So, people are always talking about things like, “Do what’s in your heart,” and “the heart wants what the heart wants.” Want to know some hard truths? The heart is a devious, lying sack of crap. Partially because it’s a fickle bitch that doesn’t actually know what the hell it wants, and partially because it wants the most horribly destructive things imaginable. Trust me, my heart is really good at being a destructive bastard. I’m not saying that emotions are dumb, or that feeling things will cause you nothing but pain. That’s true, in it’s own way, but not the entire truth. What I’m saying is your heart, the metaphorical one, not the literal one, has another name, one that absolutely oozes with douche-laden frat-cologne: The Id.
See, we all want to romanticize our passions. We want to believe that all of our enthusiasm is healthy and marvelous, and that if we just embrace it, we’ll be happier, healthier, more functional people.
You want to know what they call someone that chronically indulges in their every compulsion? An addict.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I am an addict. I’m not sure I’ve ever written about it directly, not more than a little anecdotal comment in one of my early blog posts. I’ve definitely made references to it over the years. I’ve comment on the pills, and cigarettes, and pizza rolls. I’ve talked some about my compulsive need for self-flagellation. I’ve waxed lyrical about my love affair with depression. I’ve told you a story or two.
I haven’t ever really explained what it’s like.
I’m sitting in my room right now, writing this. My mouth is twitchy and my fingers a little shaky because they want a cigarette. I’m thinking about cigarettes, and now I need one. I ache to have one. The desire is intense. It’s charming. It’s telling me that I could go outside right now and have one. Who cares that it’s below zero outside. I’ve got a coat.
That’s not even the big one, you know. The big one is the one that is riding around in the back of my mind subtly reminding me that the gas station, just a few minutes away has No-Doz on the counter. No-Doz and Yellow-Jackets. Just a little farther down the road is a CVS, and CVS carries OTC inhalers for asthma. Why is that relevant? Because OTC Asthma inhalers usually have ephedrine in them. You can get it out easy enough if you know how. It dissolves in coke.
I haven’t taken a damn pill since 2006 and my brain still catalogues every possible location, method and situation that it might need to one day put that shit back in my body.
I do it passively. I don’t even have to go looking. I pick it up in the peripheral and know.
That’s what it is for someone like me to follow their heart. It’s to put the rational, reasonable part of the brain out of control and let that need for something really get its tearing, gnashing grip back into me.
So, no, I don’t follow my heart or chase my passions. I don’t do what I love. I try not to indulge myself.
Because when I do, bad things happen.
Instead, I focus on the things that I can control.
I push myself as far away from my heart’s desire as I possibly can.
Because for me, it’s a matter of life and death.
Think about it.