9.26.2013

Thoughts on Suicide: Part Two - Celebrating Life

Precisely a year ago, I was sitting in a Starbucks a block away from my dingy one-bedroom apartment. We had no WiFi in our cramped residence and I "needed" to do my daily routine of checking trivial news sites and social networks. I wanted an analysis of Sunday's NFL games. What Magic the Gathering cards were going up in price? Which one of my favorite bands would be releasing new music soon?

Somewhere between all that nonsense, I decided to lazily kill a few minutes browsing the world's most polarizing social network monstrosity - Facebook. Before I mention what happened, I've a few questions for you.

How many of you have had a significant other? Good, that's easy. How many of you have broken up with that significant other? It's rough, but probably many of us have. How many of you have gone through the process of blocking them/un-friending them on Facebook? Silly, but we need to protect ourselves.

Now, the embarrassing question: after the breakup, how many of you are guilty of checking/creeping/stalking that former significant other on Facebook? You wonder if they are having a good time. You flip through their pictures to see all of the exciting things they are doing without you. You may resent them for seeming happy while you pine away in misery. Of course, you check every status update and every photo for an unfamiliar face or name, one whose smiles and hands encroach upon the person you so dearly held once. Maybe you're happy for them, but I'd wager that many of you weren't.

I wasn't.

Why we do things like this to ourselves is beyond me. We all want to be cherished by someone else, but it seems we are addicted to our own destruction when it comes to certain relationships. We stand at the door, the keys in our sweaty hands, knowing that what lies on the other side will hurt us more than standing on the outside. Despite that, we turn the keys. Of course, they are a perfect fit, but it takes us several attempts to unlock the door. Perhaps we drop them or put them in upside down. In the end, we'll finally hear the clicking of the lock, followed by our frantic entrance.

I've been at this crossroads many times, and I can't remember a time where I chose to hold back, take a deep breath, and walk away from discovering something that I have no business knowing about because it would hurt more to know than to not know.

I made this mistake on this day a year ago, and being the fragile human that I am, I decided to go through all the stages of an inappropriate emotional response. I couldn't stop looking at the pictures and stories of someone I once loved as they featured new characters that were unknown to me and ignorant of my role in the story they were now taking over. This led to frustration, grief, and eventually a manic mindset. It took me less than five minutes to make the decision to click open a new tab in my browser and immediately buy plane tickets to go and see this person. I'd confront them and they'd see that I still meant something to them. They'd see that these new characters in their life were characters that could only play minor roles. No one could intrude upon our story. No one.

I'm the king of making knee-jerk decisions in the heat of being emotionally overwhelmed, and this was no exception. However, it only took me a matter of hours to realize what I had done. It was wrong, and it would never amount to anything. A frantic gesture like that would not explain anything to anybody. If anything, it'd further cement the fact that my role in another's life was over because of these very same things. I decided I wouldn't go through with it. I'd forgo the trip and embarrassment of making yet another impulsive decision. I was down several hundred dollars, but that was a welcome price to pay as opposed to what would await me on the tail end of that long plane ride.

So I thought, Instead of going through with this, I'll just kill myself.

Being no stranger to suicide attempts, I felt that this time would be different. My previous foray into this field of surrender was much a product of the same circumstances, but was more a result of despair, lack of motivation, and the crushing weight of inadequacy. This, coupled with the combustible condition of my emotionally exhausted heart, helped spur the decision to want to die. Two Wolfgang Puck knives resulted in the longest night of my life, followed by a week-long stay in the scariest place I've ever been in, and a diagnosis that made far too much sense, with the pills to prove it.

I didn't want to mess this one up. I wanted to go out as calmly as possible. I wouldn't surrender to the weakness of my heart. No, I'd resign myself to my fate, as a general surveying his army in the face of insurmountable odds would. A silly metaphor, but an accurate description of my mental state. Much like a prisoner enjoying his last meal, I bought an unhealthy brand of cereal, eating a huge bowl of it alone in my apartment while watching The Men Who Stare At Goats. I'd enjoy this last little bit as much as I could, so I figured some good food and a comedy would do the trick. Of course, I grew impatient. I left the film unfinished and packed up my belongings - a box of Teddy Grams for snacking through the final moments, a ripped out page from David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, and a bottle of antidepressants that would hopefully see me through to the other side - and set off for the hospital.

