One step forward, three steps backwards. Sometimes that’s just how life be like.
I eat healthy. I exercise. I’ve found a full-time job. I seem to have everything I need. Yet something just seems wrong.
I keep looking back to see if there’s a particular event I can put the blame on, but this dark cloud hovering over my head seems to have followed me for as long as I can remember.
We all grow out of things like these, don’t we? Isn’t angst supposed to be like asthma? Something debilitating at the moment that you forget once enough time passes?
Maybe I’ll need to carry a mental inhaler around for the rest of my life. Maybe I best accept that as fact. But the past weekend has been rough, because acceptance couldn’t have been the furthest thing from my mind.
The Bukowski method
Now, I wouldn’t want to go taking life advice from someone like Bukowski, but the man knew his misery. So it stands to reason that if he’d managed to find a quick solution, then maybe I too can benefit from his ways.
His prescription? Just sleep it all away.
“I just go to bed for three days and four nights,” he’d said. “Pull down all the shades and just go to bed. Get up. Shit. Piss. Drink a beer now and then and go back to bed. I come out of that completely re-enlightened for 2 or 3 months. I get power from that.”
I didn’t know it, but I had the Bukowski method down pat. Without the energy to handle anything else in my life, I had resorted to drinking my weekend away, curtains drawn, phone in the other room.
“Everybody should go to bed now and then when they’re down low,” said Bukowski, “and give it up for three or four days. Then they’ll come back good for a while.”
I don’t know what Monday brings but I sure do hope it’s a brief respite from the constant anxiety and heaviness that never seems to go away.
Quick edit: This post was written on Sunday and scheduled to publish on Tuesday.
My own method
After drinking myself silly and leaving the chores for future me to deal with, I’m left with nothing but a husk of myself to usher in the coming workweek.
I do have a trump card up my sleeve though, which sometimes helps get me through the worst funks, and that’s to ask myself: “What’s next?”
So I might feel like death’s just around the corner, and I could be dealing with the hopelessness of a thousand Sisyphuses, but nothing centres my thoughts better than asking myself what’s next.
Screwed up at work? Okay, what’s next? There’s a wasp hive in my backyard? What’s next? Writer’s block here to visit? Ditto.
Simplistic, maybe, but it does pull my mind away from rumination mode, spurring it into some form of action. After all, doing something is much better than doing nothing at all.
So the next time you find yourself stuck in a pickle, maybe give this a try and let me know how it goes. I just asked myself the same question and now I find myself typing away at the keyboard, which is probably a good thing.
You always have the power to choose
I’m pretty tipsy right now, and I figured I’d go to bed once I finish my six-pack. But my last beer can’s all warm and empty, and here I am writing this piece, because hey, what’s going to come after regretting today’s life choices?
I’m glad I’m choosing to do something though, because you know what I’m learning at this moment? It’s that you don’t need to feel good doing the things you need to do.
For me, that means 90% of the things in my life. And to be honest, even though writing’s my ‘passion’, I still find it a challenge to sit down and hack away at the blank page.
Maybe that’s the secret to life then, to learn to love the things you hate.
Because I sure as hell know that if happiness was my main goal, there’d be so many things that’d end up unfinished, from the simple ones like doing the chores to my life’s biggest goals like writing novels.
Every day I’m faced with a choice between relaxing or working for something, and I tend to feel differently about it with each passing day, but what it all comes down to is this: I always have the power to choose.
We all need to find our code
David Goggins once said that he’s found his code to life, and he did that through suffering. He also says that he doesn’t have the code for anyone else, because it’s unique for each and everyone of us.
So maybe it’s a blessing that I have to walk around with a dark cloud over my head. Maybe that’s the only way I’ll ever make the effort to find my own code in life.
After all, the dark cloud did get me to write this post, didn’t it?