I’ve always been fascinated by the ouroboros and the phoenix, two powerful symbols of endless cyclicality and rebirth. For me, the self-devouring serpent and the self-immolating avian personify the topsy-turvy nature of life and serve as important reminders that sometimes things will go your way, and sometimes they won’t. The more turbulent emotional nadirs and apexes you hit though, the harder it gets to differentiate when one cycle ends and another begins; sometimes those low points of life just seem to drag on longer than they’re supposed to.

Two years is a long time to spend in a rut.

Two years ago, I broke off all contact with the best and worst thing to ever happen to me. I had previously been madly in love, idealistic to the point of provoking gag-reflexes, and confident in the inherent good of mankind. The months after the break-up, on the other hand, were characterized by self-loathing, paranoia, and confusing post-breakup sex. The one-sided nature of my “friendship” with my ex was damaging to the point that I gave up on her entirely, though her presence on campus continued to haunt me despite my best efforts to avoid her. Compared to my previous love-addled state, I became emotionally numb to the world around me. After all, it’s easier to protect yourself if you choose not to invest too much in anything, or anyone. In the span of a few short months I converted from a lofty romantic into a bitter, reserved shell as I abandoned cherished ideals and aspects of my life that I held dear simply because they reminded me of her too much.

Somewhere down the line I started to believe the preposterous, self-centered idea that self-destruction was a good method of recovering from love trauma. I indulged in excessive drinking, excessive smoking, and self-inflicted cutting, masked publicly by deflecting those subjects away with a twisted sense of humor and the construction of a false external persona. The sting from a razor pales in comparison, though, to the inaction from those you consider your friends, especially when they stand by idly while you slowly tear yourself apart. It became a reiteration of the disastrous attempt at friendship with the woman broke me; “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.”

When you’re down in the pits though, it’s easy to lose sight of the good that comes out of emerging from misery. I’ve traded the harmful addictions for better ones: music, literature, politics. I gave up on photography after the break-up, but I’ve since switched my creative outlet to writing instead; I’m not very good, but I’m getting better. It’s taken a long, long time, but I’m starting to figure out that I’m not defined by my inadequacies. In losing the love of others, I’ve gotten better at figuring out who is deserving of mine. When friends fail you in time of need, you learn how to tell the difference between the sycophants and the ones who will stand up for you. Duality exists in all walks of life, and Newton’s Third Law applies to depression as well.

The world will break you down, but only if you let it.

I am going to write yet another daylog about my mom. Couldn't care less? Here are a few choice nodes for you to entertain yourself with instead...

So I went to see my Mom the other day.

She's in hospital now. After a period of getting progressively worse, memory wise, she started hearing voices and music noone else could hear. So she was committed to a psychiatric ward for the elderly in a hospital in Helsinborg, Sweden. The doctors say she is not going to be fit to come home again. Ever.

And this is where it gets weird. Because how do you tell someone "hey, your life is over now. You are never going home to the life you've known for the last... 25 years. You are not fit to care for yourself any longer. You are, in fact, on your last leg towards the final destination."?

And how does it feel to get told?

I don't know if the doctors told her yet. When we were there she seemed happy enough. It was a very nice place; she flirted with the young (male) nurses, and they flirted back in the sweetest way, and the overall atmosphere was calm and friendly. She, my mom, seemed to be completely nonplussed by the situation. She let us understand that she was there to "rest up a bit", and she mentioned things she needed to do when she got back home. My sister and I looked at each other but we didn't say anything.

She seem a lot more together and coherent than she has done for a long time, but I think that the stress of being at home and perhaps knowing - or sensing, in her confused state - that things weren't right, and that she was out of her depths... Well, the stress is removed now. She no longer needs to concentrate. Nothing to worry abut, really. Yes, she is indeed resting.

She doesn't know how long she's been in the hospital. "A long time", she said. "It's a nice place". She's staying in the hospital until they find a place for her in a nursing home or somesuch place. I wonder if it's a bit like living a dream where every weird thing that happens seems perfectly normal. If so, I hope it's a nice dream.

We made her laugh a lot. I think that is important. But it was so weird to leave her there, being let out through the two sets of locked doors, while she stayed inside. I gave her a very soft cuddly toy to make up for the many cuddlies she had to leave at home. We called it "Spiger" because it looked like a spotted tiger. And we gave her lots of chocolate and candy because we know she loves that.

I'd like to be eigthteen again. Back then she could always make my newly acquired grown up problems - like getting insurance, and talking to authorities about this and that - go away by telling me who to call and what to say.

I'd like to be five again.

I hope fate allows her to go gracefully.

Thank you for your time.

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