Ask someone to tell you about happiness and they often share their sadness. Ask them about love and they tell you about heart break. Ask for the proudest accomplishment and often, they share their tribulations and failures. Too often, we define ourselves by how we stumble and fall. We use the missing parts, the gaps, the inadequacies to define what we are or have. It is not specifically pessimism, it is like looking at life as a negative and not the actual photo. Life seen in reverse.
I am a fainter. I have fainter off and on my whole life. Syncope is not a foreign sensation or something I fear. I know what it is and recognize the prodrome. It scares the crap out of people around me. They usually have no experience with fainting. To watch a person fall unconscious is a disturbing thing and I am keenly aware of how distressing this is for other people. So, I ‘listen’ to the signs and when the symptoms of fainting begin, I adjust. I sit down or lie down. I ask for juice or an dice pack. I quietly inform someone, “I feel faint.” Even conveyed discretely, most people stress. If I do faint, I have to wait until I am conscious again to reassure them that I am really okay. But, forever more, the person before whom I have fainted watches me a bit askew, fearful I might faint. I don’t fear fainting. It is what it is and it passes. It is a familiar phenomenon and transient. But, just before I faint, the whole world turns into a black and white negative, like a photo in reverse. It is an odd perception of the world. And while it is still a representative of the Real World, it is not reality.
But the psyche has a similar phenomenon when it is sad. The prodrome of deep sorrow is this world in negative relief. What is light becomes dark and what was dark is now lit up and emphasized.
Fortunately, it is transient.
Sorrow and melancholy are not things from which I flee any more than I try to escape fainting. They are what they are. And I accept….even relish them….as I would any other emotion. Without sadness, there is not joy. Without tears there is no laughter. I do not romanticize these sorrowful emotions any more than I whitewash the world with the happy ones. They are what they are. And while my blog was intended to be a practical exercise in finding the silver lining and the positive in even the most adverse circumstances, it cannot edit or censor the truth which is that some days (maybe even weeks) I am BLUE. And I am afraid. And I worry. I feel insecure. I need help.
So, I am honest and I don’t skulk or shirk away. I know when I am a hot mess. I get better at telling people I am undone. I might wish for anesthesia but it is a hollow wish for I do not wish away the sad for knowing it wipes away the good. And acceptance of ALL my feelings, acknowledging my fear or insecurity or doubt is what allows me to be brave or risky or vulnerable.
I dismantled my blogsite a few weeks ago, turning all my posts private in a juvenile emotional response to being afraid and suddenly (after five years) fearful of criticism or rebuke or exposure. Humorous, considering I post some of the private emotional discourse for anyone to read. In reality, I think my ‘audience’ is quite small and and I am either already vulnerable with them in the real world or they have made it clear my vulnerability is absurd. And….if I care less if they “like” me in the real world, what should it matter is they like how or what I write or think?
When updated the back end of the WordPress theme and all the widgets, I read all this industry stuff about how to increase your audience. I realized that I don’t write this thing for an audience (not really) I write it for ME. To affirm myself and who I am; to be real for myself. If that picks up readers, cool. But….this is my exercise. It’s when I start filtering and censoring what or how I write due to who MIGHT be reading that I get lost. That is when I am not earnest in this endeavor and steal from myself.
The whole point of this is to be REAL, the Real Lisa.