Seven times over past three days I have had panic attacks in which I could not breathe and it felt like I was being strangled or drowning without the water. They have lasted at least a quarter of an hour each time. I have had a nervous and emotional collapse already, and I am past the point of exhaustion now and I don't know if a physical collapse is coming as well.
I would have gone to the hospital again if I did not know that my fitness is at a higher level than it has been in many years.
The attacks come on when I think about the dire nature of my situation, how I can ever get out of it, what awaits me in the future as this gets worse and worse and scarier and scarier; money, the things I have to do on here with this journal and the people I need to call out because I cannot sit by--that is not the solution--and let this evil, cronyism, discrimination, hate, and bigotry just ride; and perhaps most painful of all, how this is getting worse--it's always getting worse--as I get better.
The better I get, the more hated I am. Not by new people. Everyone that is available to hate already hates. (Well, some new people straggle in, eleventh hour haters, new to the system, who are told to hate me.) Those are done deals. And if someone here knows they did wrong by you, and they know you know it, they cannot mea culpa and move on. They don't have that in them. So what you end up doing is keep trying, and they will avoid you like you represent the ultimate terror to them. That will be their solution. And they will stick to it. The longer it goes on, in their minds, they longer it must go on. It would go until the end of time if you both lived that long.
The levels of pettiness ought to be criminal. The invented slights that allow these people to write a blank check to themselves of seething hate. It forever funds their campaign against you in their mind. It comes from nothing you actually did that was wrong. But the preexisting hate does deepen. More great work deepens it, more productivity deepens it, more accomplishments deepen it, more good faith efforts to do business deepen it, another email you send deepens it, saying the factual truth about how one of their cronies behaves deepens it, holding someone accountable deepens it, not tonguing nether regions deepens it.
Decency deepens it and kindness deepens it and candor deepens it and genius deepens it and having yet another completed work deepens it and being a fit white athletic-looking heterosexual male deepens it and being self-made deepens it and not giving up deepens it and being truly cultured and not pretend cultured deepens it and not being the monster they want to think of you as deepens it and being an expert on many things deepens it and sounding personable and affable and comfortable in your own skin deepens it.
At the same time, the more inclusive and new and appealing a work is, the less chance it has even if I were not hated because everything has to be like bad books and stories that already were/had been within the current system.
When you do something new and exciting and loaded with broad appeal, you might as well have created something in a Martian language so far as the ruling powers of the publishing class system go. They are not even going to understand it. Those reasons for which we all loved to read when we first loved to read have been ground out of them. It's about the maintenance of their status quo now, their class system, the attempted negation of their self-doubts and insecurities, belonging to a community and culture so that the illusion of being less alone, less empty, is presented, the sating of ego.
That's what they read for. Not for the reading experience, that magical, wonderful experience that can be like no other. That's what they do business for--the maintenance of that world. Not for actual commerce, not for maximum financial profit. A toad on a log could understand the work that is new, exciting, loaded with broad appeal, and thrill to it, Descartes could understand it and thrill to it--and most life forms in between--but freshness, newness, humor, entertainment, quality, substance, are lost on the people of the system.
They only look backwards, they want an absence of truth, an absence of life, an absence of energy, an absence of humor, they want placebo pill writing, they want work that sounds like first day of class Writing 101.
They want it to mean absolutely nothing so they can call it whatever they want. And, frankly, they just don't care that damn much at all about writing, books, stories. It's not important to them. It's just where they found this social strata, this community that is not a real community, that also allowed them to tell themselves they were smart, they were intellectuals, and that is something they needed to be able to tell themselves. It's a crutch for people who can't--won't--walk. It's for all of the wrong reasons.
At the highest levels of their venues--a relative term--they are picking people, not works, to be their stars, their elite whom they will hype, plug, publish. They don't think the work you gave them is not better than the work they run out. It's not about that. Some things are so obvious that they cannot be lost on anyone. And even here they are sometimes not lost.
