I have grown quite adept at “faking it.” Pretending that I am okay in situations I am in fact not. Especially in public. By pretending things aren’t wrong. That I am not in pain or discomfort. That I am still in control of my thoughts and actions.
I do so in two distinct ways:
Physically is perhaps the easiest to spot (obviously). For instance in cars I pretend I am not nauseous. That I don’t always feel like passing out or throwing up. That with each corner it doesn’t feel like my mind and stomach are flying off in different directions…
Other instances would be in regards to my allergies. When they are really bad I am often left without the energy to complete even normal day-to-day tasks. Or when in public and sneezing uncontrollably with runny nose, people must assume I am sick and contagious and proceed to avoid me with awkward stares…
Mentally, it is most predominantly anxiety that leaves me unable to retain control. When my anxiety takes the reigns, I pretend that I am in control and present in whatever uncomfortable situation I find myself in. That my mind has not been hijacked out of control with no option but to just “get through it.”
That is the key: getting through whatever horrible (or unfairly exaggerated “normal”) situation where I have lost control back to a place where I have regained it and am able to live freely.
I really have no idea what I am doing. I don’t know where or how or what or when I am going in life. How to affect the change needed in order to live better. To improve my health and livelihood.
To get my allergies under control so I am not completely zapped of my energy on a daily basis.
To lose the weight I both need and want to lose in order to be both healthier and happier.
To get back in shape enough so I am able to enjoy soccer and biking and running and walking.
To get a new job: something that has been constantly eluding me despite my intensive application and interviewing attempts.
To be social. To confront my introversion and fear of interaction with others, potential embarrassment, and certain awkwardness.
Most importantly, to pinpoint what is misaligned in my brain that constantly places me in a state of worry, panic, and uneasement…
Beyond that, even to simply have a general idea of what is wrong and how to approach fixing it…
Hell, to even be able to successfully treat the symptoms enough to function consistently at half-capacity…
But I still trudge on. I try. I take risks. I keep living. I don’t give up because I know things will get better. They must. I trust there are those who care enough about me to ensure such. That no matter how disillusioned I may become due to the countless pressures and burdens placed upon me, I still have the willpower and basic humanity to keep living.
Sometimes no action is the best action you could possibly take.
Now, stay with me here… Most of the time it is better to push forward and take action than to just back off and “think”. Even when you must take things slow and craft detailed plans before you take a leap… The failure of not taking those steps to get off your butt and do something are obvious: you don’t ever do anything.
But there is a fine line between all of that and spinning your wheels in the sand, expending precious time and energy while getting nowhere — except deeper into the hole.
Perhaps it is only from a stationary position that we can take full stock of our situation. Because from there it is simply a matter of observing things as they are, without assumptions or bias or doubts.
For it is when we stop to remove ourselves from a situation that we are finally dealt the tools to affect change.
There is a time and a place for everything. For making plans, brainstorming situations, researching topics, and the like. But there comes a point where all of that just becomes a gateway to fear. Where it all accounts for nothing if not put into ACTION.
I have a wealthy history of getting routinely stuck in that place; where great ideas and plans are born and yet left to rot and die. And yes, much of that history now involves me writing about it here…
Because it is so easy to give in to old habits. To fears that have plagued us for so long. It is easy to make plans and talk about what you are going to do… And oh so easy to KEEP TALKING.
But it takes true strength to acknowledge that the time for talking has passed and that something more is now needed. That you are strong enough to move beyond the plans of epiphany into the realm of realization. To accept that you must now face the music, with the true trials of willpower just beginning.
I need to write more. And publish that writing. And not let the quest for quality kill the quantity of production.
I need to push myself more in order to gain the increased communication skills I desire. Or more exactly: to be able to more eloquently process the thoughts in my head into understandable English.
I must expand beyond my current comfort zone. For that is simply holding me back and getting me nowhere. Fast. And has been. Forever.
I must push beyond where I feel easy and at rest to a place of productive discomfort. A place where I am forcing myself to be more vocal, simultaneously driving myself to accomplish more and to become more confident in myself.
As in physics, force is a necessary evil – namely at the beginning – in order to set anything in motion. Without such a push no change of state can ever occur. What more, the greater the initial push, the greater is the inertial energy that is able to keep you moving. So while small steps are necessary to achieve greatness, there must be a force behind them.