The mind is a terrible thing.

Around me, every single night, I watch the minor collapses in people as they struggle to keep up with themselves and everyone else. Relationships have crumbled, minds have caved and individuals have snapped from existence. I hear what they have to say, and I try to be as liberal as I can with assistance and advice, should they desire it. I never, ever mind listening to the problems of another, even if it’s not someone I am particularly familiar with.

This is probably a bad problem solver.

What I don’t like is seeing the same patterns repeated in different people, supposed “fixes” that don’t do anything but cause more problems.

I can hint, pester or harangue anyone about their misinformed choices, but in the end, it’s never up to me. It’s solely up to the doer, and they don’t always make the sound decision.

Take the perpetual drinkers. If they have a bad day, it must be fixed with a drink. Then another. Maybe just a few more?

Some people are truly alcoholics and need help. That much is true. Some place themselves there, finding something else to cope for them. Why develop abilities to survive when you can smoke it away? The drug-centrism of this area doesn’t help, and you end up with droves of people falling into anything but facing a problem head-on and just dealing with it.

Then you are led away and eaten.

One person jumps on a drug or drink, suggests it, and it flows through like water. Even the kava bar I posted about before has that sort of ripple effect, with people coming back night after night to just feel that calm it provides. It’s a replacement for something else, as always.

One of the routes that distresses me most is the relationship hopping. I’ve been in the situation myself, but some make a hobby out of it. It’s one thing if you were already unhappy and happen to stumble upon an individual that gives you the feelings you crave (though I never advocate cheating as an alternative) and you go from one to the other. It happens, as much as it is hurtful to the other party. But to dive from one to the next proclaiming them to be the ultimate lover, the only one, THIS IS IT! … every few months. Not a safe plan for anyone involved.

I worry often about the people I know, wondering if they will make X mistake again, or go back to X bad person. I gravitate towards people that are having a hard time– which has put me in very hurtful relationships, so avoid that much if possible– and want to see them do well. I’m tired of seeing the nearly there, the almost, the so close. I know not everyone can get their lives together, but it is a nice thought to me.

The dependence on chemicals to keep sanity is habitual. I wish that wasn’t the case, but also realize that some people just need it. Anyone that has suffered massive panic attacks or mental illness can tell you as much, and the ideas of self-control go out the window. There are some less invasive ways to go about it, but not everyone has the time or control to handle them. I know I can’t just will away a panic attack, so why should I expect anyone else to?

Underneath it all is this deep interdependence on each other, a need for approval and acknowledgement. If upon walking into a favorite place to be nobody greets you, you’d have a paranoid fit inside.  It’s a natural tendency, but harmful in large doses if it consumes you.


Not everyone gets along. In large groups, that is very obvious. You can fake it, but that will only go so far as buttons continue to be pushed. There are always limitations to a person’s ability to remain neutral.

So as I hopped from one person to the next last night, their problems amplifying in my head as they spoke, I wanted to stop time. I wished to place them in the right situations, remove the unsavory things, wipe the bad memories away. But I knew, even with that ability, I wouldn’t. Learning is the only way. They either survive and grow, or they’ll flounder. That’s never up to me, and never will be. All I can do is try to be there.

To my friends in the hard times, I’m sorry. I don’t know if it will get better. I won’t lie and just say it will, because that’s untrue. Some things can’t be fixed. I can’t stop a relative from dying, or your mental illness. Nobody can. It’s unfair to give false hope in any situation. But the only thing anyone can guarantee is that it won’t always feel the same, and things change. The way you handle it changes, and how it will impact.

Now a bad word.

I’m simply glad to have some intelligent, witty and wonderfully broken bastards around. I just wish there were less almosts, and more finally. Maybe we’ll get there someday.



6 thoughts on “The mind is a terrible thing.

  1. You might consider examining your own life a bit. You’d find doing it more constructive than scrutinizing the choices others are making. Those others couldn’t care less what you think they should do, or not do. On the other hand, you have plenty of authority to enforce some standards on yourself, carve yourself down into someone you can admire and love. It’s not as satisfying in some shallow, vapid way as looking around you and seeing the lousy way others live their lives.

    1. Interesting.
      While I never said I don’t examine my own life– I’m notorious for it, really, as an over thinker– I can’t just have my friends that come specifically to me or anyone else with a problem get turned away for selfish reasoning. I don’t go looking for their issues, but if they bring them, I am all ears. I never suggested I have all the answers, either. I stated that I can’t fix people or things, I can only support the best I can. That much should have been obvious. I’m comfortable with my own life in many ways, and in many ways not. I’m under constant scrutiny internally of myself that may not be made obvious when I’m speaking of other people. I don’t see caring for the lives of my friends as a shallow or vapid endeavor in any way. I see that as a human trait, something people ought to do more of at times. Perhaps reevaluation is wise advice to take yourself, if others mean so little.

  2. Interesting post. I have found that living without drugs and booze makes having a social life very challenging. People assume you’re a religious freak if you aren’t part of the party crowd. There’s very little middle ground between the two groups, at least here in Alabama.

    1. Very true. Luckily for every booze-infused place you can find safe havens, like coffee shops. Florida isn’t very friendly half the time anyway, no matter what group you’re in.

  3. This is a very thoughtful post. I imagine you to be someone whose friendship is to be treasured. On the subject of relationships, I’ve been married for 22 years, and I can’t imagine ever becoming involved with anyone else, but few people are so lucky. On alcohol, I come from the UK, where the pub culture is ingrained, and I do enjoy a few drinks and a few spliffs when I’m there, but I spend most of my time in Hong Kong and can go for weeks without either.

    1. It’s so wonderful that you’ve found the spouse of a lifetime. I love hearing that so much. I’ve only been married for less than as year so far, but still I couldn’t consider anyone else for me. Also, thank you for the kind words about my post. I try to be a good friend. As for the alcohol, I have no problems with people that drink at all. My only problems stem from those that abuse it, or let it abuse them. It’s a sad thing to watch, and I hate what it does to people.

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