#202 July 21.

#202 July 21.

Actually, I still don’t quite really believe that existence is possible without
pain. For years I wondered how everyone else was so good at pretending to be
happy, while I could never quite keep up the sham for long. I still almost
believe they’re just “unconscious” of their fate, a different species, not like
me.

Clinical depression? Probably. Curable? Maybe. But the problem is deeper
than just a failure to try to have fun, or a failure to purge the ill humours.
For a long time I thought it was, that there was some easy fix, some magic
“happy” behavior I just wasn’t getting right. I’ve come to realize that I have
to recognize and deal with the inside pain before the outside pain matters (as
more than a mirror to reveal what’s inside).

-Brian Murphy

#201 July 20.

#201 July 20.

I seem to enjoy wallowing in angst, or bad situations in general. Give me a
death in my family (none, unfortunately) or a good war or disaster or a failed
or unfulfilled relationship or just general loneliness or even an angstful
realization of the pointlessness of my own existence. Why? because no matter
what the external situation is, I still feel pain. I can be distracted from it
for a time, perhaps even for a while, but as soon as the dust clears, the climax
is reached, the party ends or even is still for a moment, I still feel it, deep
inside.

Having a focus for it, any focus, any cause, makes me feel better. That way I
at least think I know why I hate life.

You might say “You’re responsible for your pain, deal with it, do something
about it. You don’t have to be in a painful situation”, but the pain bas been
an inseparable part of life for me. I am the pain. It was there before I
existed as a conscious being. It almost doesn’t make sense for it not to be
there.

-Brian Murphy

#200 July 19.

#200 July 19.

Got up at 8:00 a.m.
Went to work.
Worked
Went home.
Ate
Had a few beers.
went to sleep.
Woke up next morning.
watched the ags get trounced by ND.
ack!
much like every other day.
in fact I think all my days are just reruns of the previous ones.
i need to put in a new tape. maybe I can rent someone else’s.

-Chuck Machala

#199 July 18.

#199 July 18.

I’ve decided that happiness is fundamentally unstable. I suppose there are
those who are nearly always happy, but they always seem to come across as
ignorant somehow…they tend to have some sort of crutch that I can’t buy into,
such as a faith which tells them “don’t worry, be happy, everyone will get
theirs in the end.”

Sometimes when I find that I’m enjoying myself, I feel like the cartoon
character who’s just run off the edge of a cliff but hasn’t noticed yet. The
fall is waiting, but as long as he doesn’t look down, he can walk on air…he
can never resist the temptation to peek, however, and the audience laughs as he
screams all the way down to the inevitable impact.

I must be so used to getting screwed that when I’m having fun, someone has to
pound it into my head that my feet are still on the ground. Otherwise I keep
checking to make sure and end up missing it all.

-Greg Parkhurst

#198 July 17.

#198 July 17.

There are women who feel guilty about their sexuality, and would
prefer all interactions to be the guy’s idea. If they say no in an ambiguous
way, certain guys (most, I’d say) won’t interpret it as no. (There are also
scum who don’t understand no when it is clearly intended as such–tone of voice
is a pretty good give-away–but that’s not what I’m talking about.) When I
come along and take no at face value, women don’t beg and plead and tell me
they really meant yes. Instead, they go looking for another guy who is willing
to put up with the ambiguity.

Are such women worth it? Maybe not. But life gets pretty lonely when 99.9%
of the people you meet aren’t worth the trouble.

-Paul Callahan

#197 July 16.

#197 July 16.

All I’m doing is belatedly adopting the rules other people live by, regardless
of what they tell themselves. I’m not entirely happy about it. It’s a
compromise. I’d like things to be more friendly, and more fair, but
they’re not, and as far as I can tell, never will be. If I were younger,
maybe I could get the idealistic thing to work. I tried it a few times, and
sometimes it seemed like it could work under the right conditions. At my
current age, it doesn’t seem too likely anymore. I’d be fooling myself, and
I’m sick of fooling myself.

