of the things that I have to do, but I still must do them anyway. I am failing at the things I really want to do. I don’t want to do anything. It goes on and on like this. I had a mentor many years ago who believed that existential pain was an alarm going off telling you that your life is on the wrong track. But who cares. Let’s put it out of mind. Let’s watch the news or smoke some pot. Let’s go to work. Let’s            check our phone or read a website. Lets just try and forget about it. Life should not be so difficult. It should not be so hard. I just want to forget about all the shit. This becomes most people’s life’s motivation. To forget about all the shit.

I am trying to be content with just being average. I tell myself that if I could just be ok with not being anyone, with not distinguishing myself in any kind of unique way, if I could just be ok with disappearing into nothingness and obscurity, then maybe I can be happy in my life. Then maybe I could free myself from this feeling of yuck. After a life-time of being conditioned to be a somebody, to be great and successful at whatever I do, it is hard to settle on being average. On not needing to be anyone at all. To just be able to sit here and not do anything except just enjoy my life and be at peace. I know that this feeling of yuck is a result of feeling like I am failing at doing what I need to be doing or what I should be doing. If I could just not need to do anything at all maybe I would finally feel all right.

But it is tough to decide to just become average, to make peace with not needing to be noticed by anyone. Aren’t we all striving for this? To be acknowledge and appreciated for the unique, distinguished and talented/good individual that we think we are? Isn’t that why we work so hard? I know this path only leads to more stress, more unhappiness and I would like to give it up but in making the decision to become average (or below average) I can’t seem to shake this feeling that my life would then somehow be a waste. After all, I live on this tiny planet, in this even tinier country where everyone I am surrounded by are all trying to distinguish themselves from all the rest so that when they die they will not slip away into nothingness. It is always difficult to go against what everyone else is doing because then you feel like you will be out of the club. Forgotten. Discarded. No longer necessary. I know that I do not want to be in the club, but I also know that life can present new challenges when you are living on the outside. (See my essay The Outsider.)

Maybe we are all just fucked. (I can’t believe that spellcheck does not have the correct spelling for the word fucked when I spelled it wrong; have we really become that repressive of a society?) Maybe this is what life in the Western world has come to at this point in history. We are all fucked, there is no escape from the yuck. Maybe the only way out is through some kind of spiritual transformation where you are no longer trying to achieve anything at all because you are perfectly content with life as it is in the present moment. You need nothing else but what you have in this moment because you have spiritually transcended the more material and ego based reality. Maybe.

Where is my marijuana pipe?

I reach for my pipe, fill it with marijuana and that becomes my answer for right now. I clean my house. Turn on music. Maybe I will watch a small amount of porn to activate my dopamine receptors. I water the plants in my backyard garden. Read a few things online. I realize everything that I am doing is basically motivated by the impulse to get rid of this feeling of yuck. Possibly the society that I live in is constructed to provide people with a way to rid themselves of this feeling of yuck or maybe it is the cause of this feeling of yuck. I happen to think it is the cause. Life unto itself can be a very pleasant and peaceful thing much of the time but society is what fucks it all up. This continual pressure to measure up. Maybe. I don’t know. Obviously, the answers I have thus far found are inadequate.

Is this what was meant by a life of quiet desperation? At least I am not staying quiet about it. This is one thing I am doing right. Maybe. Maybe not.

Yuck.