Losing control liberates in ways unanticipated. Free from responsibility. Free from worry. Granted, it lacks a certain satisfaction, a certain pride, a certain fulfillment, but the freedom from care feels like compensation. And even in less than ideal circumstances, anxiety makes itself scarce. As long as you’re well fed, clean and relatively comfortable, anything is bearable. The boredom might dull you or harden you, but it won’t break you.
It releases you from the reality of constantly competing with yourself to do better, to look better, to be better. Worrying if you made the right choice, waiting to find out if you messed up, and trying to figure out how to fix your mistake or deal with the consequences starts to wear you down.
Make money. Be social. Learn. Get enough sleep. Go to the gym. Eat healthy. Keep in touch. Pay your bills. Sign here. Act like it all makes you smile. Finding time to do what actually makes you happy, makes you genuinely smile (not just pose-for-the-picture smile) becomes just something else to add to the to-do list, second to doing your laundry and third to watching the episode of Dexter that’s been on your DVR for two weeks.
So you take your evening, the few hours to yourself, to take some time to not think. To take a sip of scotch and let the sounds of the night wash over you. (The buzzing in your ears and numbness in the tip of your nose mutes your tendency to over-think, to overanalyze.) To call those people (whose names you always forget because they’re saved in your phone as the name of the bar in which you met them) whose company you can’t stand because he’s too arrogant… or she’s too ditzy, but God, that thing they do with their tongue…
Then you get to a point where your hot shower and the Law & Order marathons don’t mask the vague hollowness you feel when you think of those moments you were happy and realize you aren’t anymore. It’s time to change. So you pack, get on a bus or a train or... any form of transportation, really, and go.
It’s just for the weekend. Maybe a little longer. To visit some friends you haven’t seen since last Christmas, to meet up with your ex for the night, to forget the sounds of the city and the monotony of your daily routine and breathe.
"What’s different now? What was I doing in that moment I was happy, in that time when everything seemed to be going right, that I’m not doing anymore?" you ask yourself. And you go through every aspect in your life and you try to figure out who or what toxic thing you let in. And God, it feels good to know that once you figure it out, once you determine that thing that makes it hard to wake up in the morning and even harder to fall asleep at night, that it will be so easy to just let it go.