Why would a person ready to end their life go to the hospital to do it? I had the perfect setting for it - a lonely apartment devoid of any emotional attachment. I knew the answer then and I know the answer now. As much as I wanted to be done with my shortcomings, I wanted someone to save me. I wanted someone to talk me out of it. Even with the resolve I had, hidden deep within me was that fierce and natural instinct to want to survive.

I didn't think much of it as I swallowed twenty five pills and wandered the parking lot of the ER. Once I started to lose control of my legs, I went into the waiting room, attempting to hide in a corridor between the check-in desk and the seating area. I kept walking to the bathroom to see if my face looked any worse than it did five minutes ago. It always did.

Eventually, it was all I could do to lean against the wall and fight through the convulsions that were racking through my body, dulling out my motor skills and piercing through every fevered breath. It won't be much longer now, I had hoped.

Still, the desire to want to live kept fighting against the will to die. My thoughts had taken on a split narrative; I had done everything necessary to achieve my goal, but I had gone to a place where I was the least likely to succeed.

Nurses and other people were starting to notice me. I averted my heavily dilated eyes.

The survival instinct eventually won out, sealing my fate as a coward again. For the second time in as many years, I couldn't end it.

What followed was another long night. The tears I hadn't shed a year ago came out in a hospital room, but a different one. The nurses gave me a substance called charcoal - which is the most vile thing I've ever ingested - to counteract the pills and get them out of my system. My body hated me, but my mind hated me more.

I wasn't able to call my mom until much later that night from the overnight ward where I'd be staying. She had no clue as to the events that had transpired. That was one of the hardest phone calls I've ever had to make. Can you imagine answering the phone call of a loved one to hear them tell you this: Yeah, I tried to kill myself again. No, it didn't work...again. I'm in a safe place but I have to put my phone away. I'm ok now. I'll call you when they give me my phone back - and then hang up?

Kids, don't ever do that to your parents.

Upon my release, it obviously took a while to stabilize. Friends who were mostly unaware of my mental state had to endure long explanations. Employers who had called as to my whereabouts were filled in. I had to file a claim with the airline company, having my PCP sign documents stating that I wasn't "mentally fit" for flight so I could be compensated. My family braced for the all-too-familiar speeches of shame I had given them a year ago.

You know what is lost in the majority of this narrative? Hope. There's not much good about what happened, but what little good there was I remember well. For example, referencing my previous paragraph, I was reminded again and again of the good that can come from people. Two of my good friends who were largely unaware of my condition answered my phone call upon my release. I was stranded in a city twenty minutes north of my home and I needed someone to pick me up. They came, no questions asked. They stayed with me the rest of the day. The family I worked for (I worked as a nanny and still do) were completely understanding. They cared nothing of the days I missed and repeatedly asked if I was ok. They gave me all the time I needed to gather myself before coming back to work, inviting me over to dinner to talk more at length about the events. My dad paid for my mom to fly up here for a week and help me gain some solid footing. She drove all over the county with me that week to help me find counselors and solutions that would benefit my health.

I know that several of my posts may come across as melodramatic and/or preachy. The redundant themes of depression and suicide are heavily prevalent in this blog. I know that this might seem like an artificial entry because I spent 95% of it detailing gloomy and morose topics followed by a weak deus ex machina ending. That could probably be a blurb written about the story of my life, resulting in negative reviews by the critics for being too predictable. For those of you who have lived through similar events, it's anything but predictable.

Today, I'm going to get in a car with my girlfriend and some other friends to travel 12 hours to northern California. We are going to witness two of our friends get married this weekend. It's going to be a long ride, but well worth it. A year ago, I wouldn't have possibly imagined that I'd be able to do something like this. I didn't think I'd have the type of friends who'd invite me to their wedding. Fun fact, the groom is one of the two people who picked me up from the ward I stayed in after calling for a ride last year. I didn't think that a shipwreck like me would find myself cared for to the point where a significant other would want to spend 12 hours with me anywhere. But those things happened, predictable or not.

Hey, people love you. It may not seem like it, but if one or two people can put up with me after all the absolute insanity I've put them through over the years, then I'll be damned if there isn't a person that doesn't wake up thinking about you everyday. I don't know you, but I know that that's true.

I apologize for the seemingly anticlimactic ending to this post, but as the person living the story behind these words, I've come to accept any ending that brings the least amount of surprise. Surprises should be good, right? It's a surprise that I'm still alive, but I'll no longer be caught off guard by living.

