Thursday, October 6, 2016

Twenty Sixteeni

2016 has been, by far, my best year in history.

It has also been, by far, the hardest, most painful and most dangerous year of my life.

It is not my desire to be controversial in order to create interest in my life, in particular. The details of any one life really don't matter to this story. Everyone has their own 'shit' to sort and, as luck would have it, a closely matching level of what they can manage.

Plus, you don't ever have to look far to see someone who has it better or worse than you. So why compete, really? It seriously doesn't matter who has the most, who does the most or who has it the worst or does the least. They're all ridiculous things to even consider. The only time anyone finds meaning in anything is when they do it for someone else, anyway. Even if their minds are good at convincing them otherwise.

You must also consider outside influence, like the impact wounds of life's machine gun array on any given day. Not everyone worries about the same things, but we do it with the same level of commitment. A wealthy person may stress over stock performance, while someone of lesser means might fret over educating their children. A homeless person worries about heat, shelter and food, while a person with mental illness may worry about their inner demons consuming them alive. Adulterers and tax evaders worry about being caught and a teenager may worry about not having friends. The point is, no matter the subject, the body's response is the same across the board... and worry is deadly.

This past year has seen me reach my threshold ... time, after time, after time. Each step - in any direction - stretching the boundaries of my heart, my mind and my body. The insight into my behavior alone, is invaluable ... and with all such things, a price has been paid. Then, there is panic. Here's a little unsolicited advice; until you have experienced completely irrational, debilitating panic, you do NOT get to have an opinion about it. When your own inner voice is creating monsters where none exist while completely ignoring the ones standing in front of you, it is very easy to lose the ability to discern the difference between threats that are real - like your deteriorating health - and threats that are entirely irrational - like believing in your chest that an oncoming thunderstorm is actually mortar attack on our fair city from some foreign foe.

Though, over time, your insight grows and eventually, you can stick little bits of rational evidence to the contrary of disaster into the cloud of panic ... convincing your mind to 'secure and hold', while your endocrine system has its panties on its head and is running around in circles, screaming at the top of its lungs.

Think about that seriously for a moment. Think about the kind of internal panic you would need in order to behave in that way. Then imagine that you know you shouldn't feel that way, but you do ... and then its as though your body and mind are at war... and you are helpless to affect it.

How do you look at your boss, for whom you have performed your function at a certain level for years and tell them "I just can't ... and I can't explain why". "I can't do the work, I can't handle the stress, I have zero tolerance for your crap and frankly, every time I look at you, hear your voice or even have a thought pertaining to you - I want to bash your head in with my ergonomically designed office chair ... and then make a bed under my desk and have a nap."

You don't ... if you want to eat for the foreseeable future.

How do you look at your spouse one day and say: "I still love you more than anyone or thing in the world and wouldn't change a hair on your perfect head ... But ... it isn't enough for me right now. I need more. More attention, more excitement, more sex, more money, more purpose, more love". More... like a gaping, ravenous black hole.

You can't ... if you wish to continue being with them.

How do you say to your close friends and family: "I know it is selfish of me, but I can't right now. I don't want to talk, because it makes me feel too bad ... I know that it hurts you that I won't, but I need you to understand that I wouldn't ask this of you if I didn't absolutely need for you to leave me alone. Please"?

If you want friends and family that you can continue to rely upon, this is not a great way to ensure it.

How do you look at your children and say: "Mama needs a little time out just now... like for a month or twelve. Can you just stop having your own 'kid' needs and problems for a while? Oh, and while you're at it, couldja cool it with the growing up so geezily fast? I know I am supposed to be spending more time enjoying you now because I'm going to regret not doing so when you are grown ... but seriously, guys can you cut me just a bit of slack?"

No, you say?

Here's a problem, there is only so much any one individual can manage. Some have a very low threshold, while others seem as though they are made of titanium. Sometimes, in an effort to simply keep your feet moving - no matter the direction - is more important than making actual progress. Sometimes we  commit crimes in small, insignificant ways, sneaking things in such tiny increments, you fail to see your culpability in the drama you are feeding. Until, of course, it has grown its own legs and run away with your mind, your heart, your family and your security. Not to mention the years of your life that you are going to regret anyway, because you were supposed to be enjoying them instead of barely surviving them.

Whatever your vice, you are 'more likely than not' to reach out for it in the moments when your pain is at its worst. Whether it is stunting or aestheticizing emotional growth, is sometimes impossible to discern, and truly matters not at the end of the day. It's still going to feel better than the hurt, and you are going to reach for it regularly. 

The pressure to be alive is suffocating. Add to that the expectations of your contribution to the outside world and the accompanying judgement and guilt of it all ... I some days don't know how there is anyone getting by anymore... yet we do. We live to fight another day ... or we don't.

So to each and every warrior out there, I submit for your approval: The Twenty Sixteeni

This poison is as individual as you are ... it is whatever is powerful enough to get you through one more minute, one more set back or, one more heartache, but not deadly enough to blow a massive hole in your existence.

For me, the healthy choice would be yoga and writing ... somehow, vodka and chocolate always seem so much easier to obtain.

1 comment:

Eyvi Sprite said...

This post is so spot on. Sadly, I am not nearly articulate enough this morning to tell you effectively how touching it really is. Your are, as always, gifted with words.