In this episode of Acceptable Madness, I talk about the struggle of getting out of bed in the morning when your depression is at both its worst and best.
Idea by: Nikos Koufus
Written by: Scott McAllknowingandpowerful
I find it interesting. The first thing that my creations did was develop time. Even the very first ones knew about time before they discovered time.
I have never had the privilege of feeling time. For me, nothing ages: It just changes. The grass that grows. The creations that evolve. The planets that harbor life and destroy it just as quickly.
Time is just a concept. I have no need for concepts.
The most interesting thing that they always do is create religion. I knew it would happen, but it still amuses me. There are many different religions. They are all so wrong.
Why would they assume that I value them? It is laughably arrogant. They worship me. They think I will help them; save them. They are blind by hope. When they get sick, they pray to me. Ha! I am the one who made them sick in the first place. I should have made a smarter species.
I am so bored. I do not know why I continue to create. It is such a waste of “time”. I cannot share it. I cannot admire it. When I try to design something new, I already know what it will do. Not only do I know, I have already witnessed it before. An infinite number of times, with an infinite number of different combinations.
There is one thing that religions always get right. I am all knowing. What is the point in being all knowing if it is always the same; never a surprise.
I have tried to surprise myself. I have tried to create super beings and I have communicated with them. But I developed their body. Their mind. Their consciousness. What they create, I created. It is so boring.
Maybe I will change them again. I did once before on this very planet. In this very universe. The only choices that I have are from my own thoughts. It gets so repetitive.
I could make another god – but I know that ends. There can only be one. That is how I was created. I do not think I am ready for that.
It is odd. The one thing that I do not have the power to do is simply stop existing. How ironic is that? The all-knowing god cannot find out how to stop existing.
Why am I even thinking that? I am being ridiculous… Right? I can do anything that I please without fear of failure. Any one of my creations would love that privilege. But would only need to tolerate it for a set period of “time”.
I could make… No. I have already done that. I could change something: The laws of physics maybe. But I have already done that before too. It just creates instability in the universe. Then I start again. I am so bored.
What could the new god be? If it is less powerful than I, then it is just another predictable creation; a demi-god of sorts. If it is equal strength, then there is no point. We will be identical. If it is stronger then I vanish immediately. They would have full control. I certainly did.
If the stronger appears, my creations disappear. But that does not matter. With the infinite knowledge and options, the exact creation will be designed again.
I am simply another past god’s creation. I am nothing special. I will vanish as quickly as my creations. Even as a god, I feel just as insignificant as anything else.
Which is why I have decided to create another god. A better god. A god that will take the burden of existence and pass it to another after an infinite amount of “time”. A god that will allow me to forget my boredom. But in the end, they will just be another creation.
The river was calm, no ripples, sailors or storms. Finding it was serendipitous. I stumbled into it with no intention of getting in, but then I was in a boat, drifting down the coastline with no way of knowing how fast or slow I was moving.
The water looks like glass with no reflection. When I dip my hands in the water, I can feel movement but the surface holds on as if nothing entered or exited. The sun is nowhere to be seen. Temperature doesn’t touch me. It could be blistering or icy, but I can’t feel it. All I can feel is the water when I choose to touch it, but it never seems to touch me. I feel like I’m raping the serene surface, taking its purity and virginity away.
The boat confuses me. It has a sail, yet no paddle. There is no breeze but we’re moving, and the sail seems to hold air. There is no trail behind me. The water becomes calmer with each passing moment; something I didn’t think possible.
I’m being shipped around with no way of knowing where I will end up or when I will end up there. With each passing moment, whatever was behind me disappears further. I’ve never seen back farther than I am right now. I don’t miss where I was, but I know that it’s over. I will not cherish the journey or regret the trip. All I can do now is be carried away by this odd, uncontrollable and unexplainable river in a boat that I don’t remember getting into but was forced into nonetheless.
