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Detachment Vs Non-Attachment

Miscellaneous By: Cookie McBride

Self-reflexive piece on the nature of attachment.

Submitted:May 16, 2013    Reads: 29    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

My first relationship was possibly the happiest time of my life. I have neither before nor since experienced such a sensation. It was both subliminal and unreal. It was like living in a dream, the feeling was that indescribable. Nothing or no one else mattered when we were in our union of 2. All the banality, boredom, dreariness and monotony melted away and for the first time in my life, I experienced what it felt like to be truly happy. Love is an incredibly surreal experience, because its' as if you're entering another dimension and when you are with your beloved nothing else matters. All that fear, insecurity and loneliness drifted into insignificance. I was in cloud 9 and there was no stopping me. I had found the great love I had been searching for my entire life.

It ended. She dumped me. It was like having the rug pulled from under me. One minute I was elated, ecstatic beyond measure, the next my world had fallen apart. It felt like she had ripped my heart out and drop-kicked it into the nearest trashcan. It was like a bolt from the blue, I was not expecting this. I was devastated and utterly heartbroken, first the shock, then floods and floods of tears and lastly the anger and righteous indignation. Why has this happened to me? What did I do wrong? I didn't cheat, I'm not an abuser. What happened? Nothing in the course of my life had prepared me for this. After all, this was not in any of the literature I had read or the films I had watched. I was paralyzed with shock and you could say I lost something that day. A piece of my soul had died and I was thrust into one of Dante's seven layers of hell. Popular culture paints such a ridiculously rosy and idealistic picture of attachments. What tends to happen in movies is there is a break-up followed by a heart to heart. Either that or some exuberant, grandiose gesture of love performed by the protagonist, usually a male and usually in the works of Richard Curtis. Its' quite irresponsible in a way, this blind optimism, all for the sake of a few extra bucks, but then welcome to capitalism 2013 style!

It says a lot about life in the 21st century that people don't wanna hear the truth; they prefer to be lied to, makes life a hell of a lot easier I guess. David Foster Wallace once pointed out the selfishness and entitled attitudes of the post-Reagan/Thatcher generation, where its' do what you want, gratify every desire and satisfy every whim. You have rights and if that means trampling all over someone in the process then that's just the law of the jungle. People who get what they want often end up the unhappiest as they don't appreciate anything and anyone. I feel sorry for them really, they are fed a fantasy about how life should be white picket fence, beautiful white wedding and a couple of kids. Achieve this and you'll be happy. It doesn't matter if you had dreams or hopes; this is the ultimate, what you should be aiming for. All this is reinforced by institutions designed to control us, whether it be religious, educational or financial. Giving people this form of false hope is a subtle form of abuse you could say.

When I did get dumped, I didn't feel non-attached, I felt detached, detached from myself, reality and people. Man I was depressed! I spent 6 years in a haze of anger, grief and desperation. I was at the end of my rope and I was trying desperately to claw my way out. I felt like I was in Alcatraz, trying to escape using a plastic fork. Every effort to escape from the pits of despair I found myself in was futile. But then I remembered something Henry Rollins once said. When he witnessed the murder of his best friend, he said as awful as that was, it taught him one thing. That no matter how bad life gets, you're alive and that's awesome. Because when you're dead, you're screwed because you can't do all the cool stuff you wanna do. Therefore he concluded, there's no time for hanging yourself, for blowing your brains out, for injecting heroin or drinking that Jack Daniels poison, because as bad as life gets, the alternative, seeing your friend's body in a plastic box, sucks. So for me, that's what I'm holding onto.


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