Sunday, May 21, 2017

Today's MOZEN: Don't Fear Feelings.

F LoBuono

In light of recent events (i.e. the apparent suicide of Chris Cornell), I felt it important to share this.

Even though Mr. Cornell's wife disputes the actual details of his death, there seems to be no question that, in many ways, he was a soul who struggled with his own identity and, therefore, depression and anxiety - just like virtually ALL of us. His great fame and fortune could not isolate him from his own feelings of doubt. Even his well reported solid family life could not save him from himself. It leaves one to think that if someone so brilliant and seemingly together as Mr. Cornell could do such a thing, what does it mean for the rest of us?

So, as hard as it is to admit to one's feelings of doubt and pain, it is even more so to express it publicly. But, it may be essential in our recovery. Despite my bluster and boasts of a self-proclaimed enormous ego, I suffer sometimes with crippling doubt and anxiety. There are many real (but, also ultimately superficial) reasons that this is so, like: an incredibly stressful job, a bizarre schedule, and concerns about growing older. But, again, although they contribute to my overall condition, they are not the REAL reasons. It is more because I am SO connected to things. I feel EVERYTHING - deeply. I've worked very hard all of my life to strike a balance between reasonably protecting myself (i.e. being a tough guy) and allowing an openness of thought and spirit that can make someone oh, so vulnerable. For, as full of shit as I can be, I can still experience painful loneliness, too - just like everyone else. I often think that my bluster (and my corresponding alter egos) is merely a ruse to put people off the trail of a truly gentle heart. I even do my best to live a vegetarian lifestyle so as to limit the amount of cruelty I am responsible for in the world.

But, doing good deeds and thinking deep thoughts will not insulate us from the pain of, well, living. To live is to feel. And, to feel is to experience not only love, but hate and fear, as well. It is what makes us human, indeed. It is striking the balance between all that is our greatest challenge.

Certainly not on the same level as Mr. Cornell, but I have been a high achiever my whole life: President of my high school class - IQ of 137 - Captain of my high school and college football teams - intercollegiate weight lifting champion - Shop Steward of my Union, etc. Although I am intensely proud of these achievements, there are times that they are difficult to see through the darkness. None of it seems to matter. There is only now and the doubt and sadness. It's difficult to explain when you don't quite understand yourself. NO ONE is immune from depression - no one. I believe it's something that we all share. So, in a sense, that's exactly what we should do - share it.

I suppose that the best way to deal with these feeling when they occur is to do some version of what I am doing right now - SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. CONNECT. We are not alone. YOU are not alone. Despite feeling as such, sometimes, just dealing with them brings some relief. And, SHARING them brings you even one step closer to happiness.

I hope.


1 comment:

  1. Well written Frank, and to the point; share your feelings and don't hold back.