What I won’t give up is my integrity, because it’s all I have left.
I’ll be an asshole if I have to be, but if you ask me what I’m doing, I’ll
tell you that I’m being an asshole. I have no problem with this. Well, I
have some problems with it, but it’s part of a necessary compromise.

My big gripe is with the sort of woman who has this vestigial guilt about,
say, cheating on her current boyfriend. But, like, she’ll *do* it, just
so long as she can attribute all guilt to the other guy (i.e. me). Every
sort of physical interaction must be *my* idea. She never actually says yes
to anything. Maybe she wants me and hints and hints and hints, but
she holds out from giving genuine consent because she can’t stand the guilt.

-Paul Callahan

#196 July 15.

#196 July 15.

There are definitely things I don’t care about anymore. Like, I don’t care
whom I hurt anymore. For example, I have no problem with the idea of
encouraging some woman to break up with another guy to date me–even if he’s
not a scum. I don’t care who he is. I’d be happy with my own success and I’d
laugh in his face. In fact, I’d make a special point of laughing in his face,
because I’d enjoy it so much. I’m sure he’d do the same for me, given the
chance.

Also, I’ve pretty much given up whatever sort of puritanical notions of virtue
I may have maintained up until a few years ago. I don’t know if it’s right or
wrong. Again, I don’t care. I know what I want, and I’m perfectly willing to
admit it. Fidelity, for example, is a good thing, but if some woman is willing
to cheat on her boyfriend, it’s not my job to keep her from doing it. I’ve
gotten over the problem of pretending it is. It took years, but I got over it.

-Paul Callahan

#195 July 14.

#195 July 14.

You guys are a great help! Thanks! Not only does it help knowing other people
do or have felt like this, but some of your have developed great ways of
dealing with these feelings. Its also very good for the soul to gripe and
not be too afraid that people are going to get mad at you for griping–seems
that everyone is afraid you’re going to bring them down and they’d rather you
not disturb their precarious hold on happiness (I certainly can’t blame them!),
so its nice to communicate with people who will talk about these sorts of
things.

I…I…I just love you guys *sniff*…

ok, sorry, its getting cheesy. You’re all just a bunch of sorry loser assholes
and dont you forget it!!

-Richard Thompson

#194 July 13.

#194 July 13.

First time I started feeling down and completely unmotivated was right after
school; I was wondering whether all the plans I had made for the future were
“right” (in terms of being successful one day – whatever that means- ,
achieving all the goals I had set for myself). Also, I had this constant
fear of missing out on something… that I wasn’t making the most the of
present.

Within a year life became a nightmare – I had a hard time enjoying myself,
became a loner – good therapy when you’re depressed 😉 – all my basic skills
of socializing were gone. When depressed, you not only tend to torture
yourself, but in addition you become surprisingly good at pissing everybody
else off, too.

But I believe there’s one good aspect about severe depressions: spending
all that time “inside” my mind gave me a chance to reflect upon all the
things of the past – although, at times it seemed almost impossible to
acknowledge and/or accept them – and wonder about the “meaning of life”
(DON’T EVER DO THAT – IT ONLY MAKES THINGS WORSE !). But wanting back my old
life and the way I used to look at it, I had to take the initiative. Talking
to my friends and parents helped me a great deal – now, I truly appreciate
peace of mind…

-carsten

#193 July 12.

#193 July 12.

This is the first time I’ve actually spent any time reading alt.angst, and
I must say its damn scary how closely I relate to what’s written here.
Realizing things-are-naturally-fucked-up-and-there’s-nothing-you-can-do-about-
it-so-you’s-damn-well-better-get-used-to-it is really tough on one’s psyche.
From this group and from people I know in the ever so dreary real world it
seems to me that there are two ways angst will affect a person. One: the
angst will just make life seem even more a joke than it always has–the person
manages to maintain a good sense of humor about it most of the time and, aside
from having to sit alone in a dark room and cry every once in awhile, they
are quite capable of getting on with his or her life and have an alright time
of it. Two: the angst becomes overwhelming; the victim seeks nothing more
than to find a corner or hole to hide in, away from reality, and ultimately
decides the only true escape from it is death…they stop living long before
they die.

-Richard Thompson