In Search of Better Stories

Reflections on Being a Numb Little Bug

The song launched itself into my brain. The lyrics hit their mark. With a resounding affirmation, I blurted out “That’s me!” For the next week or two, I mused and reflected: Why is that me? and Can anything be done about it?

Do you ever get a little bit tired of life

Like your not really happy but you don’t want to die

Like your hanging by a thread but you gotta survive

Cause you gotta survive.

Like your body’s in the room but your not really there

Like you have empathy inside but you don’t really care

Like your fresh outta love but it’s been in the air.

A little bit tired of trying to care when I don’t

A little bit tired of quick repairs to cope

A little bit tired of sinking

Theres water in my boat

I’m barely breathin

Tryna stay afloat

So I got these quick repairs to cope

Guess I’m just broken and broke.

I have this disengaged feeling of being in the room but not in the room. In the past I’ve had tremendous feelings of empathy but now more than I want to admit, I find myself “a little bit tired of trying to care when I don’t” The faint scent of love lingers in the air, the smell reminds me of days gone by when my heart was full of love, hope and compassion but now I find myself asking where did it all go? Numbness is a good term of description. Am I really tired of life? Am I sinking? Has life just come down to survival? Surely not, right?

The songwriter doesn’t want to feel this way and neither do I. For her, the flimsy solution comes. She imbibes “quick repairs to cope”

The prescriptions on it’s way

With a name I can’t pronounce

and the dose I gotta take

But she’s just as tired of this solution as she is of her life. But she’s willing to give the pharmaceutical intervention a try, perhaps it will make her happy, though she already knows it won’t.

Why Do I Feel This Way? Is it just that I am a man susceptible to melancholy? Or is it life grinding me down? Things don’t work out as you hope, tragedy happens, and people disappoint. To live with bucket loads of love and empathy is to be vulnerable and a man can only take so many gut punches before defensive walls go up. For me, I think it’s not just genetic mental clouds and the ravages of life that have led to my numbness. Its also the evolution of my faith, combined with my long study of human history. I had such a pure connection to God as a youth. I had only to trust and obey. God’s word, simply read and followed was my playbook. From that wholesome root, I operated on big love and I was happy and purpose-filled. But I don’t think I can ever really get back to that. I’ve read too many books, I have too many questions. I’ve seen how humans behave regardless of their belief system. Faith remains in me to be sure as it does in all of us, but it is shrouded in mystery now. The love that’s longed for in this song, and the kind I miss doesn’t spring from the fountain of mystery. So I guess I am stuck.

How do I Cope? My “quick repairs” don’t involve drugs, that’s not my thing at all. I have other means that prevent me from going all the way to despair. The Healing Round continues to be a life-giving balm for me. What is that? It’s a concerted effort on my part to appreciate beauty, practice gratitude, and be creative. Living in this round has helped for sure. Click Here to watch the video of me speaking about it

But in listening to and thinking through this song I’ve discovered two unexpected ironic bits of help.

  1. Music is the language of joy — This depressing song is set to joyful music and as I listened I found that the music was getting into my bones and sparking life. The toe-tapping tune pushes against the darkness so much that the depressing lyrics prove no match for the undercurrent of joy coming from the music.
  2. “You Too?” moments give immeasurable health — The song creates a cathartic “you too?” moment. It helps me see that I am not alone in the world with my feelings. There are lots of other people out there just like me that don’t see everything in sunshine and rainbows. In a flash, I had an epiphany, this song was giving me solidarity with countless others, when I realized this I was surprised by joy, precisely because of the depressing lyrics. What crazy irony is this! And then I saw the genius of the song. Halfway through it, she asks the question “And I just wanna see if you feel the same as me” Yes I do, and I’m glad you brought it up, and now I feel better, much better.

Thank you, Em Beihold, you’ve really helped.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow. Great read. Thank you for these insights of solidarity and joy.

  2. We both appreciated this post! Thank you! Wish we could meet up with you and M soon.-D&K

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