Celebrate life, friends.

JDS



Words: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Lights: Kirby's Nightmare in Dreamland, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Breath of Fire II
Sounds: Moving Mountains, Balance & Composure, Night Verses, On and On

9.13.2013

Playing The Final Fantasies: Episode VII

Cast of Final Fantasy VII


SPOILERS: If you haven't played it (you should have by now), turn back now!

Welcome to the third installment of my journey into the realm of unplayed Final Fantasies. For no good reason, I've been trying to play every numbered game in Square's flagship series, as well as revisiting the old favorites. I try to follow them up with these entries. Bear in mind that they aren't reviews - as I'm not qualified to write them - they are merely my thoughts from my experience with each game. Last time I focused on Final Fantasy VI, which I consider to be the best in the series - at least out of the ones I've played. This time around, I'll be discussing the third title I managed to complete - Final Fantasy VII - a name that should be familiar to anyone who has ever played a single RPG in their lives.

Let's face it, FF VII has had a rough go of it. When it came out in 1997, it was kind of a big deal. It was the first game in the series to go full 3D and feature cutscenes. To date, it has sold copies than any other title in the series. People who may have never even played a Final Fantasy game can probably recognize Cloud Strife (the game's protagonist) by his trademark spiky hair and massive sword:

Defying conventional hairstyles since 1997.


FF VII proved that RPGs weren't just a niche genre of games - it made them a real contender in the world of consoles. It's had more spin-off games than any other of the Final Fantasies. No one can deny the legacy that VII has had in the world of gaming. But as with anything massively popular, criticism seems to arise from every corner - some warranted and unwarranted. However, I feel that a bit of revisionist history has been written about the game. Because of its intense popularity and constant mentioning in any discussion of the greatest RPGs, many present-day gamers have gone back to play this game only to be turned off by its blocky graphics and confusing story. 

I mean, I don't mind them.


Let's be honest, even upon its release, VII wasn't without its flaws. But this isn't a history lesson - it's merely a bit of background so as to provide you with a frame of reference as far as what I was taking on in my first playthrough of this behemoth of a game.

Much like the previous two titles I had played through (VI and IX), VII opened a memorable picture. There was no title screen or epic opening cutscene. There was nothing but a picture of Cloud's Buster sword and a simple choice:

My body is ready.


I knew then that this would be quite a journey.

I enjoyed the fact that the game started off fast, putting you right in the middle of action. You are Cloud Strife, an ex-member of an elite military group known as SOLDIER, who is now a mercenary working on a job for the terrorist group known as Avalanche. I must admit, all that sounded pretty awesome. I was immediately thrown into a series of battles with dudes wielding machine guns and automatons armed with lasers. All this was a lot to take in, as I had mentioned in my previous entries that I chose to shy away from the newer FF titles because I was turned off by all things non-medieval and "fantasy." Much to my surprise, I had no trouble becoming immersed in the world of VII. Instead of magical crystals and wizards, there were nuclear reactors and greedy corporations. It was admittedly all a new experience, but it didn't bother me one bit.

Quite a bit different atmosphere.


Upon leaving the game's opening location and being released into a wide-open world, I found myself falling more and more in love with the game. The story seemed to become a little convoluted later on as I tried my best to follow the events surrounding Cloud's origin. I admit I got a little lost but not so much that I was turned off to playing.

As far as the characters go, they were a very solid group in terms of personality. As a testament to the game's legacy (or perhaps a product of my extensive nerdiness), I could have named every playable character in the game prior to ever having played it. It was sort of a step down from the huge cast of characters from FF VI, as there were only recruit eight - and two of them are entirely optional. Despite the small cast, there was some good variety. One of the characters is a cat riding around on a toy Mog wielding a megaphone. Another is a vampire-like dude sporting a revolver. The games's relatively simple Materia system was a welcome addition, even if it took away from the individualism of your characters, as far as their role in battle is concerned.

Points for originality.


There were a couple of things I was prepared for, having read and heard so much about the game over the years. In the same way that Cloud Strife serves as a sort of icon in the RPG world, so too does his eternal nemesis Sephiroth. The silver haired, black-garbed, Masamune-wielding villain suffered from the unfair task of having to follow the game that featured Kefka as the antagonist, who I believe is the best villain that the series has to offer. I was ready to meet this Sephiroth. He did not disappoint, but as mentioned he was nowhere near as cool/crazy as Kefka. 

