How do we deal with difficult situations? We all know what the right thing to do is, we all know what is supposed to be healthy.
Meditate, eat a nice salad, confide in a friend, go for a walk, hell, even go for a run! Yes, these things are well known and understood, and yet we don’t always choose them.
Sometimes, we just don’t have the strength to select a healthy coping mechanism. Sometimes we want to hurt, need to hurt, even. Sometimes the answer is not to climb out of the bottom of the barrel as fast as you can, but to remain in it, for as long as you need.
I think of obsessive thoughts as a coping mechanism, one that I like to turn to from time to time, be it voluntarily or involuntarily. These thoughts are never particularly interesting, they can revolve around a certain person or construct that I just need to understand anything and everything about, or the latest obscure 90s video game I discovered. The one thing these thoughts have in common is that they multiply, and they don’t leave when I want them to.
A less than ideal, but nonetheless fascinating way to cope with these once they outlive their usefulness, is to drown out everything. Brute force it. We all do this from time to time, with varying degrees of intensity and success. I call this Induced Temporary Numbness. A phenomenon that ultimately leads to complete emptiness. And it always works, but contrary to what this state may promise, it doesn’t address the actual problem. It’s the equivalent of taking a painkiller with dubious side effects.
But sometimes, we need this, sometimes, we need a degree of escapism. And while tools like meditation help me keep these episodes to a minimum, I try to accept them as part of my life whenever they do overcome me.