⌉|⌈ – Today, and any other day.


Life wavers between confusions for me. I’ve tried soft and hard to maintain distant from emotions in this platform, not out of purity or privacy, but because I’m a very difficult transmitter. There are little truths to me, but one is that of terrorising conveyance, that of emotion as a motor of erosion. I’m a guy that — for better or for worse— was built out of isolation, out of solitude. My strive to read, to write, to view and rejoice, is no less than a reach for company beyond that creeping confusion. If, for lifetimes, I could learn and apply literary knowledge, I could perhaps understand the stem of my misery. But it seems to have deepened instead.

At nineteen, I received the diagnosis of dysthymia, which is a condemning illness for any sane mind. To believe that my continuity in this world would be paved with sadness, inexplicable sadness, original sadness. It is woven into me, it composes me. What I’ve found in books, I’ve since deconstructed. I can understand the higher concepts of ancient philosophy, I can oppose them or agree to them. I can understand the glare and appeal of modern Art, I can destroy it or breathe it. The dooming realisation is just, why? Why must I write poetry and not live it? Why have I built such high towers of mind, but no ladders to exit?

My conception of these worlds— if there is such a thing — is all but the one I’ve been given. I shall live perpetually in confusion, and so shall all of us. There isn’t much haunting me in that regard. But… the separation, the ridges and crevasses erupting between my distance to ground, that cruel sensation of loneliness that is no less than overwhelming. I’m not alone in this world, but rather, I’m just lonely. I don’t know why. I can’t see why, and I cannot escape it. I’m often washed away by this sensation, inasmuch as there isn’t any bigger plague in my young life. I don’t want to be lonely, and I would trade every inch of my leeching knowledge if it meant stripping this conceptual isolation.
Living purely in the mind is a false creation. From poetry to prose, paint to oil, reel to motion, all but a distraction conjured out of that necessity to exit. I write this because I must, otherwise, I wouldn’t endure. And as the gap widens, reality keeps requesting more and more fuel, more of you, more of me and all of us. It consumes our mind and its realms, it eats our flesh and throws us into a void of penance. The gap widens—the isolation grows—and I start deflating the forecasts, forced to lose a hope that I never had, pulled from realms I never got to fully taste. I’ve since missed the mark on so much, almost as if I wasn’t designed to exist, but rather, to self-sabotage to a point where it becomes its own Art, its own craft and disposition. The more exasperated I become, the wider the gap, and Cascans descent into silence becomes my own, Johnnys poems become my path, and my essence and integral identity in this world seems to be dust, fainting into space, warping with static colours. Reality, now, seems not too keen on my consumption, but rather, on my ability to consume myself. The act of simply being, today and any other day, seems to simply… not be enough.

João Maria

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A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

25 thoughts on “⌉|⌈ – Today, and any other day.”

  1. The other day I was listening to a podcast during a minor anxiety episode. There was a point that stood out. It was that one generally feels what one is paying attention to. Your post has great insights, and I some of it echoes within me. Negativity takes over me when I focus too much on myself. I hope, that you find your focus again and the confusion ceases.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, thank you Ernesto. Truly, negativity is a void of entrapment, but this is purely phasic. All I need to do is to decentralize my thoughts, but at times, one must dive into sadness and emerge at the other end. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Right? It mustn’t be like this, but sometimes it is, and it must also be understood. Thank you, it means a lot to me that you resonated, makes me less lonely.


  2. I have suffered from depression and anxiety to varying degrees since I was around 12 years old and have also found “the life of the mind” to be my preferred method of escape, but, having wrestled with this for many years (I am now 23), and finding myself now in a much better place than ever before (although the struggle continues), I can say for certain that it can get better. Some days, all you can do is literally just not kill yourself, and that is enough. It truly is. The world is full of sadness and pain but also beauty and hope. We must continue on for the sake of the latter; Beckett is a good writer for this. Please don’t give up. And if you see the need to connect with the world outside of your intellectual or artistic pursuits, then do it! Talk to someone, anyone. Travel. Lose yourself in new experiences. But, whatever you do, know that how you feel right now is not necessarily how you will always feel. Depression and anxiety CAN be managed, even if they may never be “cured.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Gabriela, you’re the sweetest, truly. I’m so thankful for the concern, but this is mostly just a cyclic pain one must get used to, especially one with my psychological flora. I take it and I transform it into these fragments that almost seem to bleed pain, but it is not my permanent state. Nine out of ten, I love my life and I wouldn’t be better had it been different.
      Again, thank you, you truly are a kind spirit, truly truly. What you do, and what you did, it matters a lot.


