It seems like a lifetime ago, but my first long term relationship was a bit like the song, “Love the way you lie,” by Eminem and Rihanna… something about a volcano meeting a tornado, or something like that. As a love story, it was like Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights. Since the day we got together, hardly a fortnight would go without us screaming at each other followed by me crying and some sort of emotional blackmail. At some point it almost became this match to see who could hurt each other more. And then we would make up, and it would be all, “I love you,” and “we’ll be together forever.” The fact that we stayed together for four years means that I must have liked it in some way.
It’s not rocket science. I somehow got a rush from the rollercoaster of feelings, going from absolute passion to anger to sadness. It was crazy. I thought that if it wasn’t difficult, it wasn’t worth it. I was always ready to spring. There was no peace. I now know that every day of my life back then was lived in my sympathetic nervous system – fight or flight. I learned to do both reasonably well. My uncle’s relationship with his ex wife was the same, except in their case there were physical bruises involved. It’s a cycle and in a way, some people just don’t know how to get out of it.
Was it love? Of course it was love. Of course, at the time, I was of the mind that love had to be difficult and love had to be this crazy rollercoaster. The thing with love though, is that it’s just an emotion. The forms it can take can sometimes be positive, and at other times detrimental. Who is anyone to say that people who fight all the time love each other less than people who don’t?
What is it about drama though?
10 years on looking back and I wonder why we thrive on drama so much. It’s not just in relationships, but in all aspects of life. And sometimes we can’t put it down to youth either. Some of us can’t do anything without an aspect of drama in it. The hypochondriac is an extreme case of this but there are others that are not quite there, but very close. The family member who fakes his own fucking death, the friend who’s always got some beef with someone, the person who’s talking on the phone extremely loudly on the bus. Everything has to be a big production. Honestly, I’ve known people to whom even going to sleep is this big production. It’s like putting on a play; need this, need that, need blah blah blah… and they’re not comfortable anyway. Sometimes I honestly wonder if it’s a cry for help or simply a call for attention. How you know these people is that when you spend time with them, you leave feeling absolutely exhausted.
Drama can become an addiction. It’s like feeding on the attention, the adrenaline, the production of things, and when there is none of that, you just forget how to function. It’s like an actor who doesn’t know who they are anymore once a movie ends, and people who are just lost and depressed when nobody is watching. It’s the person who can’t handle silence because there is nobody to perform for. It’s everywhere if only you look hard enough. It’s just a fucking story.
Sure there are breakups, and bad days at work, and sometimes, we just need that support form our friends and loved ones. Sometimes however, it helps to stop and look at our own patterns. One example is this Carrie Bradshaw syndrome. Somehow it’s romantic when you break up and get back together and then break up again and then get back together again. And while you’re doing this, your friends have to sit there year in year out listening to the same shit. I love you Carrie. Without this stuff, Sex in the City would have died early, but heck its drama, made for TV, and should be kept for TV. Bring it out into the world, and it becomes tedious.
We read books. We watch movies, and of course at some point everyone wants to write the story of their lives. Because it’s great isn’t it? We’ve made it so full of drama that it will be a best seller. It’s going to be the next “Eat, Pray, Love,” isn’t it? Suddenly after the book and movie, everyone was getting divorced and going to Bali hoping they’ll meet a Brazilian man who says, “daarrrrrrling.” Well honey, that book has already been written, so you can just cut the drama and carry on with life. And perhaps we don’t have to sit around every moment like someone’s going to take a fucking picture. Every day of life doesn’t need to be a big fucking production.
Honestly, as I said to beloved friend and teacher Michael, I’m just tired of fucking drama. Sure there are ups and downs, and those things keep life interesting. When I get together with friends, I do want to hear their stories. When a friend goes through a breakup or has a hard day at work, I want to be there for them, but I would like to cut the drama. I’m not Elizabeth Gilbert. This is my life. Even without drama, there is a story, my story, the one that goes into my journal, not for the big screen or be bound in hardcover. The one that is my life, and not some fucking production of it. I could live without the 15 minutes of fame.
So the world is going to end today, and every ending is a new beginning. What I’m going to do is let go of the fucking past, move on, have some fish and chips, catch up with some friends and hope that this ending means a new beginning with minimal drama.