Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Above the skyline

4:13 AM Posted by Grant , No comments
Looking back over the last few years my life has been a series of hard won realisations about my direction in life, emotions, relationships and with the world as a whole.

Lets not be romantic about this journey of experience; it's a solitary existence, with lack of any emotional attachment to family or friends to get to this far was really dumb luck.

Reflecting on it recently I decided to frame as a war, the most personal of battles in which winning or losing ends with your actions.

My own war started long before I even realised, a civilian cowering within my bunker in a permanent state of shellshock away from the maelstrom surrounding me, detached and alone in a compartmentalised part of my mind where I convinced myself things were fine.

When war comes to you there are 2 options, either ignore it and pretend everything is fine or pick up your weapon. Option 1 allows you to hide in addictions of any form but like all bulwarks they will fail eventually.

When I could not deny it no longer I picked through the remains of a fallen soldier salvaging some persistence and nothing else of value, emerging from the bunker I could still not fully comprehend the scale or complexity of what was going on around me. A wrecked landscape carved out by enemies unseen and a civil war instigated by the many negative emotions I let run unchecked.

Outnumbered by seemingly endless combatants and with no allies in sight, fighting trench by trench I searched for allies I had once those emotions I had taken for granted in peacetime however all I found were bodies. I had let them down and now they were dead, I would have mourned for them but the tools for this process were lying in front of me...broken.

For the longest time each day was a battle without end, the nights spent ignoring the chaos if for a while, I had found a building on the outskirts of the battle where I could watch the chaos, only able to observe having lost the ability for reflection.

With my back to the wall I had no hope, empathy or happiness, just persistence to keep fighting against all odds. This small show was enough to slowly attract allies not destroyed but wounded or in hiding and willing to rally to my cause.

The first ally to appear was honesty, weary from days that seemed to blend together I wasn't even sure if I was hallucinating or not, a byproduct of it's cousin cynicism I realised I wasn't alone. He said one thing before joining "You're going to need to fight better than that to we in, you're either all in or we're all fucked so fight or die but make a decision."

With forces slowly gathered the war was no longer pointless, we were holding ground for the first time in what might of well have been forever but only just.

It was clear, if additional pylons allies had got me this far the only solution was to construct additional pylons plan a significant recruiting effort, it was not a plan or strategy but only out of desperation, the larger plan would have to wait.

While it seemed like an uphill battle I wasn't alone but then again life is cruel in the most sadistic and random ways, seeds planted long ago had grown, reaching from the shadows the ultimate puppet master plotted against me with decisions I thought were my own.

With it's plan at it's apex it executed simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts with near absolute lethality, it's gradual poisoning of my thoughts had created a fifth column which I used to destroy the allies I fought so hard to find and build.

My honesty become pure negativity, you could almost see cynicism cackling from behind the guise of honest assessment, my self-reflect utterly destroyed along with my compassion, stepping out of the shadow it was depression and I was powerless.

A plan masterfully designed to help me build an army only to come in and crush everything I had built to finally destroy the persistence that had always been a thorn in it's side.

Dazed and in shock as to extend of what had occurred and still under the thrall of it's poison I wandered the battlefield without direction finding everything I had fought for burnt to dust once again. Strategic locations had been overrun and there were no reinforcements to tell me it was going to be ok, I had always been alone but this was different, without emotions the silence was deafening.

Reeling from such an absolute defeat should have been enough to end this conflict for good, I struggled to find a reason to keep going with everything seemingly lost and it is in these the darkest of times that question of to fight or die becomes true in a quite literal sense.

There came a time during this crisis the moment of truth where all other factors are removed and the ultimate question was asked, it came on the wind and I thought beyond the grave "Fight or die?".

Someone once told me that if you end it all you never get to find out how it all turns out, this struck a chord with me and I think it was due to the fact it never preached 'it will get better' it appealed to my curiosity in the unknown.

I wasn't ready to die, I did want to see how it all turned out and so I would fight, not just  to survive this battle but to win the war.

Persistence my only weapon I waged a guerrilla war against an enemy that sometimes seemed all pervasive yet unable to be confronted directly, it was like attacking smoke and I sometimes wondered if my thoughts were it's or mine.

Logical analysis of the situation provided valuable insight into tactics and strategies, it wasn't a stand up fight but a covert war, one where the enemy employed deception and subterfuge to confuse and undermine a clever strategy but overconfident.

You have to admire the tactics the enemy employes and while these are unexpected in addition to the element of surprise I learn quickly and when I return fire it is with terrible vengeance and great speed, the tables were about to turn.

During the darkest days my logic had unwittingly worked for the enemy and having it return made me uneasy, I was willing to fight but I needed to know what I could trust.

Exposure to the light of inspection revealed valuable intelligence about movements and tactics, converted into plans and weapons they would basis for a massive counter-attack the lack of which the enemy would never expect after previous after a number of it's glowing after-action reports.

The insight into how the enemy operated, where it's resources were deployed and the very nature of the threat it was time to stand and fight, I was sick of retreating and fighting rearguard actions.

This realisation allowed me to rise above the skyline, the sounds of war, the shellshock, the despair faded away, I finally felt like the General I always should have been, alone as an individual but now whole with my emotions.

Surveying the battlefield it all seemed so unreal, how did I let this get so out of control and why did this even happen to begin with, these questions were dangerous for the enemy of depression is perspective and pondering these questions quickly formed into plans to open a second front in a deadly pincer move.

Floating down to the ground I now commanded an army, this enemy would not go quietly and it would take far more than a series of decisive battles but in the depths of what was hopeless my mind had been tested, without friends, without family just the duality of my mind and I had survived where others had not.

I gave the order to attack, I would not be denied my life.