Books : About My Choice of Consumption and the Current Crisis


Before this, I love reading non-fiction books on heavy issues that talk about moral and ethics, sometimes books from thriller or even horror as well. Books that make us question our choice if we are in that situation, or books that make me jumpy or scared.


But lately, I can't even read the simple ones. I keep on reading positive-motivational light reading, and it is an interesting change. When I read or listen to certain triggering topics, my heart would feel heavier, I will feel a bit stressed out, jittery, and anxious. 


It is likely that this is due to the pandemic, the stress and anxiety that I've been accumulating since early 2020. We are in such a unique situation where we are living in a crisis for a healthy life, for a financial stability, for our own sanity, and those things make me so sensitive towards 'any' triggers. So even reading fiction can now trigger my thoughts. 


So I had to 'pick' my choice of books.


Before this, I was living in a bubble of comfort. I'm a very sensitive person and my safest way to live a different life is by reading books. I'm always interested to 'know' on the surface level, about how other people are living their hard lives. By far, I've been avoiding hard topics that can trigger my emotions  due to my incompetency to manage it. I'm always curious about how to manage these whirlpool of emotions without having it affect my life.  


How to learn about the genocide, the war, the children/women trafficking, the global-warming, the effect of our unhealthy consumption, the diseases, the cruelty, the unfairness, etc without having to be sucked in the black hole ?  Without having to fall into endless anxiety and depression ? How do we feel the empathy towards the world without spiralling ? 

I don't understand how people can do that.


For me, it's either 'you feel' or 'you close your eyes'. I don't have the solution to feel about a topic and not be wholly affected by it. I do feel too much at times and it gives be anxiety and because we are at this moment in a crisis, my mind wouldn't tolerate any triggers at all without crumbling to pieces. 


For the past year, I've been reading a lot of books on anxiety and coping with over-thinking. It all mentioned about being mindful, meditation, and deep breathing. Yes, all these are very helpful during hard times, but no one is telling me how to manage these emotions when I 'choose' to feel. Yes, I feel too much but I don't want to close my eyes to the world forever. 


I have this quotation in my journal, that reminds me :

146. How can there be laughter, how can there be pleasure, when the whole world is burning ? When you are in deep darkness, will you not ask for a lamp? - The Dhammapada

Since then, this has always been a reminder for me that the darkness is here in this world, but we can't give up on hope. I think it's okay to find solace in positive messages and reminders for now, at least until the pandemic ended and I can find calmness in my mind back again. 


Note : Today is the day I'm taking my first dose of vaccine and I've been having these thoughts at 5 am when I woke up, so I decided to type this down. I hope for the best, and please wish me well ♥ 

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