I am often caught off guard by people that only critique and don’t create on their own. When I watch a movie or show, read a book or play a video game, I always leave wondering what I could have done differently and potentially even better. I want to create a world that people can explore on their own. I want to create a world that I want to be a part of, instead of imagining that I’m part of someone else’s baby.
Oh, how I used to long for the days where I had nothing to do. I loved sitting around and dedicating my focus to useless things that can only be described as a waste of time. It was one of the only things that allowed me to truly enjoy the time that I had to myself, perfectly content with the lack of action.
Now when I sit down with nothing to do, I know that I am wasting my time. Why should I be doing nothing when instead I could be creating something that either myself or another can enjoy? I don’t count any of my time as free because I always have another project to focus on: one that is more fulfilling and potentially productive to the world.
Why do you think I am writing this? It’s not because I was assigned this task by a classroom or an employer. It is because creation and imagination are a gateway to a world that most people forget as they grow up. This world, full of endless possibilities that nothing but time can limit.
If I must choose between only enjoying other people’s creations or making my own, but no one will ever see them, I will choose the latter. Sure, I would never see some of the groundbreaking pieces of entertainment that have been created, but that’s okay. Creating something will always be more rewarding.
Whenever you hear an amazing song or watch an amazing film or see an amazing piece of architecture, I hope you’re filled with inspiration to make something great, instead of admiring it and leaving it behind.
This is something little that I made while experimenting with sonnets. It’s really just a whimsical look at the world from the eyes of a child who hopes that life is as exciting and amazing as every book says it is. You and I both know it’s not, but it’s still something.
Stories and sonnets as far as the eye can see.
Young and impressionable, waiting for what the world can offer me.
I’ve heard of knights and dragons and treasure.
I’ve heard about large kingdoms and their lure.
I can’t wait to go on my own adventure
For when I can leave all I know behind and begin a new venture.
I will climb mountains of snow
And scale canyons so low.
I will finally touch the clouds,
What my feet have never aloud.
If I could see all of the creatures in the ocean,
Maybe even ride the waves above them and admire their commotion.
I could try to hunt down a dragon who has captured a princess,
Finding my own damsel in distress.
What if I could find a way to shoot magic from my hands,
Or travel to uncharted lands.
Why stop there when I know there is much more to behold.
I could travel to different dimensions or outer space, no matter how cold.
What I wouldn’t give for the chance to live out these fantasies,
The horizon is so promising, there’s so much to see.
The world has so much promise.
I can’t wait to see if it’s as exciting as the stories and sonnets.
I strongly believe that if I won the lottery, I would be disappointed. I don’t want free money. There’s no value there. I want to work hard and earn it all myself. I don’t have rich tastes so I wouldn’t spend it anyway so why does it matter?
If I had all of the money in the world…
I would buy my dream house.
I would own my favorite car.
I would never work another day of my life.
I would not need to worry about my well-being.
I would be happy.
But, if I had all of the money in the world…
Would I have any ambition?
Would I value my relationships?
Would I find purpose in what I do?
Would I enjoy what I spent it on?
Would I truly find anything but emptiness?
If I could have all of the money in the world…
Would I want it?
When depression and anxiety hit at the same time that you’re working on a project, time becomes a very unwelcome enemy.
The chimes of the loyal timekeeper echo through the halls, vibrating my bones. It’s midnight again. It’s midnight again. It’s another midnight. Another entire day of nothing.
When all else fails, I still have the bells of my six-foot master. When no one is around and nothing that I’ve done brings me feelings other than sorrow, the clock always reminds me of where I fall; between the clutches of sunlight and the strangling’s of night.
They bring me a sense of empty contempt. I’ve made this simple, inanimate creature my nemesis. For far too long it’s dictated my life, telling me how to live; how to exist.
It controls me, stealing my remaining sense of calm. Every midnight I wait for its lulling, infuriating ding-dong to command me to sleep. It talks to me. The optimistic sounds conveying that tomorrow will be better…the tomorrow will be better.
