We all have our demons, yeah? Those little bullshit stories we tell ourselves, the incessant thorn-pricks of various anxieties amid the rose garden of an otherwise beautiful human mind. We tell ourselves we’re too dumb or too poor, too fat or too fundamentally a fuckup at, well, everything.
We actively negate current ability with failures from the past, stepping through science fiction’s most worthless time portal in a way much like it’s depicted on the big screen: you can look around but speak to no one, change nothing–why?! It’s the most brutally poetic of ultimatums, to accept the past or live trapped within the revolving doorway of what is most accurately described as purgatory; not dead, but not alive either. Like an episode of sleep paralysis, your eyes see the world veiled in nightmare, your muscles seemingly atrophied, your voice eons from amounting to the merest of whispers.
You didn’t get the job despite your all and so you dismantle your worth, wonder why you aren’t good enough, qualified enough, or if you will amount to anything, ever. A girlfriend dumps you over a text message and so you fall into depression, recalling the good times in shades of blue and gray and pray in screaming sobs she will return to you one day. Conversely, you break someone’s heart and know it. The hurt in their eyes reflects in your own like a haunting geist and the trust you once felt in your judgment slowly shivers into fearful subjugation. Your mother dies in the night from cardiac arrest and all you can think of is how the last thing you said to her was, “I’m old enough to take care of myself.” Consequently, you berate and belittle yourself and visit her gravestone out of regret rather than fond remembrance.
When the demons come they come to stay. Under their influence, the single thing in this world over which you possess supreme jurisdiction–your own self–withers in fortitude, seeming beyond personal prowess, swooned by the subliminal charisma of an entity whose deepest desire is to orchestrate your end as you know it, with only its host to blame. I know these demons all too well. Hustlers, feigning ignorance only to sink the abysmal eight-ball the instant your attention is turned elsewhere.
That is, unless you notice them.
To truly see your demons is to see them for what they are: a putrid fiction, extrapolated from the smallest seed of doubt or fear or grief–a weed sprouted from the very origin of your pain, stretching high into the nightscapes of the waking mind to hang like storm clouds. And if they are the storm, your full attention is the sun itself; noticing, a vector of sunlit clarity is sure to pierce the veil and set its roots ablaze. To accept that what once came has passed, to witness yourself right now and understand that who you are is not a culmination of your demons but rather the actions you take in order to exorcise them; by accepting the weight of your devilish passengers you become strong enough to carry them, and through continued virtuous intentions hereon shall you be absolved.
I am no saint, dear readers, but I am better than my demons. Only by your consent are they made powerful. And only by your neglect are you made weak.
I hope you will consider yourself with care on this day. Because the dimming light of your eyes is the beacon of your soul reaching into the world. It is beautiful. And so are you.
-Damen P. Adams
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