3/6/05 - The Trick is to Keep Breathing

I'm sure every one of us has been in this situation at least once. Maybe it's not so common for some, but me, well, it's just the way I work...

You take in all the little shit that happens every day, all the comments you would normally argue with, all the situations you would normally avoid, and you just force a smile and go with the flow. You do this when you know pushing against the tide would probably lead to disaster. So instead you swallow it down, suck it up, and pretend like everything's okay.

I'm very good at that. I do it all the time. But a person can only keep it up for so long. Eventually, you start to realize you've been backing yourself into a corner. You start to think maybe things would've been easier if you'd just said everything that was on your mind in the beginning, and, if it went badly, made a break for the door and ran for freedom. But no. Now you've gone and backed yourself into that corner. You've settled nicely into this situation, and if everyone finds out you've been hiding your true colors, the whole thing is likely to blow up.

So you just keep on bottling it up, every day. More and more, you hate the situation you've created for yourself. When no one else is around, you expect you'll find a bit of peace, but instead you find yourself climbing up the walls. Alone with your thoughts, you have to face the weight of your own disappointment. Every night it's worse. Sleeping becomes more and more difficult. It builds up to the point where you're almost certain it's going to break through your happy facade at some absurdly inopportune moment.

You know you have to find some release valve on your own time, before something bad happens while everyone else is looking. You have to let it the fuck out and cry yourself to sleep. Keep the secrets, but burn off the anger. But that's more easily said than done, isn't it? You can get pretty comfortable pretending there's nothing wrong - unhappy, but secure in the knowledge that every day you'll get up and do the same thing again. But if you open that pressure valve - if you have a good sob and let it all out tonight - will you be able to close it by morning and put your happy mask back on? Will you want to? Would it be healthier not to? Are these questions you want to face right now?

Probably not. So you keep that valve shut. Instead of facing your anger and letting it out, you do something else to distract yourself. It's like you know you should just take your medicine and get it over with, but you just keep eating candy to keep yourself so wired you don't notice the pain. And you keep boiling just under the surface.

Feels like I've been holding my breath since August. I need to come up for air soon.




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