The rules for this game: have obscenely large swords.


And then we come to what is one of the most intense scenes in all of gaming, let alone the FF series. You know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, I knew way beforehand what the scene was, but not when it would occur. Still, I found myself on the edge of my seat in anticipation. The abruptness of it surprised me, and Cloud's lines as held the dying Aeris shook me. While it didn't grip me quite as much as Celes' suicide attempt from FF VI, it still deserves all of the infamy it has gained over the years.


She was just a flower merchant!


I obviously enjoyed the game, because I clocked more hours into it than either of the previous two. My file came in at around 45 hours, compared to the 33 hours of IX and 26 or so of VI. I know that my file stills pales to what a hardcore gamer could accomplish with this game. The main reason that I spent so much time on this game as opposed to the previous titles is again, because of its legacy. I wanted to know all about the Golden Chocobo and Omnislash. So I found myself doing absurd things. I traveled the world to breed the perfect Chocobo so I could attain the Knights of the Round summon. I battled my way to 32,000 points in the Golden Saucer arena to win Omnislash. I got the ultimate weapons and final Limit Breaks for my endgame party. I killed scores of Magic Pots in the last dungeon to max out my Materia. And yes, I defeated both the Ruby and Emeralds Weapons.

Optional super-bosses.


While none of these things might seem crazy to a diehard FF fan, I felt proud of myself. At least I could hold a decent conversation about the game as to what my accomplishments were. Because you know, beating the optional bosses in FF VII is a topic that regularly comes up in conversations today..

In conclusion, I obviously had a lot of fun with the game. I get its flaws, but they weren't enough to detract from the game's magical world. It didn't become my new favorite (IX), nor do I think it dethrones VI as the best in the series. However, the things this game did for the world of gaming cannot be denied. I'm happy to have finally played it, even sixteen years after its release.

Next time, I'll be writing about a FF that has some of the best gameplay in any of the games I've played by virtue of its perfect job system. But of course that's merely my unqualified opinion. Be sure to check it out!

Until then,

-JDS

9.11.2013

Poem: To Val & Jim

For two weeks in July and August of 2012,
you were happier than you had been in a long time.
In fact, it had been eight years since you were happy.
That's when you last visited these mountains.
Not to be put in the soil by the drought in Indiana,
you came here and found yourself instead buried in summer snow.

I suppose you weren't the only ones to make this place holy.
Two years before your latest visit,
a pair of newlyweds visited here for their honeymoon.
Not two months after that, a man proposed to his girlfriend in this very room.
Children's scribbles, imaginary paw prints, and exclamation marks
carve paths across this aqua-bordered spiral notebook.
Thank-yous from Sydney, New York, London, San Francisco.
Every page brims with gratitude and suggestions,
but no note is so poignant as yours, dated hardly a year ago.

I think it's because I am sitting in your chair,
drinking lemon ginger tea and dabbling in your sacred memories.
I imagine you flicking on the gas stove before turning on the radio,
fiddling with the antennae to find your favorite song, 
the one they only seem to play on these mountain stations.
Drunk with content, you'd fit a few more jigsaw pieces into the puzzle
that spills across the coffee table where I found this book,
before you retreat to the loft for the night.

I don't want to go home reads the first line of your entry.
I pause there, afraid to go on and ruin the picture of you I have in my head.
What was home, that you are homesick for a place you haven't seen in eight years?

I hope that when I come back next year,
I'll intrude upon your letters again,
finding that you have further distanced yourself from the eastern states.
By that time we'll be aware of each other, 
as I'll remember to mention you in my thank-you note,
and I'm sure that you would do the same for a perfect stranger.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wrote this poem during my two-day stay at a cabin near Maple Falls last week. There was a small notebook on the table filled with entries from previous tenants, some of which dated back to 2009. There were many repeat visitors, but never an entry from someone who was there alone. Perhaps they just didn't write.

This entry stuck out to me because of the very first line, mentioned above - "I don't want to go home." It made me think of why exactly home wasn't something worth going back to. I'm not sure which of the two wrote this, but the handwriting very much resembled my late great-grandmother's writing, which always looked as if it were written with a hand that could not stop shaking. It made me sad, even though it was overall a pleasant note.

Hopefully the words I left behind will resonate with someone just as much as Val and Jim's did with me, wherever they may be now.