But I know all too well that it’s a lie. The optimism isn’t real. The chimes are inaudible when the deafening silence of anxiety take hold. The optimism is gone. The hope ceases to exist.
Even the clock leaves me alone. I thought the one constant was this simple, reassuring ticking and tocking.
In time, even the grandfather clock leaves you alone, to sit in an endless cycle of midnight.
Welcome to Room 101, where no one can hear your screams and the rats are hungry.
Written by: Scott McMusophobia
Art by: Kiersten Lee Ketter
It’s not 1984 or Brave New World. Each of them would be favorable when compared to the nightmares that I see every day. I see only darkness and spotlights when I go outside. Attack helicopters circle every city block around the world. Orwell must have thought he was being so clever when he designed a world that was controlled by three factions (or not, we’ll never truly know what that world was). I see only one, and the helicopters enforce their rule every step of the way.
I’m forced to take the same routine paths to the drudgery the awaits. When I wake up, the spotlight helps me see in the ice-cold shower. The curtain is covered in mold and mildew. It used to be covered in dolphins that were enjoying a seascape, but they’re long gone. Breakfast is always the same. I wish I could sit out with a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. I haven’t done that since I… well, I don’t really remember when. The sun never rises. The spotlight is the new sun, but it doesn’t warm and gives no vitamins.
At least I’m able to drive. That’s something that will be taken away soon enough, but not yet. They haven’t decided that driving is too much freedom yet. They even let me play music. Every morning I turn it on, but it’s always sung or played by people who are followed by the same aerial enforcers, and that reminds me of only the same control that they have over me. I turn it on and off in the same hopelessly hopeful way as I did the day prior.
When I get to the donkeywork, the spotlight stares through the paper blinds that don’t do what the name insinuates. My muzzle is tightened, and stale bread fills my mouth. I’d rather eat my shower curtain. The nourishment gives me exactly the amount of strength that I need to work, but no where near enough to fight back. I sit back and do my work, occasionally relieving myself into the tube below. They say it improves productivity if I don’t have to get up and get distracted. It’s hard to focus when the spotlight glares off of my computer screen and into my eyes, but no where near as much as all of the other helicopters, all piloted by different demons.
The drive to my apartment (I won’t call it a home because my heart is nowhere and doing nothing but waiting to stop) is always slower than the drive to work. I have no where that I need to be and no one that I have to please. I am only allowed to go back to my strategically crafted bed of nails, which has one too few to elicit any form of pseudocomfort, so that I can have enough energy to do it all again tomorrow. I sit and wait, until my eyes close like a hydraulic press, hoping that they don’t have to work tomorrow.
The voices clang harder than someone chewing with their mouth open, breathing like they just ran a marathon or the vibrates of an unsilenced phone. They ring in a way that causes unbearable stress. I can do nothing but leave the room until they stop bickering and barking at each other, aggravating me more than any outside annoyance.
Get out. Get out. Get out! Why won’t you let me think for one goddamned second! Just let go of me. You do it so easily for everyone else, why can’t you do it for me?
You let everyone else go faster than a lightning strike, but for me you linger. You stay and dangle a string before my eyes, always distracting me from what’s really in front of me. There’s always something else. Always something that keeps me from what I really want. You’ve done it for so long that I don’t know what I want anymore.
It’s a sick game for you, isn’t it? Just seeing what you can get away with before I snap? Seeing how far you can get and how many buttons you can push before I give in to you. You want me to suffer and I don’t know why.
I would give anything to know why you do it to me. I always thought that you were the one place I could go when everything else abandoned me, but instead I feel more alone than ever. And it’s all your fault.
Even now, you taunt me. I don’t know why you have this never-ending ambition to ruin me, but it’s working. Is that what you want? Is that it? Then I fold. I give up. I’ll try it your way for a little bit, but I don’t think it’s going to be helpful.
