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Temporary Insanity: Notes From The Train – John Styn

It is amazing how insane I can become.

I always have had the tendency. I think we all do.
But only in the last couple years I have started to learn that the swirling thoughts in my head…are merely thoughts.

Earlier today I sat in bed with a beautiful woman kissing my neck and thought, “I think I’m ready to die. I’ve done more than I thought I would in my lifetime. I can leave with a smile. I think I’ve done all I can do in this life.”
I felt un-panicked and rational. The thoughts made sense to me.
Not that I wanted to kill myself…but I would welcome death if it came. In a sick way, I was perturbed that I was taking the train home later that night. Because surely a train wreck was far less probable than a car crash.

I should note that I’ve always felt that suicide was a wonderful tool for me. Not the act, but the idea.
In my darkest times, I often go to thoughts of suicide and then work my way backwards. It is amazing how many options we really have…even when we feel trapped.

Hell, if I am planning to die anyways, might as well try all sorts of crazy stuff. Get 10 credit cards, sell a kidney, try crack, set myself on fire on the capital steps.

I tell my friends that when you see me start tattooing my face, then its time to sit me down.

The reality is that my life is AMAZING. Far better than I ever hoped for myself.
The reality is also that I have yet to shake the feeling that I should always be excelling, improving, accomplishing.
So as I work my own hours doing creative work that I pick and choose, live in a beautiful apartment, and have a gorgeous girlfriend…I sometimes get trapped by the amorphous pressure of “what have you done LATELY?”

And even while I recognize the crazy reasoning behind my funk, I can’t deny that it creeps at the edges of my consciousness.

I boarded the train to san diego and knew I needed help.

I scrolled through my IPOD and was relieved to see a number of named that could help.
Jacob Glass.
Wayne Dyer.
Byron Katie.

I selected Byron Katie’s “1000 names for Joy.”

Ahhhhh, how quickly I forget that I need to practice this.
My spirituality is a practice.
It only took a few minutes before I could see my insane thoughts from the outside.
I started to see my insanity.
Not just the “I’m ready to die” thoughts, but the hundreds of stresses that piled on over the last few days from work and personal projects.

I wanted to record a message to myself,
“Dear John,
Are you believing your thoughts again?
If you are suffering, it is because of your thoughts, not the circumstances.
You know this.
Now go listen to a lecture by Jacob, silly boy.
Yes, you have an hour to spare.
Consider it a wise investment. Trust me.
With boundless love,

A couple hours later, the train approached the Solana Beach stop and I feel like a different person.

Excited about the minutes, days, and years ahead. And able to smile at the fucktard in the mirror.

  • Tanja

    Exactly what I needed to read this afternoon! All too often it is easy to forget to practice happiness, and to listen to all the ravings of the 10,000 cracked-out monkeys in my mind. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Kelly Fay

    Excellent job of getting out of your own head! Bravo! Spirituality definitely requires practice, I’m so thankful we have access to amazing guides and each other to safely blurt stuff out to. Enjoy your evening! Blessed be!

  • Jello_bong

    In the past year, I heard many of the things you said in your post come from the mouth of my boyfriend. It was very eerie to read those words and remember him saying many of the exact same things, using the same phrasing.

    On July 19th of this year he was found hanging in his bedroom closet. No note, no explanation, nothing.

    He also felt that he should always be excelling, improving and accomplishing. He had survived 2 horrible car crashes, both of which left him with serious brain traumas, was comatose both times for 8 weeks, lost an eye, broken neck in 3 places, collapsed lungs and other assorted fractures and injuries. He survived both times and never had any pain, never had a difficult recovery. At 49 years of age, he was in better physical shape than most 25-year-old men and skateboarded every day, ran all the time, was an incredible musician and played all over the place.

    He felt tremendous pressure to do something extraordinary with his life, since God had obviously spared him for a reason, not once, but TWICE. He could never figure out what it was that he was “supposed” to do. It drove him crazy at times.

    Please talk to someone about these feelings and thoughts you have. I know you have dealt with bouts of depression in the past. Have you or your doctor ever thought that maybe it isn’t *just* depression, but that you might actually be bipolar? Tht would explain a lot of things and though I’m no doctor, I’ve read your posts for about 10 years now and think that the patterns of your moods might fit with being bipolar.

    Please check into it. Being bipolar puts people at a higher risk for suicide and there are many types of bipolarism (is that a word?) that make a person even MORE prone to suicide. Please talk to someone. It may seem like stupid, sleeting thoughts now, but things have a way of turning tragic for some people and I don’t want to see that happen to you.

    Much love to you,


  • spotman


  • girlplease

    Jello Bong is right. And I hear you, man. I’ve been there. Sundays are usually the worse for me. Not sure why but my worse depression is always on a Sunday.

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