/Situational thinking

Situational thinking

Is this the life I really want?

Christmas Day was good, but I’m glad it’s over with. My sister and my niece are part of a great family and the love is genuine and tangible. I want a return to my world of illusion where, even though it’s not perfect, I am at least somewhat familiar with the workings. That is fear talking – and anxiety, self doubt and insecurity (all of fear’s children). In the face of social situations involving family and sentiment and “feelings” I want to run away to what I know. Screw all the resolutions about losing weight, quitting smoking, or being nicer I resolve to face my fears and seek out the unknown.

Managing situations

I have spent years (hell, a lifetime) trying to avoid social situations and the concomitant discomfort produced. A major part of my substance use and abuse was an attempt to reduce these feelings of outsiderness and disconnectedness. Now, as before, I find myself unable to enjoy or participate in so-called ordinary social gatherings. Work parties, Recovery gratitude gatherings, family dinners, etc … I don’t fit in and that makes people uncomfortable. So, it’s better if I just do it alone. Not total isolation, but keeping the world at arms length so the people who care about me, and vice-versa, don’t have to endure uncomfortable get together.

Where does that leave me? What are my feelings on the subject? The answer: my feelings don’t matter, the object is to spare the world the discomfort of being left alone in a room with me and my insecurities, self sabotage and inane self chatter.

The truth is doubtless not quite as bleak as that, it never is. One of the things that I am consistently bad at is objectively judging the magnitude of my failures (and successes – as rare as those are). My therapist can confirm that I am prone to hyperbole regarding my own abilities and deficits as well as the impact I have on my surroundings – exaggerating in magnitude far below the actual value or vastly exceeding it.

Truth in hyperbole

I See You…

Wanderer, wanderer, lost in the haze
void of direction, succumb to the craze.
Give ear to my madness, so deftly designed;
deception de-jour: aimed to muddle your mind.

Hocus and pocus no need for free thought,
erase your opinions, your conscious to rot.
As sugar and soda your smile decay,
a hoax and swindle, then off on your way.

Smoke and a mirror, please don’t look too close.
The truth makes one banal; drugs for the morose.
Illusion can conjure emotions untapped
a quick misdirection, now I’ve got you trapped.

You think you arrived here, quite all on your own
you’re one of a billion, another sad clone…
I’ve stolen the treasure that once made you free
brainwashed you to thinking all’s as it should be.

Gobbledygook and hyperbolized drivel
platitudes, platitudes, mentally shrivel;
accept what I tell you, and not an ounce more,
wanderer, wanderer, you’re lost evermore.

I wish that I had the ability to format content on my iPad the way I can with my laptop. The poem above looks so much better when it is divided into four-line stanzas. The same can be said for the LaTeX codes. If I type them in html, or the markup language WordPress uses, maybe I can cut & paste right into this app and keep the formatting.

Final words

I am way too critical of other people, different methods and strange paths. That is probably the biggest change I have to make next year – there are a lot of adjustments I want to make or have been recommended, but embracing acceptance, tolerance and being nonjudgmental are traits I need to learn and cultivate.

I am doing pretty good with acceptance. I don’t let the shit that happens get under my skin or elicit a reaction from me. A lot of that has to do with managing the situations I put myself in; effectively maximizing my chances for being in low stress environments. That is an example of new me being self aware – giving myself a shot at success before throwing a grenade in to implode my efforts. Progress, not perfection; right?


I can go back to my less than perfect life with my slightly unrealistic plans secure in the knowledge that I am doing what is right; for me, for everybody. The hope that keeps me moving, not towards perfection but better, is not surrender to forces greater than me, but acknowledgement that I am a finite person in an infinite universe. And that is exactly as it is supposed to be.

είμαι ένας πεπερασμένος άνθρωπος σε ένα άπειρο σύμπαν