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Hey, I think I've written this five or six times already so I'm sorry that the pace will be a lot more sharper than I originally intended. I really wanted to go into a deep analysis of why I'm doing this and what may of caused it or what it may of influenced, but each time I wrote it I couldn't help but wonder if I was writing it right or if I should at all write it. I eventually had to ask someone who I trust to be blunt if this type of post was a good idea. They said it was fine, so I'm doing it. I'm hiding it behind a "more recent" post mainly to minimalise what may be general negativity.
Anyway, on with the show I guess: Ever since I was 13 or 14, I've had melancholy. There's a reason why I use the phrase "melancholy", instead of depression. To me, depression is the type of condition that keeps you up at night (or gets you to sleep too long), or messes with your eating habits, or, and I think this is the most important part, may contribute to suicide attempts. I lack anything of a significant symptom I can point to. While I am severely cynical, pessimistic and morbid (to the point where they've become defining characteristics), I do not have insomnia or hyper-somnia, nor do I suffer from eating problems. The most important part though is this: I will not commit suicide no matter how hard it gets. I do think about it a tiny bit on the rare occasion, but I would never follow through. This isn't out of a sense of "well, I need to live!", but rather out of absolute terror of what lies beyond life it's self. The best way I've put it to people is this: It's like watching TV with the colour turned down a little. The good parts just aren't as good as they should be, the mediocre parts are maybe a bit worse than they should be and the bad parts are especially shoddy. It's not bad enough to throw the TV out, so you deal with it, but it's still affecting the viewing performance. Not enough where you're crying or angry, but it's still altered.
However, while the most common thing people will be jumping to is that maybe I should seek help. The most problematic part of the idea of looking for help with it is it'll change me, and not in a good way. I am currently studying sociology with psychology at a degree level, with hopes to go into research. This is a field not only discouraging you saying anything positive about humanity or society, but it encourages you to find flaws. Good news don't sell, and this isn't just true with the general population. Academics in the social science field just don't care to hear about how anything is good, they want to hear about how everything is fucked up. Not one researcher or company paying for research to be done wants to hear about how nice it is that Valve or indie developers are treating their consumers well, they want to hear about how EA and Activision are exploiting their consumers all the time. Due to this, I would be more effective as someone sniffing and crying all the time about how everything is terrible, than someone who would be praising about how wonderful the average human being is.
This isn't just true in the researching field. Thanks to my incredibly morbid view, I am able to craft stories that people care about. Again, no one wants to read a story about how everything ends with pink lemonade and rainbows, at least not those of the population I'd want to deal with, people enjoy stories more with that dark ending.
The problem I fear that with therapy is it'll change me. Well, therapy by definition does change people, but the changes it'd do (e.g. coping mechanisms and hormone changes thanks to medication) would be more harmful than helpful in career or hobby ways. It would risk lowering my productivity since it'd likely shift my thoughts away from the bleak or negative nature of things, this shift would be enough to at least mildly hamper my ability to be critical. You see, melancholy seems less of an illness, and more of a double edge sword, where the symptoms such as pessimism is seen as less of a curse and more both a problem and a helper. I am thankful I do not have full depression, only just enough melancholy to have a poor self-esteem, self-efficacy and perception of others (humanity and society) to help propel me in what I do.
To those curious why I decided to come out as "melancholic": To be honest, it's mostly to help me fix my thoughts and get them down on paper so I may analyse them. It's hard to have a full grip of a complex situation as being potentially ill, but deciding that the illness is better to have due to the symptoms increasing the ability to do tasks, rather than have them treated and feel okay.
Edit 1: Since this is more of a mind dump than a narrative coherant conversation, a mild topic shift wouldn't break minds too much I hope.
