One of the problems that can come with depression, anxiety, and isolation is the insane internal dialogue that develops. Let’s face it, living the majority of one’s days inside of your own head leads to some weird shit. And your internal dialogue can go haywire.
“I should really stop sitting here like this. I need to go outside. I mean, it’s beautiful out. Maybe I’ll go for a walk…”
A full hour passes, during which you have binge watched two more episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, which you’ve already seen a half dozen times.
“I really should go out and walk around like the rest of the sheeple, pretending to enjoy the birds and half dead trees. Seriously! Don’t people understand that the reason the leaves are turning those colors is because they’re having the life choked out of them by the rest of the tree as it decides that they no longer need to live. It’s fucking barbaric! Maybe I can take in a few animals trying to eat their young too! Fuck this, I’m getting a drink.”
You get off the couch and go to the kitchen with the hopes of getting a beer.
“Shit! I only have 8 beers left, that’s not going to get me far, and it’s only 10:00 o’clock in the morning. I’ll be just drunk enough to get arrested by the time I need to go get more. I suppose I could just go now. But what if I see someone from work at the store and I’m buying beer this early? I guess I could drink the tequila I still have, there’s plenty of that. But it’s 10:00 o’clock! Who drinks tequila at 10:00 in the morning?!”
At this point your brain tells you that if you have a shot and a beer, you can make both last longer, and it’s more socially acceptable because there’s beer involved.
A couple of hours and a more than a few drinks later, food becomes an issue.
“I need food. I can’t eat anymore pasta, I just can’t. I suppose I could go down to the Mayberry House of Pizza and get a chicken finger sandwich… But what if she’s there? We went there once together and she knows I go there. Maybe she still goes by there just to see what kind of loser I’ve become. I know she and her friends probably still sit around and laugh at me. God! I’m such an idiot! Why did I have to say that?!”
Mind you, that thing you said was pretty normal, and two years ago. But, you’re still fixated on it, because you’re sure she is. And so, you finish all of the beer, and most of the tequila in the house and start drunk dialing your ex, and that guy you used to work with years ago, because it seemed like you guys really seemed to hit it off.
After 5 phone calls, 3 hang-ups, and the threat of a restraining order, you throw the phone against the wall and break it. You then scream into a pillow, and pass out on the couch. You wake up in the middle of the night with lines imprinted on one side of your face from that corduroy pillow, and no memory of why your phone is smashed and you can’t get it to turn on.
I’m thinking you get my point. Solitude and isolation are not inherently bad, in and of themselves. But it’s obvious our minds are where all of the damage can come from. Why do you think people are more than willing to seek medications that can slow this kind of thinking down, or that magically increase the positivity of your mood, and the thoughts generated from it.
But, what did people do before these medicines existed? Are we more somehow genetically susceptible to this kind of mental deviation these days, or are we just less capable of dealing with it? What did people do before? Where did they turn to without our script-writing-pharma-gurus? If we look back to a time when we relied on an oral, rather than a written transfer of knowledge, did we have a ways we used to help each other when someone went off the rails for a little while?
Like religion, atheism comes with its own form of arrogance. Both are convinced that they are correct, and both are sure they can prove the other wrong. Our history is primarily defined by the periods of influence each has had on civilization. In many cities the struggle is demonstrated in the architecture of our major cities, cathedrals and cloisters on one side, sky scrapers and law firms on the other. Amazingly enough, all of it was built by the same kinds of humans, with the same capacity for intellect, and the correspondingly, the same propensities for neurosis or serenity. Every bit of it, from the massive structures, to our internal conditions, comes down to where, and if, we seek direct our minds.
But how do we direct something that seems to rule our days, and direct our thoughts? How can we take such a powerful part of us and bring it into accord with our higher self? How can we control it, rather than the other way around?