Unreality isn’t wrong, but it’s my main way of coping

When things get hard I turn to unreality. Is this maybe why I continue to suffer? Entertainment has been made to aid us in suffering. Music holds great emotional expression we may need. Comedy allows us to purge despair through laughter and the internet can help us connect with others and experience bits of music, comedy, culture and communication in one place. There is so much to stimulate a suffering mind.

And I continue to wonder if this is all right. I worry who I am when not stimulated. When grounded in the reality of here-and-nowness I don’t seem to like it very much. When suffering, here and now is an appalling place- unreality, or modes of ‘escapism’ can be our lifelines. I’m not even sure that this is wrong. All I know is that those in pain do their best to shut off from the presence of their mind.

Facing a suffering mind isn’t easy. Unreality gives us some of the only solace from that. This is why socialising, being present and tending to self care is so hard for people in suffering. We feel so exposed, so extremely emotionally vulnerable that the alternative of being in bed can feel the only way to peace.

To be simplistic is to say that we must face the suffering mind head on. This isn’t usually possible without some professional help, especially in a time of crisis. Supposing you aren’t in crisis, but are generally feeling detached because it’s easier to cope that way. This is my current reality and I am questioning how to return to presence.

It definitely relates to the immediate loneliness of presence. It’s really quite an intense experience, even if you are fairly mentally ‘well’. Mindfulness is too simplistic in how it sells itself to the depressed for this reason. If those who are well struggle with presence, those who are unwell can’t be expected to push through to this.

Yet, mental suffering tells us of the pain that life can show us. Part of being present is looking back to the darker times and seeing its contrast with now. I have always been grateful for this point of reference, being able to know the deep suffering possible within someone’s life.

And so to become more present is my intention for 2022- to be more in touch with the entertainment of reality, not always that which provides escapism on a screen. I want to practice this in my own private spaces. I can get in the habit of going ‘out’ to be in reality, with my room being a place of internet. I want to find a new life within quiet spaces and not always use my time alone to pretend I am not really there and that my mind has deadened itself.

My mind requires a bit more empowered alone time- reality and some unreality being a balance that I hope will aid my creativity, as well as my mental health.

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