Self-destructive behavior has its benefits too.
It has made me love the uneasiness I create for myself; other than living in a state of distress, I wouldn’t know how to live otherwise. To live in a state of comfort — how could I allow myself? I would rather not live at all. What an unreal existence. The exposed reality is the only one seems in consonance with my framework of reality. Even when I have been afforded so many privileges throughout my life to stay in a sphere of contentment, I find it deeply unsatisfying to continue living when I cannot constantly face the barrage of rejection from exposing vulnerability. It feels oddly comforting — as if reflecting the only reality I have come to know. Without a constant state of dissatisfaction with aspects of my life that I can control, how could I consider myself living?
Because the comfort in discomfort brings me life. How did I put it in a poem?
The will of the self is the enemy of the soul
Reading this sentence now, I reflect upon how fake deep I must’ve been at one point in my life. I would write poems for the sake of writing poems, never quite asking myself where each word would fit into my own experiences. Words would flow out of me, and I would assign meaning to them in retrospect. At the time, I wanted to create some sort of insight for myself in the midst of a transitory time. At the time, I thought I wanted to originate some validation for my self-destructive impulses. Only now do I realize I do not need to create external validation for internal systems. Although I will never truly understand what I meant at the time, it seems to be a warning to stop acting in accordance with my nature.
I continue to pursue uneasiness because I have never been comforted by the prospect of contentment. Although I naturally gravitate towards negative feedback loops of thought, I would never purposefully incept discomforting thoughts when I have the awareness to curb my own instincts. But, to me, there exists a sharp discrepancy between creating discomfort and seeking discomfort in the same way that there is a difference between creating needless suffering and seeking formative experiences that result in suffering. To satisfy my constant desire to feel unease, as opposed to creating some sort of space within myself to allow myself to be discomforted, I constantly search for new spaces where I could expose my vulnerabilities to be consumed.
It seems, however, that the more discomfort I experience, the more difficult it becomes to experience the same intensity of discomfort. The same experiences that would have been considered to be discomforting a mere year ago have become integrated within my everyday lifestyle. The same information I have been so unwilling to share a year ago have been integrated within my colloquial topics of conversation. Although I could view such a transition as growth, there mere thought that I have become more comfortable with myself repulses me. If I live to be discomforted, what has become of my life if I cannot experience a fundamental pillar of my purpose of living?
I have never experienced a significant portion of my life where I had been satisfied with my life. Given the fact that the majority of my formative years have passed now, I do not think I will ever seek comfort because the idea of being comfortable with myself has never been even a temporary tenant of my personality. Because of various experiences throughout my upraising that had let me to only understand discomfort, there will never be a point in my life after these few years that will allow me to question that understanding that I have created. From now until the rest of my life, I will strive to experience more discomfort, but how would I be able to do so if I could no longer experience the same feelings of distress as I once could? Am I supposed to push my boundaries of what I consider experiences that fall within my self-interest? Or am I supposed to finally settle myself?
How did Freud put it? Structuralized self-shattering.
A continuous cycle in building and dismantling my sense of identity within the construct of a self-destructive impulse created alongside the realization of my autoerotic impulses. Of course, with specific definitions associated to some words that remains isolated from my colloquial conception of them. I suppose I do not have enough expertise on the subject to delve into the details. Even after writing an essay on the Proustian redemption of the self-shattering impulse for my Beckett class, I still do not entirely understand the nuances of all of Freud’s argument. To me, it just makes sense. The idea of structuralized self-shattering, given my limited understanding of its framework, just makes sense relative to my life.
I will never make as significant a contribution to the field of psychoanalysis as Freud did, but it brings me comfort to know that some vague ideas of endogenous origins have been thought of by individuals with far more intellectual firepower as I. Freud allows me to contextualize my experiences, especially the ones that make me question whether life is worth continuing living, relative to the greater tradition of psychoanalysis. Through articulating some of my sentiments better than I could articulate them myself, Freud allows me to come one step closer towards understanding the nature of my pursuit, towards understanding what I really want as opposed to what I convince myself that I want. I find a strange beauty in the neverending chase.
Perhaps, the only way I could continue to experience the same levels of discomfort is to destroy whatever support systems I have in my life. Perhaps the only discomfort that is left is to shed whatever sources of comfort that have shielded me from experiencing discomfort up until now. It would certainly explain many events that I have happened in my life, and it would seem that the only way I could justify my behavior is to assign a justification in retrospect. Perhaps, self-destruction comes from an instinct to constantly feel the same intensity of discomfort. It would explain the certainties I have in life in context to the cumulation of the experiences I have had. After all, according to countless writers I have read, beauty only comes from the act of destroying. I, too, destroy the parts of my life that are beautiful to return to a state of vulnerability.
I flourish with individuals with equally strong tendencies towards self-destruction. I could not imagine myself spending significant amounts of time with individuals who do not have these same instincts as I. Without a constant desire to create beauty through destruction, how could I consider myself to be truly understanding the depth of the human experience? As lost souls drifting to share temporary moments of comfort to following moments of discomfort, I wonder if I seek out connection to execute mutual self-destruction. I create friendships among individuals who have the same fundamental understanding of the world. I strengthen friendships to a level where I would be afraid to lose them. And then I purge them along with any sense of comfort I have.
Only when I have destroyed everything can I feel anything. When the last words are exchanged, the last opportunities of closure are forsaken — only then can I finally experience the discomfort of which I have been deprived. It would seem that these are the individuals I thrive the most amongst. The self-destructive ones. It would seem that is the true nature of being “similar” to others revolves around a spectrum of self-destructiveness. After all, self-destructive individuals cannot tolerate individuals who do not have self-destructive tendencies, and vice versa. Each individual justifies their own actions with a different set of value systems, and these differences cannot be reconciled with others who have different value systems.
I spend time with other individuals who are self-destructive because it comes closer to resembling the reality that I have come to know. Individuals who do not seek a constant state of vulnerability — I cannot begin to understand how they could live with a reality that seems so contrived. Individuals who live without pursuing discomfort would look down upon me with a different set of values. How could I not let myself experience a state of happiness afforded by comfort? But, for me, it’s an easy answer: it doesn’t seem real to me, and I do not value happiness as a meaningful pursuit. I would much rather live a real existence than a happy existence. To me, the two are often at odds.
Soon enough, I will come to a state of equilibrium. I enjoy spending time with individuals who want to build and demolish friendships with the same reasoning as I, and I will continue to build and demolish friendships with these individuals who come into my life and leave with a little more than they brought. To create beauty with the intention of destroying beauty — I could not imagine a better set of individuals in my life to allow me to live as real of an existence as I can. To live. To die. To scream into the void. To scream into something real, as opposed to drowning in something fake. It’s funny how individuals gravitate back towards individuals similar to them.