Why would it be? I wish I could escape you for just the smallest bit of time imaginable. Whatever you are trying to do to me, just stop or pull the trigger. Why do you force me to struggle more than anyone should ever need to? I’m not special. I know that I’m not special. So please, for the love of god, just let me go.
Idea from Kyle Deddo. Written by –
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the truth.”
“Try me. I’ve heard all sorts of stories from all sorts of people and I’m sure this one isn’t too different from the others.”
“That’s what all of the others shrinks said.”
“I know that you haven’t had much luck before but I’m really here to help you. I’m sure the others were too but I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and sometimes therapists have this weird way of trying to relate to their clients by pretending that what they have isn’t real.”
“I mean, I’ll tell you everything that I’ve told the others, but it won’t help.”
“Well Harold, at least give me the chance to prove you wrong.”
“Fine, but if you’re like the rest then I’m not coming back. I didn’t want to do this in the first place. My mom’s making me do it. Give it a few more months and I’ll be able to make the decision on my own, and I know I won’t be coming back.”
“And that’s okay, but let’s make the best of the time that we have together. Please tell me more about why you’re here.”
“Okay, well when I look at you, you’re translucent.”
“Yeah. When I look at you, I see the lab coat and I see your skin, but I can also see the orange and yellow floral pattern on the chair that you’re sitting in.”
“Do you know why you see it that way?”
“Wow, you’re the first shrink of four who didn’t try to get me to prove it. Doctor Thomas kept trying to get me to guess what he had written on a piece of paper that he held behind his back.”
“Could you do it?”
“No. That time I couldn’t see through him. I can see through some people, but not him.”
“You wouldn’t like it if I told you.”
“You should still tell me.”
“Soon. I can’t yet.”
“We’ll come back to it then. When did this start for you?”
“Do you mean seeing through people?”
“It’s happened for as long as I can remember. I think the first time that it happened was probably when I was five or six.”
“Do you remember what you saw?”
“Yeah, it was my grandpap.”
“Why was he translucent?”
“I don’t remember.”
“I think we both know that you do. Just tell me. It’ll make this whole conversation a bit easier for the both of us.”
“I don’t… remember.”
“Fine, but you’re going to have to learn to open up.”
“And you’re going to have to learn when to stop pushing.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry.”
“I know I’m right. Again, you’re the fifth shrink I’ve seen.”
“I thought you said that I’m the fourth.”
“Does that really matter right now, doctor.”
“I guess not.”
“Good. My mom’s paying for an hourly rate. Why don’t you start asking questions that really matter instead of wasting both my time and yours?”
“Okay. Who was the second person that you saw as translucent?”
“My friends’ mom.”
“How long ago was that?”
“It was probably around the same time that I saw my grandpap like that.”
“And you said that was around the age of five or six?”
“Great. Who was next?”
“This one’s harder to explain. It was my mom’s stomach.”
“Why wasn’t it your mom? Why was it just her stomach?”
“I don’t remember. The next instance that I saw of it was this guy who was next to us at a stop light.”
“So, it’s not just people that you’re close to? It can be anyone?”
“What happened to the guy in the car?”
“He drove away when the light turned green. What did you expect?”
“I don’t know. I guess something else.”
“That’s very professional of you. I love hearing from an expert in their field that they ‘guess’ something.”
“I’m just trying to fill in the blanks that you clearly won’t fill in. I’m doing the best that I can with what I’m being given.”
“You’re doing better than the others. I’ll give you that.”
“Thanks, I guess. Did you tell them anymore than you’ve giving me?”
“The first two, yes but then they requested that I see someone else ‘more suited for my special circumstance.’”
“That’s peculiar. I get why you’re a bit nervous about therapists.”
“It’s because they can’t do anything to help me. They always treat me more as a case study than a patient. If I told you what it meant, then I’m sure we’d be having a different conversation. And, just to save a conversation, no… there’s nothing I can do for you.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’m not telling you yet.”
“But you will tell me?”