      1. Thank you for your kind reply. I’m glad my words meant something to you, and I am relieved and overjoyed to hear that you’re (mostly) doing so well! It is so important to find that acceptance and to love your life despite/because of its complications.

        May you have more good days than bad ones.


  3. I had to stop and ask this question prior to reading your entire post–a rarity to me. I’m a word/letter-phobe and was not familiar with “dysthymia.” Upon looking it up, I was impressed with its representative potential. How did you come by that term? Did you doctor use that precise word to “diagnose you?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is an illness and diagnosis that has been around for quite some time, since around the nineties. It is not common, although it isn’t extremely rare either.
      Also, dysthymia is just a more scientific term to “chronic depression”, but the separation occurred when it was necessary to distinguish long major depressive disorders with mild and persistent depressive disorders.
      The doctor was a psychiatrist, and “I was diagnosed” very early on.


  4. You have so eloquently described your pain and near hopelessness. Perhaps, part of your purpose in life is to help others? I’ve known others with dysthymia who’ve found joy through finding purpose in their lives. Wishing you joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have and continually will help those I can reach, I’ve always been involved in a ton of charity hands-on work around Lisbon.
      I wouldn’t call it my purpose, but rather, my necessity to give back. And thank you Bonnie, it means a lot especially coming from a Psychotherapist such as yourself, people of your craft have helped me a lot throughout the years, your work is extremely important. Thank you, a very big thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Johnny, I dare not say I understand. But I think I may feel this post. One consumes oneself to create at times. But I feel to think that life is worth living or not is pointless till an extent. Maybe the answer to why life is life. The daily strife is not to exist but not die. To live as you would feel living. When you breathe you feel the breathing and think on it only to feel more, more encompassingly or more minutely. Art concepts are from life. They are aids to feel life, they cant be felt beyond life. When you feel the dust, the heat, the sweat, the laughter cry and joy,The pain of whip the pain of heartbreak the pain of loss the burn of a living skin you love on your skin the breathing of passion and the joy of realisation through maths science art faith/doubt and yourself. That feel and much more maketh the instigation to think much more to get beyond existing visions, to percieve the yet unperceive-able. And, to feel, on that.
    Sorry I made it too long. Its my birthday today Johnny. Your post was a great gift. It helped me realise a lot. Helped me I think with a living problem in me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, happy birthday! I didn’t want to spark sadness on such a beautiful day for you! I hope that, at least, you could retrieve some hope from my strife, and not just more strife.
      It is a beautiful thing to feel, but also, an overwhelming one, we must understand that balance and strike it, but that’s an endless path. The sights along that path, though, I wouldn’t trade them for a thousand universes.
      Be well, and be welcome, as you always are, here on Caliath.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Johnny, Toad here.

    My favorite ex-husband and my Dad have dysthymia. All the art powerhouses have SOMETHING to flail against. I’m proud of you. And your prose is as lovely as your poetics.

    I am also difficult and made of solitude and for the purpose of, as I put it at 18 “blessed, exquisite aloneness.” I’m glad we are difficult together while on different continents. Feel free to email any time, Troublesome ; ).

    I’ve begun using the prompt “Write What You Are Terrified To Write” and it is really helping me. Not helping me write more. But helping me write more truly. As you know, my poems are not technical perfection, nor will they ever be – this is a deliberate choice on my part after a lifetime of strict adherence to form over comprehensibility. Now its all spiritual practice. Full zen koan drawn out and made conversational. I hope they touch hearts more than seem like poems.

    You are perfect and enough right now as you are, dysthymia and all. You glow, a lighthouse demonstrating that survival and living and luxuriating in every miniscule drop of beauty is possible.

    Keep fighting, my friend.
    ❤ Toad

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So sorry Toad, I did not get the notification. For some reason, they are removing a ton of my notifications, I can’t even get replies to comments I made on other blog posts.

      Thank you so much, I absolutely love you. You’re such an unbelievably kind individual and your spirit transcends space and matter, quite a beautiful sight at such distance. You’ve helped me a ton, even if not knowing you have, but a lot of what you said to me changed a great deal.
      You renew me with such kind words, thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “From poetry to prose, paint to oil, reel to motion, all but a distraction conjured out of that necessity to exit.” I understand a thing or two about distraction having dealt with anxiety for the majority of my life. This piece spoke to me on many levels, maybe even the cycles of depression. I thank you for putting into words for that which I struggle with at times. And I wish for you that some relief appears for you rather than just finding a way to distract from the depression.

    Liked by 1 person

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