Keeping calm in stressful times

May 4, 2017

It’s not easy to remain calm and collected when all things around one seem to be up in the air…not at all. I understand. I understand completely. And at times it may even come across as condescending when a smarty pants starts telling you in a sure fire tone such as myself what you should and should not do…..again I understand. I understand completely.

Let’s see. You’re jobless. You have sent out enough CV’s to sink a battleship and you’re at your wits end as the bills seem to be mounting and there doesn’t seem to any respite….it’s as if you’re really submerged deep….so deep that you can feel the pressure from all sides digging in and the last thing you want to do is to hear platitudes….I undersrand. I understand completely.

Only I want you to know I’ve been there…I know that territory very well. Not just casually there…but THERE…so there…smack right in the center of there land, like a fly caught in spiders web…so tightly peltracked at four corners that it’s not even possible to move…so I know first hand, how it’s like to out in the cold….and I do apologise to so many for some of my previous post on this subject – where I may have come across as insensitive, insulting and even lacking in empathy….there are no buts…I apologise unconditionally and it shall never happen again.

Forgive me because I’ve forgotten….you see it was so many years ago and it is very easy to forget and to begin believing in the mythology one creates about how it all began and not how impossibly difficult it was back then…it was only when I played back the video in the last post and listened to myself that it all rushed back to me like a storm of memories….and I remembered how it actually was back then and how it must be for you now.

Truth was back then even I found it very difficult to believe what I had to share – most of the time I was scared. Insecure and perhaps even clueless…but I couldn’t show it. I couldn’t. Because I knew so many of us back then who had begun this were also scared. Insecure and perhaps just as clueless as I. But I could never show it.

So somewhere in this motley group of scady cats I fashioned my own version of reality that required me to suppress my real feeble self – I began to draw more and more strength from the mythos of man called Darkness….Darkness always knows what to do. Darkness is always supremely confident and only he has the strength and charisma to lead.

When I did this…I noticed fear within all of us began to dissipate almost magically. For the very first time, we could do the impossible…frequently overcoming great odds with so very little very much in the way we once conquered the warring tribes in the game with Darkness leading the way.

By that time the others began to feed nourishment from the fictitious character called Darkness that I had embodied to such a degree that had I pulled the plug everything would have just turned black…it had to continue…there was no choice, not when it worked so well…it had to go on.

But it was never like that for me privately. I remember very cold nights lying wide awake thru the night and into break of dawn not ever knowing for sure whether I had done the right thing…there was always the lingering shadow of fear…always being deeply insecure about my lack of experience in farming. I remember lonely walks in moonlit gravel roads where very often I was racked by endless worries that often consumed me like a whale. I even remembered wanting to give it all up at one point because the pressure was so unbearable.

But Darkness would always appear in those moments of my greatest weakness
…he would always sneer at my feeble nature. And whenever he appeared I would always steel myself and suck it all in like a child who was ashamed that he wet his sheets…Darkness has zero tolerance for weakness, so I pulled up my socks and went right on never once complaining.

I kept it all to myself never once allowing anyone to know the truth of the duality that had taken hold in my life. Not even when things eventually began to smoothen out quite nicely.

But what is important is I remember now how it really was back then. It’s all coming back…..

—————————————————————————

‘I don’t really know whether there’s a reliable way to be calm. I really don’t. Especially one when is confronted with what seems at first intractable. I say ‘at first,’ only because that’s how it is from personal experience – at first it comes at you from all directions…it tears at you…you try to keep what’s still left of you, but since it always seems bigger and more powerful than you….you just feel wasted.

‘At first,’ it’s always like that…..it doesn’t get easier with the repeating. No…it doesn’t. Because the ‘at first’ moment always seems to last an eternity – you want to speak to someone but since you want to keep what’s still whole and not entirely ravaged yet whole and intact…you manage a weak smile and trudge on by the best you can. You tell yourself that’s your way of dealing with it ‘at first.’ You even convince yourself that if you stay on long enough in that pain ridden ‘at first’ zone…it might even spit you out to the side. But it just goes right on like one of those horror stories where you read about wide doved eye travellers who take on a humongous swath of geography that so awfully big that it defies both scale and comprehension….like the eternity of the Russian steppes or maybe the snowy expanse of the arctic….it just seems to stretch right out before you and the cruelest part is when you believe it might just turn out to be the end…there’s always more of the same ahead. The at first moment seems to be the only human experience known to mankind in my opinion capable of transcending the dictionary meaning of the word litany….it’s relentless….a constant pressure….and it’s always there. At some point you say to yourself….hey a new word really needs to be wordsmithed to give this domain actual meaning. Litany doesn’t even come remotely close…litany is when you have to mow the lawn on a Sunday and fight the urge not to kick back and cool your heels over a good book and perhaps cap it off with an afternoon nap…litany is when you’re just making your way back home like the day, week, month and year before and all you’re doing is using as much processing power as it takes to tie your shoelaces because you’re too bored or exhausted to think about how to get out of this rut….but this at first moment is none of those things. No it’s not. It just seems to always have more of what you can possibly summon deep within you to see it right to the end…it’s hardly something that you can use determination, will power or sagacity or even hope to blunt and take enough of the sharp edges off so that you can continue walking thru it. No all those things are no bloody fucking good when you’re in the at first zone. They are all powerless. Besides you’re so worn right to the bone and sinew it’s not as if you have anything else besides the odd fuck you! to throw at it. It’s hard to say whether that’s a remnant of your defiance or maybe…it’s like an incantation against an evil spell. At that point you want to just stop. You tell yourself somewhere in the indescrible gnawing sensation in at first land…I’ll stop for just a while. But since you know only too well if you just let up. Even so much as a bit….you will never get up and continue putting one feet in front of another. So you laugh out loud like some stark raving mad man the sort where he’s always depicted in movies and books sporting a shaggy beard..the sort where you know that only Caucasians can grow such a beard, but you have to make do with just long hair like Amos used to sport and just as soon as that thought flits thru your head into oblivion or absurdistan….which ever presents itself first…you laugh out loud one more time….as you continue walking that no man’s land called ‘at first.’

Don’t ever stop…just keep walking. I am not going to say ‘trust me you will reach there’ or ‘you need to find strength deep in yourself.’ Plenty have told you so and it was probably meaningless then as it is now.

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