Socialists Anonymous

It’s painful to witness Labour MPs pronouncing and parading about how important it is for their party to remain ‘electable’. It seems as if they are putting something off … the moment they say what they stand for? I’m wondering if there are many differences between this strategy for survival and the one compulsively adopted by many of the people I treat for addiction: to try very hard to cause as little conflict as possible; and if conflict arises (done this way it inevitably does, somewhere, and is by then usually explosive) to distance yourself as quickly as possible by the most effective means available. It never ends well. Continue reading

Anxiety

IMG_3078
My anxiety is an experience of my absence. The less I am able to assert myself in life the more often I will find myself wishing I had. Anxiety is the experience of forthcoming resentment, of feeling trapped, becoming bored. Anxiety comes from the same place as anger, but as its ghost. Kill off, lose touch with or disavow your anger and you will feel anxious … and anger is there when I disagree. So anxiety arises when I can’t find it in myself, or the opportunity in the world, to disagree. Anxiety is a narrowing of me – a whittling down of me; a meanness. A difficulty. It’s Latin root: angustia. Continue reading

Emergency Inertia

There’s a part to emerging from a difficult situation that is sometimes overlooked: the inertia that can creep into a life out of a fear of taking risks again. I mean ordinary, everyday gambles over remembering and feeling things. The past can feel too much. Getting closer to someone or something can feel too frightening – and perhaps what makes this most difficult is that the fear I’m referring to is almost impossible to catch hold of. It might simply come upon you like an itch, a sense of wanting to squirm; an instinctive no, or a sense of relief if you move towards it (away from where you might actually need to be: getting to know another person, trying out another way of doing something, or looking back at something you did and realising it wasn’t quite like you’d imagined). Continue reading