The Closest Thing to Crazy

Today has not started well.

I get that I’m the problem in many situations. It is clear to me that the way I have acted or felt, the means by which I have communicated or responded, has generated drama. This happens both in reality and in the purely fantastical World of the Internet. In both cases, I am well aware of what I could do to prevent issues to begin with, and that is to just say nothing and move on. Except as I get older, and the number of days I have left on this Planet undoubtedly diminish, there is the understanding that sometimes, maybe, silence isn’t the answer. There’s multiple variants on the ‘if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything’ adage that I can roll out ad infinitum. However, there are just days when listening to the same complaints and being fed recycled lame excuses is just… well, enough.

If I am the source of drama people will often bend over backwards to point and accuse. When they are the lazy, selfish and thoughtless ones? Not so much. Making people aware of their own failings is a difficult and dangerous game to play, and I know full well how this has hampered my progress in the Real World in the past. My problem back then was I wouldn’t call people out. I’d just let them pile the shit on me and let it pass, or I’d take advantage of people’s shortcomings and use that to avoid my own pain. That’s the old me, and not this version. If I get hurt because I want to point out what I consider is an issue? I’ll take the hit, if I am confident judgement is sound. This morning, in the cold and dangerous Real World, I did just that. I’m prepared to be hurt to make a point.

It makes me wonder what lies other people tell themselves to avoid the reality of pain.

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One of the most beneficial positives from my journey into exercise and fitness has been the understanding that pain comes in many forms, and often what you think is bad is nothing of the sort. I have a well-documented physical issue with both inner ear and neck that makes rollercoasters anything but enjoyable. Now, I can pretend that doesn’t exist and ride, but the physical discomfort remains considerable. Once upon a time I had a problem with running and breathing, but that’s been overcome because the pain involved from both wasn’t ultimately as significant as my brain had me believe. One of these is a true impediment, the other is in my imagination. Trying to distinguish these two states is, I know, difficult for many. Pain ultimately means fear, and that makes it just simpler to succumb to the latter and not deal with the former.

That’s why I have an immense amount of respect for people who live with long term illness with dispositions and outlooks that ultimately put everybody else to shame. The perceived frailties of human beings is well documented. Your ‘First World Problems’ really are just that when you put them against those who survive through 24/7 pain, and yet do so with an outlook some people may spend their entire lives attempting to even briefly grasp. Also, and this is crucial, your individual tolerance to these things is a really significant barometer on how you will cope long term. I realise I’ve been complaining a lot about being tired, at least some of which can be levelled at a life change I can do absolutely nothing about. This morning I decided to just get up and do the day. Now I’m wishing I’d stayed in bed.

However, I refuse to give up.

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I do therefore what I have always done in these situations to cope: I write. I use words to try and explain why things have happened. I used them to describe what I’ve seen and how I think that needs to change. When someone else sees the darkness in a situation and all I can perceive is light? Sometimes, I think, it is not a bad thing to point out that disparity. I can do this without being rude, or disparaging, because I’ve learnt to do so. What the World needs to remember is that if you start conversations, there is always the chance someone will respond and not give the answer you either wanted or were prepared for. When that happens, you have a choice. You’re either honest, or you’re not. This is probably the biggest fear of all, in the end. What happens when you say something to someone and they don’t agree with you? How do you cope with the possibility of being wrong?

The reality of course is that, unless you’re dealing with maths questions, universal constants or gamers, there are no right answers. There are only ways of dealing with issues that ultimately involve a lot of effort, hard work and often commitment. Yup, you gotta want this stuff to get better and not just turn up and hope someone else does the work. Committing yourself to a relationship means taking the rough and the smooth, and finding ways to make everything work well. That doesn’t just mean the other people either. You’re part of the equation, like it or not. If you came here to get an easy ride and just hope everyone has sympathy for you? Not gonna work like that. Sometimes it is hard, and you gotta put in the hours.

Every day really should be a school day.