I hold with the maxim, “If you haven’t been to sleep, it’s not a new day.” This sort of tongue-in-cheek mantra is semi-necessary for someone who has insomnia as much as I do. It’s right up there with “Pain is weakness leaving the body”, for both being complete bullshit and yet oddly effective.
Our brains believe what we tell them. Especially with even a thin veneer of conviction. It’s why depression brain is so effective. I know it’s lying. I know that what it says is at the least an inaccurate representation. But the more it says it, the more my brain internalizes the false message. And to break those chains, it takes positive words. Words that you can believe which are, at the very least, neutral.
I substituted every time that my brain tried to insist that I would be better off dead, with I am loved. It worked though it took a long time and those thoughts aren’t gone but their power is greatly diminished.
That is my coping skill. I talk to my brain. To my body. And I try to flip the script.
Will it work for others? I don’t know. But knowing that there are different methods, knowing that there are different paths, has to help.
And, if nothing else, even if at some point in the future I fail in my battles, maybe if it helps someone else…it’ll have been worth it.
But that’s just me. What I feel. We all must determine our own path and finding it, walk it.
The death toll is rising. And people in my communities are lying to themselves about its lethality. They lie from ignorance. From fear. Living in a deep state of denial and hopeless despair.
The ones who aren’t lying share memes and try to be informed and they are wearing masks. Trying to do everything, to get everything right.
It’s heartbreaking to watch.
For me, it’s not the deep tragedy of the dying. Which I see. I feel. But it’s not what wrenches my soul.
I’m steeped in death. I know its grip. I know its measure. Death is the brother who walks beside me. Waiting to embrace me when I end.
We all end.
What brings tears to my eyes is all of the people who haven’t been had to form bonds with death. Who are lost and can’t see past this. They keep looking for the mythic safety. The mythic future. And set themselves up to burn out. To collapse. They keep celebrating momentary triumph. And each time tragedy steals back that triumph they break a little bit more.
They are not in a place where they can hear what I would say.
So I’ll say it here. For whoever is still listening.
Life exists in the small moments of joy. It is only in the ever present now that we are. That is the only place you can be in for now. Listen to music contrary to a bleak mood. Turn off the news as much as possible, their job is to sell fear.
Once you have done all that you can. Let the rest go. It’s extremely difficult to acknowledge the lack of control. But try anyway.
And to the Nurses and Doctors and other Healthcare professionals, I know you’ve been taught that you save lives. That is where your heart is.
But what you really do is give people more time. Sometimes there is no time left. Sometimes that’s another hour. Sometimes it’s the rest of their life.
You are burning yourselves up, trying to win an unwinnable war. You can’t change the battle. So you must change the objective.
I know how unhelpful this feels. Let it sit with you. It’s a hard lesson to learn.