The dialogue with a broken heart
Mik is a good man.
He is smart, witty, and can’t hide his kind heart behind a pretentious “I am a dick” mask.
His Dad is from the US and is a mix of Hungarian and Italian blood and lives on Rhode Island. His Mom is half-Brit and half Irish but born and raised in New Zealand so Mik calls her kiwi with love and makes fun of her British pride. She lives on a boat with her husband sailing over the channels of Mother England. Mik comes to visit her once in a while.
When I ask him he calls Korea his home. He lived here for over 12 years. Having both US and NZ passports he finds his life in Korea comfortable, sometimes too much.
Out of this 12 years, 3 of them he lives with panic attacks.
They started when he broke up with his fiancee. He took her home to meet his parents after they have been dating for two years and when they came back to Korea she broke up with him after 1 week.
When I asked him what happened he shared his story: “I don’t love you anymore…And then I love you. And then I don’t. And then I love you. It was confusing.”
He never understood what happened between them but his life that he expected to go one way changed its course to another.
“It was bad,” he says “I was in deep depression and soon after the panic attacks started to develop”.
After 3 years of the devastating breakup he smokes, he drinks, and he is taking medications to keep the panic attacks away.
He is 40 and he is confused. He says: “I want to take back control of my life” and soon after he says he doesn’t.
He admits that he is an alcoholic.
When he drinks he has the panic attacks on the next morning, but at the same time, he notices: “Alcohol prevents them from happening. Once I was on Jeju for work and one day my friend had to drive me to hospital. I didn’t know if I should come inside and get worse or if I should stay in the car and they will pass. Eventually, I went to the ministop and bought myself a beer. Surprisingly, almost instantly I felt better. Alcohol has some kind of mitigating effect.”
Having alcohol as a trigger and using it as a sedating agent at different times must be indeed confusing.
We have been talking and I shared with him my story. Mik was curious about the reasons why I don’t eat meat, don’t smoke and don’t drink.
He mentioned a funny thing, he said “You just took the extreme of self-destruction and transformed it into the extreme of opposite polarity. As for me, I just want to practice moderation.”
He was convinced that among the twenty people present in the bar at that moment there were some people who would just have a beer or two and go home. He insisted that alcohol can be consumed moderately.
I disagree. I know what kind of gravity the alcohol has.
Moderation is something that people suck at big time.
Maybe I am too extreme. Maybe one could accuse me of falling in solipsism.
So be it.
I know what is working for me during this period of my life.
I don’t want to sound categorical.
To be honest, at times I even see myself retired sitting in the long chair on the beach with a good icy refreshing mojito and my buddy sitting next to me, passing me a joint and laughing about old days.
But until then, while I still consider myself somewhat young I want to stay fierce.
I can’t imagine myself a guy in his 50s mellow and flabby with a big belly and a sated look in the eyes.
I am scared to become like guys who are in their 40s, just 10 years older than me but who are so hopelessly tired of this life and have a head full of grey hair.
This is why I refuse to become a guy in his 30s who sacrificed growth for a comfortable life.
“Life hits hard,” Mik smiles “many men just don’t get up.”
It might be so but…
Suicide or stoicism.
I am sorry, Mik. I wish to have a glimpse of what it is like to love a woman like that, I wish to know if I am strong enough to withstand the pain when a woman stabs me in the heart.
I don’t. I fostered myself into an emotionless monster expanding the range of my not-give-a-fucks day by day.
Maybe I am too extreme but that is the way I made myself stress-resistant.
When the Life knocks me down I want to get up, spit the blood, smile, and hiss: “Hit like a pussy”.
Let’s talk again, Mik.
You are ready to heal but you are so scared of breaking the sand castle of your lifestyle that you have been building for years that you forgot how to enjoy the sea.
You live in a hubbub of million demons inside you and can’t hear the waves that whisper you to let go.
The Silence exists within you.
It does exist within everyone.
But the way to it is never a result of serendipity.
Self-discovery is a consequence of self-development, not the other way around.
I got cold so I am a bit tired. My eyes are closing from time to time as I write this but when I close them I can feel a gentle touch of Silence, the space beyond words.
You are welcome here, in this space. When you enter the state without words you understand how natural it is for us. We are supposed to be able to stay in it for continuous spans of time.
There is nothing you can do without a vision of where you are going. You need to hope again.
You can’t be efficient in designing your life if you don’t know what is the destination point. The energy that you feel is potential. The higher and more ambitious is the goal, the bigger is the distance between you and the result, the higher is the voltage that is charging you.
Ressurection from ashes of your past life is a painful, time- and energy-consuming process. But no one can walk this path for you.
Exercise. Undergo physical pain. Synthesize endorphins because essentially they are painkillers and they will work way better than those medications in your pocket.
Meditate. You say you never learned how to stop the voices inside your head. And you don’t need to. You just need to learn how to observe them, disassociate yourself from them, and let them come and go without being attached.
Spend time with people who love you. Surround yourself with those who give a shit about you. Only deep and meaningful connections may serve as a therapy, not small talks in the bar.
Spend time on nature and reconnect. Trees, mountains, sea and fresh air will teach you more about yourself than people.
Make experiments and learn how to stay abstinent. The poison that you put in your body — that what causes depressive states of mind.
Read. Investigate the very nature of the processes that happen to you.
We are the total sum of things that we do, not the things that we think or talk about.
Recovery is a choice, not a chance.
You can do it.
I believe in you, Mik. Stay strong.
* the name has been changed for the confidentiality purpose