9.06.2013

A Poor Man's Walden & A Lack of Revelation

I absolutely cherish solitude. I will go to great lengths to make sure I can afford the occasional distancing from people and any noise that I do not wish to hear. I've talked about being a loner before, and I'm not going to use the term 'introvert' as that word is so watered down and is often used as a misnomer; rather, I'd just say I enjoy getting away from things to get my wits about me and take the proverbial breath I need to keep going. Sometimes I end up losing my wits instead, but it's all academic.

When I was eighteen, I locked myself in a room for a week following a bad breakup. I turned off my phone, cancelled all my appointments, and refused to go anywhere unless it was deemed absolutely necessary. I spent the week journaling and reading Rick Warren's 40 Days of Purpose. Of course, shoving over a month's worth of knowledge into my head in the course of a few days left me forgetting what I had read a week later. I prematurely ended my banishment because I recall beginning to go mad. Even hermits have their limits.

There were other times when my need to escape swayed me from the events of everyday life. I remember skipping a class in junior college to go and sit in the woods near my house to ponder. I literally sat there. And pondered. 

I once looked at a mountain from Interstate 5 while driving around my hometown and thought I want to climb that. By virtue of the most roundabout route possible, I was able to park my car on the edge of an orange grove, where I could see the bottom of the hill. I fought and clawed my way through unkempt brush, eventually reaching the top. From there I could see five different cities and the Pacific ocean. Breathing a wondrous sigh, I sat down to write in the small notebook I had brought, only to find that my pen was out of ink. Cursing, I hurled it off the mountain in anger.

I disappeared for half a day while at school in Abilene immediately following a falling out with a close friend. I drove my car to the lake about ten minutes outside of the town. That night found my feet dangling twenty feet over the moonlit water as I sat on the edge of an abandoned water by the shore. Just as I couldn't take staying in my room for a week, I gave up on the idea of sleeping in my car. Filled with humiliation at my own lack of fortitude, I returned to my dorm as if nothing had happened.

Looking back on these impulsive excursions, I notice a pattern. Usually when I go somewhere to seek peace, I do so because I'm ignoring something that needs tending to. With my first example, I experienced heartbreak at a young age so I locked myself in my room instead of taking the necessary steps to deal with the reality of the consequences. It seems like it should be common sense, but for those of you who are driven to do silly things when you experience turmoil, let me tell you: being by yourself isn't always the best thing. Being by yourself and being confined to one location is even worse.

I skipped that class and sat in the woods in my second example. Unsurprisingly, I don't remember a single thing about whatever it was that was weighing down on me, but I do remember that it was apparently enough to skip class to do so. Lesson learned?

I talk about solitude because I am currently typing this post out while reclining on a chair in a two story cabin, hidden in the shadow of Mt. Baker, nine miles from Maple Falls, Washington. It's the kind of town that is so small that there is no number for a population count on the green sign that welcomes you to its city limits. There is one store and one gas station. The cabin I rented for two days is nestled in a small community of similar rentals, where the only tenants seem to be senior citizens. It's not the type of rustic cabin you may have envisioned, built completely out of logs, where the walls are covered with bear pelts and you have to chop your own firewood. It's much more modern and inviting.

While this post will be published at a later date (as there is no internet service here - which I am thankful for), it is my last night in the cabin as I type this. I'm listening to Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn by Do Make Say Think, sipping on blueberry superfruit tea - whatever that is. As to the occasion for this sabbatical, there's not really much to say other than the fact that it doesn't fall in line with the usual behavior that precedes my running away from civilization. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this. I'm two hours away from my home in Brier, Washington - with no cell service or internet. I've never taken time to go somewhere to relax by myself for a few days. It's always because I'm about to lose my mind due to the pressure of life's continuous onslaught, or because I've hurt someone or been hurt and I don't know to react, so I hide.

I know there are those of you reading who do the exact same thing.

As evidenced by the contents of the spiral notebook I found on the table when I first opened the door, I don't appear to be the typical visitor that these cabin walls usually house. The book is full of all kinds of notes from previous vacationers, going on about their time here and expressing gratitude to the owners. They fish, they ski, they visit town, they hike, they walk their dogs, etc. Several of them come here year after year or several times a year. What have I done since being here? I've read. I've composed blog entries and poetry. I've written songs on both the acoustic and electric guitar. I went on a walk while reflecting on new music I've recently acquired. I've relaxed in the hot tub. These mundane things have been almost spiritual for my constitution. 

