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Solitary

Life in solitary confinement is arduous and often fatal. So I've read anyway. Ive never had the privilege (?) of being locked away in such Spartan accomidations, and don't currently plan to in the future, whether in the next few months or decades. However, my love of both books and fitness, as well as my contradictorally quiet yet overt admiration for the stoic resolve and overall strength of those suffering in any kind of deprivatory condition, has caused me to educate myself on the circumstances one would experience and endure if they found themselves in such a predicament.

I am a loner by nature, this I cannot deny, nor do I make any attempt to refute the contention. My entire life Ive preferred the stalwart, steady reassurance of a book to the polarizing, prying eyes of people. However, no man is an island, so the saying goes. Human beings are social creatures, and absconding from contact, whether by choice or through punishment, will eventually wear you down. Brief reprieves from the world are necessary and often encouraged. They revitalize the mind and rejuvenate the spirit, gifting the one who undertakes them with a fresh perspective on life. I indeed prefer to be alone 90% of the time, although a girl is always welcome. However, a hermetic existence is a surreptitiously fatal malady. Without others to provide guidance, a kind of moral barometer, you begin to lose touch with reality. Indeed, the trite, cliche'd saying, "People. You can't live with them, can't live without them.", is disturbingly prophetic, echoing with justification for the crippling insanity those left alone for too long know all too well.

Recently, my job has relieved me of the strenuous workload I plodded under laboriously for nearly 2.5 years. The endless, seemingly pointless mundanity, the repititious nature of the tasks we were assigned, and the general Sisyphean aspects of my trade were lifted from my yoke to a chorus of angelic singing. No longer would I struggle and sweat needlessly. Instead my perspicacity would be directed towards the endless pursuit of leisure. My new duties would consist of little more than babysitting contractors as they made their way through our spaces, working tirelessly to ensure our vessel was seaworthy. I would work 3 days a week at most, and my hours were so sparse as to be considered ironically non-existent. My days would be filled with books, the gym, friends, and spontaneous female conquest. In a repeat of numerous forgotten nights in Virginia, the exact details of which will forever be muddily obfuscated by my insidious friend, Jack Daniels, I would party to my hearts insatiable content. I would be a veritable king among men, my hedonistic lifestyle fulfilling me in the way we had all longed for during the unending stream of monotonous days in the Gulf. My reveries would become my reality. Sadly mistaken as I was, I had no idea the Fool's Paradise that awaited me.

It's a terrifying thing, not being able to trust your own mind. It whispers menacingly to you demonically, illuminating your worst fears and unerring speculations paradoxically in the dark of night. You will know not a moment's rest, the ceaseless onslaught of negativity laying siege to your sanity within. How do you escape an enemy that exists within you? That is you? This was my reality for a little over a month. All of the problems I created for myself spawned from what, in hindsight, was little more than a tryst. But, in my own overreactive, pernicious way, I fabricated my own rogue's gallery of issues. Details are personal and irrelevant, but they tormented me threatingly. I worried myself physically sick to the point of nausea. I became toxic to myself physically, all because I couldnt control my thoughts, lacking the strength to rein them in and the objectivity to see my internal reality for what it really was, unable to reconcile my conflicting feelings. Without God, my Mother, my Father, a certain girl, and my own gift of intelligence entrusted to me by Him, I would have gone insane. This is the glaring truth of the situation, and one I praise my Creator daily for allowing me to avoid. To be unable to discern reality from misconception, truth from speculation, and honesty from partiality, is a death sentence. My heart goes out to those without my gifts and my support systems, but most powerfully to those without God. Those lost, unfortunate souls who wade through the muck of their minds at every waking moment like I did. Never disregard the suffering of another, no matter how irrelevant or pointless it may seem to you. Instead, lend them your ear and pour love, understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance into their hearts. Nothing less will suffice. If anyone reading this needs someone to talk to about anything, I am here.

Too much free time caused my mind to slip into madness. I began to dread my endless hours of inactivity. My thoughts would run rampant, and boredom would eye me hungrily, its repulsive maw gaping expectingly and fervently, ready to devour me for another day. What ultimately saved me was ardent, unbending discipline. When left to one's own devices, free to wander and roam purposelessly and dispassionately, apathy kicks in. Make no mistake, there is no enjoyment to be found in a life of idle consumption, drifting through one's years in a trance of self-absorbption, existing purely to satisfy one's base desires to an unhealthy degree. There's a reason why, in every culture known throughout history, the people at large grow resentful of the privileged, the aristocratic, and the noble. Envy aside, it is because they are simply weak. Slovenliness is the province of the overnourished and understimulated. There is no contentment or passion, no real fulfillment to be discovered if one lives solely to gratify and satiate their base desires. Instead make self-improvement the focus of your days, in all aspects. Perfection of body, mind and spirit, the highest work that one can take up and pursue. When I reacquainted myself with this priceless nugget of wisdom, gleaned from a book read long ago, my life righted itself automatically. With minimal effort I was once again back on the path God had laid out for me. So, in closing, dont glorify free time and a lack of responsibility. Instead, revel in what you believe to be your suffering, your fatigue, and your exhaustion. Directionless living transforms one into the living dead, with no destination in sight but oblivion.

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