I slept to avoid things. Like my own unfulfilled desires. To change. Lose weight. Sit down, and write.
Avoidance was a habit, long practiced. A defense mechanism ratcheting up like a medieval drawbridge whenever New loomed on the horizon. I’d peer at New, perched nobly atop the nearest hill, ready to welcome in more opportunities, money, relationships, experiences . . . to infuse my life with more of what I’d asked for. And then I’d start cursing myself, by thinking. Retreating to the dungeon trolled by What If’s and SelfDoubt, letting myself wander into mold-caked crevices of bad outcomes. I’d get stuck there. Negative potentials on a repeat track, spinning into angst.
It’s a lot of work.
When I’d lock myself away in hiding from New, I’d grope for any mindless distraction. Letting my pleasure centers saturate with the soggy energy of self-destructive substances. My friends in the dark were red wine mixed with Coke Zero, American Spirits, Pizza Hut, 7-11 nachos (extra, extra, extra cheese, so much the chips go limp) and Amazon Prime shows. All modes set to binge. Nothing wrong with any of these backed with an intention of pure enjoyment. The fun of dabbling or occasional escapism. But this wasn’t that. I fashioned these friends into anchors that pulled me down, out of the light, far below the surface, into the safety of the purposely unrealized.
The problem with this medieval means of coping, is the point of satiation. When I’d first go into hiding, it didn’t take much to catch a buzz and justify staying. But the body craves more to pump that dopamine. More. MoRE. MORE.
It’s a lot of upkeep.
Moving in the opposite direction of our natural expansion.
I’d go to sleep. Long and winding, playing out lucid dreams for halves of days. Avoiding, but no longer destructing. Letting my soul float back up to its level. I’d use sleep when I wasn’t quite ready to come out of hiding. Because it didn’t require substances, energy or eye-time. It was the easiest surrender so New could come closer without me retreating from the imagined threat of the inevitable unknown. Halves of days weened into quarters, and sometimes I’d be wide awake, early . . . before any hint of the sun.
It had never been instant. Achingly gradual, most often. But it was a bridge, that eventually welcomed in New, and allowed for changes to begin taking hold.