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  • Justin Cliffe

Suffering From The Void


Original Post - June 18, 2018 UPDATED April 2020. How do you feel today? "Quite empty" The response I give in my head right before I say out loud


"Yeah good"


And in a way I think it's only because saying it out loud would be hugely underwhelming. Nobody would care. They wouldn't care because feeling quite empty is not the same as feeling quite depressed, utterly sad, shattered or completely hopeless. Feeling quite empty actually sounds fine. It's much of a muchness you might think. However, I often contemplate that it is indeed far worse than feeling down.


The feeling of being empty is a kin to nothingness, and a sense of nothingness is a common symptom when suffering from the void. In the (sometimes) comfortable milieu of existing with depression emptiness is as destructive a feeling as any other destructive feeling. Because whilst consumed by the void you might contemplate that strolling into traffic means nothing. Like walking out to sea. Like climbing over the barriers of a multi storey carpark, or simply slipping under the water of your luke warm bath. The problem with feeling quite empty is that there is nothing that fulfils you. No thought, no feeling, no barometer of sensibility, no care, no urgency, no tenderness, no reason. There is no consensus as to what happiness, or indeed sadness, is/might be. You have no reference point for your feelings. No pin. No steer. So you move through the world in vacuum-sealed. Each interaction you have with another human being becomes a forged re-staging of a past interaction.


However, this time it's very awkward and badly re-enacted. You could see something hilarious and not laugh a single bit or you could pour petrol over a box of weeping kittens waiting for the spark to light, blank face, expressionless stare. But don't worry, you will laugh because you'll remember that you've laughed at this before, and you won't pour petrol onto the heads of little kittens because you'll remember you regard the act as evil, but even still... you could if you wanted to, because suddenly you've remembered that everything is controllable if nothing really matters, and even if it isn't, you really do not care. So you can begin to run the bath/climb the carpark stairs/head for the motorway/enter the ocean bare... NOTE: To identify your suffering (although you wont really feel any sense of suffering yourself) look out for the hollowness in your chest and the emptiness in your head. All are symptoms of suffering from the void, my friend.



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