Jim Trainer

UNDENIABLE DILEMMA

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2019 at 9:36 am

The best work anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.


All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.
-Andre Breton

Hello.  Jim here.  I try and come from the place I’m at right now every week but it slips away.  Or it gets lost in filigree and overblown with the joy of creation.  I come here with a heavy load and I seldom cut right to it—which is the point, I suppose.  You either hang yourself or you hang it on the wall.  Deadlines have a lot to do with what I write.  Deadlines are also the point—being that I wouldn’t write without some accountability and certainly not if I was only accountable to myself.  When I tell you you’re keeping me alive by reading this I am sincere.  But if I wasn’t a week ahead on these posts I might not attempt what I’m about to do, which is tell the truth—unadulterated, uncrafted, just the facts.  The fact is I can’t remember being so suicidal.  That’s not quite it…I can certainly remember the burning seasons of adolescence when I thought about killing myself all the time.  It was urgent then as were the means I took to avoid suicide and do something else.  I sang in bands.  I lifed weights and I wrote.  The urge to kill myself was certainly stronger than it is these days.  What’s different now is how little I have to persuade me otherwise.  Country simple, I don’t have a burning need to end my life but I don’t have any pressing or pertinent reason not to–which is kind of worse.  It’s a nausea and non-feeling that can lead to extremes.  I’m not going to drink, though.  I wish I could fucking smoke—but I won’t.  The fact is removing these distractions and intoxicants from my life is what brought me to this point of miserable non-feeling to begin with, so I’ll keep digging.  Will I kill myself?  Probably not.  Odds are I’ll continue putting my work out into the world because it’s become that important. I owe you a debt of gratitude for that as well.

The question isn’t if I’ll live but how?  How can I go on feeling this way?  What am I missing?  Why do I feel like I’m trapped in amber?  The simple answer is depression. The simple way to treat depression is with meds, talk therapy and behavioral modification.    I’ve had tremendous success with the smallest dose of Welbutrin; I quit drinking, smoking, quit irresponsible sexual behavior, and I started publishing a book a year.   But big pharma and the shitshow of psychiatry scare the shit out of me, and I’m not on it anymore.  It made me dull and took my libido which was incredibly hard to deal with.

I’m hoping this post will be a break from the monotony.  Shake up the routine and do something besides merely cope.  As I wrote last week, a constant raising of the bar is required when suffering from depression.  Two years ago, I set a goal of posting 6-900 words here every week.  The goal was born of sexual frustration and not having my wits when I got overcome.  In other words, the vernacular, vocabulary and turn-of-phrase available to a writer who writes is born of discipline.  Writing regularly doesn’t mean you won’t write bad, it just means you’ll get the bad writing out of the way.  Two years later and blogging is just something I do now—I slide it across the table and slink back to baseline, which is a slothful life full of regret and terrified.  Last week’s post, for example, or any number of such garbage posts–trite and passe takes under a moniker of Personal Journalism.  Arthur Miller might be right but he’s a better writer than I am.  Point is I set a goal and I achieved it but now I’m only getting by.

I can’t live down the benefits of writing.  Even a post as blithe and banal as A TERRIBLE LUXURY made me feel better after having wrote it.  Something inside me shifts while writing.  In fact, these 599 words have eased me and relieved the initial pressure I felt at the beginning of this post.  But it’s not over.  I’m fucking 43.  Do you know how dreadful that is?  I’ve wasted so much time in the thrall of wet, passionate love, and I’ve been scarred and burned and dragged down the driveway so many times that now I’m gun shy.  I don’t go in for love.  My dick doesn’t call the shots anymore.  Abstinence is doing wonders for my wellbeing but doesn’t exactly make me feel strapping or strong and anyway only asserts there is no escape–I won’t get lost in the black pools of her eyes and her thighs won’t crush me to nowhere and I am not a proud man anyway, covered now by 3 days.  My bowels, Christ.  When I started working labor I had explosive shits, sometimes while hauling lunches from San Antone and otherwise in the dark of the tech yard at Samsung, squeezing my cheeks together on a 16’ stake bed before sunrise.  My vision is going.  I can’t read!  I’m sore and tired a lot—which, to be honest, has only made me vigilant, on the day job and while making Art.  Sometimes it hurts so good.  To sum up, my sex drive sucks, I can’t shit or see and a lot of what I’d hoped to have done by now isn’t even close.  The worst is I’m 43 and it feels like the goal is slipping away, my days are diminishing returns and I’m moving through tar.

It’s a nightmare I’m caught in and it’s very real.  I need a change.  I’m looking at my life and I’m full of regret and fear.  Instead of crafting some roaring manifest here,  burgeoning the words and attempting to craft my rue into a fiery brand, I opted to give it to you straight Good Reader, no chaser in the hopes of making a change and so you’ll know the truth.  Now you know.

See you next week motherfucker.

CLICK HERE FOR JIM TRAINER’S POEM OF THE WEEK

  1. I appreciate your honesty. I understand your need to shake things up. I’ve been there. 43. Well, you’re still a young’n in my eyes. I look at the geniuses who found their way after 50 and it gives me hope for not only me but also for you. Age is just a number. And since I’m older than you I get to say that, so mind your elders. Keep moving forward. Keep shaking things up. I know I’ve been silent, but I’m here. I just don’t have anything to say most of the time.

