The infinite retreat

OMG, I had a good diea for what I was going to write about, time passed, and then I actually remembered it when it came time to blog!

This is a banner day. I shall have to mark it on my Advent calendar.

I saw an ad once for “virtual Advent calendars”. My first thought was “then how do you get the chocolate”.

Anyhow, what I am going to talk about tonight is aversion, and how a little of it can be a good thing but, like everything else, too much of it is toxic.

Being a person with depression/anxiety, my life is ruled by my aversions. In face, I have so many aversions that they can gang up and make me afraid of absolutely everything. Afraid of reality, reall. Afraid of being awake.

Afraid of being alive.

The way it works is simple. I will provide a visualization.

Imagine that you are walking through one of Canada’s mighty fine national parks when you come across a bear.

Being sentient enough to know when you are in deep shit, you start slowly backing away from the bear, who hasn’t noticed you yet.

But then you hear a noise and turn, and whaddaya know, there’s a big mama mountain lion with her cubs, and you almost backed into her.

In fact, your path away from the bear would have put you between her and her very adorable and vulnerable looking cubs.

Heart pounding, you add the vectors in your head like any primate would and start backing away in a third direction.

Except that now, that direction is blocked by a forest fire.

So what can you do? There is now no way to go that does not bring you closer to mortal danger. No matterwahich way you got, something is going to get you.

So what do you do?

You stay exactly where you are. You are now in a life or death version of Burridan’s Ass, and the only possible answer is to maintain current danger levels by sitting still.

Multiply that a thousand times over and you get how the rapid aversion-forming nature of dpression/anxoiety leads to a complete inability to act.

That is how I have been feeling lately. Like I am backing away from a million things at once and there is nowhere to turn and I can’t handle anything so I just bury myself in my distractions even further and ignore everything else.

In the bear/couger/fireĀ  example above, this is the equivalent of resolving the situation by sitting down and playing games on your phone.

Sure, the danger will probably kill you, but at least you’re not scared any more. Or rather, the fear is safely compartmentalized and shunted to the background of your consciousness so that it stops making you anxious.

Imagine a mysterious crate labeled “Reality” being wheeled into the government warehouse from the end of the first Indiana Jones movie, and you get the idea.

That’s how I have lived the last 20 years of my life. Surrounded by dangers, mostly imaginary, and dealing with them by ignoring them in favour of a constant state of dreaming my life away.

Meanwhile, my life is burning down to the ground and every day brings me closer to the day when one of my very real demons, like my depression and my diabetes, actually gettting me and killing me, and that’s a very scary and anxiety-producing thought, so I bury myself even further to get away from it.

It’s like a medicine that treats the symptoms of your illness perfectly while doing absolutely nothing to stop its progression.

Technically, you should be taking this opportunity to really tackle your illness and kick its ass so you don’t even have to take the medication any more.

But the reality is that without the pain, you have no motivation to expend really any effort at all on treating the actual disease. After all, why would you?

Just to stop taking the medication? Why, from some overwhelming sense of machismo that says being dependent on any substance is a weakness and weakness is not to be tolerated? Some desire to save the government a little money? To satisfy some abstract sense of how things should be?

To save your own life?

That should be a pretty good reason, right? Not dying?

And it totally is and you will totally get right on that.

Tomorrow. Or the next day. Next weekend for sure.

And nothing gets done because you have those magic meds that make all the pain go away. You hav3e the forbidden knowledge that there is a cure for emotions, and therefore no matter how bad your situation gets, you can escape it without having to deal with it.

And that’s way easier. than actually facing your problems, which are scary and depressing and hard and have no quick and easy solution, and which get worse every day due to your neglect of them.

This, in turn, makes you even less likely to deal with your problems because now they are even scarier and more depressing and way way harder.

And so forth and so on, until you die of things that you could “easily” have stopped at any point if you had just stopped hiding and taking arms against your sea of troubles and by opposing, ended them.

That’s my problem, right there. Right now my diabetes is 100 percent untreated. No meds, no insulin, and I eat crap I should not eat all the frigging time.

And I feel like I have no control over it, even though from an outside point of view I am the one with all the power.

There’s nothing forcing me to eat broiwnies. Right?

And yet there I go. My reality gets worse and worse and I just play Skyrim and act like nothing is wrong while Rome burns.

It’s a horrible situation and I know exactly how to fix it.

Play some more Skyrim.

And leave saving myself from myself to some other day.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.