I would go well past the point of social inebriation because I couldn’t handle the pain of reality. I needed panacea. The serene bliss of numbness outweighed any risk. I was also in a self-destructive mindset stating ‘not much is my fault,’ especially when I couldn’t address the stress and pain in my life, because I was the innocent victim, after all… The pain is still here. It’s just now I can actually fix it!
Let’s say it’s some overwhelming stress.
Something that forever alters the course of your life’s journey. Is it wiser to ignore it, hoping that it might go back to normal, or face it head-on? I say face it! Look that stressor straight in its eyes, smile your widest smile, and attack! There are times when you can plan your actions, strategize your way to victory, while minimizing the potential for failure.
That’s the ideal.
It’s also more practically accomplished with a calm head on your shoulders. In popular culture, the heroes now immediately step into battle. That is one way to go, however attacking can mean keeping calm, researching the enemy’s weaknesses, and striking when it is optimal. It doesn’t mean cowering away, hoping the aggressor will be stopped by another.
You must defend yourself.
Others may protect you out of their own sense of duty, however, you shouldn’t rely on others to fight your battles. They won’t always be there. Your enemies will find their way in, because most aren’t external factors. Those stress demons are your interpretations of situations, people, and circumstances.
Most people don’t mean outright harm.
Sure, there are the few that may be aggressive toward you. The vast majority of people will do nothing more than passively imply your faults. Do not fear them. Sit out in public and do what you enjoy. If you write, write in a public space. Draw the scenery. After a while, the perceived pains of reality subside.
This is one way to make the pain go away.
Another is to consider for a moment how most of us want comfort on our terms. The pains we all fight are never-ending. Trade one pain in for one of equal or greater value. We are all hurting in our own way, even when it is trivial to others. Should we laugh when others fall? Does that make us better people?
That doesn’t make our pain go away.
Maybe laughing at the misfortunes of others helps us frame our own inadequacies. We may feel glad we didn’t fall in that way, or do that dumb mistake, yet we fall in other ways doing other dumb mistakes.
There is a way to break that cycle.
Help someone out. Don’t ask for anything in return. Just do something to help someone else’s pain go away, no matter how small it may seem. It might be listening to their pains with minimal interruption.
It might be less.
Still when you do, something cool happens.
Your pain starts to go away.
|Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Feeling bad about not getting a gig.
Photo: Taken in Seattle’s International District near where I wrote this essay. I didn’t mean for anything particularly symbolic about the photo. It’s just I liked the grit and the pile of grime near the center of the frame.