I want to give depression its due, especially in our suicidal age. First, I’d like to share an anecdote from my own life when I struggled much with depression. It was truly a black leash that always pulled and chafed, allowing no freedom or power of the self to flourish in the slightest. There was a lengthy time in my life in which I couldn’t convince myself to get out of bed, let alone live. Nothing could convince me of purpose and meaning when nothingness was all I felt, regardless of my religion. I had become a Christian Nihilist not by choice, but by inaction and decay. I was skeletal, weak, and sickly and I couldn’t convince myself to care. I wept constantly until the tears dried and I was left only with a withered desire to decay. I simply was, and I knew that my “was” would soon become a “never” once I allowed myself to swallow the bilious poison that had been pluming inside my clipped breast. The onyx feathers of suicide had grown inside me for so long that to move at all, to flex my wings, I would have to end myself. My tarred feathers tricked me into seeing no other movement. It was either stay in bed, or act and end it all.

And so, one day, in a fit of elation, I walked out of my job, gathered a death concoction of pills and alcohol, and walked along the highway into the mountains, searching for a nest to die in. The land I dwelt in was too populated and gaudy houses scarred the tree-covered mountains I’d assumed were unblemished and free; I was forced to retreat to my apartment and achieve flight in the confines of my room.

I took hundreds of pills and drank copious amounts of whiskey. I then ran the bathwater and stepped in, in hopes of drowning. My mind was rent into ribbons; tattered sails tossed into the stormy seas as the boat of my body sank fast into madness. I saw people from my past come as ghosts and tell me how I had failed. I saw strangers accuse me quite rightly of being a nobody that was not even capable of cleanly killing myself. My muscles liquidated and I could barely crawl. I’d somehow pulled myself from the now bile-filled bathtub. Voices laughed and cooed from the darkness as my shivering bony form pissed and vomited blood. I dropped 20 pounds in three days. I saw visions of hopeless evil and visions of a shadowy grandeur that seemed to belong to someone else. That someone else appeared to be a stronger me that had hitherto never existed. The only reason I survived my attempted suicide was because I sent a confused text the third day without quite realizing it. My family came and they were shocked at my P.O.W.-like appearance, with little life left in my sunken carcass that only just managed to move.

Somewhat hilariously, just before they came, I’d managed to crawl around in my room as I received a lightning strike of clarity, realizing I couldn’t let them see the evidence of my failed suicide. And thus, I hid the evidence well enough, and the hospital I stayed at the next two weeks thought my illness was insect- or virus-related. I escaped the ridicule and doubt that a failed suicide would undoubtedly have brought about. And my awakening to the heroic, to the mythical, had begun.

Oizys, the primordial goddess of misery and depression, better known by her Roman name Miseria, had blessed me with a caustic taste of the bitterest of her truths. Her fiery fruit was cold and black, the sweetest of plums that only tastes ripe in memory, but in the moment of consumption is jagged and bloody. It tears the insides and kills most mortals who taste its scalding, sword-like bite. But to survive and have the memory is to turn all biting pain and bitter darkness into the saccharine: to the honeyed sweetness of always accruing strength through the darkest of horrors and the lightest of mercies.

Miseria has blessed me with the knowledge of final defeat, so nothing can ever truly defeat me again. I say all of this to offer a remedy to the modern prevalence of depression that by no means is foreign to nationalists. With cultural decay and malaise so entrenched, you’d have to be mad not to always be discouraged, yet (and this is a crucial yet) the decay cannot touch you if you use it to fuel your activity of life-affirming and life-bringing heroism. The mind is more powerful than you think. After eating Miseria’s fruit and giving up on it all, my accidental survival opened my eyes to a startling truth: I was only a victim and sufferer because I identified as one. When I shifted my focus and identity (which took a heroic effort that lasted many grueling and still darker months) to that of the heroic—the tyrant that dominates and refuses to be dominated—once I identified as that, I started to win.

