There’s a lot of pain in the world today.

I didn’t intend to spend the day reading about the various awful shit happening in people’s lives.

But I just finished Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, and by the time I finished it, her raw openness meant that I felt like I intimately knew, and loved, her friend Anthony who was dying.

So I visited her blog this morning. I didn’t find any up-to-date information about Anthony. But I found a post detailing a bunch of people she knew who died in a short period of time. Then I went to her Twitter page. Anthony is on his deathbed. Her husband wrote a beautiful blog post about it. I read that too.

Then a friend of mine posted a gut-wrenching story about her break-up on Facebook. I read it. I stopped to offer kind words and virtual pats on the head.

I haven’t been able to focus on work at all today, wrecked by the weight of all of this pain. Even though things worse than this, closer to home, have happened and are happening every day. Somehow today is the day that my mind is tuned to ‘pain’.

It never fails to amaze me how the brain can latch onto something and make that something the theme for your whole day – or longer. It’s like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon but for types of occurrences.

My brain is on the frequency of other people’s pain, and it makes my heart hurt, and my stomach hurt, and somehow makes me want to curl myself up in a ball and shut everything out, and at the same time reach out to everyone I know in a desperate, grasping attempt to pull myself back into the world of the living. ‘I am still here. I am alive. Other people are alive, and can talk to me about something other than pain. There is happiness out there.’

I’m thankful for smartphones today so I can both curl and text at the same time.


About Varia

Traveler, writer.
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2 Responses to frequencies

  1. I get this. Sometimes I wonder why I actively choose to read stories about painful experiences that other people experience that I know will make me want to cry. Plus I get way more emotional watching movies and hearing other people’s sad news these days than I did maybe 5 years ago. I think I do this sometimes because I am looking for confirmation that I am human on some days. Or you maybe are craving some kind of emotional release on some days because it hasn’t been experienced in a while.

    • Varia says:

      That’s a good point. I normally try to avoid those gut-wrenching stories because I know they will spin me out. But so often they draw me in anyway. It probably is some kind of echo of frustration or a block in real life. What a shitty coping mechanism eh?

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