Phoenix

fire-phoenix,1366x768,51166

Extinguished voice,

Its failing light

Wounds,

Crashing through white noise.

A shadow –

From its body ripped –

Guides simmered hopes,

All blind with fright.

By wordless depths unbound

In death,

A dissonant lament

Burns solace through my grief.

As tears turn to ash,

I write into my skin

The fire

Of a long-lost dream.

 

Writing Space

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Inadequacy

Full Moon by Vic Briggs

Freud had placed envy at the centre of malign feelings, for envy destroys all that is good, including goodness itself. We are never quick to admit to being envious of others, because that would entail also admitting that we are, in some way or another, their inferiors, be that in talent, intellect, ability, skill, kindness and so on. Yet there is another feeling which is as painful and can be as destructive: that of inadequacy.

There is a tendency and desire in people both to conform and to stand out. A feeling of inadequacy implies a failure in both.

I considered leaving it at that. After all, the experience of inadequacy must be near universal. We have all believed ourselves to have come short of expectations – whether our own or others’ – at some point in our lives. Nonetheless, there is a particularity attached to each individual’s experience: sameness in difference and vice versa.

Going to the root of the problem appears a near impossible feat. I journeyed through a plethora of theories, each concluding in the terrifying image: an internal battlefield where the discrepancy between reality and an idealised version of the self are set to clash. It is a vicious cycle, whereby anger is directed inwards and creates a self-perpetuating conflict that – when left unaddressed – will result in the onset and persistence of depression.

The problem goes deep. Reaching an objective viewpoint seldom helps. Whereas with most other malign feelings, understanding and acceptance make it possible to overcome their hold, that is not the case with inadequacy. This feelings is unsupported by reason. Even when we know that there is no basis in reality for how we feel, that does not automatically allow for its power to be broken. Since reason fails us, the solution will necessitate a creative approach.

Having been reminded of Nelson Mandela’s reversal of the coin, I would like to conclude on a more optimistic note: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” If we are inadequate, the great pretenders of this world, what we are reflects the chasms and vicissitudes on an imperfect world. And since we are able to dream up perfect versions of ourselves and of the world we inhabit, then ours too is the power to let go of these imagined Utopias.

 

Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender

Sleeplessness

Sleeplessness

I tried to find some source of happiness in the beauty that surrounded me. As long as the sun was high on the horizon and a thousand nothings were to be seen and done I could carry on as if nothing of importance had truly happened in my life. The routine appealed. It gave my chaotic universe some semblance of order and I could at least pretend to feel at peace.

In the darkness of the long winter nights I struggled to keep my demons at bay. I tossed and turned for hours on end pursued by ghostly visions and when a deeper sleep took hold of me at last I would be roused suddenly by a recurring scream, bewildered and afraid, my eyes searching fruitlessly the pitch-black corners of the room for its source. It would take minutes, long centuries of them, for me to realise that the shriek had been my own; that it had been outwardly silent, an asphyxiated expansion of a cavity denied a voice. Yet the haunting cry reverberated for hours longer through the darkest recesses of my mind, taunting me, scratching away at the little oasis of everydayness that had kept me sane thus far.

With each sundown malign dreams gnawed away more intensely at my respite. I grew terrified of shutting my eyelids lest the storms of my unconscious took hold once again. Frenzied spells would give way to bouts of melancholia and with the lack of sleep; my waking thoughts had grown darker too.

I feel a vast emptiness all around me. No history, no memories, no content whatsoever. The world and all its tribulations belong to others, not me. Anguished. In pain. It is this pointlessness of misery that sweetens the taste of poison and makes one’s neck crave the cuddle of a rope. A set of fingers, following instinctively the course of those thoughts, trailed the rounded curve of the neckline and contracted gently for one moment only, reassured by the pulse of the blood surging through.

Had I fallen asleep? Was I awake? At times I struggled to make out the difference.

My lifeline

Truth or Dare.

I have been writing less of late. Physically restraining myself from opening up my blog and adding a new piece of myself to it. If there is no post then there is no dated, time stamped evidence of it. Nothing to be thrown back into my face as proof that I am shirking my duties elsewhere.

It is an obsession, I am told. An addiction.

obsession (noun) 1. Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety. 2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.
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The need to write is a visceral one. I am a writer only if I keep writing. If it is an obsession, I can think of none better or more reasonable for a writer to embrace.
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addiction (noun): the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. a. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something. b. An instance of this: had an addiction to blogging.
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Weaving Grace_DiasporaMy life is a succession of vicious circles. There are good days and bad. Those are easy enough to bare. What I struggle with is that empty space where apathy creeps in. It has ceased being a question long ago. Now it visits me only as a statement: “There is no point.”
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Late at night. In the light of day. Its grip is relentless. This is why I started writing. A writer adrift. In search of fulfilment. No. It is so much more than that. It is a lifeline. The one thing that keeps me breathing. Gives me something to wake up for every morning.

