That said, I respect your intelligence and I also respect your drive to make something from your current state of misery, so I want to leave you with some concrete advice: You need to exercise every single day until you sweat. This alone will save you. If you’re already doing that, do more of it. Take notes on your current circumstances. This stage of your life won’t last forever. Grow something out of this horrific, thankless shit pile. Forge connections with other people’s work. Read more newsletters, starting with The Chatner Shatner and The Stage Mirror. We’re living in a golden age of startling, intimate, melancholy writing by stubbornly unique authors who have no allegiance to dusty outdated standards around what makes certain words on a page more worthwhile than others. Read Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. Read What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker by Damon Young. Read We’re Doomed, Now What? by Roy Scranton. Read Heavy by Kiese Laymon. Take a walk and listen to Mozart’s 41 symphonies in order from 1 to 41. Listen to what an obsessive, lonely mind can create, how it evolves, what it eventually becomes. The last movement of #41, Jupiter, is where you are headed. Listen to that one over and over. Maybe you are already here.

Learn to play an instrument. Patient mastery is a balm. Start a book club and invite some fire hydrants around you to frustrate you with their bad book suggestions. Look for the divine in their weak taste. Notice their quirks. Elevate their stubborn verbal tics. Volunteer somewhere. You’re a giver. Reach out. All of these misshapen lumps bolted into the sidewalk are smarter than they look. They need love, too.

Look for the blessings in everything. Listen to Chance The Rapper’s “Coloring Book.” It will get you in the mood. You don’t have to see this mood as Christian. Jesus need not be involved if you’re allergic to Jesus. Commit to finding meaning. Commit to belief and faith. Suspend your disbelief the same way you do when you’re feeling obsessed. Use your magical thinking as a pragmatic means to an end, to build a more robust existence for yourself, to cultivate more compassion for yourself and others, to create mad art from your unmet appetites.