Good evening ladies and gentleman
The phrase “M.A.D” or “Mutually Assured Destruction” was first properly referenced in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, written often down the sides of bombs being dropped for the assurance of annihilation- were it to be required. The M.A.D idea was devised to create a warning for the enemy on both sides during the crisis that if they wanted to, their ultimate destruction could be bought about without issue.
It’s this idea of “mutually assured destruction” I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, for in this comes a thorny issue for many of us walking the plank of modern society, living on the line between who we want to be, and who we think we are supposed to be. When we feel like we have gained a victory in life, when we have “won” if you will, it creates a memory, an untainted, beautiful, near perfect imprint in your mind that no matter what happens in the future, it will always be yours and there i nothing and nobody anything can do to take it away from you.
While there is nothing you, or anyone else for that matter can do to take that moment away from you, the way you feel or react to the resurfacing of that memory can go as far to define who you become in the future. When we are walking the line between the uniqueness that defines us and the potential self destruction trying to pull you in the darkness below, waiting for a moment to fill your lungs and infect every cell with what “might” happen. This self destructive nature we are all capable of mustering- all to maintain the mirage of right now, that we are alright, we are “care free.” It can be easy to get swept away in this, thinking its the “key” to life, to avoiding pain, fear, loss, loneliness and the accompanying stench of misery that can come with such a sensation.
In the arguments revolving around the problems with being self-destructive, i choose to believe fear is the biggest motivator behind such behaviour. Fear kills everything- dreams, friendships, relationships, beautiful words never spoken, creative artistry never put to canvas. If only we could be brave enough to do everything that we wanted to do, then maybe we, I, could find a part of ourselves previously lost to the clutches of what we think, who we think we are supposed to be.
The way i see it, we all have the capacity to think freely- we are not supposed to agree with everyone, about everything. You, thinking freely, even in a relationship is the key to who you are, rather than living only to the expectations and opinions of them. It’s very easy for us to become confused by what friendships and relationships are in today’s modern world of often playing one character to the world and another online. Confused because a girl or a guy isn’t going to be attracted to you for agreeing with them all the time, for having the same opinion, loving the same things and hating the same people. People do not fall in love with someone because of their opinion on Donald Trump, but because of who they are. An opinion is a very small piece of a giant absurd puzzle.
Yet we persist- I persist. We persist out of fear of the unknown, i choose to believe. Fear dictates the way we live so much so that it can be very easy to lose focus on who we are. When we reach a certain point in life, a certain point where we are what we think is happy, when we are happy- its easy to be convinced that life cannot get past that point, life cannot feel much better than this. When you find yourself in a certain situation where “happy” is mistaken for “normality” its not really happy- its familiar. Familiar is a dangerous drug, it can morph into many different forms and take you down in many different ways. You can be happy in a situation, in a place, with a person- but excessive doses of familiarity are a high risk game to play, for the demon of destruction more often than not, when the cards are laid out on the table is sat with a royal flush, leaving you with nothing but empty pockets and broken dreams.
Say you lost that “happy” sensation, that thing that had been driving you forward down the path of familiarity. Time isn’t something you pay attention to, for you’re happy just to be there in that moment you honestly believe will last forever. You’ve built up this idea of yourself and your future from this familiarity, flying higher and higher as you settle down to the positive familiarity of it. The result, if we are not careful, can be earth shattering. The glass ceiling is broken, all of sudden you’re spiralling, spinning out of control, not sure what you’re supposed to do. How do you move forward from this event? How do you get back to that feeling? You cling to these questions like they are your reason for living, even if you know you can never get back there, not really.
So you shut everything and everyone off, for nobody and nothing will give you that same feeling as before. Its not the familiarity thats important here, because i believe familiarity is the culprit here because it usually comes hand in hand with “comfortable.” You sit there almost in purgatory, live your life in cruise control, not really you, the demon at the controls crashing and bashing through your life. It doesn’t matter though because you feel so lost in the dark, its hard to see the way out. Sometimes, the dark seems so much more inviting.
You don’t want to do anything. The effort required to just get out of bed and go to work is difficult. To meet people, to see your friends, anything. You lost, and you blame yourself. Sensations of not being worth it, wandering why you bother flood your mind. “Right, I’m not gonna bother again” becomes a staple of your mental diet.
After time, its almost like you become professionally “detached” from everyone and everything, because the result of doing anything seems like its inevitable, like every path leads to you feeling like this again and again, so you refuse to let it happen again, staying as low as you can to avoid the pity you find yourself wallowing in, which is brilliantly ironic and something i believe we have all suffered with at some point in life.
You don’t want to live like this, as the happiness you previously experienced had shown you, but in the clutches of self destruction have you thinking this is the only way to live to avoid pain. You can’t be happy, for you are in pain, feel miserable, sad and lost, so you stay that way to avoid the sensation of being miserable, sad and lost.
Or, to put it another way
Mutually Assured Destruction.
Yours, with love as always.
Photo by Elti Meshau from Pexels