I’m going to just come out and bluntly say it: We of the sneer campaign are depressed a lot. We are a lot of things, I guess. But in between bouts of anxiety, euphoria, rage, and “feeling kind of normal, I think?” we are just plain old sad. Well, Dollissa and I have this problem, I guess the contributors and Junior Sneerists might not be constant messes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were just like us. Really, I figure most people, in their quiet times, have many of the issues we have.
And here I am, in the midst of another depression. How many have I had? How many more can there possibly be? Sometimes, I can’t tell if I am really sad, or just extremely melodramatic. Each time seems to get worse and worse but enough about me. What can we, collectively, DO about all of this sadness that not just I am having? I’ll tell you what we OUGHT to do. We should just stop feeling sad. Heck, let’s do away with all of the bad emotions, too! Fury, jealousy, insecurity, unreasonable panic, hate – throw those right out the door. And come to think of it, it’s really no use only feeling the happy, good emotions. Without the contrast of the bad things, good won’t seem as good as it is. And, besides, feeling good creates a pendulum effect where you are meant to swing back and feel an equal amount of bad. It’s a balance. It’s nature. So let’s just stop feeling.
I hear you wondering some things. Some things like, “but aren’t emotions good? Even the bad ones?” Nah. Thinking they are is a sort of Stockholm Syndrome, I’m sure. Luckily for you, I have put on my lab coat here in the laboratory, and have gotten out my clipboard – so I mean some serious science business here. All of your questions AND MORE will be answered while I have the energy to tappity-tap away at my keyboard for a few minutes. I’d encourage you to get excited and to expect relief, but this is a new day. A new era. We’ll have no more of that. No more looking forward to things because things are already okay. You’ll understand soon.
Find a Life-Draining Hobby
The reason you feel is probably because you’ve given yourself TIME to feel. If you can find a pastime that you enjoy, be it video games, television, dumb apps, extreme sports, death-defying stunts, or anything you can dream up, throw yourself into it to the fullest extent. Exhaust yourself every day with this activity until all you can feel is a sort of dead-eyed, addicted interest in that one single thing. Friends will be driven away who might cause you to think about other activities. They will be replaced with your new friends who are also interested in your hobby (unless you are immersing yourself in a solitary activity, which might be safer in the long run – who knows when you might “find love” among the similarly addicted friends you make). Spend all your time talking about your choice, and don’t dare think about anything else. You’ll find a nice single-minded serenity in this pursuit. And if you find that your interest begins waning, just switch to a new hobby and try again.
This is sort of a basic first step for the Amateur Unfeeler. “Interest” and “enthusiasm to the point of physical exhaustion” can still inspire emotional reactions in the human mind. You may think that you are deriving joy from the experience, and, indeed, if you ever lose interest you may find yourself feeling listless and a little depressed until you find your next big thing that can consume your attention and your life. This is an escapist’s route, and sort of weak as a result. This distracts you from emotions, but doesn’t really get rid of them. It is an incomplete method, and I am sorry that I felt the need to include it. But I understand that some people can’t just cold-turkey emotions. They are a habit, and like most habits, some people can’t see how to easily give them up. Everyone works a little differently, and I ask that you tolerate those who are different from you. We are all battling these monsters-from-within, and could use support from all sides. We can only hope that Escapists will eventually come to the point where they realize that there is nothing to escape from. Emotions were just an illusion, an unfortunate lie that everyone believes in some collective nightmare.
Feeling Again? Stop It!
Here is a delightful little mind-exercise for you. Everyone likes exercises, right? Well, this one is easy. It is so simple. Begin by paying attention to that little running stream of talk and observation that everyone has inside their own heads. I know I do, so obviously everyone does. Listen to your little running monologue, or dialogues if you have multiple voices chattering away (all of them are facets of yourself, of course, this is not insanity that I am referencing here). You will find that the voices have many clues as to what is going on inside your mind while you aren’t looking.
