Jim Murray

4 months ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Comfortably Numb Is The Last Thing You Want To Be These Days.

VIS ACR oN (TI you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves

Your lips move but I can’t hear what you're saying

When T'was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse

OV No MINION Io WIRTVRATE
[ turned to look but it was gone
[ cannot put my finger on it now
‘The child is grown, the dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb
David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_4uEaZQ2Kg 

A while ago, maybe two months, I reduced my long format political posting by about 90%. Instead I channeled what I have now come to see as a massive amount of anger into a series of memes that I post daily.

I get as great deal of personal satisfaction out of these memes, despite the fact that I only believe that a tiny fraction of the people to whom they are exposed actually ever read them.

The reason I believe this is that I believe that a lot of people are simply ignoring a lot of really stressful stuff in the hope that if they ignore it for long enough, it will somehow go away.

I think that people do this with a lot of things in life these days. Like the Pink Floyd song says, they have become comfortably numb.

They view the world though tiny screens from the comfort of their own surroundings, and it creates a surreal impression of things. For many, it lessens the stark anxiety of dealing with life head on.

They are safe or so they try and convince themselves. But the hard core fact is that they are not. Because the very thing that they have convinced themselves they are escaping by remaining distant is not the stuff that’s happening. It’s the internal anxiety which that stuff, no matter how far removed they feel they might be, is producing in them.

The concept of comfortably numb is really the height of superficial denial. And this denial generates more fear and anxiety than the idea of facing reality with both guns blazing can ever do.

One of the few key things I was taught after I was diagnosed with Tic Syndrome is that stress (internal and external) was something that I should develop mechanisms to avoid. Because allowing these things to build up inside me would only make my tics worse and life very uncomfortable and potentially depressing for me.

I can never have the luxury, at least not in this life, of allowing myself to be comfortably numb, even if I wanted to.

I say all this by way of explanation, because across several social media sites over the years I have developed the reputation of being a ranter of sorts. And deservedly so.

But you should know that as a writer, ranting is one of the key mechanisms that keep frustration and anxiety from building up in me, and creating great difficulty living in my own skin.

But it does not matter whether you have a stress or nervous system related affliction, anything you can do to reduce the massive levels of stress that living, especially now when everything seems to be waves of madness crashing every day, is going to help you.

Go to the woods and scream. Climb a mountain. Learn Karate. Run hard and run fast. Rant and rave. Whatever it takes to keep the anxiety and stress from building up.

We all have our own ways to avoid the comfortable numbness that comes from acquiescence.

Find yours and work on it. Because the forces that are the source of a lot of our anxiety cannot be willed away. They are there and they will be around and working to debilitate us until the world wises up.

Today, winning isn’t just about achievement. It’s about finding ways to keep internal demons from taking control of you.

I rant therefore I am not comfortably numb. What will you do?

Jim Murray
I am an ex-ad agency creative director,
writer, art director, strategist, editorialist,
reader, TV & movie watcher. I have been actively

posting on social media since the early 2000s.

I live with my wife on the beautiful Niagara Peninsula

in Canada and work with a small group of companies

who are making a positive difference in the world.

 

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Comments

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 months ago #1

I meditate and choose to not focus on things that aggravate me, especially if they are things I cannot control. I do vent from time to time, but I don't dwell on all that is wrong in the world because those thoughts just don't serve me. I take note and focus on the only thing I can ever control in this life and that is my own thinking, and in the case of politics, my vote. I am neither apathetic nor numb, but I definitely don't put my energy into bitching and moaning about that which is out of my sphere of control, simply because doing so does not give me any sense of relief. As you say, we need to find relief in our own way. This is mine. Thank you for sharing yours.

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