So this is what it feels when those so-called “life-experiences” one usually gets to see only in movies and read in countless stacks of paperbacks (mostly Western at that) happens to a member of the audience.
Specially if said member thought he already grasped what most of the fictional characters felt had he been in their situation. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Or more naive. Though naivete during your mid-30s is a bit embarrassing; it reeks of inexperience and an oafish kind of curiousity.
But as far as adaptation techniques are concerned, that may well have been the only thing that helped me get through a rough patch during the later part of 2012. I can even recall the dumbstruck look I had when an overwhelming piece of evidence presented itself in my face. Yes, I remember the expression well because I stood up and looked at the mirror to see it for posterity’s sake. Opted not to do a “selfie”. I’m too much of a narcissist to document that potential brain dead look for everyone to see.
The other guy in mirror did look like a moron (probably all the time). Slack-jawed with a blank look that looked right at home with the barren wall behind him.
The closest approximation to that sensation is the experience when one meets an accident. That mixture of dumbfounded shock where your mental and physical faculties get into a gridlock because of the sudden jolt that slammed into your physical structure. You only realize what fully happened when the smoke clears and you see a metallic object protruding from your chest.
Something like that. Thank God the only extreme accident that ever happened to me only involved a slippery overpass and footwear lacking any form of traction. So yes, the sensation practically spelled out disastrous accident but of the mental variety.
Fast-forward ten months and how many odd days later I can conclude that a great deal of coping techniques I employed—along with the support of family and close friends of course—looked greatly into fictional characters I’ve read and seen in countless literature and movies and how they adapted to the adverse conditions thrown at them.
I figured what’s the point of reading and watching into things if you can’t learn a thing about them. Add to that fact the realization that it wasn’t the first time nor the last something like that happened to a person. In a lot of ways, fictional characters have better insights into things that the very real characters you interact with on a daily basis do not have.
It sucks—no, vacuums—whenever a major upheaval or change in the nature of your life unexpectedly comes barging in, but the trick is how you deal with it.
Fiction helps. Trust me I know.