Sanity is not something I take for granted.
Whenever I hear some spoiled tart giggle, and excuse their bad behavior as 'I'm crazy, lol,' I want to give them a glimpse inside my head. No, you're a stupid spoiled douche. Shut the fuck up and be decent.
Background- Several years ago, say about 2007-10, when I was at my worst, at the bottom of my darkness, I was drinking between 1- 2 gallons of cheap vodka a day, and sleeping for any extended period only once every 3-5 days, depending on factors I can't name. My days would consist of writing and drinking all night long, driving around the corner to Taco Bell about 10am, getting a bunch of shitty food, eating, and then sort of sleeping but not really in my recliner thru the afternoon, before getting up, maybe having dinner with my brother (though, unfortunately he could stand to be around me less and less, my madness on display), if not making a booze run and maybe getting some more shitty cheap food (Taco Bell was close, and cheap), and doing it all over again.
Most of the time I was writing. Especially when I couldn't afford internet.
I can remember being scared to go to sleep.
My dreams held frightening things.
Monsters. Demons. Unnameable macabre oddities I wish I could forget.
I had been fucking around with lucid dreaming for years, and then astral projection (I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide for yourself if that is a real phenomenon or awesome dreams or just more madness and mind fuckery).
Now shit was getting weird. Bad weird.
Also, fyi, this was before I discovered the genius that is the tv show Supernatural. So, for those who follow my ramblings, don't think it stems from falling asleep to that while the tv is on.
Once or sometimes twice a week, if I was lucky, I would crash for 10-15 hours. Once, I think when I driving a cab (I drove a cab thru the fall and winter of '08-thru early spring of '09), I slept damn near a full 24 hours.
I can remember, as scared as I was of sleep, I was more scared of sleeping at night. And I was most scared of sleeping between the hours of 3-5 am.
Because 'that's when the veil between this plane and the next is thinnest.'
I'm not sure where I picked up that tidbit, but in my state, it proved to be very true.
I can remember arguing with, fighting with, things that weren't there. I would wake, with strange scratches on my body. I remember one night I thought something reached into my chest and squeezed the shit out of my heart, pumping it twice. It hurt like hell, and my chest was sore for a week. I never got it checked out, though I've always been curious what the fuck the medical diagnosis for that would have been. I can remember sex with a succubus on the astral plane. On different occasions.
Worse, things would happen while I was awake. At least, they would happen in my head. Thoughts would appear like voices, their contents too horrible to relate. They're certainly not the thoughts you want someone who lives in home filled with weapons to have. Though, in all honesty, the only reason I speak about this is because I think deep down the responsibility of arms was itself what kept me from going completely over.
It was such a long, slow process back from that. It's hard to say what kept me from teetering over the edge. Publishing my first book, for sure. And Murph, of course. Not being a full blown, manic depressive alcoholic that drinks two big handles of Taaka a day probably helped. Maybe just a little. Going to the doc at the VA, finally getting some pain meds, because that was an initial source of my constant boozing. Though even that wasn't instantaneous. The three years I spent taking care of my grandmother were certainly beneficial. Exercise, losing weight, even though it goes up and down. I really am so fucking tired of being in constant pain it's not even close to funny.
The damnest thing about the darkness, is once it is in you, it's always there. It never fully leaves, shrinking into the rough edges of your mind, waiting to pounce when you're weak. Almost a year ago, I had a really strange, surreal couple of weeks that resulted in me taking up prayer. Every day, to a God I have claimed for years not to believe in, and placebo or not, I 'feel' like it helps. Last week, after I'd laid down to bed, I felt the cold hand of a hag touch my shoulder and felt her sensual, icy touch reach down my spine. Heard her whisper in ear, ask me, why not? Why had I forsaken her? Didn't we used to have such fun? And then total psycho-sexual abandon, right there. And I dreamed I turned and faced her, and strangled her, and watched her face contort thru her different masks. And then she/ it was gone, and I lay in bed wondering what the fuck was wrong with my brain, and I don't believe I slept anymore that night. Now, in the light of day, at 2 in the afternoon, I can tell you it was just a strange dream. In all probability that's exactly what it was. But then and there, in that moment, and for the moments after? I wouldn't have been able to answer.
I still hear voices, sometimes. Feint, as if from a distance deep inside my head. I do my best to ignore them. In the small alone hours, when I think about them, I worry they're just wayward ghosts who need a favor, a message passed on, something. Other times, I worry they're something much more sinister. I can tell you they're probably just echos in my head, an occupational hazard of a writer. Sometimes it just takes more work convincing myself to 'feel' the truth of that.
I've studied religion, and spirituality, demonology, and all all manner of fruit loopy New Agey bullshit, trying to make sense of it. My problem with a lot of assorted pagans, and wiccans, and New Agers, is the same problem I have with those in every other religion. They're all so convinced, not only that they're right, but that everyone else is wrong. And I really don't think it's necessarily that kind of thing. I have a lot of thoughts, on a lot of it, and I continue to study and try to evolve and figure things out. What I finally came to terms with, is, I think, is that whatever your belief system, once you close your eyes and drift off, I'm not sure it matters.
At the end of the day, what I believe are three things.
1. This is not the only plane of existence.
2. There is evil in this world. Not just bad acts, bad decisions, but evil.
3. Beyond these things, the only thing I'm certain of, is that I am profoundly uncertain.
Mainly though, the point of this, is that sobriety, and sanity are not things I take for granted. So when I hear some moron, excusing their shitty behavior as 'crazy,' I want to give them a spin in my head. Maybe then they'll shut the fuck up. These are not things anyone takes for granted if they've ever had to fight for them.