Demons in the Abyss

Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

- Nietzsche

For a decade I had made it my business to do battle with demons. They already ran rampant in my own mind, but that didn’t stop me from fighting other people’s too.

I thought that if I saved them — people that is — that they’d love me. If it was for the love of others, I’d don any armor, grab any blade, and rush to the battlefield.

And so I would.

In eighth grade I began attacking every fearful, sorrowful, and suicidal thought that I encountered. And amidst my middle school there was no shortage of battles to be fought. The number of battles did not matter to me though. I would be the hero that struck down the monsters that ravaged my school, and the Earth.

But somewhere along the way, I began to fear that I was incapable of defeating those demons. My methods seemed to only attract more attacks from others, instead of their love. Eventually I noticed that the armor I had donned years ago was my own self-esteem and that it had become brittle. The day quickly came that my armor broke.

A blow from the outside did not shatter my garments; instead a beast had grown from within the “savior”.

Other than my only friend, I hated everyone. Or I thought I did. I actually hated myself.

“You’re no knight. You’re no savior of the people. You’re NOTHING.” the voices whispered in my dreams.

My survival instincts would not allow the depression to completely overtake me though, so they redirected my hatred towards the people I had so desperately tried to save.

“ They – the people – they’re all swine.”

Thoughts of world domination floated into my consciousness. I would recreate the world. Make it better for everyone! No one would be unhappy! I wpuld not allow it!! How? “By any means necessary”. Even if I had to demolish everything that was.

With what relationships and resources I had, I began determining what goals I would need to meet in order to murder the world as I knew it.

My understanding of people was my favorite revolutionary tool for I began to use it to manipulate them. I said things that would alter their ideas. Did things that would make them feel lesser than me. All for the “greater good”.

At times I succeeded. But more often I failed. Failure only magnified my hatred.

“I’ll destroy this EVERYTHING!” I shouted each night.

Hurting people mentally began to exhilarate me. Thoughts of physical violence creeped in after this jubilation.

Then, my sister called me.

She’d just read a book and wanted my thoughts on it.

“Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill” read the title.

I hesitatingly opened the pages. Within a couple hours of reading… the world began to look differently to me.

I thought maybe people were good.

And for the first time in nearly two decades, I thought I was good.

As I read more, the hatred began to flow away. Yet my desire for warfare still remained.

“Fine.” I thought.

“I’ll continue my battle with demons.”

“I’ll just use different weapons.”

I thought empathy, love, and self-discipline would be my greatest weapons against the demons of the Earth, but I did not know how I could sharpen them without losing myself again. I still do not know exactly, but today I have an idea. I believe if my inner circle – those I engage in intimately with – breathe success and positivity into my life, I will have the fortitude to stand against the fires of hatred from the outside.

The battlefield I have selected is my writings and stories. Now I must find a way to sharpen my blades… .

Micah Markray

May 27th, 2017