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Life lesson: Strive to be uncomfortable (it’s how you’ll find comfort)

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Comfort doesn’t come cheap, especially for someone dealing with a mood or anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, payment is often made with suspect currency. No one likes to be uncomfortable. But a life lesson says it’s the best way to find comfort. Hear me out?

I’m willing to be so terribly uncomfortable, accepting and learning from my chosen reality, if that’s what it takes to secure lasting comfort.

It was going on 40 years ago and I’d been on the inpatient substance treatment unit for two weeks. My counselor asked me into his office and explained that the staff wanted me to begin to address my trust issues, as well as the breakneck speed with which I went at everything,

D.J. issued the challenge: wear a blindfold and do everything with the opposite hand for 24 hours. I agreed and found it to be an insightful exercise.

You don’t have to be Uncle Siggy to catch the bottom-line: being uncomfortable for the sake of finding comfort.

Very personal background

I want you to know how this very personal article was conceived. As I mentioned in last week’s piece, Just moved: 9 personal insights that SCREAM for my attention, I recently moved – 350 miles out-of-state – to be near my daughter and grandchildren – nine and five-years-old.

Prior to moving, I lived alone. And since leaving full-time work in February of 2019, my social interactions plummeted. Add COVID-19 social protocols to the equation and the sum is a rather isolated guy.

Thing is, though, I’ve managed assorted social inhibitions for decades. And, go figure, I got used to being a bit of a recluse and rather liked it. Still, I knew it wasn’t good for me, and wasn’t the way I wanted to live.

One more bit of background info. My daughter and her partner owned their family home together. They parted company earlier this year, leaving my daughter in a terrible jam. How would she hold onto the house?

She never asked, but I offered to go on a refinanced mortgage with her. And since I was going to relocate to her neck of the woods anyway, we agreed that I would move-in for several months – until she could make some adjustments.

It’s my chosen reality

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“Come on, now. You know being uncomfortable is going to take you to a comfy place. Don’t you dare quit on me.”

So here I am. My daughter and grandchildren have accepted me with open arms. 

However, yes, I’m uncomfortable. Let’s see: new furnishings with mine in storage, finding an acceptable “my spot” in the home, unfamiliar routines and noises, people around me when I may prefer to be alone, not being able to write an article or read a book whenever I want because of distractions, and more.

This is all very different, but it’s my chosen reality.

I know I’m coming-off like a grouchy old man, but I’m really a sweet guy. I’m uncomfortable, but adjusting more and more each day. Besides, I know it isn’t a permanent arrangement.

Truth is, I know I needed to emerge from my self-imposed isolation and embrace people, embrace life. And I know that as I truly experience my present necessarily uncomfortable circumstances I’ll ultimately become so much more comfortable with myself and my place in the world.

I didn’t have to do this

You know what? I didn’t have to do this. I mean, I could have stayed where I was and reclusively ridden off into the sunset. Sure, I would have interacted with people every so often. Heck, I’d have shown my face out here, or in Baltimore where my son and his wife live, every three months or so – the birthdays and holidays thing. 

But that isn’t the life I want. And to arrive at that life I made the decision to turn my back on the too many false comforts I surrounded myself with. Enough! I’m willing to be so terribly uncomfortable, accepting and learning from my chosen reality, if that’s what it takes to secure lasting comfort.

Dang, I’m so angry I put myself in this position. But anger provides energy and motivation for change, so I’m rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.

What about you?

I can’t be the only one who finds himself in the midst of such circumstances. In some manner it could have happened to you, and you chose to be uncomfortable in an effort to find comfort. Maybe it went the other way, and now you’ll reconsider.

Are you willing to embrace the fact that comfort doesn’t come cheap? After self-examination, if you come to know what you’re calling comfort is a charade, are you willing to pay the price – striving to be uncomfortable – to get yourself where you want to be?

Hey, you may be comfy and squared-away. If you are, God bless you. But what if you aren’t – like I wasn’t? What will you do about it? Perhaps it’s time for a life lesson.

I feel better having written this. It was important to me.

Are you looking for more mood and anxiety disorder related reading? Then check-out the hundreds upon hundreds of Chipur titles. I know you’ll find something uncomfortably comforting.