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Boredom, Shmoredom

Ahh, the thrill of boredom. NOT! The absolutely glorious thrill of mind-altering tedium. I DON’T THINK SO!

As the victim of circumstance and the partaker of a debilitating illness, boredom is an all too frequent, and completely unwanted and uninvited, companion that is seemingly intent upon robbing me of the last vestige of my sanity, intelligence, and inner resources.

In my quest to end my boredom and give me something to do (ergo solving my boredom because for me, my definition of boredom is not having something worthwhile to do), I set about to determine just what boredom is so that I could eradicate this pesky vermin and boot it out of my life altogether. (I’m tired of it hogging all of my covers and squashing my pillows out of shape.)

I came across this interesting article while surfing for the world’s definition of boredom. It had some fascinating insights into boredom and gave me much to think about. At first, I was somewhat put off by the notion that boredom is actually dissatisfaction with life and the refusal of happiness in this present moment.  I chafed a bit at this. But me, being the creature of truth that I am, had to concede that, yes, I HAVE been quite unhappy with life such that it is for me and have been wanting and waiting and hoping for some kind of magical escape. Wanting something (ANYthing, for God’s sake!) to relieve this inner restlessness and dullness of life feeling that has seemed to plague me for the last year or so.

I thought that I had been bored because I haven’t had anything to DO because my illness has so severely hampered my physical ability to move and even think. Because of that article, I am realizing that what I have been feeling has not been boredom at all, but a mourning of my spirit for things that I no longer have and will no longer be able to, short of a miracle from the Hand of God.

In thinking over these things that I read about, I have come to the startling, and somewhat shattering, conclusion that I have been using boredom as a penance for being bedridden. During the brief moments and times that I HAVE felt happiness or joy or contentment, very swiftly followed feelings of guilt. Guilt because I am unable to work or go to church or do housework or contribute to society because I “should” be doing these things. I have spent the lion’s share of my life “doing things” for people, and I have grieved often over my inability to be those things that I used to be.

It goes against my grain (and pride, I must admit) to be given something that I do not feel that I have earned. How can I “justify” feeling happiness or contentment or peace laying in my bed 23 hours a day when so many others are working and sweating and struggling? In my mind, being content and happy would mean that being bedridden is okay and acceptable. That for me to be okay with that would equal me “giving up” on my belief that God IS going to raise me up out of this bed one day.

The thing that I need to give up, however, is the belief that happiness is something that must be earned or obtained by productivity and/or approval. I must learn how to give myself permission to be happy again. Not in spite of me being bedridden, but BECAUSE of it. How I am going to do that, I haven’t a clue. Because so much of my self-worth has been based upon what I can do and because I am unable to do much at all, the list of things that I feel that I deserve has been quite small. Almost non-existent, in fact.

Wow. I almost wish now that I had chosen to remain bored. Because then, at least, I would have been able to complain and rail about fate and the unfairness of life and moan about the lack of entertainment and creativity in my life instead of having to struggle with how in hell to be happy when it has been so long that I don’t even know what happiness looks or feels like. (Just the few fleeting moments of joy that I have felt lately scared me to death because I didn’t know what in the world to do with such feelings as joy has been completely unfamiliar to me for so very long. Hell, emotional pain is something I can do with my eyes closed. Despair is something I can conjure up in a millisecond. But HAPPINESS??? What in the hell do I do with that!)

I wish I was bored.

Bored Stiff

If no one has told you that boredom is not suffering, I will certainly tell you that said person has not had to spend 23 hours out of each day in bed, with a body that is so weak that it can only move sporadically, and the mind inside said body is delirious from being awake almost twenty hours of the day.

For those of you, however, who knows what it is like to have hour upon hour upon second to kill with no real outlet, save a TV and a loptop, I can feel our kindreds spirits merging in one resounding chorus of “Yes, Life is Bloody Boring As Hell”.

The truth be told, I find that boredom is without a doubt, the most difficult aspect of suffering I have to deal with. To me, it is worse than anything that I have encountered on this earth, to date. For, I would much rather be in pain than bored. And I am both. Intolerable.

At times, I am so bored that I am far beyond just the desire to scream. What I would like to do at those times (which are far too darn many, let me tell you), is to call up the people at the Guiness Book of Records so that they can mosey on over to my place to record the world’s loudest and longest scream ever howled by a human throat. (I am convinced that I’ve got that record locked up tight. Without a doubt.)

What frustrates me so much about boredom is the fact that I have so few methods of alleviating or eradicating it. My illness is of such a magnitude that I am virtually imprisoned by such fatigue that I am unable to keep my limbs (and my attention) moving. Any kind of exertion causes my body to weaken to the extent that leaves me unable to lift my head from my pillow for more than a second or two at a time. And that includes mental exertion. As in, thinking. Every single activity, from sitting up to walking across the hall the the bathroom to turning over in bed, my body makes me pay for in spades and it will take me days or weeks to recover. (So, you can imagine how much I am going to have to pay the piper for writing this blog, can’t you? I hope you are starting to get an idea.)

Besides irritating the crap out of me, boredom, for me, is dangerous. Because it is at those times when I despair of life the most. It is times like these that stirs up the voice of despair and that voice begins to tell me how useless I am and how better off this world would be without me in it. Those are the times when I have to take out my sword of the Spirit and battle with satan, himself. And my mind is the battlefield. Most of the time, I win. But I will be honest and admit that there have been far too many skirmishes that I have lost, and lost BIG! (For at those times, I did what no smart soldier would ever do. I not only listened to the enemy, I became my own enemy and beat myself over the head with shame, condemnation, and fear. I am so very thankful that I serve a God Who came to my rescue time and time again and never once scolded me for messing up again and again and again.)

I am beginning to learn, though, that one can actually be bored and live. (That is earth-shattering to me because I was  certain that I was so bored at times that  my body was simply going to give up the ghost in sheer protest and agony.)

I am also discovering that the more satisfied you ae within your own skin, the less bored you will be. Because, the more you love yourself, the more peace you experience. And I can truly say that I am experiencing more peace and less boredom. Thank God for that!

Now, somebody please remind me I said this the next time that I am bored. I’ll probably be too busy screaming to remember.