I’m a Hurt-aholic

I was raised in a manner that led to my emotional masochism. But, I’ll avoid highlighting any specific instances of abuse that may have contributed. I’ve found that pursuit as silly as reaching for a pill to solve this.

I’m also not certain how genetics might influence this development in an individual.

But I do know that when this pain rings, I get transported back in time to being scolded as a child, my vision tunneling down to his eyes as he screams. Almost as if he was downloading his pain into me through his clearly hurt, but disturbingly lifeless eyes.

It took a long time to recognize my choice in becoming bewitched by that pain ringing in my head. Allowing myself to forget the life I’ve built since, handing my body over to that broken child still inside me, and being fully consumed by it.

I think the most revealing thing I learned from someone not suffering from anxiety is that they can have these hurt feelings too, just not as severe. Their view doesn’t tunnel. Their world doesn’t crumble with despair.

It’s like how I am able to drink alcohol, but not to excess. Other people are able to feel hurt, but not the soul-shattering, existence-threatening hurt that I would feel about the same event.

I’m not a different species, I just suffer from a weakness that propels me deeper into hurt than necessary. Others might recognize hurt when it happens, but they don’t pile on and push themselves deeper.

That’s what I do. Like a hurt-aholic.

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Marcus Aurelius – Meditations

Here’s a guy that lived for a mere 59 years on Earth, managing to become the emperor of Rome, and writing a journal that remains one of the most heavily recommended books of all time.

Why is Meditations so good? I’d assume the reason might be his relatable perspective of self, and the briskness and focus of his messages. The Hays translation also brightens up the conversational nature of Aurelius’ passages.

This guy understood the relative insignificance of his own existence when measured against all of eternity, but within that humility he found a razor sharp perspective on what to value in life.

It might sound silly to say that the emperor of Rome could teach the plebeians about perspective. But then again, reading this book written around 150 A.D. still feels as relevant as ever in today’s world.

That’s really saying something.

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Meat Bag Confronts Screen, More at 11

“Don’t sit so close! You’ll ruin your eyes!”

My worrisome mother often shouted from across the room, frustrated by her child’s growing infatuation with the images pouring out of our living-room tube TV.

Television was reviled on one side of our family. My grandparents only let me watch baseball and McGee & Me, a Christian home video series. Viewed as the source of all our misgivings, TV subverts a good Christian life. A sinful teacher. A device with unchecked access to my newly forming neural connections.

But I will forever defend the television, for its many faults, it still welcomes groups to sit together and focus attention. If not on each other, then at least on an agreed point. A movie, show, or nothing in particular. We focused together.

That’s not as viable with our pocket screens.

Our smartphones are highly personal and personalized; downright magical, you might say. But looking over someone’s shoulder as they scroll through their feed is met with a bristling self-consciousness.

I think this is a problem.

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