I apologize- in times past, when I have attempted to relate what is going on in my head, I have gotten numerous e-mails complaining that "this isn't about you." I am reminded that indulging in introspection online is indicative of the worst that blogging has to provide. I'm told that I should just shut up, and get back to doing animations. I'm reminded that talking about myself is gross self-indulgence.
Well- many apologies- but despite a multi-year effort to find someone to help me set up a CMS to make this site more inclusive, I still find myself sitting, alone, in my home office, running this site, solo.
When you come to this site, you're coming to see me- and there's something you need to know...
I've been struggling with clinical depression, my entire life. I've been through the gamut of treatments, quack doctors, and have thrown a dozen different medications down my throat, none of which ever did much good. I could tell you stories...
A doctor that was a dead ringer for Borat Saggdayev, who distinguished himself by never blinking during our half-hour consultations. Another well-meaning doctor put me on a pill that induced panic attacks and rapidfire, routine vomiting. Another doctor, yet, who said that my problems were a result of a fear of the female breast (I'm still trying to figure that one out- he was constantly drenched in sweat, and suffered chronic episodes of bodily spasms that were frightening to behold- during one of our consults, his apopleptic shaking induced rapid-fire farting- parhaps the most edifying spectacle I've ever witnessed in my life.)
Clinical depression is damned horrible thing. You know you have no right to feel as bad as you do. You're drenched in the love and attention of your friends and family, but you feel unworthy of that attention, and hate yourself for causing these people such troubles and hassles. You know that you shouldn't feel bad, because there are people far worse off than you, but you can't stop feeling bad, and you hate yourself all the more...
You sleep 15 hours a day, and your days go by in a quick flicker of day after night, feeling detatched from the world that is passing by outside of your window.
What's worse is that the science of the mind is still in its infancy- there are about two dozen drugs in the market for depression, and they all are essentially the same chemicals, sold under different names. I don't mean to sound like a scientologist, but 90% of the shrinks out there have no idea of what they're talking about, and have even less knowledge of what they're diagnosing. I don't claim to be a genius- they're just incapable of admitting how little they truly know, out of pride.
In 2001, I had finally found a doctor that had earned my respect. Despite all of my reservations, I was on a course of medication that was helping, and for the first time in many years, I felt that the future held promise.
Until the leadup to the war in Iraq.
My last visit to the doctor saw me breaking into uncontrollable sobbing in her office. I was trying to describe to the doctor what was coming- when I told her about all the Iraqi kids that were going to be born with their brains outside of their heads because of the depleted uranium we were going to be dropping on Baghdad, I lost it.
I'm not afraid, or ashamed, to admit that as the tears rolled down my face, I felt so powerless, so small, so insignificant, and so damned pathetic.
I'm sure many of you- even those who are perfectly healthy, and have never dealt with depression know how I felt, at that moment.
It was in those days that I created the first of my animations, and laid out the foundations for what was to become Bushflash.com. At the time, I was still able to afford the medication that had kept me going, for the better part of two years, but alas...
At that time, I was unemployed, and in time, was unable to continue my medication... I was fine and dandy, though, because I had discovered a new drug:
Many is the time in the past few years when I've gotten e-mails from right-wingers who were so consumed by apathy and self-delusion that they had no recourse but to call me a man "consumed by hate."
It's not like I had a reason not to be. In the times in which we live, there is so much to hate. When I saw the bombs raining down in Baghdad, I could not help but hate those who put the machine of war into motion. When I saw dead bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans, I could not help but hate those who neglected my fellow american citizens. When I saw John Bolton, Condoleeza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld wiping their collective asses with the writ of world opinion, I could not help but hate.
And therein lies the trap- Bush, Rice, Bolton, Rumsfeld, and the rest of these callous bastards, along with their brain-dead, complascent, and shrinking joyclub are not motivated by hate- they are blissfully free of hate. Rather, they are motivated by a solipsistic need for gain, greed, and a self-aggrandizing callous indifference to anything remotely human.
We do not hate out of choice, or any wish- it is our only recourse, when we witness everything we hold dear being raped and stolen, before our eyes.
But hate, as Dr. King pointed out so eloquently, is a drug. It's worse than cocaine, more ruinous than heroin, and more destructive than methamphetamine. As with any other drug, indulging in hate, in time, becomes your world, your existence.
Coming online, every other day, and detailing how I hate these (let's be totally and bluntly frank) fucking alien, heartless bastards who run our country is exhausting, and is poisoning my soul. (Oh- you have a problem with me saying "fuck"? Oh- I'm sorry- I guess a four-letter word is far more offensive than 655,000 dead people, killed with our tax dollars- sounds like a personal problem, to me...)
You see, like any other drug, like depression, hate consumes you, and before you know it, hate is all you know.
I have been self-medicating myself with hate and cigarettes for the past four years. However- clinical depression, combined with hate, is a goddamned deadly combination.
A few of you might have been wondering why I've been updating, so infrequently, in recent days- it's because I'm consumed with hate.
I hate myself. I hate seeing another day come. I hate having to eat- having to breathe, having to see another day pass. I smoke, constantly, even though breathing hurts. I most likely have lung cancer, and even though every drag of a cigarette hurts, I keep sucking them back, because I hate myself, and want to put myself to an end.
I'm pretty sure that a few right-wing blogs will catch on to this, and trumpet the news: "Eric's crazy- he's gone and admitted it! This proves it- Liberals just hate life!"
Yeah- I'm crazy, and Ann Coulter's sane. Discuss...
The bottom line is- at a certain level, I know that life is about joy, not anger. Dr. King, and so many others have taught us that life is about courage, not fear- I just want so much to understand and know this courage.
Life, I know, MUST be about love. As much as our culture tells us that life is about having money, owning cars and houses, and having our favorite NFL team winning the superbowl, all of that is bullshit (oops- another four-letter word enters the scene- suck it up.) I've been alive for 37 years- and I can count the days I've been truly happy on the fingers of my hands- and those few fleeting moments of happiness are remembered, unashamedly, with love.
I just hope I can reject my addiction to hate, and re-connect with this universal power, before it's too late...
Thanks for being here, and I hope this ramble made sense.