Friday, 9 February 2018


The world we currently live in is a painful one. I'm not trying to say it's not beautiful because it is, we cannot deny the beauty of sunsets and flowers, of the loving bond between humans or the warmth of the sun on our skin. But equally it is a painful world. There are wars and famine, disease and struggle, there is heartbreak and injury, there is corruption and pain and at the end there is death.

And the truth and reality of that is too painful to deal with. Most days we can go about our daily lives fooling ourselves that these issues don't exist because they are happening to a vast majority of the 7 billion people on this planet but not to us. But then it's our time to feel that pain; someone close to us falls ill, we experience heart break or we are in an accident, and like most people on this planet we force ourselves into a state of anaesthesia. We do things to numb us out from the pain. 

Most people these days in the developed world use social media and consumerism as forms of anaesthesia. When we feel uncomfortable in a state of distress looking at other peoples lives through Instagram or Facebook, or whichever site you wish to use, numbs us temporarily from our own lives. 

Anaesthesia is the root of addiction really. We become addicted to social media, addicted to consuming, to smoking, to alcohol, to drugs, to gambling, to self harm, to sex, to exercise, to working, to video games, to sleep all in an effort to temporarily not have to deal with pain. We become addicted to whatever it is that allows us not to feel. 

Over the last 5 years I have very much been someone who has used various different ways to numb me out of feelings of discomfort. I spend hours a day scrolling through social media to numb me out. Out of thinking about my own life, my own worries, the things I should be doing, the things I could be doing. I am wasting my life to a screen. I know that. But every time an uncomfortable feeling comes up I am reaching for my phone in an attempt to distract myself. But sometimes that isn't enough. So I might turn to chucking myself into my studies, to video games like Sims or worse to self harm, and in that moment of needing the numbness I don't think about the consequences.

In the last week or so I have realised just how much I crave a feeling of anaesthesia. How whenever I find myself feeling sad, low, sick, or just generally not great I am grabbing for things outside of myself to distract me from dealing with these feelings. I know I need to face these feelings head on, that is part of being human but I don't know how to deal with them.

I am trapped in a little bubble of needing anaesthesia. Aren't we all? We all find our ways to deal with the hard stuff, or even to not have to deal with it.

So I mindlessly watch Netflix, sleep, scroll through social media, travel, walk or cut myself in a way to numb out the things I'm not ready to feel. To anaesthetise myself from feeling and acknowledging, to play pretend for a little longer that life isn't crumbling in the places I don't want it to, to pretend that it's all going to be okay when in fact sometimes events happen in life and things will never, ever, be the same again.

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