One of the best parts of drinking and drugs is those moments where, while inebriated, you finally “figure things out.”
Since I don’t drink or use drugs those moments come to me as I fall asleep. I’ll give you an example. Last night I was feeling some fear. No particular reason, but as I was drifting off I noticed I was scared about life in general. I was becoming less conscious by the moment, and the fear continued to intensify. This was kind of cool to notice, but also not fun.
What happened next was interesting. My thoughts went to God. I was desperate and needed soothing. It was an instinctual response and not something I thought consciously. In my waking life I would not automatically turn to God. In fact, I’m not even clear on God as it is. It’s a tough concept for me to comprehend with all the tragedy in the world. So, as it stands now, I haven’t figured out the whole God deal.
But last night while I fell to sleep I knew there was a God.
For me the brain does some wacky things as I fall asleep. Fantasy and reality twist together and everything I’m thinking and experiencing is real. My critical mind takes a backseat and all thoughts are welcomed. A script idea where hipsters are actually zombies and nobody notices comes into my head. Does my first girlfriend still think of me? Why do we drink the milk of a cow? I should totally write that zombie thing. Eh, I’ll floss tomorrow. I bet my bedroom smells like farts.
Okay, back to this God stuff.
With fear my inclination is to run away. Mostly I do this by preoccupying myself with anything that will cause me to forget about the fear for a moment. The internet and television is very effective for this. In bed, though, there isn’t much I can do. I’m stuck with me. Even it’s just a few seconds before I drift off and stress about a college exam I didn’t study for fifteen years ago.
In my fear last night I turned to the idea of God and was comforted. I tried to pay attention to what was going on. Remember, I’m not even sure there is a God. But I did feel better instantly.
And I thought, “How does this God thing work?” It hit me – God only does one thing. He makes me feel less alone.
Now, the idea of God being a comfort source is not exactly novel. What separates me from all the eggheads is that I don’t have the mental capacity to really flesh out the idea. I was conscious enough in the moment to realize, “Well clearly he’s not too present in the physical world. Hard to make a case for that with all the raping and killing and stuff. Sure, he’ll burn Jesus’ face into a piece of French Toast from time to time, but that’s about it.”
For some reason all of that made sense. I had suddenly cracked the code. God only helps us feel less alone. That’s it.
Like a bunch of stoners sitting around discussing energy fields and how you can totally see them, man – I knew this genius had to be recorded. I used my last ounce of willpower to pull myself back into consciousness to grab my phone and grunt into Evernote. “God makes you feel less alone. That’s all…” I was asleep twenty seconds later.
As I think about it now, there are some sizeable holes in my new religion. I’m not exactly ready to put the newsletter together. It’s most likely an immature view of a higher power and not exactly defendable in a Ph. D. dissertation.
Regardless of whether God is real or if he performs miracles or just hangs out in the nimbus, one thing I do know is clear. When I’m afraid, feeling alone is really terrifying. And debilitating. It’s like looking in the mirror and shaming myself for being overweight. As much as I’d like to think that motivates me to get to the gym, it just doesn’t.
What I can do when I feel fear is to reach out to those who love me and tell them what’s going on. Fear amplifies when bouncing around just this brain. When I can get someone else to take a look at the reality of my situation often times they’ll smack me upside the head and tell me why I’m all wrong.
You need a friend who has the balls to tell you, “I am not letting you go out tonight wearing a cowboy hat. You’re from Indiana and look like an asshole. Take it off.” Same thing with fear. “Hey, moron, your fear is based on irrational thought. Let’s look at the facts. See – you’re fine.”
Again, I’m not sure if God is good comfort every time I freak out, but I recommend having at least three people you can call whenever you start to spin.
I’m going to keep trying the God comfort thing. Will report back. Also, while I’m at it, I’m going to ask for a miracle. If he can get my cat to stop peeing on clothes I leave on the floor near the bed I’ll quit my day job and become a moonie giving away flowers at the airport. That would truly be a miracle.