Same Difference


I was feeling utterly miserable the past few weeks. Despairing. Catastrophizing. The works.

And my life is fine.

I have a roof over my head and I can eat decent meals three times a day or even more. I don’t understand why I am despairing when it all seems so “bougie”.

I’m probably bored. On the bad side, this felt like a first world problem, worthy of eye-rolls and more. On the good side, I might be able to work on it.

I googled “irritability and…”. I honestly forgot if I put frustration, anger or restlessness or a combination of those but the searches returned information about alcoholism. Wow wait lang. I rarely drink except for the occasional glass of wine or beer.

But that was an interesting surprise.

I learned about the term “dry drunk”. It’s when a person, who was once an alcoholic, no longer drinks yet still have these “nebulous alcoholic thoughts.” Physically, this person is already clean and sober yet their mind is still in that hole.

That piqued my interest.

I thought about what I could possibly be addicted to. If I was having similar symptoms as ex-alcoholics – irritability, restlessness, dry drunkenness, then is it possible to be”dry drunk” about something other than alcohol? This led me to hypothesize that I was/am addicted to misery. Hypothesis lang naman.

But that was my first thought. If you remember, I wrote about having a theme for the year which is to have better thoughts. The practice of being conscious of “stories I tell myself” is like a form of sobriety. I mean consciousness=sobriety. My version of alcohol was my habit of being miserable. Why was this my habit? (Why was I not a shopaholic instead?!) Possibly due to:

-being either burned out or bored-out depending on my employment

-sad life events/ little and big life changes

-growing up trying to be “academically good enough” and failing

– feeling guilty about being middle class and more privileged than many Filipinos then also feeling bad about not being able to afford conveniences and things that come so easily for the affluent.

-feeling guilty that I’m not a social justice warrior, not pursuing a not-for-profit/charitable org role (wow I have Messianic complex rin pala even if I didn’t go the NGO route)

-humans being wired for negativity for evolutionary survival? (as per many psych literature)

The list goes on but those are a few possibilities. My guess is that I’ve been feeling good and in control lately (like this year). Not always but I’ve become visibly better. I haven’t berated myself as often as I did before. I’ve grown a little more confident in different aspects of my ability. Then my brain is like: “What the hell—“

Nagrerebelde sya kasi hindi sya sanay.

My brain is panicking that I’m not struggling with anything. It’s like I always have to be undergoing something difficult, everything has to be a struggle, I should always feel bad. Ganyan. I’m not really sure what to do this time except to write about it. There are great problems and people struggling in this world. I know empathy, understanding and action are important to have. I just need that balance where I’m not paralyzed by guilt and misery -be able to empathize while being grateful for what I have and where I am.

So how? I don’t know. I have ideas. It’s a work in progress.