I believe that prolonged exposure to a lot of things can normalise them. Over time, we internalise them as ‘the new normal’, and we just get on with it. The ramifications of this idea are huge in general, but I’m only thinking about it on a tiny scale based on how I’ve been feeling recently.
(And the reason I’m thinking about this is entirely not kink related: Kink?! On a kink blog? DON’T BE RIDICULOUS!)
I used to work in a very stressful job. Other than ridiculous hours, lots of long-haul travel, heavy responsibilities, complicated problems, and huge budgets, it was especially stressful for an introvert like me because it involved a lot of ‘schmoozing’. You know schmoozing: when you have to socialise with clients so that they like you and want to do business with your company. Ugh. I was good at it (I’m very likeable you know!), but it was hateful.
My ‘normal’ was just a big pile of stress, all of it, all the time. No big deal.
Now I have pretty much no stress in my life. It’s completely lovely. That’s ‘the new normal’.
But the downside of that is that now when I have some relatively minor stress in my life, it feels like a behemoth and my entire body reacts like it’s the end of the world. I’m a bucket of jangly nerves and distraction. I can’t think about anything else, I can’t sleep, I can’t relax, I just turn it over in my head: over and over and over. It loops round and round, showing slightly different variations each time. And then because I can’t sleep, my tired cranky brain cycles it up. It is fucking exhausting. And wow, does it ever make me boring. Because I can’t think about anything else.
My ‘new normal’ has robbed me of whatever coping skills I had that enabled me to deal with stress. It’s like how muscles atrophy if you don’t use them and after a while, you struggle to lift even the lightest things.
So the catalyst for this post: I’ve been having some turmoil around my living situation. Hopefully it will all be sorted by tomorrow.
But in the meantime, I have been feeling like a spiky self obsessed mess. Those close to me have had a running litany of random blurting and an utter lack of interest in anything to do with anything else. It’s like a rude and distracted and (even more) selfish version of me has been stalking around demanding attention.
I’m lucky, it happens rarely, but boy is it ever a wake up call when it does. I probably need to find ways to exercise those skills or one day I’ll find myself curled up in the foetal position in the corner because I forgot to buy coffee*.
*This, by the way, is a bad example because that seems an entirely reasonable reaction to not having coffee in the house.