It is beyond comprehension to me why anyone would want to make me feel guilty for it.

Is there a distinction between writing and blogging? Perhaps… I see blogging as an extension of my development as a writer. It keeps my writing muscles flexed. It keeps me working, creating, even when I am not inspired, so that when the muse does visit she can find me ready, pen in hand.

I am back. Guilt-ridden. Fractured. Emptied out. Yet here. For another day at least.

Deep Blue

regret

Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Head in the unlit stove.

It was no accident. 

You meant for it to happen. Why did you?  

Refracted silence. 

The ring of the telephone in the night,

That gruelling sound reverberating in my stomach

Every time I think of you.

This dread you gifted me.

An idiom in avalanche, reaching for the climax.

A perverse twist of fate that conjoined my lot 

To the choreography of sphinxes pulling at your mind.

A compulsive gambler

No more.

I am done with the ephemerid assurance of a mask-strapped face,

Fumbling blindly for the tassels of your cloak until my fingertips wrinkle.

Drowned at the bottom of a glassful of crushed aspirin,

A groundless probabilistic miscalculation,

The scars of desire.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/prompt-humble-pie/

Link

My travels with depression

I wanted to share this link with you, and my comments to the author’s confession. It is such a tough journey to make from depression to health. I hope this helps.

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I recognised so much of myself in what you wrote. I write fiction. This grounds my search for identity. It was only once I admitted to being depressed – not the colloquial, everyday ‘depressed’ that people use instead of saying ‘sad’, but the big-D depressed, when your world implodes and there is nothing you can do about it – it was only then that I was able to identify a recurring theme in my writing. All my characters undergo identity crises. These differ in type, intensity and texture, but ultimately the motif is always there.

“How could I express this bizarre lack of identity or the way I swap and change personality to please the company I keep?” you say.

I believe we all do that in our teens, when we haven’t quite figured out who we are. Mimetic behaviour is also normal in adulthood, it is akin to empathy, but of course, what you refer to goes far deeper than that. It comes I believe from a deep-seated need for acceptance. From a belief that we are not enough. Truth is, you are enough. We always demand more of ourselves than others ever do. Depression intensifies the pain, and makes it difficult for us to have a positive self-image.

“Would he understand the secret emotional immaturity, like a child pretending to be an adult?” you continue.

Pretence… We all do it. Most of us most of the time, or perhaps some of us some of the time, fake it. Sometime we make it, other times we don’t. There is nothing wrong with keeping the child within alive, but I would like to hear more from you about this. I am not sure I fully grasped what you meant by it.

“How do I admit an inability to sustain friendships or relationships?  Is it significant that I told my partner to leave because I was terrified of his abandonment?”

Attack as a form of defence. Building walls. Keeping all at a distance. Depression does that. Admitting that it is not you, but the depression in you that makes all this happen, can help lift the burden of guilt. A small step perhaps, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.

“Do I even recognise that the chronic emptiness is anything other than “normal”?”

This hollowing out is the worst thing that depression does. We project all that is good outwards, and are left completely empty. I don’t have the answer to how the process can be reversed. Acceptance. Perseverance. Openness. Every attempt can make a difference. In time…

You story-telling technique is wonderful. The twist unexpected. Thank you.

Introductory Lectures: Beyond the Couch @ The Institute of Psychoanalysis

Introductory Lectures: Beyond the Couch @ The Institute of Psychoanalysis

THE INTRODUCTORY LECTURES

AND SEMINARS

Ever fancied yourself a bit of a Freudian? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to be in the know when it comes to the tribulations of the mind, but didn’t know where to start. Here is the chance for you to find out what’s what when it comes to cigar-smoking theories.

I loved these lectures when I attended them a few years back, and would warmly recommend them to anyone with an interest in, or plain and simple curiosity about psychoanalysis. Can’t promise you’ll be an expert at the end of it, but it’s a neat party trick if your relatives have the head for it. Only joking! DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Click on the link above to find out more.

And farewell!

VB

This two-part series of lectures on psychoanalysis, each followed by a discussion in small groups, provides an overall view of the core concepts in psychoanalysis and their main applications. Participants are provided with basic texts for each lecture. Further reading is suggested and is available in the Institute’s library.

The course is suitable for people new in the field, as well as those with experience.