Religion to me is a fascinating concept, especially the core subject of it all: Deities. Isn't it wonderful how everyone celebrates their own religion? How people have their own perception of who their deity is? Religion has helped people from the beginning of time (e.g. it has created a moral system to be used to create laws, ethical codes and general guidelines for individuals to lead their lives with) to this very day (e.g. one possible way someone can stop being depressed is with religion, since this creates something for the individual to lean on for help, a post which is seen of having absolute love). From religion, you have a large variety of stories, from Moses building a dam to save animals from the flood to Osiris being murdered by Set. Each tale either serving as a backstory/narrative to what has happened to the characters in the religion, or serving as a moral story about something. While some people find religion restrictive, you have to keep in mind people can choose to believe in many many religions, including those not yet established.
This brings me nicely to the point that I'm about to make: Due to the illogicalities and selfish nature of humanity, the chances of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Egyptian polytheism is exactly the same. Again, this isn't an insult directed at the deities behind religion because if there is one, it can not be it's fault. All these texts have been written by human beings, a creature that is prone to memory problems, selfishness (because if you're writing a book in the same time period Greeks and Romans were about, two religions that enjoyed homosexuality, it's easy to slide in a little about how all gay people go to hell, along with rich people) and other factors that could only amount to a flawed book, even assuming a deity actually communicated with a prophet. There is equal chance of there being a deity who consist of a man, or woman, with long flowing white hair wearing a robe, as there being one who is a giant foetus in the middle of the solar system babbling a strange insane language about things that could not be nor neither will be, as there will be a ball of energy that communicated telepathically who has seen all of time and only flickers between time periods as it is suited. I see of no reason why one would be more likely than others.
So what does that leave? Religion should be used as a stable post to rest weary bodies and minds, and as an ethical guidance. You want to use Christianity so you can cope with a death better? Go for it. You want to use Islam for their ethical code towards medicine? Fine by me. Means little. However, you shouldn't be limited by the established. If you believe that there is an octopus in the sky who gives wishes to those who are kind, that's completely fine if that helps you. After all, at the end of the day, if a deity is kind then it shall not punish those who exhibit behaviours due to confusion created by factors such as the formalisation of particular religions over others and ethnographic backgrounds, for an intelligent deity worth worshipping would realise the sheer unethical nature of it. However, maybe it is uncaring and unintelligent? Why worship with love what promises none in return? No use worshipping tyranny.
Also, religion should be founded upon personal interpretations of religion, or at the very least personal interpretation of the literature available about possible deities. To search for a prescribed interpretation of current literature in something as important as personal belief in, or lack of, a deity is like asking for others to read books and watch films for you and to give you the cliff notes of films and books and then accepting those view points as your own opinion. It obliterates what should be a magic and interesting experience as each person finds their own personal meaning in the world around them, and instead creates, what can only be described as, a caste system. Where women and men learn from their superiors (e.g. parents, priests, government figures, celebrities, etc) about their role and what their opinion should be in terms of important things. It's no better than someone using their authority over someone (like a teacher over a child) to coerce them into voting for a particular political party.
Edit 2: Just a little something that struck me recently.
Today I watched a graduation speech. The main focal point of the first half of it was that no one was special. This is something that has been argued for the last five years, the argument that all the positivity towards children with respect of teaching them "no matter who you are, we'll love you for just being you" (the personification of which is Mr Rogers) is actually more negative than positive after all. The argument is if you don't teach children that they are not beautiful special snowflakes, they end up arrogant and horrible human beings. This is something commonly thrown about by more traditional American individuals; those of an older age group, or holding view points that are more supporting a conservative agenda than a liberal one, to use political party talk. The key part of this argument, and what the argument hinges on, is "if everyone is special, then no one is special". I am someone with an alternative viewpoint.
There are countless developmental psychological studies that display the same thing: Children with a negative self-esteem end up growing up as generally worse off. They are more likely to do badly at education, they are more likely to get a criminal record and they are more likely to have poor social skills. This is due to a lot of things such as poor self-efficacy (the attitude that you can affect your surroundings), an unstable external locus of control (they depend on external forces that can not be relied on to fix their problems, such as chance/luck) and anomie (okay, this is a sociological theory actually, this is basically a replacement of life-long goals and methods to achieve them from the society standard, it'd take a full paragraph to fully explain it). They are also more likely to grow up with mental disorders, especially depression.
