The difference between me and you

Boat Capsized

Boat Capsized in the Fraser River, Richmond, BC

Maybe the only difference between me and you is that you kept trying. Because I can tell you I don’t give a crap anymore. But of course, we all know that’s not true. If I didn’t care I wouldn’t be so angry. And I’m angry alright. Pissed off is more like it.

This is where I write stream-of-consciousness whatever the hell I want, and see what comes spewing out of my diseased brain. Not diseased because I’m a pervert or something, diseased like in discomfort. As in depressed and anxious. As in mentally not well. So uncomfortable in my own skin that it’s hard not to want to scratch it open and just scratch away the flesh till you hit bone.

And then, when you can’t find anymore flesh, pick pick pick at the bone too.

All this angst gets tiresome after a while, doesn’t it? Kind of like you’ve seen it all before.  Because you have. And that’s when the numbness sets in and you feel like you’re talking under water, the way your words all sound like “glub glub blub”. And when other people talk, they too sound like they’ve had cotton wads stuck in their mouth.

So you sit in front of your computer and think, maybe if I just type something the feelings will dissipate. Eventually. Please let that be true. So you write, but the feelings are still there while you write and you want to tell your partner that you love her, but it’s like you don’t even control your mouth anymore. And there’s a wall of ice between you and her and you don’t have a kettle or a pickaxe to get through. You know, so you can pour hot water on the wall to melt it away, or hack at it to make a hole to crawl through.

But if you just keep on typing maybe eventually the words will make sense and then someone will hear what you have to say, but maybe that’s the problem. It’s that you want someone to hear you but nobody does because why should they? It’s not like you listen to them? You’re too busy feeling superior or at least alienated or different. You’re to proud or stubborn or a little bit of both.

So you think, well this is it I guess. This is probably as good as it gets and maybe that’s OK and then your Zen abbot, the one who offered you an introductory course in Zen Buddhism, like, six years ago, posts a comment on his Facebook page in which he says: Imagine you are complete just as you are. What then? What would you change?

And what you think to yourself is that you would change everything about you. The way you were born, the people you were born to, the country you were born in. You would change the brain chemicals that drag you back down into darkness at the slightest provocation and the anxiety that gnaws at you from the inside out, rendering you helpless and immobile.

And then you try and think about the good things; and there are many. Especially now. How you found your soulmate, your partner, your playmate. How you have a dog that adores you and you adore her. You think about the apartment you rented that has two balconies and the sun setting over the mountains in the distance. You think about how lucky you are that you never got into hard drugs or alcoholism. And how glad you are that you are relatively healthy physically.

And when you think about these things the anger dissipates somewhat. The dial turns down on the intens-o-meter. It’s going to be alright you start to whisper to yourself; and this time, you almost believe it. Even if tomorrow you have to face a job you’re not necessarily cut out for. Even if you still wake up traumatized by the way your father died seven years ago and by a childhood you barely survived.

You’re here now. Safe and healthy and grateful to be alive. And the pain you’ve been through throbs in every cell in your body, but so does all the joyful moments. Throbs til your heart feels like it will burst open. And you remind yourself that life really is beautiful. Unbearably, painfully, beautiful.

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