    • I appreciate this more than you know, Friend. The thing about the truth is—once you say it you feel better. Looking up to you from here. Thank you, as always, for reading.

  2. First, you’d better–see us next week.

    Second, if only we depressives would stop beating ourselves up over a disease and finding every excuse not to feel better. Find better meds. Stop blaming an industry for your need to feel better. Go ahead and tell me that you would not use your asthma inhaler, blaming big pharma. Tell me you would eschew your anti-seizure meds because of big pharma.

    I spent 21 years looking for the right meds. I found one that made me fat, but guess what: I feel joy now. I went from knowing the only thing keeping me alive was my daughter to looking forward to making things, writing things, feeling things, doing things, and, yes, fuckitall, eating thing.

    Right now, I’m so fertile that I have ideas popping out of all my orifices. I am living for those things.

    Also trivia night on Tuesdays. And Ferris wheels. IPA. Music. (Oh, Hozier.)

    Get the book called “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.” It’s no work at all to read it. I felt better instantly, page after page. I mean it. Get the book.

    See us next week.

    • -First, you’d better–see us next week.

      You know it.

      -Second, if only we depressives would stop beating ourselves up over a disease and finding every excuse not to feel better.

      No doubt.

      -Stop blaming an industry for your need to feel better. Go ahead and tell me that you would not use your asthma inhaler, blaming big pharma. Tell me you would eschew your anti-seizure meds because of big pharma.

      My issue is best illustrated when it comes time to up the dose. We know they’ve cornered the market just as implicitly we know they want us to consume their product. If I’m depressed and I take an anti-depressant that deadens me, sure I don’t have the blues, but I don’t have much of anything else either. When I tell my shrink he says ’Take more.’ Of course he does. He doesn’t care. Neither does BP. That’s neither here nor there though, as my issue is fundamental. I keep waiting to get over the hump and start living right and, as mentioned, I always come around anyway, especially after having written, thanks to readers like you who make that possible. I have a fundamental issue in simply medicating the problem.

      -I spent 21 years looking for the right meds. I found one that made me fat, but guess what: I feel joy now. I went from knowing the only thing keeping me alive was my daughter to looking forward to making things, writing things, feeling things, doing things, and, yes, fuckitall, eating things.

      I’m really happy to hear all this, Leslie. For me it would be if meds affected my libido. However, my libido is starting to get affected by my depression anyway, so maybe I’m at zero sum, or flashpoint—you know what I mean.

      -Right now, I’m so fertile that I have ideas popping out of all my orifices. I am living for those things.

      Well, being an Artist is the most important thing in my life. However, being an Artist is mostly making sense of the emotional weather I’m walking around with in relation to the world. Bit of a stalemate when my Art has been the means to deal with depression, darkness and the chaos of a cruel and overstimulating world.

      -Also trivia night on Tuesdays. And Ferris wheels. IPA. Music. (Oh, Hozier.)

      I have things to be grateful for and I count them all the time. You bet.

      -Get the book called “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.” It’s no work at all to read it. I felt better instantly, page after page. I mean it. Get the book.

      Thanks, will do.

      -See us next week.

      Absolutely. 100%. Thank you, Leslie!

      • Because we don’t know each other, I should say that I will be the last one to ever utter “count your blessings.” You can count them if you want. You can be grateful if you want. You have the right to whatever feelings you have, and they’re all valid.

        I would also never say a sick libido is a fine trade for a well mind. You can’t have one without the other. But I will say keep trying.

        I took Wellbutrin three ties. The first time, I couldn’t stop eating. The second, I was wetting my pants. The third time, I couldn’t eat or take a sip of beer, even, and that would’ve been great—skinny! But I was on edge all the time and had no impulse control with my mood. Cymbalta made me a zombie. Celexa made me itch. Zoloft made me a zombie.

        But I get what you’re saying. I tried Lexapro in 2016, and I had two days of nausea, but it worked for about two months. Only thing is I couldn’t have an orgasm. I was OK with that, but the med stopped working, so my doctor told me to up my dose. No change. He said to stop taking it, so I did.

        Now I’m taking the same med again, and it’s working like a charm, with only weight gain as a side effect. I’ll take it.

        You’ll find what you need, but it’s likely going to be a combination of things. You know: exercise, therapy, meds.

        By the way, you’re not alone in art being a way to deal with your depression. But your art doesn’t have to stop just because your depression does, and I know this is a fear many of us face. The first time on Lex, I couldn’t write a word. This time, I’ve written several good short stories, one of which was published the first place I sent it. My daughter, a composer and musician, was told by her friend that she had to remain miserable to continue writing. It was literally killing her to stay miserable. She was suicidal. She went on Lexapro, and she discovered it was totally false. She writes all the time. So—YMMV, but you will find something that works for you, whether it’s a book or a pill or love or LSD or a Ferris wheel. And I’ll be cheering you on, new friend.

  3. […] been cutting so close to the bone down here at the Office.  Truth is, after writing posts like UNDENIABLE DILEMMA, things begin to turn.  This is the power of writing.  We talisman our pain at Going For The […]

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