So, how does arrogance get formed? A lack of understanding. Yes, telling your five year old "I have to go to work and pay the bills, I can't afford that toy" isn't the best of ideas since they likely lack understanding. However, you'd be surprised how much a ten or thirteen year old will understand it if you just explain to them why, for instance, they should go to bed. Yes, a firm tone and some discipline should be drilled into them if the worst happens, but children can understand explanations and explanations can have a positive effect (for instance, elaborated and not restricted codes of language). However, without the explanation of why something will not be done, they will feel victimised for it and feel like you've wronged them. There is a lot more to this however and I'm not that knowledgeable in developmental psychology.
The key part I wish to take from those two paragraphs is a positive self-esteem for a child is good. The "Mr Rogers" approach is actually a good approach since it teaches a child to strive for self-actualisation and to be independent but happy. Humorously enough, the psychological approach that talks about self-actualisation is sometimes called the Rogerian approach, although more due to Carl Rogers who theorised this Humanist approach rather than Mr Rogers. To tell a child they're special can be good, but a firm definition needs to be instilled in a child what you mean by "special".
The reason why I bring it up is "special" is used incorrectly. When I've been talking about the importance of teaching a child he/she is special, I do not mean superior. To teach a child he/she is superior is to teach them arrogance. No, the correct word is "unique". As in, different, a separate individual. In an individualistic society, which we are becoming increasingly so, individuality (the act of being unique and the extent of it) is highly important. No more do we praise those who fight for a larger cause, we now cherish those who fight their own cause which is worked out to be righteous. To teach a child that it's okay to be special, that it's fine to be unique and that it's good to be an individual is one of the best lessons to be taught to a child. For, it is not only something we cherish and is something that benefits a child to be, it is factual that everyone is unique.
Okay, just a thought experiment. So say there's been 100 million trillion people to ever exist (it's a lot smaller than it actually is, but simplicity sake). However, to exist in your exact time period, you're one in 1 trillion. Now, you were born in a particular place at a particular time. You were given birth to by a particular person with a particular genetic make-up along, which you also contain the genetic make-up of her partner. You were raised for the first few years of your life in a particular country, in a particular area with their own particular culture. Your parent held a particular set of view points and were under particular circumstances that shaped you during your first few years (e.g. to be Christened, to be living in a poor conditioned house with mould on the walls or to be constantly interacted with by your parents). All these have a particular effect, some minor and some major. So, let's assume 1 thousand people went through the same thing as you when you were 0-3 years old. For the rest of your development, up to when you're 18 (I don't recall the age when people stop mentally developing, I think it might be late 20s though), each of you will go through a different chain of events. Some due to because you picked X and others picked Y, some due to a series of external circumstances such as witnessing someone fall in front of a train and others due to absolute blind chance such as a tornado not absolutely ripping apart your house so it's a mess but it's able to be lived in. All these have a particular effect on an individual, most minor but some major. Even the minor effects stack up though to be a major thing.
So do I believe everyone is special? Yes. However, I believe to teach a child he/she is "special", as in superior to others, and not "special" as in unique, is why some children grow up to be arrogant. Other times, and usually, well, there's millions of events in someone's life, they some are bound to have some effect.
Edit 3: Here's an important truth: There's no guarantee there's light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it's unlikely to exist.
