You know how sometimes the stress you’re experiencing is so high that a new, manageable crisis is a welcome respite? That’s where I’m at.
Imagine if you ate poison and can feel your insides slowly dying but as you’re dying, your coworker, Geoff–you know, Geoff, that guy in the office who complains to HR that birthday celebrations are “reducing productivity”–suddenly feels compelled to do nude jumping jacks while bleeding out of every orifice right in front of your death bed. The weird nude bleedy jumping jacks would be a nice distraction from imminent death.
Right now, it feels like wherever I turn, there’s an avalanche of unattainable goals. The only reason I’m able to write this is that I, early on, established the precedent that I spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. I try to manage people’s expectations of me, mainly by keeping them very low. The problem is, even with the lowest of expectations, I still have to figure out how to do things I’m very bad at and incrementally disappoint people while also accomplishing enough to actually keep my life at a baseline of comfort.
Sometimes, it feels like it’s all a pointless balancing act to distract myself and those in my tiny sphere of influence from the fact that we’re all going to die anyway. “Yeah, you’re right, boss, we absolutely need to send out this letter while pretending that the Grim Reaper isn’t giving me a hickey while also diddling your prostate.”
As kids, weren’t we all afraid of quicksand? Well, that was apparently all a metaphor, training for the quicksand of responsibility. It would be a luxury to have something to focus on other than surviving the hot lava of stress. Something manageable in the face of overwhelming hordes of chores and tasks and duties. Duties? Doodies! That’s it! If I just came down with an explosive case of diarrhea, I’d be able to put things into perspective! I’d runny-poop my way to enlightenment. Diarrhea isn’t really something you manage, you just sort of live with it. When digestive track failure hits, everything else just seems a lot less important than ensuring a bathroom is always close-by.
That’s how I’m going to make it through this, just deal with it like dealing with the sustained gut gurgles until I’m all out of colon coughs. I can’t relax or I’ll end up with soiled drawers. Just be ever-vigilant. Am I the first person to wistfully dream of a leaky sphincter?