I’m still trying to distract myself from something. Can I call it distractification? It’s as effective as mindfulness which is now a multi-billion dollar industry except instead of being aware of how you feel and accepting it, you try to change the circumstances which have led you to feel like an plugged grenade by removing yourself from the situation thereby distracting yourself from the trigger. Voilà, distractification.
Like going for a run, or a nap, both of which I did today. Or making a cup of tea which, as we know, fixes everything. Play with your dogs, or walk them. If you don’t have dogs, make up imaginary ones and even better walk your imaginary dogs down the street holding their leads, correcting them if they pull, bagging their imaginary poo. The reaction of passers-by will certainly distract you from that bill you can’t pay or the relationship you can’t save or the emotion you can’t deal with.
Read a book but choose a happy one, steer clear of Viginia Woolf or Ernest Hemingway because you might end up thinking of the most extreme measures in distractification: distract yourself from everything, eternally. If you like poetry then Plath is out. As is Dickinson as you might lock yourself away for the rest of your days and that can be all too appealing for we who are dark of soul.
Do you like music? Avoid all members of the Twenty Seven Club. Film presents much the same problem: too many screen artists are, or were, as or more fucked up than you and have the “Dedicated to the memory of…” end credit to prove it.
You could bake a nice cake but if you have issues with food don’t use it as an excuse to gorge and purge. Maybe bake the cake for a friend instead but then you could be suffering with social anxiety and end up fretting that you’ve nobody to give it to because you’ve shut yourself off from everyone and everyone thinks you’ve gone to live in an animal sanctuary which, to be honest, sounds like a good plan because animals don’t require the same level of communication or commitment that humans demand of their relationships and you’d have plenty of real dogs to walk, or donkeys to ride, instead of having to create imaginary ones and that level of creativity could be too taxing for your already exhausted brain.
You could turn to writing, as I have, but then you’d have physical proof of the demented shit that goes on in your brain as it spewed out of your manic eyes onto the page and that would just remind you why you were practising distractification in the first place.
Tidy something, clean something. That can help. A tidy house is a tidy mind. But then you have a tidy house and a cake and nobody to share it with which could make you feel lonely and useless and fat when you eat the whole thing sitting on the freshly mopped floor of your spotless kitchen crying into your crumbs.
If you go to sleep, which is easy peasy during the day and impossible at night time, you’ll probably dream about The Thing that’s making you anxious and wake up whimpering in a cold sweat and The Thing will seem a hundred times more nightmarish than before you hid from it under your blankets where it can’t find you.
You could do your nails or your hair or your tan if you’re a woman, if you’re a guy you could it but proceed with trepidation because you know what some folks are like about that sort of thing – down with that sort of thing! – and their reaction could upset you although if you’re a well groomed woman there’ll be someone who’ll accuse you of being full of yourself and looking too good to be depressed so there’s another distractification fail.
Get drunk. That’s the only option. Although a massive hangover and the fear the next day or if you’re like me you’ll be hungover an hour after your first drink so that’s just delay tactics gone askew. And you’d probably do something stupid when you’re pissed or be a really horrible drunk like me and hit someone or say something cruel.
You could get high although I have no experience with illegal drugs, prescription meds sure but do you really want to waste your money and then have to come up with a story to explain to your pharmacist that you “lost” all your Xanax?
Go shopping. That’s it! Oh, if you’re in a similar situation to me you won’t be working and you’ll have no money so yeah, nail – hammer – coffin.
Have sex. With anyone, if you’re unattached. Fling yourself into a randomer’s arms and try not to think how dirty you’ll feel after or how you might have missed a pill one day two weeks ago or how reliable are those fruity condoms from Lidl? Actually don’t have sex. With anyone, ever. You’re really not emotionally equipped to deal with the fall out.
Masturbate. That’s safe enough unless your a teenage boy and you die from overdoing it – it’s happened, I read it, honestly. That will work for what, a couple of minutes if you’re a woman, twenty seconds if you’re a guy. And then you’ll remember that you’re not allowed to have sex for real because it always fucks everything up and even if you could, nobody would ever want you because you’re so fat from eating all the cake.
And then it’s back to The Thing. You have to get The Thing sorted, but how? The Thing has grown to be so huge in your mind that it’s oozing out of your ears like syringed wax. Nothing can be right until The Thing has been dealt with. Everything is on hold until The Thing has been resolved.
You sit down to make a plan and it is then, as you hold that Bic Biro determinedly in your writing hand, To Do notebook open and ready for your plan of attack that you realise you’ve completely forgotten what The Thing was but now that you think of it, there’s Another Thing that’s much more important than The Thing anyway and you really need to sort that out first.
The photo is of FDR (and a dog) because I just watched a BBC 4 documentary about him and he truly fought against all the odds to lead his country through World War II, it killed him in the end so maybe that’s not the best analogy. That was my distractification tonight and I plan to learn about Eleanor Roosevelt – what a woman – as another distractify tool. After I get Those Other Things sorted out that is.