“Oh! Watch your step, there is some dog poo right there on the side walk. Man, people really need to curb their dogs more responsibly around here, although maybe that was just a stray dog doing its business in the middle of where people walk. What an uncivilized dog that must have been! Or maybe it was a raccoon? That’s is JUST LIKE a raccoon. Always doing things to aggravate humans. Damn raccoons, stealin’ our garbage, nestin’ in the attics of good honest folk! Haha, oh That Viewpoint. I wonder why people are so paranoid about people taking from them. Why are they so scared? Is it because whatever it is that they hate the most are qualities that they know are inside of themselves and they are ashamed of it so they rally hard against anyone they perceive might have the same qualities, too? And they don’t think very much so they assume that everyone is about the same as they are because who could possibly have a different way of thinking than they themselves? You know. Just like I do. God, I hate people. Or myself abloohoohoo. Really though people are all such knuckleheads, and dangerous too. Oh no, the world is scary I need to go back inside and be a recluse again! I’m only a few blocks away, whew. OH NO There is someone else coming down the sidewalk too are they going to talk to me? I am so angry at People that I don’t want to talk to any strangers and/or be polite although of course I will be polite because I am that kind of person. Oh that guy didn’t even glance at me. Whew I didn’t have to even nod his way in recognition of one person to another. Haha what was all that worry about? About NOTHING, that’s what. Ugh the sun is hot…”
And so on. Okay so we can see here that when I imagine myself walking down a street, I might have a bunch of thoughts in a row like that – how many of them indicate any sort of emotion? TOO MANY. Our brains are just naturally inclined to assume, worry, and be quick to anger. Most fears and hates are borne of insecurity, but there is no good reason to be insecure in yourself. You are a human bean just like all of us, and we are all individuals and probably shouldn’t attempt to compare ourselves to each other, as we are all unique snow flakes blah blah blah, leave it at that. There is no good reason to worry about it unless you have enrolled yourself in some sort of competition where you will be judged. Maybe your insecurity comes from the concern that maybe The Other Guy is going to be a jerk. Those are all unsubstantiated worries. It is folly to assume you can predict what is going through someone else’s mind. And anyway, if they are judging you without your inviting them to, that really doesn’t make much of a difference in your life unless it turns out that they are Disturbed and will stab you because you did not meet their crazy person ideal.
Some people are insane but they are relatively rare, and you don’t encounter them often. Besides, they are usually obviously dangerous looking, muttering or twitching or smell like blood. You can probably pick up some cues through common observational techniques. And if you happen to encounter the one rare person who seems totally normal but then they snap and murder you… Well, then that would be the end of your earthly problems and you would be bothered no more.
So do this: once you become used to listening to yourself and noticing how often you are tempted to feel – just deny yourself the privilege. It is very likely that you have abused your emotional abilities in the past, anyway. So you just should treat yourself like the emotional child you are and take away the emotions as you would a child who has done something wrong with a thing you can take away. My analogies are strong, but poorly phrased! New mental exercise: re-read my sentence until you can make sense of it. Chances are good that you have overreacted to things or allow yourself to be victimized by your own feelings, so you don’t need them anymore. They just hurt you. You LET them hurt you. So now, any time you feel, I want you to say no to it.
Insecure? Stop it. Angry? What good will come of it? Sad? It’s not doing anything good for you. Happy? It will only come to an end eventually. Betrayed? Why were you trusting in the first place? Vulnerable? Nothing will hurt your emotions if you don’t let your emotions hurt you. Scared? Could whatever you are feeling kill you? Could it really? How likely is it that you will be killed by whatever it is? If the likelihood falls anywhere below 95%, it isn’t really worth worrying yourself sick over. Worried? Abandon conjecture and don’t jump to conclusions ever again. Assumptions usually end up to be wrong anyway. Worry only gives you illness. Love? Lust? Enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t get disappointed when it, like all things, ends. Remorse? Learn from your mistakes and then move on. Contempt? Get off of your high horse, who do you think you are?
Basically any emotion you can feel can be tempered so that it doesn’t make too much of an impact. Emotions can be learning tools, but people really let them run away crazily, leaving a wake of ridiculous and avoidable regret and foolishness. The worst is when you allow an emotion to get you to believe that this temporary moment is not only true, but that your whole life has been just like how you feel now and will forever be this way. What malarkey. Be stronger than that. Start today.
Brain Chemicals GTFO
When it comes down to it, emotions are just chemicals seeping out of your glands and coloring the grey bland reality around you. These hormones and things take a neutral situation and give it a flavor, give it something for you to react to. People often forget or don’t know this fact and then believe that the things they are reacting to are facts. Facts are serious and seriousness causes heartache and war. That’s right, our body chemicals set off bombs and end lives in extreme cases that are happening even now as you read this, no matter what time of day or night it happens to be, no matter how many years away from when I am typing this – there are people dying because other people believe in the emotions they are having.
Reality is nothing but a boring old series of instances that have no meaning beyond that which you decide they should have. Here let me make a little chart for you kids to see what I am meaning here. It should spare me about a thousand words:
When you realize that you can change your perspective from being a pessimist to an optimist, that feelings and reactions can all be seen as choices, what is stopping you from going one step further and choosing to not react emotionally at all? It makes logical sense. You will be free to see things as they really are and respond to important or dangerous things with a clear head, and of course, also, you will be able to tell when something IS ACTUALLY important or dangerous. Never again will you have to be a flailing scaredy cat, running around without any sense, a victim of your own perceived fears and horrors. Who wants to be THAT chump? Not me, my friends. And not you either. No one wants to be held hostage by chemicals their own body makes. Who would want to entertain emotions when it is apparent that they are all imaginary?
Join me in this new tomorrow, a tomorrow of freedom. I’d say that tomorrow will be a happier day, but this lack of emotion actually means that tomorrow will be a mellower day. A balanced, even sort of day. And I welcome it.