DESPAIR: abandon all hope and you will die
WELCOME TO THE FOURTH HORSEMAN.
Despair. Like the other three, Despair will be alongside you for life.
Well, a more accurate term would be, “Until your death” as life implies a long time. You don’t have much time at all comrade, but don’t take it so hard.
In the long run, we are all dead.
You just crossed the finish line before most, that’s all.
YOU DESERVE APPLAUSE, NOT JEERS.
You should be congratulated for getting this far. After all, you had your work cut out for you when Terror ripped your balls off. Bewilderment left you with only your brain stem intact. Frustration made you suicidal.
Most people don’t make it that far. How much more can The Stranger do to you? You’re already a brain-dead, scared shitless, suicidal zombie…
I should help walk you over to Despair, with you in that condition and all. Just don’t piss on me or shit your pants alright?
Let’s see if Despair could possibly have anything to offer.
DESPAIR: DAMN, I FORGOT HOW FRIGHTENING HE IS.
I’m going to have to rely on the fact that you’re a dim-witted imbecile to get you on this horse.
You certainly don’t have the balls to do it!
Ha-ha. Lighten up, that was a joke.
Just trying to get a laugh out of you. No laughs left though, huh?
I’ll tell you what I experienced riding alongside Despair before I help you up on his sullen mount. Maybe it will ease what’s left of your brain stem a little.
Get on. No more whistling before the dark for you.
JOURNAL ENTRY, DECEMBER 3rd, 2011
This is directly from my personal journal, written almost a year before I had completed my trip across the bridge and just before my own ride with Despair.
My sponsor told me to earnestly recall what my life was before alcohol destroyed it:
No sleepless nights.
No constant anxiety.
No non-stop drinking despite knowing the destruction I was doing to my body.
No panic attacks.
No sweaty palms and forehead.
No constant confusion about life.
No constant withdraw from the world.
No heavy burdens of shame, doubt, and regret.
No fear for my children and wife.
No sitting on the porch steps chain-smoking cigarette after cigarette, begging for relief.
No dread of getting out of bed every morning.
No constant throwing up blood and transfusions.
A PEACEFUL RIDE WITH DESPAIR.
Well, it’s time to ride with the fourth Horseman and it’s not a bad ride at all. Makes me want to let go of the things I’m struggling with. He’s slow, smooth, and fluid-like in his motion. He quietly beckons for me to go someplace with him, pointing his scythe towards something I can’t quite see.
Suddenly I realize what it is I’ve been clinging to, the cause all of the pain in my life. Every bit of it.
Despair looks at me empathetically. He understands. He’s the only one who does. Raising both hands towards the sky, I open my palms and release any last remnant of hope I had been clinging to…
Hopes to someday quit drinking.
Hopes to someday get my family back.
Hopes to once again experience power and control in my life.
Hopes to regain my self-respect, a piece of dignity.
What childish fantasies these are.
I have as much chance at obtaining even one of those things as I do correctly counting grains of sand in Saudi Arabia.
THE SWEET RELIEF OF MY DISMOUNT.
Sliding off of my horse, I thank the kind Horseman for the ride.
We have arrived in a quiet place. It looks like a ghost town. I see some tombstones on a hill in the distance, long abandoned I think.
I feel free.
No more disillusionment. No more experiencing the repetitive horror of every day of my life. No more quiet desperation. I still feel unhappy, but not the same digging, clawing torture as before.
My recent past has diminished into nothing but a nightmare; I feel almost giddy.
After all of my pain and agony, there is absolutely nothing to fear anymore but my God. But even He has become so small lately.
No more will I suffer in an existential vacuum, yearning for purpose, for meaning in my life.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED.
The fourth Horsemen is not an experience in itself like the others; he is a guide and leads to despair. Hopelessness is how you get there.
Hope is the last bastion for the alcoholic. Without it, there’s no point in living. For us, hopelessness is death. You will surely die if you arrive at this point.
We all do.
Thank you for making it this far, you brave soul. I hope the torture you have inflicted upon yourself by reading about these Horsemen has been therapeutic in some way. If you’re feeling lost and have no idea what I’m talking about with these horse-riding demons, read this blog and learn exactly how screwed you are when you happen upon them.