"My stage is shared by millions
Who lift their hands up high because they feel this.
We are one. We are strong.
The more you hold us down, the more we press on."
(Appologies for the delay. Friggin' exam week...)
I think I'm getting into the swing of things now. Y'know, two panic attacks and one death later. And that's just in the blogs I'm following; God knows what else is going on out there. Rest in peace, Jeff. A flight of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Not, of course, that I could have done anything about anything. That by itself is probably what pisses me off the most. While we're not the center of the action, all we can do is watch, and wait, and pray to see another update. 'Cause if we don't, we will honestly never know what happened. No one ever will.
Like I said, I hate waiting.
It wasn't until recently that it really sunk in that people I know, people I respect, maybe even people I love, are going to die. Before their time. And that's not panic talking this time, it's just a fact. But with that realization, I also remembered that all of it would have happened whether or not I was here to see it. The fact that I now run a blog, the f act that I even exist did nothing to change the facts. Jeff never knew me, and I never knew him until it was already too late. Hell, barely a handful of people in the community even know who I am. The only difference my being here made was that I got to experience this sense of loss that I don't quite understand and probably don't even deserve.
It's that helplessness again, that same goddamn feeling of "What's the point?" that's plagued my life more than once. And at first it pissed me off again, because I thought I was done being apathetic, or why else would I have even come here? Now, though... now I'm just calm. Tempered, I guess you'd call it.
And I guess that brings us into today's "lesson".
Not to get all New Age-y spiritual on you guys, but it is my belief that all human action stems from one of two basic emotions: love or fear. All other emotions, positive and negative, are offshoots of these two basic ideas. In general, it is always best to act with love rather than fear, in order to have a happy life and be a good person.
This is not to say that fear is a bad thing, of course. Far from it. Fear heightens your senses, sharpens your instincts, and speeds up your reactions. Fear brings adreneline, which allows the body to perform otherwise impossible feats. Fear is just as much your tool as any other aspect of you. The trick is remembering that you can use your fear, because if you don't, your fear will use you.
It's when your fear starts to control you that it morphs into panic. And panic is... well, needless to say, panic is bad. Instead of sharpening your senses, panic will confuse them, trick them, make you doubt them (which thrusts panic levels even higher, I might add). Fear can spur on intuitive leaps, but panic will make connections where none exist.
You panic, you make mistakes. And generally, when dealing with this sort of thing, if you make mistakes, you die. Simple as that.
Now, all of this has been common sense so far. Everyone knows that, tentacles, arson, and knife-wielding proxies aside, the greatest threat to our survival lies within our own minds, and what exposure to Slenderman can do to us on the inside. The formation of a community among bloggers has done wonders for keeping the panic and paranoia down to managable levels, at least during the stalking stage. But out in the field? Can you keep a tight rein on your emotions when you're literally within spitting distance of what has been repeatedly described as fear incarnate?
It all goes back to what I said in my very first post. Take your fear and make it into an object, something you can look at and analyze from the outside. This is a godawful hard thing to do, I know, especially if It's standing right there, exuding fear like an inferno exudes heat. Most people, I've noticed, simply repress their fear, but this is a stopgap only. The only way to take control of it is to confront it. When you acknowledge every aspect of your fear, without reservation or judgement, it becomes yours.
When I was young, I was afraid the dark, just like any child. Whenever I needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, when all the lights were off, I was always forced to sprint the distance across the hall and slam the door behind me once I reached my destination. It wasn't the darkness itself I was afraid of, it was what might be lurking in the shadows around the corner. Most of all, I was terrified that something might be standing right behind me, ready to slash my throat.
Intellectually, I knew that there was nothing there. But that didn't stop the panic from rising in my throat every time I opened the door to what seemed like endless dark unknown. It didn't stop my heart from racing every time I made that terrifying journey, time and time again. But then I realized: All I needed to do was prove to myself that my fears were wrong. So the next night, I simply walked into the center of my pitch-black hallway... and waited.
The logic was simple. I ran because I was certain something would get me if I didn't run. So naturally, if I didn't run, something would get me. However, since I knew intellectually that nothing was there, nothing would get me even if I stood stock-still.
I didn't have to wait long, because the instant I made that decision, the fear was gone. There was no longer any feeling of being watched, of something looming just out of sight. The moment I actually put my fears to the test, they vanished completely. The moment I confronted myself, I was free.
Slenderman is different, however; very real and very dangerous. There is no testing to see whether or not It will kill you, because eventually It will. It's not some formless shadow in the night, and It's certainly not a figment of your imagination, to be erased at your whim. However, the principle of confronting your fears remains the same, it just has to be done in a different setting.
Try and find a safe place. Maybe have someone there to watch your back if possible. Take all your fears and break them down into their component parts, and own each part of them. That right there is actually the most important part: recognize way down deep that your fears are yours. Practice this until it's ingrained in you to think this way automatically. That way, when Dapper comes a-calling, you'll be ready.
You are at the center and you are in control. Others like Slenderman can use your fears against you, it's true. But only if you still consider your fears to be something outside of you, something outside your control.
It's an odd process, I suppose. First you need to separate yourself from your fear, then you need to deconstruct it, and then internalize it at an even deeper level. It's a shift in the entire way you think, really. It takes time, and it takes practice, and I'm sorry I can't explain it better than this, but it works. It works better than anything else I've tried or heard of, and it works more consistantly across different people.
And I think that, once you take your fears back from It, It'll have a lot tougher of a time in Its fight to break you.
Yet another ungodly hour to post something, but like I said, I had some trouble explaining this concept. I've been working on it on and off all night, but if anything's unclear, state what the problem is and I'll do my best to rectify it.
And in today's What's Happening highlight... so frigging much, due to me being so late about this post.
See Alora and Kay for some interesting bits of news. Especially Kay. If she's right, we could stand to gain a lot of ground. Ava is recovering. Slowly, but recovering. Give her all the support you can, and then give her more, because she needs. it. And Thage... I get it. I do. Doesn't make it suck any less, but I do get it, and did from the beginning. I'll be careful of what I say around you from now on, which was probably your intention, but I don't trust you any less. You're in a horrible position, but you are an ally.
Cathy and Tony pushed a few boundaries in their attempt to see what Cynthia's been writing a while back, with disasterous and somewhat familiar consequences. So that'll probably be what my next post will be about, just give me some time to gather all the data together. Cathy, Tony, you have my appologies for what happened, and I'm glad you're feeling better now. Just... be friggin' careful. Cynthia's up to something.
I also have a few opinions about Morningstar's... "situation"... but I'll keep them to myself.
AmalgamationSage and I got to talking the other day. It was quite enjoyable and very informative. Nice to know I've got a go-to guy, should shit hit the fan. ^_^
Everyone else, keep safe. Now, I seriously need to get some sleep...