Unreliable Narrator

In an attempt to feel that I have some semblance of control over my life, I narrate my experience in my head, similar to a voiceover in a movie. I don’t do this all of the time, but I also don’t do it infrequently. Even amidst narration, I recognize my actions for what they are: attempts to assign order and meaning to my life, particularly when I feel my life lacks these things.

In other words, I deal with a lot of existential dread and cope with it by talking to myself.

I feel less alone when I do this. I expect it’s similar to how people post Instagram photos of their meals. I get it. We’re using social media as a substitute for actual connection and discourse. It’s easier. It’s safer — emotionally — we’re less vulnerable behind curated images of our lives and in 144-word servings. And there’s always the option of clicking “delete” or ghosting.

As someone who deals with (at times) severe anxiety, virtual ‘connection’ is helpful. But when we rely too much on it as a crutch, we end up isolating from actual real face-to-face connection. And we don’t just disconnect from the people in our lives — physically present people — but we disconnect from ourselves.

Or, I should say, I disconnect from myself. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I personally have a tendency to disconnect — from myself & from the people I care about. Sometimes it’s due to hyper-focusing on a single task; I lose sense of time passing and my body’s cues for food & movement & hydration. Other times, it’s a survival mechanism that’s outlived its usefulness (98% of the time, at least).

When I started writing this entry, I was in a different frame of mind from now. I’m no longer sure I have a point to make here. Perhaps the point is just to reflect and share and in the process maybe someone will come upon it and recognize themselves. Someone shut away from the world, cocooned in blankets, safe behind the glass of their electronic device. Someone like me, today, resting in bed after running an errand on too little sleep and too much frustration.

If you’re out there: Hi! You’re not alone. I understand.

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