In my opinion, this is a profound exploration of personal responsibility and the internal struggle with addiction and self-destructive behavior. To me, the line "My pain is self-chosen" resonates deeply, suggesting that despite the external factors contributing to our suffering, how we respond to these challenges is ultimately within our own control. The song uses the metaphor of a "River of Deceit" to depict the journey through life's hardships and the deceptive nature of addiction. This river, always flowing downward, symbolizes a descent into despair and the difficulty of escaping from the grasp of self-destructive patterns.
I see the song presenting a stark contrast between destructive choices and the path to self-preservation. It's about the tough decision between yielding to harmful impulses and choosing the painful yet potentially rewarding process of overcoming them. The imagery of growing "a beautiful shell" strikes a chord with me, as it suggests that enduring and overcoming difficulties can lead to personal growth, strength, and transformation. In essence, "River of Deceit" reflects on the nature of personal pain, the struggle against the allure of addiction, and the profound impact of our choices in the face of life's challenges.