COPING MECHANISMS

Living with chronic loneliness is like....female facial hair. Adult acne. That phantom itch that swaths your ankles the second you tuck yourself into bed. It’s icky and invasive. The funny thing is that when life is good, you can go weeks, months even, without paying any mind to it…and then when it flares up, it’s BAD. All-consuming. World-destroying. I would know because it’s been a constant since the moment my body decided to go through puberty. I could tell you all the dark, damp places this loneliness stems from…but on second thought, nah, because you gotta at least buy me dinner first. I’ll tell you how I deal with it though. 

Herbert Felix

Firstly there was the theatre, which I’ve been in forever, since it was the only place where having or showing a vanilla existence wasn’t just rejected, it was...condemned. Everyone in the theatre arrives lonely because society has failed to recognize them. They are unrecognized to such a point that the only way they can find any self esteem is by pimping themselves out for applause from a venue full of faces they can’t see. We’re all still circus freaks, separated from the crowd— but all of a sudden, people pay to watch us. I guess my Instagram is kinda like the theatre. 

From my immense pain also came my humor, because the only other choice was to cry. And NO ONE, not even the attention-shy, wants to be puffy. I figured out how to make light of grim, real-life shit, which I quickly noticed was funny to everyone because it’s relatable. Literally, nothing is more relatable than human suffering. Realizing that eased mine; it is the gasoline that fuels every stitch of my work.

Look, all this art and creativity is well and good and sparkly, but it’s also not always enough. When our emotional state gets dark, we tend to forget about all the things in life that are light. The idea that we were once aroused and enlightened by, attracted to, got inspiration from anything seems so foreign. All of our demons charge at us like the airhorn just rang out on the racetrack. Our first inclination…and then our second…and third…becomes to self-medicate as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Hebert Felix

This is kind of controversial to admit as a “health” person, because it’s supposed to come from within or whatever, but I’ve found that the only thing in this vast world that truly makes me feel like I’m not alone are very codependent friendships and relationships. I am truly OBSESSED with other people. What makes them tick, what hurts them, what heals them, if I can heal them, if they can heal me. And I want them to be obsessed with me too. Like, when I’m in bed cuddling, my favorite position is to starfish my partner while smooshing their cheek into mine. I want to us to be mutually SMOTHERED, almost as if we were trying to shove each other into our various voids like liquid cement.

Obviously, that’s not sustainable. Nor is it always appreciated. 

That’s all I got, though. 15 years of therapy and I’m STILL at a goddamn loss! My kittens, I honestly don’t know how to heal loneliness. I just thought I’d talk about it. However, at this point I DO know what makes me feel good. I mean genuinely good, long-term good, PBS-style heartwarming good, not the fuzzy “good” feeling you get in your lower belly when you’re about to be blasted high. These things are surprisingly wholesome, and they work every time; I ritualistically remind myself of them every day. I would highly encourage you to figure out what works for you, too. I’d also encourage you to, like I do below, list all the “bad” things that make you feel good, if just for a hot minute, because the only way to get rid of shame is to be cool with airing out our dirty laundry. 

That shit is what makes anyone interesting anyway. 

Naughty List:

-benzos

-poppers

-ecstasy 

-tequila on the rocks w/ 2 limes (x 4)

-dating app dates with people I would under any other circumstance never date that inevitably lead to ‘situations’ with people I would under any other circumstance never date…or bone 

-dating drug abusers (the white powder variety)

-demanding to be choked until I pass out 

-1200 calories worth of paleo crackers (#grainfree tho)

Nice List:

-floating in the ocean (Or a bath. All bodies of water work. Just avoid the temptation to float on your stomach.)

-farmers markets 

-buying and arranging plants 

-dance cardio

-period television shows (1600-1940 only)

-playing dress up in vintage clothes

-playing dress up in vintage clothes with children

-playing dress up in vintage clothes and playing with puppies (in said vintage garments; the bitches are not wearing them)

-a sensible portion of well-sauced spaghetti 

If you need a cyber hug, I’m here for it. A pair of my used underwear and I gotta charge, though. 

P.S. I love making lists. It’s an amazing way to pass the time while I wait for my Adderall to level out, and it makes me feel in control, which I’m so not.