Sunday, December 29, 2013

Smothered: or, Life is Pain... anyone who tells you anything different is selling you something

When I was 19 a friend gave me a card on which she had written, "Comfort murders the passion of the soul." She told me that she could tell that I was someone who is torn between life and fear. I did not know what she meant. I was young enough to think I would always be brave. But, now years later. After a life full of disappointments, I know what the quote meant too. In Breakfast at Tiffany's Holly Golightly calls it the "mean reds." Others Angst. Anxiety. Panic. But, for me I usually just call it "antsy." Today, none of those terms fit. I feel like I am clawing at myself from the inside just bursting to get out. To go. Anywhere. These feelings grip me at times. This voice that tells me I am wasting my life. I am living too safe, or not at all. Usually at night. I can still this panic by watching tv, playing a game, sometimes online shopping. I just numb out until I am calm. But, I am murdering my soul.

It is my own fault, really. I have removed my distractions one-by-one; stripping away all the things that keep me from really thinking about my life. I am on a break from work, my biggest distraction. I have taken a deliberate vacation from facebook and its numbing capabilities. I have given up the vices I embraced for so long: shopping, gambling, drinking, eating, anything to escape this feeling... all these things that were meant to mask the fact that my life is not what I want. Or need. So. Without these things, the question becomes, how to soothe? How to still the clawing thing that is so desperately screaming at me to *Do Something* to pretend that I have not waited too long.

Change is slow to come. And in reality it is these numbing things that have allowed me to endure. But in embracing these comforts I have dug a hole. I have layered my life and my body with so many layers of safety to avoid being hurt. The real danger is not that I am seeking comfort, but that these distractions have become my life. I am surfeiting on my own comforts. It takes these moments of panic to remind me that there is more. That I want more.

I used to know that the possibilities of change that is fomented in these moments of crises are good. When I was younger I listened to these voices and I would leap up and make changes. I used to know that I am supposed to feel this way because without it, I will accept. I will stay. So, no. I am not going to give in and numb this pain. I am going to feel it. Because, if I don't it will only get worse. And it is this angst. this panic, this clawing desperate thing is probably the only thing that will force me to live. The comfort offered by these distractions is actually worse than the pain I am trying to avoid.

So, if it takes moments like these, words like these, panic like this to throw off the layers of comfort I have so carefully smothered myself with, then so be it.


  1. Blogger doesn't like to post my comments, but I'll try again. Basically, my experience is that getting life to where you want it doesn't necessarily solve this problem, or at least not for me. (this is why I think it's a mistake to ever think, "I will be happy when..." because it doesn't work that way.) BUT, I do think you can and will make progress in your life & I look up to you immensely. And I kind of just want to offer hugs. Can I offer hugs?

  2. I always take hugs! I agree with you about much of what you have said. But, I also know there are better versions of life. And while none are perfect, there is a difference between trying and not trying. And sometimes, well, I forget to try.