When You Get Desensitized To Life

I don’t want to write.

What I really want to do is cuddle with my freaking bodacious husband and play some mind numbing RPG until my brain shuts down. I want to have five thousand dollars to dole out into my account and pay my bills. I want to dance in warm summer rain and maybe take a nap afterwards.

Unfortunately, my husband is hundreds of miles away carting our crap from Coos Bay, Oregon to Tremonton, Utah, wanting money for bills is a constant state of being of a young adult (and many others), and it’s the last day of September, so I could get rain, but it sure as heck won’t be warm.

And anxiety stops me from shrugging off writing completely. It whispers and wheedles beneath the hearing range, even for my thoughts, and feeds me sensations of falling back or behind or never reaching my goal to egg me on into work. I want so badly for my stories to succeed, and I freaking LOVE to write, but sometimes, especially on cold days like this when my boy’s been away, I just want to turn off. To float and dream in a space of black nothingness, warm like hot springs, safe as the Temple.

What do you do on days like that? Do you take a break and try to find peace or press on? Is anything defined by what you choose to do at the times you feel the least like doing it, whether it’s writing, exercise, market, or any other work that goes towards a dream or goal that you have? What do you do on those days you feel like your dream may never happen?

I think the first thing we have to remember is that, although we are, well, us–in our own skin and brain and all that–we are still people. In that I mean that we still need to treat ourselves as we would someone else in the same position. One must be careful to act with tenderness towards oneself and not berate ourselves or abuse ourselves, otherwise we will act as any normal person would to such treatment: despair, maybe anger, and often straight up surrender. After a while of being with an abusive person we can’t get away from, because we are always with ourselves, those days might become the norm and we might give up entirely.

I also find it helps to stop thinking about your work or dreams. Just don’t think about it. Don’t think about how far off it is, don’t think about your shortcomings in achieving it, don’t think about the work. If one isn’t allowed to breathe from a subject they tend to become desensitized to it, like anything else we are around too much, whether that be light, swearing, or a particularly bad smell. Shakespeare uses this principle in all of his tragedies to great affect by always inserting a comedic relief. The momentary break from the heavy tones of the story ensures that the audience won’t become desensitized, and therefore disconnected, from the emotions of the tragedy playing on stage.

So, on sad days like this when you simply don’t feel like writing, it might just be okay to take a break or do something fun. Spend time spinning your cat on your floor, watched some people at Wal-mart, eat something you half-know will kill you, because sometimes we just need a break from becoming desensitized to life.

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