Avoidance; a How-To guide for beginners

Now I know we’ve all likely been confronted with feelings or facts we’d rather not acknowledge, so I’ve put together this post for the uninitiated (or anyone new to avoiding the uncertain and uncomfortable).

Keep your hands busy, find a craft or a chore or an errand that NEEDS doing right now. By focusing on these urgent matters those feelings, that reality of the situation, isn’t in the forefront.

Personally I (don’t) enjoy making lists of things, that way there’s a physical reminder of the looming tasks I’ve yet to accomplish. Having this physical reminder keeps me focused on The specific tasks I can avoid, as opposed to the nebulous and/or undefined feelings I’m really trying to avoid.

Below is a typical list of tasks I could perform in lieu of actual emotional work (aka dealing with feelings )

  • Gotta insulate those windows, better run to Home Depot and get all the supplies
  • Your bedroom is a mess, better get on it…actually no, that’s gonna remind you of your reality. Moving on…
  • Do laundry, heck the machine does most of the work. Wash everything, blankets, sheets, coats, throw it all in
  • Start a project, maybe even finish that embroidery or paint by number that’s been cluttering your life.
  • Search Pinterest for ideas for projects you wanna try but probably never will

Whatever you do, DO NOT sit with your feelings, talk about them, or write them down.

  • Doing so will result in FEELINGS.
  • Feelings you may not understand, and which may be uncomfortable or downright painful. These may include:
    • Anxiety stemming from the lack of stability and uncertainty in the future
    • Sadness
    • Worthlessness or Despair from the idea that your parents were the only two humans fully invested in your reality, and now that they’re dead you’re alone
    • Loneliness in knowing that previous feeling isn’t something that other people understand

However, writing them out as a note on your phone while chain smoking on the back porch may be beneficial. Posting it to a quasi-anonymous blog where it’s likely never to be seen by anyone you know could also be considered “productive”.

Congratulations, you’ve passively acknowledged your feelings!

What to do while you wait for AAA to unlock the car because you’re 33 and still haven’t figured out that multi-tasking accomplishes NOTHING

◦ Go back in the store and buy shit you don’t need to distract yourself

◦ Spend too long trying to find a valid reason to do thing 1

◦ Instead decide to go inside use the bathroom and/or splash your face with water

◦ Pace awkwardly around your car because standing is even more awkward

◦ Mentally list everyone you can think of in the vicinity, as well as the probability they’re around and will keep you company

◦ maybe call one

◦ Feel a bit silly about the call (of you got that far).

◦ Lean awkwardly against your car and hope that you’re the only person shitty enough to assume someone leaning on their car in a Walmart parking lot might be some kinda junkie/drug dealer/other miscellaneous miscreant

◦ Collect shopping carts in the hopes that people who are sitting inside their cars (lucky assholes) won’t notice you hanging out in a parking lot (and avoiding previous scenario)

◦ Endlessly refresh the AAA website to see the ETA

◦ Make a list of what to do when you’re stuck waiting for AAA

◦ Look for more birds

◦ Start to regret not eating that sandwich earlier

◦ Grow concerned as your phone flashes the “low battery” message.

◦ Vacillate between “looking on the bright side” (AKA it could always be worse) and being annoyed that you’re even IN a situation where you’re imagining worst case scenarios to feel better

◦ Think about zombies

◦ Make small talk with the kind older lady who asks if you need anything

◦ Be glad you impulse-bought a AAA membership last month for the free maps

◦ Watch somebody do their hair standing outside their car (hairspray & all) by looking at their reflection in their rear view mirror

◦ Realize they probably did that because it’d suck to be in a car filled with hair spray fumes

◦ Wonder why they’re taking so much care with their hair before entering Walmart

◦ Notice the storm clouds off in the distance aren’t quite so distant anymore…

◦ Make a mental note to start keeping a small notebook on your person for future updates

◦ Flag down the AAA truck with the light weight plaid you have tied a

◦ Thank Raziel (who was awesome) and congratulate yourself. You’ve survived a very minor 1st world inconvenience. (which isn’t always quite as easy as it sounds.)