Unbearable Affects

Most of us have had the experience of somebody significant to us dying. We feel deep pain over the death. For a while, we can’t think of anything else. We cry all the time. Our insides are twisting and moaning.

One can’t live like that indefinitely, though. We have to be there for our kids and loved ones, we must show up to work, we need to find a way to enjoy life. We have to gather up the pain and place it somewhere inside us where we can access it whenever we need but from which it can’t poison everything else in our lives. When we go to the cemetery or look at the photos of the dead loved one, we access the pain, submerge ourselves in it, but then lock it back up and proceed with our lives.

The pain of a loss cannot and should not be erased. It’s our pain, it’s part of us. Our identity isn’t what we look like and how we have sex. It’s made of our losses.

During the grieving process, we find a way to make losses part of our selves in a survivable way. Death of a loved one is just an example. Anything else you perceive as deeply painful works like that. You have to integrate it into yourself and build a space for it inside your mind. If for whatever reason that work wasn’t completed, the grief, the pain, the fear – or whatever else the terrible experience makes you feel – will start leaking out, poisoning the rest of your life.

People aren’t robots. We aren’t supposed to “get over” our losses. Pain is a natural and normal part of human life. That’s why I said before that everybody has these intolerable affects.

If they aren’t boundaried up well and are seeping into our consciousness, it becomes a pretty scary place. So we begin to escape from our own minds. The escape can be effectuated through mind-altering substances or through filling our minds with noise. Have you seen people who are always in their headphones? They are trying to drown out the unbearable affects that are running free through their minds.

The noise people use to drown out unbearable affects doesn’t have to be physical. A barrage of words or images accessed on social media works great to drown out the painful thoughts.

The problem is that trying to ignore or meficate the pain doesn’t make it go away. It only hurts more. Then you need larger doses of the alcohol, the pills, the music, the gaming, the kitty videos or whatever else you use to escape from your own thoughts. This will continue until either you corral the unbearable affects securely or they’ll eat your life.

Inspirational Story of the Day

A nurse is attending a badly wounded Ukrainian soldier near Bakhmut.

“He’s going to be fine!” she says, trying to encourage the soldier. “Look, he’s winking at me!”

“Nah,” mumbles the bleeding soldier and raises his hand to show his wedding band. “I’m not winking. I’m married.”

I’d definitely be more scared of a Ukrainian wife who suspects cheating than of the entire remaining Russian army, so it makes sense.