To put this post into context, refer to yesterday’s post, here.
I have been thinking off the back of some existential angst and confusion about life and how I am this week. I realise now that the struggle is not in being stable when that stability contains joy; the problem arises when I am stable but stable within a state of neutrality and standstill.
It is not that I am not okay with being happy as my therapist suggested; I do not struggle particularly with feelings of guilt when I am actually living in a moment of joy as I know some people do. In fact when I experience joy, I find that I am now able to fully experience it – and that is indeed a beautiful thing. So happiness in itself isn’t the problem…
The problem is neutrality – being in the state of not knowing exactly how I am. I find it impossible to know and connect with myself and the world when in this state. In this “in-between”, it feels unsettling as I do not know where I stand with regards to my self. Usually my emotions are so much more intense and therefore impossible to ignore. Life in the neutral lane is just so… empty.
I can’t stand the neutrality because it makes me feel aimless and lost. I am a very all or nothing person and I guess I struggle with anything less than intense (even though a less intense inner life is something I yearn for when distressed!). Overall, I need to KNOW for certain what it is I am feeling, in order to connect – no matter which direction that feeling is in. It’s like I only know what is it I am experiencing, and who I am in relation to myself and the world, if it is at such an intense level. Low-levels of anything displease me and make me feel shifty and on edge.
So if I am happy, that is great and I can revel in it. If I am distressed, it is fucking painful, but at least it is tangible and I am aware of myself and feeling alive within that pain. The in between, however, that is what I struggle with. The limbo, the not knowing, the disconnection from anything extreme; the boringness, the intangibility, the not-knowing-what’s-to-come. That is the most unsettling place to find myself in. The mundanity of being a human – I think that’s what it is.
I’m content when I’m stuck at one end or the other, but put me in the middle and I become lost and uncomfortable. If I can perpetuate the happy, I will be fine. But it’s the unknown and unpredictability of the neutral state that has the potential to tip me back into distress, I think, just so that I can feel some sort of connection again.
I’ve got to find, create and perpetuate the happy – and eliminate the mundanity – so that I can remain stable.