This is a story about losing patience...
I suppose I am becoming acutely aware that there has been a very high cost associated with the ups and downs of recent years. The cost is mostly financial, but that has a drastic effect on every single area of my life. We live in a financially obsessed global economy which is reluctant to forgive debts, and in fact enforces its debts to the point of causing widespread suffering and death.
I borrowed from a friend in order to stave of bankruptcy and total destitution. The financial system would have ruined me and left me for dead. The black mark against my name would have made me unemployable and unable to rent a place to live. The consequences would have been unimaginable, unless you yourself have truly experienced the brutality of capitalism, and the harsh reality of having less than zero money.
In order to dig myself out of the hole I've had to work very hard, but unfortunately the value of the pounds and pence in my pocket are eroded by the capitalist system, faster than I'm able to generate income.
The system is rigged.
I'm well aware of how badly rigged the system is because I was caught on the wrong side of history - I was suckling at capitalism's teet, and I was fed by the biggest fattest pig of them all. I was at ground zero during the financial collapse of 2007/8. I had ringside seats. I was part of the inner circle.
I can't feel sorry for myself, because I've got blood on my hands.
I knew that I was involved in something very corrupt and immoral. I knew that I was involved in something that was completely in contradiction of the needs of society and humanity. I knew that I was seeing the very worst excesses of capitalism. However, I didn't quit until it was too late. I put my pride as an engineer before my instinct to reject what I could see in front of me - I had a system to finish building, and I couldn't stop myself. I concentrated on doing my job, instead of stopping and blowing the whistle.
Did I see anything I could've actually stopped? No.
The complicity is so widespread that nobody can stop capitalism. So many people profit so handsomely and benefit excessively that capitalism's an unstoppable force. As my colleagues counselled me: The only person I'm hurting is myself.
Still though, I know instinctively that only a small segment of global society benefits from capitalism, while most people are exploited, forced to suffer and die.
What's staggering is that I can work very hard for 15 consecutive months and effectively get nowhere. It's remarkable how strongly capitalism has resisted me having a very modest standard of living. I simply want to live a debt-free existence, free from the tyranny of slave-drivers. I don't want Damocles' sword dangling over me anymore. I've worked hard enough in my lifetime to be granted some respite from the pressure, the stress and the exhaustion.
Every year a mountain of expenses are rained down onto my head. These are expenses that have to be paid just to be able to continue to play the game. This is the price of being alive, which is extremely high.
I only feel indebted to my friend. I don't feel like I owe anybody else anything at all.
Once I pay my friend back, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
At the moment, I'm not sure I can carry on.
It's been too exhausting to get to this point.
Anyway, it's all hypothetical at this stage. I still have another three or more months before I can fully repay the debt to my friend. I have to keep going so at least the trust and faith that my friend had in me can be proven to not be misplaced.
It shamed me to lose my status symbols - like my house - and it was very damaging to my self-esteem. Now, I simply wish to pay back a friend so I can die with some dignity.
I'm being a little melodramatic. I could have paid my friend back a long time ago, but I've been trying to make life feel worth living. I had a couple of very nice holidays in the autumn and winter of last year. It did feel momentarily nice to enjoy the fruit of my labour, but the choice to do that has delayed the day when I'm debt-free again.
Perhaps my mood will improve as the weather improves. The clocks spring forward at the end of the month and the days are getting longer. Warmer weather will lift my spirits. Perhaps I will even have a pleasant summer.
My weekend has been full of chores like grocery shopping, installing my washing machine, doing laundry and getting my hair cut, but perhaps I'm a little grateful that a couple of major pieces of the puzzle - my job and my home - are in place, even if there's an enormous amount of work ahead of me.
I toss ideas around in my head, like starting dating again, or getting a kitten. I'm not completely depressed and suicidal. I can picture a more pleasant and bearable life in the not-too-distant future, but it's going to be stressful to get hold of what I want.
Why shouldn't I have everything I want right now, I sometimes ask myself. Why haven't I got everything, when at some point in my life I've had all the things, which cumulatively add up to everything I want. Why hasn't everything come together at the same time?
It's a bit spoiled brattish and unreasonable to expect to get everything, but I always compare effort and suffering with payoff. Where the effort and the suffering don't result in any payoff, then I question what the point of being alive is.
I know there are lot of people in the world who don't seem to be getting a fair payoff for their effort and suffering, but still they carry on. Some of them are happy. Good for them.
I suppose I'm unhappy being exploited and I'm unhappy doing the exploiting, which puts me in rather a difficult position. How does a person avoid either?
My assumption has always been that one day I'll see an opportunity to live my life free from exploitation, but increasingly I've come to recognise that it's impossible, except through suicide. Perhaps my outlook will change if I fall in love or find some purpose, but at the moment I'm just sitting and waiting, and I don't like what I see happening all around me.
I think I'm deeply depressed, which is understandable given the stress and the trauma of recent weeks.