Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Never Apologize for a Survival Mechanism.

Never apologize for a survival mechanism. Never!

Survival is survival. It's a vastly higher priority than social cachet.

If someone catches you doing some silly thing you need to do to survive, and judges you, fuck 'em. Remember always that living well is the best revenge.

Essential Exclusions (i.e. What, exactly, counts as a "survival mechanism"?):
1. This does not pertain to obsessive-compulsives who "need" to count every streetlamp or hold their breath driving over bridges. Those things feel like survival mechanisms, but they're not.

2. This does not pertain to methods for hiding from your reality. Tons of vodka or impersonal sex or selfishness may feel like survival mechanisms, but they're not.

3. This does not pertain to self-indulgent neurotic baloney (there's a fine line, I'll admit). If you need to loudly sing "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" whenever anyone mentions Ferdie, your dead parakeet who you still grieve, eleven years later, with all your heart, that may feel like a survival mechanism, but it's not. On the contrary, you're willfully marinating in flamboyant emotionalism. You're sympathy farming.
Avoidance, flamboyant neurosis, self-indulgence, and sympathy farming are not survival mechanisms any more than discomfort is poverty.

If the exclusions just erased all your shtick, congratulations. You're able to survive unaided. For you, I'll say this: while most people you catch doing odd things are, indeed, most often self-indulgent, neurotic, and/or avoidant, some aren't. A few have developed helpful coping tools after trying long and hard but failing to cope more naturalistically. Always consider this possibility!

We do not all lead the same lives on the same playing field according to the same rules of engagement. Breakage is not always due to weakness. Some people, despite great strength and blithe perspective, get hit much harder. Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his mocassins.

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