"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Friday, July 02, 2004

I want to take you in my arms, forgetting all I couldn't do today... Black Celebration

Let’s have a black celebration
Black celebration

To celebrate the fact
That we’ve seen the back
Of another black day

I look to you
How you carry on
When all hope is gone
Can’t you see

Your optimistic eyes
Seem like paradise
To someone like

I want to take you
In my arms
Forgetting all I couldn’t do today

Black celebration
Black celebration

To celebrate the fact
That we’ve seen the back
Of another black day

I look to you
And your strong belief
Me, I want relief

I want so much
Want to feel your touch

Take me in your arms
Forgetting all you couldn’t do today

Black celebration
I’ll drink to that
Black celebration

-Black Celebration Depeche Mode

My Black Celebration
I have suffered from fits of depression since my teenage years, I remember black periods of laying on the bed in my room, lights off, my stereo playing Depeche Mode’s Black Celebration album over, and over…. I would feel heavy, tired, unable to move, the world felt black, I felt apathy, overwhelm, failure and sadness….

Suicidide Solution
Many times as a teenager I thought about suicide, I remember one particular sunny day, crying in my room, holding a bottle of pills and a glass of water, and wanting badly to end the pain. As I was about to swallow down these pills, I could hear children outside my window laughing…. And I decided to keep living. When I started drinking, the depression and suicidal thoughts would overwhelm me, and there was several times I cut up my wrists, stabbed myself with things, or did other forms of abuse to myself. Im embarrassed now as an adult at the spectacle I would case. I wrote, a lot, too many poems to count, all with black themes, suicidal messages, and deep sorrow and sadness.

depression - a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity

Is there no way out of the mind?
Sylvia Plath

The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.
Sylvia Plath

Black Bouts
Bouts with deep depression have followed me through adulthood, like an unwanted ghost. Always lingering around me ready to overwhelm. I had a serious case of depression right after graduating from UC Berkeley. I felt like Dustin Hoffman in the graduate but worse. During college, I became exposed to Sylvia Plath, a poet who committed suicide in 1963. Sylvia wrote the semi-autobiographical book “the Bell Jar”, and I would identify with no book as strongly in my lifetime. In the book, a smart, creative writer goes to college and realizes that college is a place to meet husbands or training factory for women to become secretaries, teachers, or typists. I identified with Sylvia as she was also a struggling single mother, smart college graduate, who wrote suffered through depression. I realized after graduating from Berkeley top 3 percent, that it DIDN’T matter how frigging smart I was, my lot in life was to be that of a secretary or typist. Careers of which I have never been able to escape from their crushing glass ceiling. This still saddens me to no end, I want to do so much more, feel like my degree meant so much more….

The only difference from being in a rut and being dead is, that when you are dead, you don't mind when they throw dirt in your face.
--- Author Unknown

"the bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air."Sylvia Plath in the Bell Jar

The Fog
Today, I feel depressed, it could be because Im on my period and my hormones are going crazy, or it could be because I stopped taking anti-depressants a week ago, or it could be because I feel alone, confused, unsure of where I am going in the sea called life. I feel as if a dark cloud has descended on me, surrounding my body, and I cant see past it. My eyes feel heavy, my jaw line clenched.

"The sickness rolled through me in great waves. After each wave it would fade away and leave me limp as a wet leaf and shivering all over and then I would feel it rising up in me again, and the glittering white torture chamber tiles under my feet and over my head and all four sides closed in and squeezed me to pieces." –Sylvia Plath in the Bell Jar

Temporary (hopefully) funk
Im trying to pull myself out of this funk, and I hope it will end as fast as it came on. Today, I am not able to post anything happy or sexual…. My world seems very dark today, and the Bell Jar hovers around me.

Depression Symptoms
1. You cried at the end of "The Little Mermaid".
2. You feel less attractive than mayonnaise.
3. You know how to say "suicide" in 15 languages

1. A trip to Disneyland!
2. A career in the arts.
3. Throw away your copy of The Bell Jar.

This was his Blue Period, so called because most of these paintings were dominated by various shades of blue, heigthening their mood of isolation and despair.

Quotes from Van Gogh on Depression

I might only succeed in this, if that heavy depression because everything I undertook failed, that torrent of reproaches which I have heard and felt, if it might be taken from me, and if there might be given to me both the opportunity...

But I am so angry with myself now because I cannot do what I should like to do, and at such a moment one feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot a the bottom of a deep, dark well, utterly helpless.

