I go back and forth as to whether or not I’m good at it, suffering.
Wes Watson and Jocko Wilink both say you should embrace it, get good at it, love it; that the ability to suffer levels you up.
And I’ve been pro-suffering in a way when I wrote the lyric “If you’re never happy anyway you have the strength of suffering/if you’re never happy happy anyway you should have no fear of change”
But I also think I suffer pointlessly a lot. I should talk to the landlord, I should see a doctor, I should go pick up this or that to deal with that or this, but then I don’t. I don’t decide not to do it either, which I think would feel great. I stay in the indecision, being drained while gaining nothing.
Somewhere, I learned powerlessness. It’s my default to expect I can’t get what I want; that I’m not in control; that something will stop me and hurt me and I need to coast by under the threshold.
I’m prone to believe that hope is delusional and delusion is weakness. Yet I don’t feel stronger for not having any.
I’m scared of big feelings these days – even good ones – and it causes me to choose a low hum of continual suffering. The thing is sometimes I think I am being stronger than before if I can stay here and not sink. But then how does that ever take me forward; am I merely sinking slower than before; if the end is going to be the same isn’t this worse?
Wes and Jocko say they don’t try to be happy, they don’t try to have a positive mind set. But man, I’m so tired of being unhappy – I was unhappy even when I was happiest – and that internal intensity has burned out. I can’t do the life or death thing anymore. I do want to be happy, and not even in a big way, I don’t want constant pleasure or joy but a calm satisfaction.
There’s all this bullshit out there about how you gotta stay hungry because a few very driven, relentless people succeeded in their fields. The thing is we don’t know if they did so because of or despite their unhappiness; we don’t know that unhappiness was their winning strategy. And even if it was they still wound up unhappy! They never get to cash in the chips and let their unhappiness go.