Failures were opportunities to accrue strength through the wisdom that can only be gained through experience and learning from said experiences. Depression, addiction, whatever evils assail you: use them. It is a war and in war, everything that goes unused is a missed opportunity. Use your angst and darkness to fuel a special kind of greatness that can only come from such a place of pain. Napoleon in his youth wrote of committing suicide and of his despair at life as it was, yet he continued learning and taking advantage of whatever opportunities presented themselves. He used his weakness and pain to fuel his hunger for power until he could become that power, and continue increasing no matter the situation. It is better to have this darkness, to know it and its powerful temptation to swallow and consume. Most great people throughout history had a piece of this darkness within their soul—some more than others, and some that failed to overcome it—but a light had to be lit if they were to survive and thrive. The negative dark had to be swallowed and digested, used as fuel to create a mythic positive brightness that becomes as a beacon for the heroic. Otherwise, the darkness is too much and the person collapses under its weight into a closed loop of fatal negativity that feeds on itself and ends in despair and death.

There will always be the temptation to follow a dark romanticism, I’ve suffered much from this and still do at times. My heroes used to be not men of power but men of melancholy, men who met no success in their lifetimes and lived in destitution and loneliness before succumbing to ill health or their own miserable, wretched hand. As odd as it might sound, their failed struggles offered me hope that no matter what failures I suffered and miseries I lived through, there’d always be the promise of posthumous success. It was an excuse to settle into mire. I had grown comfortable in my cold. My heroes were not heroes, but mortals who failed and were only made immortal by some odd chance of fate that I foolishly thought would happen to me. In the darkest of times, I didn’t even care for that. So, after my failed suicide, there was little left for me to choose. I could try it again or I could try to salvage the ruins of my existence.

I did not decide overnight; it took many tears and desperate cries to the heavens to come out with a sufficient answer. I decided in an almost natural and accidental way to not turn my suffering into a mythic exercise contained within itself, but to use it. I searched for people in history who used the suffering to become powerful. Not dying in despair but living in power, with the darkness as fuel to be greater. Following their leads, I breathed deeply and thanked the Lord that I had been such a failure that I couldn’t even kill myself successfully. An ironic ineptitude that I laugh at fondly, knowing now that the path to power is a long and slinking one with many holes and depths that consume those who meet success too often. My failure was why and is why I can live and face any failure that scuttles my way.

If you are struggling mentally and/or physically, lacking direction, motivation or purpose, I have some small suggestions that might just help. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start in bettering yourself, or if you’re so far removed from your goals that you’ve succumbed to complete inaction. Even if you procured all the self-esteem in the world, you’d still be weak and pathetic without action. It comes down to movement, i.e. progress and not just feeling. If you can coexist with those evil desires to give up by just doing a little something every day, the art of becoming will consume the anxiety and pain of any sclerosis. But don’t even waste time thinking about if you can coexist (you can); just begin. Begin right now. Start small. Make your improvement a sacred habit. Read a page a day of a classic. Do a few pushups every other day. Where habit forms, power flourishes.

I used to struggle to read even ten pages a day of some of the denser works of literature. I overcame that struggle by making the habit of reading sacred. I’d make a warm drink and curl up in a nice cozy armchair as I read. Or I’d drink a soothing glass of whiskey while I wrote. The act of first making the drink assured that I would read. Eventually, the act of reading became so pleasurable I stopped counting the pages I read because I couldn’t, based on how much I was reading. Even as a graduate student with a full-time job, I’ve managed to write this book and read over a hundred books (at least) as of writing this sentence. And of course, this is combined with working out. The physical and mental strengthened with a spiritual desire for glory is the path to eternal tyranny. All three aspects are necessary.

Returning more specifically to depression, I want to mention how it can be a strength. It can be a strength when funneled heroically towards the war of becoming: it is a battlefield that creates greater heroes because such heroes know a suffering that most are spared, and they devoured the suffering, became it, and evolved into a greater being with the potential to always overcome; for to overcome depression is to be able to overcome all the darkness this world has to offer. If you suffer from depression, smile and live: perhaps Miseria will bless you with the sweet taste and power of the indomitable will of one who refuses defeat. You can and must become her blessing so as to bless the world with the strength of a purposeful nationalism that shines meaning into the darkest corridors of culture that shun such truth. We are such truth. If you suffer from depression but continue on, you possess more of such truth than those who have yet to suffer the awareness of the decay of inconsequential being. To be aware of the pointlessness of living inconsequentially is to be alive. Be aware but don’t identify as the darkness; identify as the burning sun that banishes the abyss of black that has no belonging in the ranks of righteous tyranny. Eat the fruit and become suffering, so as never to taste defeat again.


“Miseria’s Fruit” is an excerpt from Doonvorcannon’s new book in progress, Barking at the Herd: A Mythic Manifesto of the Heroic.