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The Devouring Darkness

February 3, 2011

Thursday, 7:32 P.M.

Yesterday my mind snapped…and from a psychoanalytical perspective it was the most interesting thing. I am still barely able to concentrate enough to write, but I’m going to make myself.

To discuss things such as this, one must one must extremely negate one’s Ego and I’m ding so because I feel it’s important. Yesterday I awoke around, well, I can’t remember, somewhere around 9A.M. to 1 P.M.—I’ve been existing in quite a haze lately. I couldn’t write or think clearly so I cleaned up and listened to the news, paying particular attention to anything and everything concerning Egypt. I am quite the Egyptophile, so I studied the socio-political history of the country all the way back to prehistory up to current times. The situation unfolding in Egypt is profoundly historical and inspiring beyond words. At one point listening to the news with tears streaming down my face I exclaimed to myself: “Yes! Yes! If the Mubarak regime is ousted I can die happy!”

So, I spent most of the day in a sort of half-dazed state and then mail call came. I received an e-mail saying that the state did their filing with the court on February 1st, two days ago, but I didn’t receive a copy of the filing. I had asked someone to send it to me scanned and e-mailed via the J-pay e-mail service and they didn’t. This just pushed me over the edge, and this—coupled with all of the other stress I’ve been experiencing— made my mind snap.

Although my court appointed attorney has never listened to anything I’ve said and has essentially filed a bunch of nonsense in my case I still needed to go over the state’s filing and immediately write him and perhaps the court as well. I always send copies of things to the court even though it’s been a pointless endeavor. I only have 12 days to respond to whatever the state has filed and it sometimes takes 12 days just for my snail mail to get to me. And I already know, without a doubt, that my court appointed attorney will file some kind of completely inadequate filing. Now keep in mind when I say this that I understand capital defense law very well. I understand all of the laws governing federal habeas corpus proceedings.

I don’t have someone out in the free world that is able to deal with my court-appointed attorney effectively. I’m essentially dying very rapidly and it’s terrifying, absolutely terrifying. I remember when Michael Jones—a guy I knew when he was here who was exonerated and released in 2009—wrote about how he felt about the prospect of being executed. Dudes around here were making fun of him because he wrote about it saying in big, all capital bold words that he was SCARED, HORRIFIED, TERRIFIED. I didn’t make fun of Mike or laugh at him at all—We had a very somber conversation about what he wrote and about how it feels to be unjustly convicted and sentenced to death. Believe me, it is, indeed, and the prospect of possibly being unjustly executed is even more terrifying. The conversation Mike and I had left me in an especially somber mood because he had an excellent legal team, huge defense fund, and a large crew of dedicated supporters and I didn’t (and still don’t) have any of these things.

So, after reading that e-mail I was barely able to scribe out a few sentences and then my Mind just cracked. (Ah, brilliant!—A Jimi Hendrix documentary is on and I must listen to this, so let me drink some coffee and wash dishes…Jimi was a poet and sage…OK, I’m back). I put the e-mail down and it was like a black, all-encompassing storm cloud consumed my Mind. The storm that was my Consciousness raged and raged while my physical body remained immobile in a catatonic state. Pain, a deep torturous mental pain consumed me and then it was if a huge rubber mallet slammed into my Mind and everything became blank. The racing thoughts were suddenly replaced by empty space, an abysmal purgatory that completely consumed me.

All I could do was lay down and do deep pranayama (Yogic breathing) and I somehow fell asleep, or perhaps it would be more proper to say that I passed out. This happened around 9A.M. and I didn’t get up until 4:40P.M. earlier today. I slept for a total of 17 hours and 40 minutes, if what I experienced could be called sleep. I’ve engaged in in-depth self-psychoanalysis for many, many years. I keep my trusty Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) handy and reference it when necessary, for myself, and others. I also have many other books on psychology and psychiatry that I re-read and study.

It seems many psychiatric professionals (especially in the U.S.) treat the DSM as a sanctum sanctorum and utilize the DSM criteria in a pedantic manner even though the DSM itself states that this shouldn’t be done. Doing a “textbook” DSM diagnosis is a very complicated process—a lot of the criteria for various disorders and specifics can sort of flow into each other and it would take me 50 pages to go over all of that.

Well, instead what I’ll do is say I have been experiencing—and suppose I am still experiencing—is a “Mixed Episode,” which is a mixture of Manic Episode and Major Depressive Episode. Here are some of the features of a Mixed Episode: The individual may experience changes in appetite, sleep, psychomotor activity; decreased energy; feelings of worthlessness; difficulty in concentrating, thinking or making decisions; recurrent thoughts of death; flight of ideas, distractibility and racing thoughts. The mood in a mixed episode can be described as alternating between a state of being depressed, sad, and hopeless to a state of extreme euphoria and happiness.

Individuals may also feel they have to force themselves to eat, or have increased appetite and crave specific types of food. They may also suffer from extreme insomnia and or hypersomnia (oversleeping). Increased tiredness, lack of energy and fatigue are common symptoms. An exaggerated sense of worthlessness that leads to negative evaluations of ones self is common as well. Another feature is that a persons thoughts may race extremely fast, as if two, three or more TV shows are speeding through their mind rapidly. And this one I despise with a passion: “Distractibility is evidenced by an inability to screen out irrelevant external stimuli (e.g., the interviewer’s tie, background noises or conversations, or furnishings in a room.” (And I would add, concerning myself, the wretched and horrendous scream-talking hoopla that goes on around here most of the day and night and door-popping and gate-slamming as well).

Well, I mentioned all of the above because I’ve experienced all of these symptoms and more. I’ve actually barely been able to write this; my vision has been blurring and it’s a fight, an absolute battle to concentrate. What happened to me yesterday could be, I do believe, considered a catatonic feature of a Mixed Episode, particularly “motoric immobility”. Something like that has never happened to me before and when I woke up today I felt rather…well, scared. I’m trapped in this wretched Hell, convicted and sentenced to death for a crime I didn’t commit and am consistently experiencing disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. I only have a few active solid supporters out there who I appreciate so very deeply—but they can’t do everything that needs to be done on their own. And even though I’m ashamed to admit it I’m still quite distraught over the fact that the person I considered my closest friend effectively disappeared from my Life. So much pain and so much heartache…but, there’s Egypt…and a few people out there who fight with me and will continue to fight with me whatever may come…but the darkness is so intense, so devouring, seemingly insatiable…I feel it reaching for my mind now…breathe…Pranayama….

Rob

 

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