Resisting Bad Resistance
My mind spills off of rest like oil jumping from a hot pan. When I think about napping or stopping so-called productive tasks in the name of more relaxing activities, I am instinctively re-routed to something I “have” to do. Even if it’s empty or busy, I somehow would rather do it than, say, reading or drawing - even going on a bike ride in my neighborhood. Basically anything I find pleasurable is off the table.
However, I’ve been trained to think of these activities as rewards. Not as things I deserve to do because I love to do them. Even this blog post is being written because I don’t see myself worthy of getting the chance to rest when it’s a “week day” or when there’s “already so much to get done.”
I’ve hit many breaking points over the last few years, as several people in my life have expressed also experiencing. This latest one has started to feel like a point of no return. There feels like there’s a hard nub in my brain right behind my forehead and it’s squeezing. It isn’t painful or anything, almost like a block or drawbridge that’s gone up, letting nothing else pass.
No matter what I do, I can’t get around it. I haven’t been able to work more than a few hours a day. I collapse in bed and sleep much longer than eight hours every night, and often feel like I could go for more if the sun didn’t slap me awake.
I’ve saved up enough where I could conceivably not work for a few months and be fine. But then suddenly I think about the goals I have that require more than I’ve saved (and potentially more than I could ever save in this brain state), and I’m spurred back into some kind of zombified action.
Each spur gets progressively weaker, though. I’m seeing my passions and energy become cracked shells as my body struggles to keep up with the pace I’m driving it at. The worst thing is that I don’t even feel like I’m going very fast or doing very much - I’m just done.
I’m dubbing this feeling “bad resistance” - I’m resisting the good kind of resistance. The kind that’s been called “rest as resistance” - the foil to capitalism. I kept thinking I was past this point of caring about the system in place to keep us all muzzled and shackled. But my chains to capitalism keep showing up in insidious ways.
I need to come up with a practice that will prevent me from constantly tightening the ropes around myself, to the post that’s keeping me in one place, centered on one thing. The practice is just one step, but it’s constantly the hardest thing to do: just stopping. Staying still. No struggling. Submission. Not to capitalism, or its nefarious counterparts, but to my body’s desire to experience stasis.
I’ve been experimenting with submission in other parts of my life, places where I get to opt into it, instead of it happening to me. I don’t think I need to elaborate on where I’ve been doing this, apart from saying I noticed how much it’s loosened me. How much it’s let me feel held up - instead of held down. How much it’s let me take a backseat instead of always revving my internal motor fast and hard to get to my end goals.
It’s taken me until today, after a week of being in a triggered state and still being unable to allow myself the peace I need to prevent a worse breakdown, to understand what exactly is happening to me. How it’s destroying who I am as a person - how the society we live in is not meant for us to take the time to nuture our best selves. Or even see the potentiality, what we could be.
After posting this, I’m going to read. I’m going to dance. I’m going to cook nourishing food with friends. Most importantly, I’m going to take a motherfucking snooze on this couch, no matter what time it is.