Being human is to be conscious; and if this weren’t bad enough, we are conscious not only of everything out there but everything inside us. Anxiety plays over a fugue of guilt – we are so permanently stressed that we have stopped noticing it. There is, too, an inner denial of guilt; we deny what we feel and what we feel is, we are not enough. There is something I SHOULD be doing which I am not doing. If only I did it, I would feel fulfilled. But I just don’t know what it is.
Like a lost ruined city beneath a lake, our swirling angst is submerged. Rather than diving down to find outlines of an unmoveable mass, it might be better to hop in a boat and sail on over it. I put on some headphones, tune in and turn off.
Even Scriabin is better than skin-diving: this perspicacious composer may, indeed, be performing catharsis through his music of anxiety.
The most important thing I do in treating depression is NOT to think positive thoughts. Research carried out at Reading University on the amygdala revealed that, in a depressed person, every thought is painted black. If you wish to feel worse, try thinking “positive” thoughts – your brain cannot distinguish them from any other kind, they are just more heavy brainwaves to depress your system. The important job is to be right in the moment, deleting those obsessive undercurrents. The negatives can certainly go, that rumination about what you did in your childhood, how you are a complete failure – virtually every thought which is not about the here-and-now.
Music is usually helpful as long as it doesn’t start me agonizing about why I haven’t composed nine great symphonies. Beethoven was deaf and died of alcoholism – I must just get used to the idea of not being immortal after my death. Or write a blog.