But it is the author who is picked, not what the author has written. They pick the person like them, the person who represents what they think are the ideals of the system, who has the right pedigree/background/profile/blood in their veins. They want no mirrors, no insight into themselves, into humans. There is no fiction by anyone else in the world right now that is going to last. Because none of it means anything. And none of it means anything right now. Written works can have value that will not exist in the future, that will not last. A written work, as something with something to give, can give a number of ways. In the present, as a work that always last, or, ideally--and this is what I do, over and over and over again--both. But there are none of those positive three kinds right now.
I need one single smart person with some vision. To work with. One single smart person with some vision.
My financial situation gets worse and worse. That is a big part of these panic attacks. And I am so lonely. I have been so lonely for so long. But I am faced with so many other horrors that that doesn't crack the top 100 list. It's just a reality of my existence. The larger problem on the lonely front--and I wonder if someone can appreciate, even, what it is like to literally be alone all day every day, year in, year out--is that I have absolutely no one to talk to, to face this with me. I have no one to provide counsel, who is alongside sifting through this information with me, processing it, weighing in with an informed perspective free of bias. I am terrified of everything now. Almost anything right now starts my heart launching through my chest. But I force myself to expose myself to more horrors and pain, because I am doomed if I just sit back, though I feel like I am doomed no matter what.
I knew someone who knew this world and the specifics of it and me better than anyone else I know, and they said, in August 2016, that they believed within three years I would be back in my house. And I knew where I stood with myself, how much I had taken, how much I could take. Endure. And I kind of made a deal with myself that I would give it the three years, and if it was August 2019, and I wasn't in my house, or pretty damn close to it--that is, things were moving that way--I'd just end my life. (Ironically, the person with the prediction, having seen a lot of what has transpired in these three years--but not enough--tells me they are more confident than ever as a result of it, which makes zero sense to me, but it is not their hell to live and their ass on the line.)
That was always the deadline I had in mind. Everyday for almost three years, I thought about that deadline. When I was so tired--I don't know if someone can even imagine how tired I get--I would say to myself, "You can write one more 2500 word piece today, you can, your time is limited, if this is it, if you are that close to the end, push, push as hard as you can, make sure you left everything out there, because once you've killed yourself you've killed yourself, write the 2500 word piece, get it done by ten, we can get up at six and do another."
Part of the reason I am always so tired is because nothing recharges batteries. There is no let-up here from this situation. There is nothing to look forward to, no reprieve, no fun night out, no vacation, no sex, no day at the pool, no new car, no nice clean house to come home to and decompress. It's always the trench. The piss-lined, shit-filled trench, the shells coming in, the rats around me, no one in the trench but me, and having to create, always create, get up and create, create while lying in bed on a warped twin mattress, compose, create more unique, untouchable works that bring in only hatred, only envy, no money, no jobs, no recognition, no awards, not even a single Twitter follower for the brilliant piece in the 20 million circulation newspaper, which in turn will make the people back in the literary community more envious and hateful.
Then create better, keep growing, knowing that that will make it worse. That is the 100% non-stop, break-less reality of my existence. Tiring does not cover what that does to you in terms of exhaustion. And oh yes--get told by people who have easy lives and lots of comforts and money, things they often never earned, how busy they are, how hard it is for them, so hard that they can't be a decent friend or call you once every three weeks.
These three years were to be my death push, a complete emptying of the tank. Anyone who has followed my work--which, realistically speaking, is no one (the person above maddeningly maintains that there are thousands of people out there who devour every word, big mega fans, but that's not true; certainly no one ever bought so much as a book, and the number of fans really is much closer to zero, if it is not actually zero, which all of my metrics--I see the numbers and traffic at various places--indicate that it is)--would know what I meant by that. It's certainly been charted in this unique journal, which itself is now the length of four full books, for more than a year now. No artist ever created more work in fifty years than I did in three, and every last bit of it that I created within the three was better than any one bit another artist created in the fifty.
And this is so much worse than ever at this point. It just keeps getting exponentially worse, which is misleading, I feel, because for that to be the case you'd think things would have to have started from a high-ish place to come down that much, but they did not. It's like a trick of Satanic light.