If there’s anything that’s keeping me alive at this point, it’s that I want to make all the shit I’ve been through mean something. I don’t want it to all be for naught.
I don’t know exactly how to do that. But I’m trying to figure it out, and I have to make myself believe that it’s at least possible.
Aside from my eating disorder, the one and only thing that’s touched that meaning-making place in my mind or soul or whathaveyou, it’s been philosophy. Languages and math come closest out of everything else, but I get the sense that even this is because of their connection (for me) to philosophy.
I spent a lot of time running from these things. What you have to understand is that I already had this meaningless, banal existence, coupled with extremely low self worth, and I lived in a place where my eating disorder and my academic life were all that I felt mattered. (Well, maybe not all, but like, 98%.) And the failures I experienced academically that ultimately led to dropping out of school (twice) took root in my head in that very fertile ground. It was easy for me to take this as one more way in which I was just plain awful and more evidence that I didn’t deserve anything good.
I ran from it and refused to have anything to do with philosophy or anything that connected to it in my mind, just because of the memories and feelings associated with it. I couldn’t face it. I told everyone in my life that I didn’t care. I said I was glad to be out of school and whatnot. I cracked jokes about it. Everything was fine, I said.
Lately, I’m trying to believe that I did the best I could and that my eating disorder was to blame for these events. That doesn’t mean I was without fault; there were times when I was horrible and quite selfish in pursuit of the things my eating disorder made me believe I needed. It just means that I wasn’t in control like I thought I was.
This is hard. At the time, I certainly felt like I was in control. My eating disorder was mine; no one could take it from me. When everything else was dissolving and going to shit, that was my security blanket.
It’s only recently occurring to me how fucked up that is.
But if what I want is to create something meaningful out of this pile of shit that’s been the last ten years (or more; it’s hard to say when it started), then how I feel about what I’m doing matters. And I’m going to be in pain no matter what. At least I could be doing something I find engaging, stimulating, that makes me feel alive when nothing else can.
This doesn’t always happen. Sometimes nothing can cut through the fog in my head. I have to learn to deal with that as well. But if anything can, studying philosophy is that thing. For me, it’s like nothing else.
I respect that this is probably near incomprehensible to a lot of people, but I feel comfortable about very little right now. This is the one thing that’s solid and sure, in my mind, and I’ve got to follow it and see where it goes.
That’s not to say I’m planning to go back to school. I definitely am not planning that any time soon. Whatever it is, I’m on whatever quest I’m on here without any institution to back me up, and that’s fine. I’m not ready for that, anyway, in any sense of the word.
But as heavy as depression is right now, and as tough as damn near everything has been, it’s been reading Frege and Russell and Leibniz and Kant (even Kant, my god) again that has made me want to do the work of clawing my way back when I feel like my grip on life and the world around me is slipping away. So, I don’t need anyone to understand this about me, but it’s important to me that I can articulate it in some way, like this.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, at all, but I need to follow this thread, wherever it goes.