Ask Andrew W.K.: How Do I Keep the Demons in My Mind at Bay?

Dear Andrew, I'm in tenth grade. Like almost everyone else, I like parties. There's always one near me, but no one ever tells me about it. See, I have a group of friends, but they hardly ever have parties. My question is, how do I get more people to like me so I can get informed of these parties and stuff?

Feeling Hated

Dear Feeling Hated,

I don't hate you! Please write me back with your full name and contact info and I'll start telling everyone to invite you to all the parties they can! And anytime I'm in your area and having a party, please consider yourself officially invited! As far as how to get more people to like you, I think it's already working! After all, just reading your letter made me like you. That's one new friend already!

Your friend,
Andrew W.K.

Hey Andrew,

I write to you as a fan desperately seeking advice. It'd really mean a lot coming from you, because I truly look to you as a role model. I'm almost nineteen years old and have had to deal with inner demons for as long as I can remember. It seems to be the more I grow up, the more depressed I get. Do you have any advice on how to stay positive through this weird, awkward transition into the grown up life?

Party hard,

Dear Brad,

Life is an overwhelming experience. I think everyone feels this way. It comes with the territory of not being dead. Being alive is very, very intense, and the longer we stay alive, the more intense it gets.

I've struggled with bad feelings and demons too, and when talking about depression, it was often overlooked that those feelings were part of the core of being alive. It's a feeling that's easy to mistake for depression, when in fact it's just being completely blown-away by how intense it feels to exist. The "feeling of being alive" isn't supposed to be cured or avoided, it's supposed to be reckoned with and respected. It's supposed to be marveled at and mastered. It's supposed to be experienced.

I've always felt an underlying sensation that something was wrong--like a flavor in the back of your mouth when you wake up every day. But the feeling that something is wrong is also what's right. The feeling of being alive is beyond wrong and right--that's what makes it so intense. The more we can focus on this contradiction, and the space between opposites, the more OK we'll feel about not feeling OK all the time.

Some people have pushed the feeling of life so far back it no longer feels like anything at all. I don't want to feel the feeling of no feeling. I think you're like me. We've chosen to recognize this feeling of being alive. We're not going to cover it up or pretend it isn't there. Life is supposed to be lived fully--in all its pain, pleasure, and stupefying glory. It's meant to be intense. Life - is - meant - to - be - intense. Beyond that, if you really feel the need for help, please talk to a professional doctor. After all, I'm only a professional partier.

Yours in chaos,
Andrew W.K.


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