Envying Oysters

The pearl oyster (which oddly enough is not actually an oyster) has a well-known adaptation for dealing with irritants.  When some particle or parasite invades the inner mantle of a pearl oyster, it is wrapped in layer after layer of calcium carbonate until encased in a smooth and roughly spherical capsule we call a pearl.  This is quite an effective method of dealing with anything abrasive or dangerous that gets within the oyster’s shell.

The Kanye Face expresses exactly how I feel when dwelling on the negative

The Kanye Face expresses exactly how I feel when dwelling on the negative

I also have an adaptation for dealing with irritants that get under my skin, although I’m talking about irritants of an intangible nature.  When I find myself irked by something, I do nothing as effective as covering it over so that it ceases to be a problem.  My mechanism for dealing with annoyance is to latch onto it with a kind of mental death grip and rake it back and forth across my consciousness until every molecule of my being is inflamed with anger.  If I feel the negative thoughts and emotions associated with that irritant subsiding, I grab onto it again and jab my mind with it over and over until my blood is up again.  Using this technique of repeatedly reminding myself that I am supposed to be pissed off, I can ensure a sustained storm of negative vibes for 24 hours or more.  I am a professional dweller who possesses as much stamina for willfully prolonging a shitty mood or terrible attitude as a marathon runner trudging along a road course.

Everyone who has known me for any length of time knows to give me a wide berth when I am in a bad state of mind.  Not only will I resist any attempts to console or suggestions for breaking free, I will actually defend my need to ruminate on the negative and do so with a snarl.  Eventually, people learn to just let me burn myself out.  The only truly effective counter I’ve found for this pattern of behavior is to smoke a big bowl of weed, which is more an escape than a remedy.  Since I’m not falling back on that vice anymore, I find myself at a loss when it comes time to extricate myself from another shitstorm in my head.

The question then is how does one become more like an oyster?  How do I learn to take irritation, disappointment and anger and smooth it over instead of perversely reveling in its jagged edges?  In the past, meditation has been suggested, but blowing all thought out of your mind doesn’t actually deal with the problem.  In a way, it’s the same as burning one down.  You are obliterating the negativity with distraction rather than actually processing it and moving beyond.  Defeating a self-perpetuating angry mindset is one of the three greatest challenges that I present myself, and so far I am at a loss as to how to overcome.

~ by schlippo on April 26, 2014.

3 Responses to “Envying Oysters”

  1. Have you tried writing/journaling? When I have something that I can’t get over…negative thoughts or a pesky question that has no answer, I will often write in my journal. It helps to organize my thoughts and keep me from needing to dwell on it.

    You can also try talking it out with a friend. Not as a way to “fix” the problem, but rather as a way to just vent.

    Ultimately there is no good way, other than to try and distract yourself until you forget about it.

    • I try to write it out when the notion occurs to me. Otherwise I’m usually too invested in being in a shitty mood to remember.

      • Try to turn it in to a habit. In a bad mood? Write about it. LOL if you want, I can always try and remind ya!

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