Welcome to the glamour of the void

haute couture depressionWhen we untether ourselves from a set of behaviours and/or beliefs (however unhealthy) that have anchored us in this mad mad world, we must face the inevitable hell of ‘the void’. You’ve been there, when your brain chemistry is crashing hard and your whole universe turns in on itself and any semblance of hope dissolves into putrid stringy traces of vomit in your tortured throat – not to be too dramatic or anything. Welcome to the glamour of the void.

6:25AM – you’re sprawled on your bed in a frenzied state of wanton despair, with nothing to look forward to but the bland blind routine of daily responsibility – lucky you. No bullshitting, such purity of emotion is a rare and magical thing in our age of diffusion through screen and language. There’s something so fabulously indulgent about waking up to a viable world where everything good and beautiful exists only as a mockery of self.

We’re taught to fear the void, to stay in the arms of abusive lovers and abusive substances rather than embrace its grim romance. But no sense pining for bygone Byron days of poetic emotional abandon. Let’s get real. The void can be navigated and negotiated just like any other system state, provided, of course, you’ve got the balls.

5 tips to help you survive the void:

1) Accept the void with unrelenting compassion. Breathe. Feel the horror, the pain, and the misery as it is, as an eternity.

2) Go through the minimal motions of a day. Respect your system state and don’t pick a fight, do the dishes, or ask for a raise. And make sure to avoid news media!

3) Dress the part. Above is a 2014 collection of void-approved designs inspired by fashion design houses Chanel, Dior, and Alexander McQueen. But you don’t have to style your pain in haute couture. Even if it’s just apocalyptic back-of-the-drawer underwear, just be sure to carry a symbol of today’s truth. Note: Tragically, Lee Alexander McQueen didn’t make it through the void… a man gifted and cursed by a genius sensitivity.

4) Give yourself permission to force-feed your system: maximize your nutrients, drink lots of water, get some exercise, connect with your social support. Trust system state logic, it hasn’t failed you yet!

5) Don’t force hope. Today, there is none. And that’s perfectly OK. You may have the vague memory of being someone who had hope. Other people around you may provide precedent of hope. Whatever. That’s enough for today.

The void, just like a craving, is one of our most intimate human experiences. If we accept it for what it is, without panic, it can be an interim glamour in and of itself. There is no bridge. You must brave its black waters to get to the other side. Trust time and system state support to balance out your brain chemistry. But more importantly, trust the larger system to carry you up and along with it into the future. Reach your body into the current and let go… float, glassy eyed and screaming, into the glamour of the void.

10 thoughts on “Welcome to the glamour of the void

  1. My grandmother used to say, “it’s always darkest before dawn.” The question is how do we hold fast to the moments of joy that dwell in each day, and recognize that we are unique, beautiful and loved for simply being awake to the world, and, as you so wonderfully do, in our presence, waking others to recognize their own unique beauty and presence.

    • Thank you Lynn 🙂 I really love your line, “loved for simply being awake to the world” – so beautifully put… and so wonderfully true. When I think about the people I love in my own life, I’ve often marveled at how their very presence in the world is of such unfathomable value all on its own.

      We stress so much about achievements and communications and innovations and… that we forget that our very existence, and our openness to it, is all true love has ever asked of us. Although I have been known to ask, possibly demand, even possibly order, a certain true love to remember to take out the garbage ~wink.

    • Thanks Cameron! Your own blog is off to a stylin’ start – congrats! Gotta love that Ralf Lauren quote: “I don’t design clothes, I design dreams.” Tragically, my reality void wardrobe is more of a track pant nightmare lol. Keep glamming it up!

  2. Cymbria,

    The drawings are genius. I know the fashion houses without the prompts.

    You make the black abyss of some days a bliss….sort of. Are you saying it’s okay to be human no it’s great to be human even in the depts of despair. God bless you.


    and have a good day

    • David, I’m so thrilled you recognized the designers! I was going to copy/paste in their actual logos, but one pearl of wisdom is not to be a noose-ance to Karl.

      The interest charged on those pun-ishing depts of despair is cruel and unusual indeed! Hope your own day wasn’t voided by being devoid of hope in the void.

  3. The void lurks before us all. I think you’re right that the way to deal with is to make the void part of the whole tapestry. It’s amenable to re-conceptualising, like everything else – I guess the key issue is HOW we reconceptualise it.

    My void clothing, perhaps alas, is identical to all my clothing. Cargo pants and sweatshirt, or something…Like most Kiwi blokes I have no notion of fashion and tend to pick clothes randomly out of the wardrobe…

    • I think for us writers, the void lurks a little closer than for most, except of course for poets and teenagers – poor souls. Yes, the HOW is totally the key! But also, since re-conceptualizing is essentially a front brain exercise (and the void finds activity in this area dimmed) it’s so important to anchor these ideas while in a positive frame of mind so we can access them even in the throws of… of… whatever pits your quite practical cargos and sweatshirt can help you climb out from. And heck, at least you have plenty of pockets for Kleenex, flashlights, and any flasks-of-last-resort~

  4. Yeah, that’s how I deal with the void. Coming to terms with #5 is the most liberating. Not forcing hope it actually quite relieving, relaxing even.
    Thanks for the link, Cymbria 😉

    • My pleasure! Your blog is one of my top faves!! And yes, #5 is definitely the game changer. “Liberating” is the perfect word. We can so easily waste whatever scarce energies we have in the void on fruitlessly forcing something that – like fish out of water or any of my exes on a dancefloor – is totally incompatible, unsustainable, and possibly even cruel and unusual.

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