“The unexamined life is not worth living…….” – Socrates, at his trial.
I’m not a classics scholar nor claiming to be adroit in ancient philosophy texts. This phrase popped into my head after a non alcoholic long lunch with someone that I once thought of as a very good friend. We’re no longer as close as we once were. Correction – We’re not the close friends I thought we were. Several things occurred this time last year. It showed a side to this person that not only surprised me, it shook me to the core of how cold, callous, thoughtless and selfish they were behaving. The Friend hurt me so deeply. It was the start of a personal downward spiral that chewed me up, for many months to follow and finally spat me out like an unwanted rag doll on Christmas Day 2017.
Therapy/counselling was tearing down walls inside my neat almost empty brain and forcing me to confront the darkest moments of my life experiences that I’d successfully managed to lock away.
The memories hadn’t ceased it’s purge, almost a year on, memories are revealing their existence like thunder claps. A glimpse but not fully tangible. I had been forced to acknowledge their existence.
I honestly had no recollection of many of them.
I genuinely had created a life for myself without all the great and good things one would usually take for granted. I’d taught myself all kinds of (unknown at that time) weird coping strategies that had placed me safely out of the grasp of life.
Whilst to anyone looking on I appeared to ‘Have it all’ – a career, a great salary, friends with well known local ‘celebrities’ and ‘business influencers/owners. A great standard of living and disposable income to do with as I pleased whenever I chose. A stylish wardrobe, expensive shoes and several luxury holidays each year.
I had managed to create a brilliant shell around myself.
The irony was, I had become empty on the inside.
I faked joy and happiness so well for such a long time I fooled myself with self delusion.
It was the way of life I had ‘chosen, for myself. Avoiding becoming caught up in real life with people was only going to end badly. It always had in the past. So I learnt how to be fabulous without letting anybody get to know me. I only shared a smidgen of me that would be socially acceptable. I would attend events every now and again to maintain a façade and not isolate myself totally.
I had learnt how to keep work and my private life very separate. So separate that my private life was a mirage. Looked great from a distance but if anyone could have scrutinised me too closely they would have learnt my secrets, fears and the truth. I didn’t have a life outside work. I wasn’t particularly sociable. I had no private or love life. I had completely shutdown.
I’d stopped growing into the Adult I was destined to become. I’d found a way to stop the world. I was no longer growing on the merry go round of life. Withdrawing from life. My younger days I’d learnt that trying to fit in with my peers only led to heartbreak, disappointment and injury. So why continue ?
What’s that phrase ? Something about madness is repeating the same thing and expecting a different outcome ?? Well hell Girl! Don’t do any of it!!
No more hurt. No more pain, I’d found my own silly solution.
I’d stopped investing in myself. I was a falling stock and the shareholder was selling out for the best deal.
To prevent future pain and hurt occurring in future one must learn to recognise danger and avoid it when it looms closer. Right ?
I had successfully managed to stop living.
I had unknowingly learnt how to merely exist.
@swirlingfire. 3 October 2018