I guess it was silly of me to use a metaphor that's commonly associated with something else. To describe it more clear: There is no guarantee things will become good, in fact it's unlikely possible for it to happen. I even hate the phrase "things will get better". It's actually a campaign for LGBT youth, and I think it's the best example of how much the phrase sucks. I absolute despise the idea of "it gets better" because it assumes everything goes smoothly. As the rest of history may be quick to remind us, no it doesn't necessarily get better. The best example of this is, using LGBT history, Greek history. Greece, a nation that used to be the symbol of poetic beauty, philosophy and ethics, descended due to the Roman invasion (which brought along Christianity, not to say Christianity is naturally awful in it's natural form) which brought along military rule and the banning of homosexuality. Homosexuality was made illegal until 1951, and the idea of marriage (something the ancient Greeks would likely applaud since they saw homosexuality as one of the most profound and beautiful things possible, and marriage just celebrates the love) is still only in the proposal phase.
If things went perfectly with no fault on the lines, homosexuality would of remained legal from ancient Greek times to modern day since if there's one ideal that can be agreed upon it's about how wonderful love is. However, it got made illegal due to an invasion. By telling people it'll get better is to lie to them in how sure you are. If you are certain things will get better, you're either delusional in how certain you are or a foul disgusting liar. The idea of "the light at the end of the tunnel" existing is there for everything, since the light represents living in a life that resembles your utopia. However, since one man's utopia is another man's dystopia, it's disgusting to lie to people that things will get better. Even that's assuming everything is predictive in how everything goes. If there's one thing history should teach is how it cradles the notion of randomness in an organised and logical manner, the idea requiring doublethinking.
Everything will probably not be okay. Maybe we'll have moments of greatness when it's a joy to live in, but those will be cancelled out by dark and bleak periods of depression and suffering. In total though, everything will probably not be okay. It's all about living through that notion with some ounce of happiness derived some how, and the worst way to live through it personally is through lies. Lies of the current situation, or of the future, are still lies that don't help people fix things so the future may be a little brighter for a brief moment until the organised randomness pings it back to being horrible and painful. Everything will probably not be okay. Accept it.
You have not filled in your contact info. This makes you nobody. How does it feel to be a nobody? (Note: You may continue to be a nobody even if you fill in your contact info.)
I'm not sure when I last posted, but I don't think that could give a good date of when I last noticed Newgrounds. It's weird to be honest what happened. I used to go on Newgrounds daily, vote my five and post a tiny bit with sarcastic comments in general or C&C (usually the Gay/Bi club, after I couldn't invest the time to post in other clubs like the zombie club). However, I just stopped one day and didn't notice a thing. I never really properly connected to anyone here and the years left me drifting off elsewhere. I don't think it helped that over 30,000 posts later I had nothing to show for it. I wasn't noticeable to the point where people referred to me or nominated me for random awards like "Never Logs Off" or "Worst User", but too noticeable to be noticed as one of those users who comes out the blue with a random opinion or good point.
To be honest, the last year or two have been, well, interesting. I've had my ups, and I've had my downs, although I will admit this year has been more of a downer than an up-er. Increasingly, I've been put into more of a thoughtful state of the things to come. It feels less about "what game is coming out" and "oh no, no friends" and more about "what am I going to do as a job in the years to come" and "what state is society in". I feel less relevant to this website which celebrates flash animation as the years go on, having to focus on other things which are cutting back my hobby-time and as increasingly I'm having to commit to less due to the inability to concentrate and focus as much as I used to. I'm sorry to say that Newgrounds is just one of those areas that are part of the cutting back process.
Hopefully, I may be back in the future. Maybe, and hopefully, posting more constructively and positively than in the past. I may still occasionally lurk and post, but just consider this as my way of saying I'm not a regular any more at all and don't plan to be any year soon.
I went to it and it was pretty dandy. I'll probably link to some shit at some point.
Well, I've uploaded a story for the first time in well over a year onto Newgrounds. You can find it on the writing forum. No reviews yet, but curious how people think of it.
Edit: Well, that got a lot of notice. Thanks Newgrounds.
Here I'll talk about some psycho-babble I read out of a text book and then apply my own faulty opinion disguised as correct using long sociological and psychological terms like "secularisation" and "vagina envy".