You know what I haven't done? Beat myself up over the stupid decisions I've made over the past few months. I've written poetry and music, but none of them are bitter confessions of unrequited love or resentment. My phone is off because I have no service, not because I want to ignore those inquiring after me. I also haven't hurt myself. 

As of the typing of this sentence, it is the 4th of September. Three weeks from now, it will be the one year anniversary of my second suicide attempt. In the past two years, I've been diagnosed with a slew of mental disorders, prescribed a number of antidepressants/convulsants/whatever, and experienced a couple of breakdowns that have led to an annual desire to want to end my life. Many people would say that being alone in a cabin in a place with no way to contact loved ones isn't particularly the best place for someone of my mental makeup to be. I would tell them that while this would often be an accurate statement, they couldn't be more wrong on that position, at least this time.

Since my diagnosis and subsequent conception of this blog as a sort of outlet for coping with my disorders, I've been baffled time and time again by what it is that actually plagues my mind. At first I was merely depressed, prone to crippling bouts of lethargy and lack of motivation. Then came the new doctor and the  new pills and the new disorder - that of the bipolar type. I've admitted in earlier posts that I don't exactly have a handle on what it is that makes my mind behave the way it does. Despite the amount of things surrounding my condition that I do not know, I at least seem to possess the clarity to know when it's bad and when it's not. For example, right now it's fine. Last month when I almost broke my hand after punching a friend's car during the onset of a panic attack that I was somehow able to quell, I was not fine.

The truth is, I couldn't tell you how I am able to keep from breaking something in a fit of bipolar mania any more than I could explain the reasons why I'm sitting in this warm room with depression and suicide being the furthest things from my mind, apart from this post. I know what enables me to perpetuate the racing thoughts I have. I've identified my triggers. I know when anxiety strikes - real anxiety, the kind that makes it seem as if every step you take is upon quickly cracking ice - not the "anxiety" that any kid who knows how to complain throws around in a conversation about their math test. And yet none of this owns me. None of this has mastered me. Sure, it has driven me to go to places I never thought I'd visit, say terrible things to people I would never want to hurt, and fill my head with thoughts that make it seem like death really isn't that hard to accept. It has taken me to the edge and held me by the throat, teetering on the precipice of a fall that would surely kill me. And while that's a tough place to be, I always seem to be able to muster enough strength to take the hand off of my windpipe and stumble to stable ground. 

You can't have me. You won't have me. I belong to another, and I'm not going until He says I can.

It's why I'm sitting here shirtless in this warm room, scowling at the shape my belly has taken on while a fusion of folk and jazz pours out of the speakers next to me, instead of withering away in a ward somewhere where the walls never change color and the pillows are made of plastic. In both, I'm alone in a quiet place, but one is the result of not being able to cope with the challenges that life has presented me with, while the other is a necessary breather to gain my composure between those very challenges. I've learned what the difference between running and moving on is, why relentlessly parading the same thoughts around your head isn't the same as appropriately analyzing something. I'm here in Seattle as a result of these distinctions. I just needed solitude, but in a much bigger degree than any occasion before.

Friends, being alone is a good thing for most of us. For some of us it isn't. And yet we are all too familiar with the allure of it; the view from the top of your downtown apartment, the sound of the waves at the beach, the feel of the pine needles beneath your feet as you wander the woods. Why are you there? Did you say something to a loved one that came out the wrong way? Go tell them you're sorry, you love them, you'll do anything for them. No one person should be alone by their own choosing. It may be hard considering people are generally stupid, but in the words of Calvin (the six year-old cartoon character, not the lawyer), if you can find just one person that you can stand being around, you're doing something right.

I'm in this cabin because I need a break, but that's the simple answer. I'm here because it's 2013, and in 2011 and 2012 I convinced myself that it would be better to be the worst kind of alone than cope with my problems. It's September and I've yet to try my hand at that game again, let alone dwell on the thought of it. Because of this, I can take these kinds of breaks and have no one worry about me hurting myself. For those of you suffering from your own demons, I hope the same can be said about you.

I hope you learn to take those foreign hands from your throat and push back, even though the wind wants to take you over the edge.

You're not going anywhere yet, and neither am I.

JDS



Words - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Sounds - Balance & Composure, Search The City, The Safety Fire, Born of Osiris
Lights - Breath of Fire II, Breath of Fire III, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, Final Fantasy VIII