Saturday, January 02, 2016

stifling sensitivity

it takes time to rebuild.

Looking up from his ledgers and lists, he takes a moment, by accident, to breathe deeply and take in the things going on in the room. The low hum of the fan he keeps on to distract from his tinnitus, the fan which he is beginning to suspect might be causing his tinnitus. the door cracked open because he never bothered to put on a doorknob. beyond it, a room full of unnecessary boxes cast aside in haste to get to their contents. things underneath that should go into place in rooms not yet built. items around them which hold enough meaning to be kept and forgotten rather than rejected and thrown out. it passes through his mind that he ought to do something about these things before it starts to get really cluttered out there, and realizes that it is really fucking cluttered out there. following that thought with the usual analytical zeal he tends to unwittingly summon up when he has something more pressing to do which is just boring or difficult enough to make it worth procrastinating, he begins to count up how long he's been here, how tidy things used to be kept, and what happened between now and then that allowed the mess to get so far out of hand.

Another deep breath, this one intentional, and a smile, he remembers how bad things used to be, and gives honest thanks that his most serious concern at the moment is finding some time to pick up the anteroom.

I happened by here today through a glitch that had someone posting a comment to my last post about something totally unrelated. i started idly scrolling through and caught a glimpse of myself during a very difficult time in my life and immediately felt the urge to take it down. but this is a pre 2010 blog, started in a time when social media was a little more honest, a little less obsessed with polishing a public image. a blog takes effort to go and read, you have to type in an address, click on a bookmark, or add it to your rss. this effort means that your blog will most likely have 0 readers at any given moment, so it's easier to be honest knowing that no one is going to read what you have to say, at least not for a few years or so. compare that with the always-on mobile-centric social media of 2016, where everything you post is viewed by everyone you know, and in many cases, everyone they know and even some people three or four times removed, couple that with the fact that no one really stops to read anything you write unless it makes their brain squirt off some chemicals as they idly scroll by it, unless it pisses them off, makes them horny, jealous, insecure, affectionate, mirthful, etc, well, these days you have to keep it short and sweet and you have to make sure you don't rock the boat. i'm glad to remain detached from that type of media. in this less trafficked milieu the urge to polish the image is weak, often nonexistent if there are no self-pictures on the site.

on the surface, i was writing about my health. hindsight shows me that i was writing and thinking about something else, and in a very fierce denial about it, because denial is so much easier than facing your fears and stepping out into the horror of the world as it is, rather than as we tell ourselves it is, taking a breath and smelling garbage, looking up at the sky and feeling very small. The world outside is a tough place. harder and nastier still is the world we make up in our heads and try to defend even as it ravages our bodies and grinds our hopes under it's spurred heel.

it took time to rebuild, but first i had to look up from my bullshit, take a deep breath, and face the things that were wrong with my life, the piss poor decisions i had made, the cowardice i displayed in hiding from them. to consider fixing it up, i had to realize that the place had gone to shit and fallen apart.

the health problems i was facing in my last post are 95% healed. juicing didn't help, no fad diets helped, and the round after round of medication the clueless doctors were happy to keep prescribing in lieu of actually treating me made things undeniably worse every single day. though i did change a few things regarding nutrition and lifestyle, the main thing that accounts for the bulk of my recovery is the practice of buddhist meditation.

overtime i began to realize that my health and happiness depended on me opening up completely to all of the things in my mind and my experience, especially the things that made me hurt, and the thoughts that made me afraid. i had to stifle my sensitivity and let life beat  me as bad as it wanted, let my feelings be felt fully, in the face of my own horror at what they would do to me. before finding buddhist meditation, if i had attempted to experience life this way, it is likely that i would have become a danger to myself (i already was, but it would have gotten worse). meditation was the tool which allowed me to build a toolbox and put a few useful implements inside. with these in hand, i began the hard work of rebuilding my mind, body, and life.

and it's working much better than a few days with a juicer followed by a plunge back into denial.

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