I want to withdraw completely into myself, to retreat into an impenetrable shell that blocks sounds and sights and sensations and emotions. A protective cocoon, a place in another dimension far removed from the one in which we live, might serve to deaden the sense of being bathed in acidic emotion. I’m not the only one seeking that shelter. I suspect everyone facing the frightening unknown longs for serenity. I suspect people in my small sphere ache for peace and comfort and positive certainty.
Powerlessness is among the most frightening circumstances. Being unable to control even a fraction of the world around you must be terrifying. It is terrifying. I suspect that situation contributes to drug addiction; the pain and fear become too great to bear without some magical potion to lessen the agony; deaden the pain. It’s supposition, of course, but thinking about it gives me reason to think compassionately about people whose lives have been wrecked by meth or cocaine or any number of other problems disguised as solutions.
I imagine I might be susceptible to the allure of some of those cleverly-camouflaged “solutions.” Maybe it’s that understanding that contributes to my empathy, even while judging those who have weakly succumbed to the enticement of false promises.
Anxiety. One of the definitions is “a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.” Another definition is “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.” Which one fits me? Which one fits my wife? There’s no doubt we’re both extremely anxious. But I don’t want that anxiety to grow to the level of requiring “treatment.” I especially don’t want that to happen with my wife, who is essentially at the mercy of healthcare workers; I do not want someone else deciding for her that some form of medication might be necessary. All of this is supposition on my part; maybe I am the only one whose level of anxiety borders on a disorder. It’s impossible to discuss it, though.
On my end, thrashing through another day seems almost insurmountably hard. But it must be done and done again and done again and again until all’s well. And it will be well. It must be well.
Thanks, Maskless, Pat, and Hopester; I appreciate your comments and the thoughts that prompted them.
If you can remember that you are thrashing through your day for another, then it might make it a little easier… Or, if not, a little more bearable.
Sadly, the opposite is completely “magical thinking”. I see retreats there as similarly ingenuous. A guess these are better than becoming addicted to alcohol and other chemicals. The founders of AA still hold the center – serenity, courage, wisdom. I suspect these become hard to discern in a vacuum. Keep writing
Thinking of you.