Musing of a Cyberpunk

Prose and musing by  Sam I am.

Writer of cyberpunk, dystopian fiction, and nonfiction. Plus whatever drives me at the time. 


I haven’t really produced much in the way of art, writing, for some time. I would say I have been otherwise engaged, but that would make it sound like I had something better, or more important to do. And maybe I did.

My mental health has been at its lowest point over the last couple of years, and as the end of last year approached, I just had to stop. I had to take some time away from here, and doing this, whatever this is. I got to the point where I couldn’t see there was one.

What was I doing? What was I doing it for? And who was really listening?

I had mortality smack me in the jaw a couple of times over that period, but I also cut down my drinking massively.  I had been drinking heavily since I was 17, and at 44, after having an operation that put me off the booze for eight weeks last year, losing a lot of weight (which was needed), I decided I would not go back to living that way.

What I came to realise in the process, however, was that I had been masking depression, or numbing it, with booze for all that time. So, when I stopped the depression decided to kick my ass.

I am not going to go into the details, my personal shit is just that. But, along with everything else going on in the world; being on the brink of ecological collapse, genocide sponsored by my own government, being on the brink of our third world war, rise in right wing hatred with politicians leaning into it and attacking minorities, rise in anti LGBTQ+ rhetoric, cost of living going out of control while the gap between the top 1% and the rest of the world grows wider, and along with all of the other bullshit going on, I just had to stop.

On the face of it my life was great. I am in a committed and blessed relationship, with a person I not only love and adore, but I am also lucky enough to be in love with. I have a great relationship with my daughter, I am close to my family, I have a home, a great job that I enjoy and pays reasonably well…. I am lucky blessed, and privileged. I know I am because I have been the other side of it, and for most of my life, so I know I need to seize this opportunity and make the most of it, so that I may actually have some time of comfort, and something of value to leave my daughter.

But grief, the pain of watching loved ones die slowly, and a lifetime of psychological trauma from being born into and growing up in a controlling religion that prophesied the end of the world all came to a point.

I have a shadow. In fact, I have many. I have a nagging whittering demeaning voice that questions everything I ever do going on in my head. And I have a weight of pending doom.

That is how I would describe my depression.

But it is also a blessing. I mean it is really not, but without it I wouldn’t be where I am today, in this place where I may be able to accept who I am and get on with living it.

The fight had gone out of me, and quite who I was fighting had kind of gone out of sight. Not because a lack of focus, but because of the onslaught of things that I just found to be wrong, unjust, unfair, downright lies and bigotry, just kept coming. I was becoming enraged, and it was taking its toll mentally. If I hadn’t have gone through that I wouldn’t have taken the time out and step back from what I am doing here, and I wouldn’t have stopped to say why? What? And how am I doing it? … am I even doing anything? Or is it just self-gratification?

I write with ease, and it feels like I am just meant to do it, I have a drive and a passion, but more importantly when I write I lose myself to it, to the flow and rhythm of it, and the words just come from nowhere. I am lacking in the editing and grammatical discipline, of this I am aware, but I know I am meant to be doing this. And that gives me pleasure and an element of meaning and purpose. That should be everything and all I need to keep going. But I guess I burnt out.

This is not my full-time job, it is not even a part time hobby, it is what I can squeeze in whenever I can, meaning missing sleep and rushing things through.

And so, I stopped. Concentrated on my relationship with my partner and daughter, focused on my new job, and tried to focus some time on my mental wellbeing. Of course, that can only go so far if the one thing you are stopping doing is the thing you felt has given your life meaning and purpose for the past 26 years.

Today I created and produced something complete for the first time in a couple of months. I kind of forced myself to do it, but also knew I had to. I had been thinking about starting to trial something that I had touched on in the past, but that felt like it was the right fit for me as an artist. It was a piece of abstract prose that I then recorded, created some music to, created a video out of and posted out into the digital sphere.

This might sound minor, but the fact that I produced helped stir something up, and the fact that it was the first mini attempt in an experiment in bringing everything together in an attempt to use abstract art as a form of political action that by its very nature can bypass suppression algorithms might be useful in the time of shadow banning. This was a crude attempt to shake me out of my rut, it was missing a number of factors and elements that I would have maybe been better off spending some time to ensure was included, but this was more about telling myself I could do it, that it had purpose, and that could give me and it in itself enough meaning to carry on.

I am writing all of this not to inspire you, or depress you, I am not even really writing it for you, sorry. I am writing it for me, so that I can understand my own meaning, and my own reason for doing anything. In the hope it will shake me out of depression, and into creating again. Or at least just be creating again.  

For me art has as much, if not more, meaning, and can tell us as much about the universe, and what it is to be human in it, as any branch of science, religion or philosophy out there. A poet can speak to the soul of something, enlightening its meaning, in the same way a saint or quantum physicist can, just using fewer words.

It is worth pursuing. And if it can bruise a few heels along the way then it is worth doing.

The system is built to supress, to knock us, and keep us, down. A people with a fractured spirit can easily be broken, easily be controlled, and kept in place. And because of this, sometimes you have to take stock of yourself, step out of the frame in the hope that you can come back fighting. And I am not sure I can, yet. I am not sure I have got it in me, or that I even want to. Focusing on my family and my mental health have been really good for me, and it is still not easy, I am still fighting many demons in my shadows.

This is the first attempt at something honest and raw for a long time. My mind is still planning. Still finding and creating new ways through, new paths to hack the system through art and mentalism. But I also know the level of dedication and energy that will need.

Art with meaning is worth doing. It makes a difference in the hearts and minds of those that engage with it.


by Sam I Am

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