Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trouble Moving On

It's been 5 months since my accident. Well, a bit more - 5 months and maybe 4 of 5 days. I don't know, I'm too lazy to count. Anyway, 5 months. For sake of various legal matters and other headache inducing causes, I make it a point to never dive into much detail about the incident itself. Though brought up frequently, its specifics are guarded out of necessity and perhaps a bit of prudence. Despite the relative speed of my recovery, both physically and financially, there is a psychological aspect that I'm still wrestling heavily with. Health and finances are easy, they are quantitative problems with straightforward solutions. Matters of the mind are entirely different. The mind is an abstract thing by nature, and prone to self-sabotage by adjusting the focus of the dilemma when a partial solution is reached in regards to the mental problem. Put simply, I don't know if it's even within reason that I'll ever really get over what happened to my own satisfaction (which I define as living day by day without ever thinking about the incident at all).

Within the first 2, maybe even 3 months of my recovery, the focus of my mind was very different. Still in a state of mental shock, I was occasionally afraid to sleep for fear that I would not wake up the following morning. I couldn't wrap my brain around the reason that I should still be alive, after nearly 2 years of passive self-loathing and longing for an abrupt end. Two years of wishing for an instant and painless dramatic ending, that my shockingly immediate passing would see my art serve as the lasting legacy of the person I'd invented to stand in place of me in the annals of memory. Two years and my wish had been granted. I was aware of nothing, felt nothing, even now I have absolutely no memory of the event. But then I woke up. I felt stiff and tired and sore and not the same. Not the same at all. I died that day, and what was being experienced was something else, some other person, an alien and unfamiliar life wherein there was appreciation for the continued draw of breath.

That sense of duality took a long time to reconcile. Or at least it felt like a long time. And even then, it's still not entirely reconciled. My sense of time has been critically distorted since the event as well. Time only seems to make sense to me when measured from after the point of that accident, as if I was not born or did not start accruing memory and experience until that point. Everything before, the 24 years, a month and couple days before it, that's ancient history. That's Roman days, classic Greece, the days of Babylon. That was some other person who led some other life. I am just an incredibly tall and matured 5 month old. And that really is a problem. Under such a flawed line of thinking I cannot take ownership of anything achieved prior to the accident. Not ownership of accomplishments, of relationships (sparing a very select few that have been so long-term they are thankfully ingrained) or, most frustratingly, of talent.

The person prior to that accident was on the war path of self actualization. He was confident, knew exactly what he wanted and exactly how to do it and the means to acquire that goal were available. He was driven and did not tolerate standing still. He took action. And at that point just before reaching the lofty goal set before him, he achieved the glory of an artist's death - young, talented, handsome and cut down before his prime. Beautiful as any tragic story could ever be.

The person after, the phoenix re-birthed, the story yet to be written... his tragedy is built on fatigue and lost opportunity. His story is my life.

I do not feel like I am that person anymore, the tragic hero artist. I do not feel that I possess his eye, the instinct to produce art. I do not feel driven by the muse that stirred him from bed every weekend morning to venture out and produce art, the desire to share his view of the world. He died a beautifully tragic death 5 months ago and with him died all his potential. What crawled from his ashes was a husk, an all but hollow chitin shell, doomed to understand the potential stolen by circumstance.

Now, clearly, that is incredibly melodramatic and defeatist. And it's not necessarily representative of how I'm feeling at all times. But at one point throughout each and every day that is a perspective outlook I adopt and for at least a brief moment every 24 hours I feel hollow and broken and deserted by time. It is difficult anymore for me to believe I will ever again reach that idealistic and purpose driven state. What I have returned to is the passive approach to life that I spent years fighting against. The divine motivation is gone. On any given Sunday I will sooner vegetate in front of a computer and play games instead of pursuing that which still honestly satisfies me like little else. I will sooner mope and whine about being bored than actually take direct action and squash the ill feeling. I will sooner spend my time admiring and experiencing grand jealousy toward the accomplishments of others than pursue those very realistic accomplishments myself.

What I had, the person I lost, there was something bubbling inside him that reeked of absolute potential. I'm not sure I have the energy to build myself up to that point ever again. After all, it nearly killed me the first time.