I woke up this morning not wanting to wake up this morning. Everything about existing hurt. I did wake up this morning, but it took me about one hour to pry myself out of bed. I still have four more mornings, potentially this bad, before the surgery to help my spine. Until then, I have to make every effort to maintain my body’s decrepit state. After meandering through some media, I feel ready to write.
I still feel sick from fatigue and exhausted from going over one mile-per-hour.
I’ve found in the moments preceding how I’m feeling now, what isn’t best is to jump right into something where you have to explore your mind. I know this is obvious, but I’ve been writing every day for the past few years, so these sorts of relaxation techniques aren’t obvious to me, as I’ve forgotten them in the name of hustling. Sure, I’ve made progress in developing my craft as a writer, but now I’m starting to see that some of that sacrifice was in my health, and when I’ve taken the rests that my body has needed to recover, such as yesterday where I went to bed early and was actually able to get a good number of hours of rest – 6? – I am still in such a massive amount of pain that nothing seems overly enjoyable.
This is when I tap into the negative aspects of my psyche to retrieve my positivity.
Through listening to extreme music, for example, we can get glimpses into the pains of others – whether they’ve tapped into their own pain, or are just making the music because they, too, enjoy it, is a broad and subjective debate – which can help us feel better. I don’t know whether the musicians I’m listening to, Sepultura, have tapped into the pains of their lives as, say, Nirvana, but listening to these and other musicians perform does help me feel better about my pains. Or when I’m not in pain, they help me feel certain emotions with more vigor or compassion. Watching this video of Denzel Curry and Flatbush ZOMBiES collaborate was my primary distraction today.
Other days, I might read, watch stuff, or play videogames.
What matters is more of overcoming the hurdles of physicality to then return to feeling human again. It takes time and I’m not overly thrilled with this process, but it’s taught me how to tolerate minor to major pains in my life. When I return to work, I have more tools at my disposal to prepare me for the rest of my life. I’d already known some of these things, which is why I would always wake up early before work, use that time to decompress with any of the examples or more above, edit, and leave with enough time to get to work on time. I know it will be a struggle to adjust to that lifestyle after having this lifestyle away from work due to medical reasons, so it will be tricky, but I think the key to adapting to any situation is building up one’s tolerances to that situation.
Distraction is one of many tools for adaption.
If I’m entering into a difficult situation, I might try some mild mental distraction to calm my nerves. If I’m worried about how I’ll do, I might think about something else, since my mind might be rigidly trying to overcompensate in performing its duties. The trick, though, is not overdoing it. It’s a matter of mild distraction with constant re-assessments. I could still be watching videos, however, I’m feeling well enough to write, so why not write, right? When my physicality is in acceptable shape like it is now, I can wiggle my way through the discomfort with any media available to me as a means to progress toward my goals. When my physicality is overwhelmed, then I can rest through the worst of the pain, until I can continue progressing.
Progressing toward regaining my health is the most important thing.
Over this four-plus-month time, I’ve developed a stricter policy toward appreciating media. When you’re in poor health, why meander through something that doesn’t help you feel better? There are difficult videogames that are fun to play because they provide an immediate sense of reward for having accomplished something, and I appreciate those experiences, but I will pass on the frustrating videogames designed to punish the player for playing. I will still meander through subpar media that frustrates and underwhelms me, but I will act with more intentionality. If some media that interests me, rather than just jumping in, or flipping through the channels of life mindlessly, I want to try to be more decisive.
Decisiveness in media, to me, means deciding what is enjoyable or worthwhile quickly.
This album, Quadra, takes core thrash metal elements and adds Brasilian traditional music for new and exciting textures. I’ve heard enough thrash metal over the years where, though it’s nice upbeat background music, I listen to it and forget about it unless there are some inherently noteworthy qualities to it, whether adding new musical textures, presenting a particularly striking performance, or other qualities. Part of this decisiveness might be rooted in the pain of realizing that I don’t have the energy to listen to dozens of hours of thrash metal that I don’t care about, so I would prefer re-listening to favorites or exploring new ones and deciding quickly if I like them or not.
I might make mistakes, but I can always return to old decisions.
For me, I’d rather have a wider array of media I’ve experienced to know “what I’m in the mood for,” rather than just leaving it up to chance, or, what’s popular/trending or what’s been pre-programmed for my ears. When I’ve driven around lately, I stopped bringing CDs. I’ll listen to the radio to hear what radio stations have programmed, and if there’s nothing interesting, I’ll turn off the radio.
If it’s a distraction that’s not helping, turn it off.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Thinking about how much I’d rather just not be awake right now, and how media can help me face the day.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Written On: 2020 August 27 [7:41am to 8:16am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 27 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|