Blogging. Writing. The great need to share the inner works of one’s brain is a double edged sword. On one hand, there is this insatiable need to get the words and ideas out, to share them with someone, everyone, to connect, and to feel a shared experience or emotion with others. On the other hand, there is this feeling of vulnerability, of being too open, too exposed, too consumed by others, a desire to shrink, hide, or flee.
In medical terms, consumption was once used to describe someone infected with tuberculosis (TB). They had consumption. Their bodies were consumed by illness. They wasted away, racked with fever, night sweats, coughing and bloody sputum, their bodies shriveling and shrinking before their eyes. No one knew at the time that the illness was caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an insidious little bacterium that can wall itself off in neat little cavitations in the lung, eluding attack from the immune system, all the while destroying the lungs and thereby the host. TB is a nasty little shit. People could live for a while like that, in complete and utter misery, welcoming death when it finally arrives. In that time, they likely infected their families and caretakers as TB is highly infectious in close quarters. Of course, now there are antibiotics to treat TB, but it’s tough. There is resistance and you have to take multiple antibiotics for up to 9 months to get rid of it.
We never see that kind of consumption anymore at least not where there is modern medical care, but there is consumption. It seems that there is consumption on a scale never seen before. There is a beast and it needs to be fed. It lives in all of us.
Consume or be consumed. Isn’t that the law of nature? I suppose it depends on the day, but I could be the subject of either. Lately, I have felt consumed. Consumed by work, my family, my thoughts, my worries, my questions, my path, my choices, my future. The thing that I offer for consumption, my blog, has slowly whittled away. At one time, I had 12 posts scheduled at once. My cupboard was overfilled with delicious little morsels, but lately I am writing and posting the same day, a week in between. Sprinkling bread crumbs. I haven’t the time to sit and ponder and write. I have been consumed.
Of course I feel an obligation to post to feed the beast that is my blog consumer. A lovely docile creature, I picture as purple and fluffy, but with a ferocious appetite and a keen wit. I love my blog consumer when the food is plentiful and good, but when there is a famine of thought and words, I can feel the pressure. It’s self induced pressure really. I just want to make something good. Something worth consuming.
It doesn’t happen all at once, but slowly over time. One does not even know it is happening because the change is almost imperceptible until time reveals the aftermath. Being consumed steals your reserves, your courage, your creativity. It leaves you spent, hollow, and emotionless. The soul shrivels and shrinks. In order to restore the energy and vitality that was once present, one needs to consume, to be fed. It’s the law of nature. It’s the circle of life.
I knew that I was having an issue when I wasn’t being funny anymore. I was having trouble finding the humor in life. My blogs became so serious and dreary. I knew that I was reaching the bottom of the barrel not just in my blog, but in life, too. Somewhere along the way, my reserves of joy were being depleted and I needed to do something fast. You might find that I’m pulling back a bit. Maybe not writing quite as often, but it is only for a spell. The first thing that I have planned is a trip to Disney World with the husband and kids in 2 weeks. If that doesn’t put a smile on my face, I don’t know what will….