the hardest part

There is this moment in sadness, while we’re sulking or after we’ve finished crying, when our mind clears & all the bad things that “make us feel better” come to mind. I use the phrase “make us feel better” loosely only because it fills a void, but the substance used is questionable. And so the cherry picking begins. We begin to aim—some seek attention, others smoke. Some eat, others don’t. Some cling, others run. Some drink, others well, eat more.

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An old friend used to say, “Everyone has a right to eat sh*t whichever way they choose.” This is true, isn’t it? We all have a very personal way of doing this. Of feeling better by not feeling better. It’s our own personal brand of life. We dig our feet firmer into the sand because at least this was by choice, right? If this is going to hurt or create discomfort, let me at least steer a little while. Let me at least pick the flavor. I got this and I’m used to it. Give it ‘here! And so, we begin the first step in the process of giving up.

As I sat in bed as my the sulking ended, the list surfaced. Should I do this,.. or that… or maybe…? A part of me suddenly clicked—I was having an internal debate on which would be least destructive. I made an effort to consider something healthy to do, but I wasn’t having it. Something healthy made cringe. Is that normal? Which is how I became so so very aware of the intention behind my search: to have some control over the “feeling bad”. If you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em.

I happen to be in a very focused mindset at the moment, which has helped uncover this awareness and will power on emotional bumps like this one. You might not be very aware of what you do. It really did take me years to get this far, not only to see the things I crave, but to care. The hardest part will always be accepting that you care and also admitting that the “shit” that you’ve chosen tastes like, well—shit. I went through many phases: knowing, denial, knowing again, anxiety and compromises to feel better, and then denial again; in the end, I was scared to care, so I quit on myself, which gave birth to all these alter-egos.

As life gets harder (and if you’re growing up like the rest of us, it will!) and the stakes get higher, out growing these habits becomes more important than giving in, but in time, the opposite happens because we begin to believe that these habits make us who we are. We lose the belief that we can be better than the default versions of ourselves. The clarity that the bad habits remove is not worth everything we give up, but we stop seeing it that way in time. As choices are made, conditions change, and life passes you by, we slowly begin to believe that cravings we have. We begin to own them. We slowly hush the desire to be something else. Something clear, away from the cravings.

If only you knew that the guilt exists so far from this place. That the diagram of defaults, failure, and all this bs, begins to fade when one begins to care. Everyone has a right to eat shit whichever way they choose to, but beware. Over time, you may blur the lines of what the world is throwing at you and what you, my friend, are throwing at yourself.

Es para arriba, no para abajo…vamos.

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About Antonella Saravia

Antonella is a New York based writer from Nicaragua.

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