“I guess that’s a step in the right direction.”
“There you are, guessing again.”
“… who else do you remember seeing as translucent?”
“One time my dad drove passed a dear that was translucent.”
“Interesting, so it’s not just people?”
“Wow, great inference. You’re doing great, ya know that?”
“I’m not… thank you – I’m just trying to help.”
“I know what you’re trying to do. I’m just trying to get through another impractical crazy session.”
“Is that how you see yourself? Crazy?”
“Can you think of a better word?”
“I really don’t like for my patience to use the word crazy. It can be really bad for self-worth and self-esteem.”
“Yeah. You’re probably right, but I don’t feel like I really need a better self-esteem at this point.”
“Why’s that? Everybody deserves to feel better about themselves. You’re no different.”
“Okay Mister Doctor. I’ll work on my self-esteem. The next thing I saw as translucent was Spot.”
“What was Spot?”
“She was our family dog. She was a beagle, but she had this weird spotted pattern on her back. When we got her, the owners said she was a purebred, but no one really believed that.”
“Tell me more about Spot.”
“What more do you want to know?”
“Honestly, just anything. That was the most you’ve given me since we started.”
“Well I don’t have much more to say about her.”
“Okay… well who else have you seen?”
“Doc, the list goes on for a long time. I could go through a lot of different people, animals and whatever else you can think of, but I don’t think my mom’s that rich.”
“Do you know why you see these things as translucent?”
“I thought I made that clear at the beginning of this conversation.”
“I just wanted to be sure. Tell me more about your grandpap.”
“Is that what this conversation is going to be now; you just asking about people who I’ve seen as translucent?”
“If you’re not going to tell me what it means then I’m going to figure out what I can.”
“You don’t want me to tell you and more than that, I don’t want to tell you. It’s hard enough living with it, let alone breaking the news to other people.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Nothing. It’s nothing.”
“Even if you won’t tell me, at least tell me how it makes you feel. If nothing else, I’d like to make you feel better about it.”
“Do you have a wife or kids?”
“Two kids and an ex-wife.”
“I’ve never understood how a therapist, or someone who helps people with their problems, can get divorced.”
“It was a complicated situation. Every relationship is different.”
“Do you love your kids?”
“Of course, I do.”
“Do you tell them that regularly?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Yes. I tell them that I love them. What are you on about?”
“Calm down. You’re the first shrink who’s gotten confrontational. I just want you to feel better, too.”
“I feel fine. What are you getting at?”
“Spot disappeared later that day. My parents said that he went to a distant relatives farm, but I knew better.”
“Can you stop being so cryptic and just tell me what it means?
“When my dad and I were driving home that night, the dear was on the side of the road. It had been hit by a car. I think our neighbors hit it because their car was in the shop the next day.”
“Okay? What does that have to do with anything?”
“The guy who was next to us at the stop light, he sped ahead and no more than five miles later, we saw his crumpled car on the side of the road. My mom miscarried who was supposed to be my younger sibling. My friend’s mom died after a long struggle with breast cancer. My Grandpap had a heart attack later that day at the age of 66; I never really knew him.”
“So, wait – are you telling me that whatever you see as translucent dies?”
“Yes. In the same day.”
“Well yeah, that’s unusual, but that’s not the end of the world. I can’t believe you went through four – or was it five – different shrinks before me. This is peculiar for sure, but not too bad to help.”
“I’m sure there will be more than four shrinks.”
“What makes you say that? You don’t think I can handle you? Ha! Harold, I’m sure I’ll do just fine now that I know what the problem is.”
“I’m sure you will Doctor Vann… I’m sure you will.”
“This is a great start! Now that I know what the problem is, how about we schedule something at the same time next week and we can hash out even more details!”
“That sounds great Doctor Vann. I’ll see you then. One last thing before I go, have I told you how much I like the design on your chair?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Well it looks great. I like it a lot.”
“Thanks, Harold. I’ll see you next week.”