Neurosis is the blocking of forward momentum.
It’s the anxious attempt to prevent life from happening.
But what it points to, other than somebody’s need for a few antacid tablets, is a lack of authority over one’s life. Neurotic people need to recapture control of their own attention. Otherwise the paralysis of fear will ensue.
Here are six words that perfectly depict this experience.
“Oh my god, I can’t even.”
Maybe you’ve heard somebody say this before. My favorite dictionary defines it as a phrase that depicts a state of speechlessness, either as a result of feeling overjoyed or exasperated. It denotes the sudden onset of the cessation of brain activity, brought under the presence of acute stress, leading to somebody’s inability to perform simple actions which have been made impossible by this affliction.
Oh my god, I can’t even.
It’s a breaking point. Which is understandable. We all experience those traumatic situations when serious problems really do overwhelm our coping mechanisms.
But what bothers me is when people utter this expression in reference to ordinary human misery. If the train is running late or their waiter messes up their order or their boss says something insensitive, and your default response is, oh my god, I can’t even, then you have poor coping skills. Period.
You have sentenced yourself to slave labor in the sweatshops of your own neuroses.
Neptune’s threat to the winds comes to mind. He warned:
How dare ye, ye winds, to mingle the heavens and the earth and raise such a tumult without my leave?
This is the predominant mindset, since we live in a culture of cortisol. Everything is a manufactured emergency. Everyone has become neurotic.
But pressure is a choice. We can consciously choose healthier ways of coping that build momentum, rather than sapping it. We can cognitively reframe our circumstances, do deep breathing exercises, engage mindfulness incantations, try free form journaling, or for god’s sake, take a walk around the block.
Any of those options are healthier than announcing to the world that we can’t even.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you know the key areas in your personality where you are most neurotic?