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, author, and essayist.
She showed early literary promise, publishing her first poem at the age of 8; her father, a college professor and noted authority on the subject of bees, died at around the same time. In her junior year at Smith College, Plath made what was to be the first of several suicide attempts: this was later to be detailed in the autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, published in 1963. It is argued that she was affected by manic depression, and, notably, she was a resident of McLean Hospital. She married the English poet Ted Hughes in 1956, and published her first collection of poetry, The Colossus, in England in 1960.
She and Ted Hughes settled for a while in a small village in Devon, but separated less than two years after the birth of their first child, and Plath returned to London with their two children, Frieda and Nicholas, in tow. The winter of 1962/1963 was one of the harshest in living memory. On February 11, 1963, ill, low on money, Sylvia Plath committed suicide in her kitchen by gas asphyxiation. She is buried in the churchyard at Heptonstall, West Yorkshire.

The Catcher in the Rye written by J. D. Salinger
Published in 1951, the novel remains controversial today (it was the 13th most frequently challenged book from 1990-2000, according to the ALA [1]) and its hero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage angst.
In the book, seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield, writing from a mental institution, relates his experiences of the previous year (when he was 16).

Quotes from Catcher in the Rye
"The cars zoomed by, brakes screeched all over the place, his parents paid no attention to him, and he kept on walking next to the curb and singing 'If a body catch a body coming through the rye.' It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed any more"
"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around-nobody big, I mean-except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff-I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy"

Kurt battled with drug dependency, and depression all his adult life

Creativity and Depression and Manic Depression
Studies of Writers and Artists. "Reports published in Smooth Sailing on talks by Kay Redfield Jamison at symposiums co-sponsored by DRADA." Studies include John Keats, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
John Keats
Despite his untimely death from tuberculosis at age 25, Keats produced some of the greatest poetry in our language or any other. As seems common among artists with symptoms of manic-depressive illness, he did much of his finest work in a great burst of creative activity (during nine months in 1819).
It is evident from Keats's notes and letters that he was subject to violent mood swings. "I am in that temper," he once wrote, "that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top." But he fought against his illness: "I shall get over my indolent fits."
Trained as a surgeon, Keats embellished his surgery lecture notes with many impromptu sketches in the margins—evidence of his wide-ranging interests, and also of his mercurial nature. Inability to maintain a steady mood characterized his life; though by this own description he was sometimes "lax, unemployed and unmeridian'd," his doctor once diagnosed him as suffering "the too great excitement of poetry."

Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf believed that her "madness" inspired her and made her a better writer. Her disease probably gave rise to the nontraditional narrative techniques and definitions of reality in her stream-of-consciousness style of writing. A friend said, "A dull moment in her company was not likely . . . her mind was a rich kingdom to itself and her going was the end of an age."
Virginia Woolf wrote two suicide notes telling of her certainty that she would become manic and that she "cannot fight it." In both notes she expressed gratitude to her husband. She believed she owed the happiness in her life to her husband and she did not want to spoil his life. She wrote that they "were happy until this disease came on." On March 28, 1941, sensing the beginning of another manic episode and a flight into madness, she drowned herself.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
In 1936, Scott Fitzgerald published in Esquire magazine a series of three essays dealing directly with depression, which he was experiencing. The first, The Crack-Up, was published in February; the second, Handle with Care, in March; and the third, Putting It Together, in April. Dr. Jamison described these essays as "dark, dreadful, and utterly desolate," with an enormous "sense of bleakness." They vividly express the feelings Scott Fitzgerald experienced during an intense depression. Because he wrote them during it, not afterward, they have great clarity and impact. He wrote "from the bone." He "hated the night and hated the day," and referred to himself as "a cracked plate." Anyone who has endured a severe depression can identify with those descriptions.
"Difficulties nerve the Spirit of Man," he said; they focus the mind on concerns of life rather than letting it wander to darker thoughts. Keats often sank into a "profound disquiet which he could not or would not explain," in the words of a friend, caused by the "motion of the inland sea he loved so well."

Creativity and Depression
Article by Meana Kasi discussing the link between creativity and depression from the perspective of "There is scientific evidence that the same people who are predisposed to creativity are also the ones who are most prone to suffer from depression. Oftentimes, this battle with depression may lead to suicide and/or drug/alcohol abuse as is evidenced by a long list of famous artists (painters, writers, musicians, etc) who have taken their own lives or battled addiction as a result of suffering from depression.

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