Dukkha

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April 16, 2018 by adbesserer

Somewhere in the process of trying to be an adult, I’ve found myself very lonely. It feels as if there are two selves inside me: my mother used to say that I was a social butterfly, now, at 34, people scare me.

Life circumstances don’t help. I find myself out of step. The world is, as Blur wrote, “spinning gently out of time”. I’m facing a lot personally. Aside from trying to accept the primitive child inside me that screams for the love, acceptance, and reassurance of the people I care about, my Dad has no legs, and is going to a nursing home. My friend’s parents seem younger, and involved in a way that gives with fewer needs. I am sitting beside my Dad’s bed helping him learn to use a wheelchair. It’s difficult. He was always strong, and he is, but he’s a torso. It stirs me up just to look at him this way.

And poverty makes things difficult. I can’t afford to do things, or show people that I appreciate them by buying their books, or just a gift to say “I appreciate you”. I can barely even afford the space I desperately need that exists without judgement or expectation—my loft.

I’m writing often. I’ve started a project that makes me nervous. So many things make me nervous, but most of all people do. When did this happen? Is it happening to you too?

I’ve been physically sick for a long time. I need surgery, and I don’t have anyone that I feel like I can ask to drive me there. I don’t have a phone. Sometimes I tell myself that it’s brave and productive, but sometimes “my heart beats my mind up.” What kind of person doesn’t have a next of kin, I say to myself. That person must be horrible.

I’m very fascinated by the Buddhist concept of dukkha. To many in the western world, it’s synonymous with the tenet of “all life is suffering”, but it actually means “hard to face”. I’m finding that everything is hard to face.

I’ll listen to videos on shamanism telling me that the stars dictate chaos. I’ll read the books about “The Trauma of Everyday Life” and how to “Unfuck my life.” And I’ll hope, just keep hoping that one day I won’t care as much about the mistakes that I’ve made, and all of the painful things that I’ve experienced. But there’s an ache inside. A part of me remembers what it was like to face very little alone. Having a partner for 4 years of my life was a breath of fresh air that I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate. It was enormous, and it remains very dear to me. I think I need to let it go though. That memory of when I slept next to the most beautiful man makes this time in my life seem distorted and bleak. I think that if I could have articulated how special that was to me at the time, I could’ve held on. Memories are trickery though, and I have to remember the times when I was afraid that I would never experience bigger things. I’m not sure those bigger things have made me a better person.

I’m confused, but when I reach out to you, it means I appreciate you. I am lost, but I appreciate you. I’m sick, and often all I have to offer is my moral support, but I appreciate you.

I know I’m not alone in feeling lonely. I hope one day that feels like it makes a difference.

I am still here, I’m just buried under the weight of it all.

Life is dukkha–hard to face. It’s the theme of my current work, and the underlying theme of my strange journey.

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