26 November 2010
How to cope
Maybe these pharmaceutical companies are on to something. You can't change the world but you can feel better about it. Who needs freedom when you can have benzodiazepine or other habit-forming drugs? It's kind of seductive, this notion that you can take a pill and it won't matter what unpleasant circumstance you find yourself in, you will just be able to cope. Equanimity in a pill bottle. The Calvinist in me thinks this is just wrong - people were born to suffer. The bohemian in me thinks this is just wrong - alcohol and illegal drugs at least offer the possibility of a good time and no prescription required.
I don't know about the lady in the picture, but I can start to feel pretty stressed when I think about all the scary stuff going on in the world. Environmental and economic collapse and war-mongering all over. But it is possible to be fully aware of all the crap that's going on in the world and not feel utter despair without resorting to drugs. It's quite simple, really. Just let go of the idea that there needs to be a happy ending and life becomes much less stressful. Kind of like watching your second Coen brothers movie. Cultivate a sense of the absurd and just reading the news becomes black comedy. Once you realize that this won't end well, but it never does so you might as well enjoy the moment, then everything becomes a lot easier to bear.
Oh, and take a walk. It's better for your health than nihilism.