Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Rip It Off

How do you take off your band-aids?  Do you do it one agonizing millimeter at a time?  Or do you grit your teeth and wrench the whole thing off in one agonizing swipe?

ripping off the bandaid
When it comes to my emotional band-aids, I'm a "millimeter at a time" kind of girl.  The full in-your-face pains are hard and I want to avoid them at all costs, so I take a bazillion passes at the band-aid.  I peel it off little-by-little, sometimes patting it back down in the process.  Part of me thinks this is to avoid the pain that comes with taking it off.  But, part of me thinks that it's also to prolong it.  It's strange, but there is something provocative and comforting about staying wrapped up in the little bits of hurt and pain and struggle.  We come to know it. It becomes comfortable.  What comes AFTER the pain starts to be the thing that we're unsure of.

But, sometimes, it's a good thing to just do the savage ripping.  A few months ago, on one of my weekly bookstore outings, I sat down and wrote something.  It wasn't something I ever posted here, far too personal and honest.  But I forced myself to examine what the truth of a situation is, and the truth was brutal and hurtful. It was like happening upon a fatal car crash.  It's grisly and ugly and every single cell in your body wants to look away because it's just too much to take in. But this time, someone held my head, refusing to let me look away, and said "NO.  This time, you look and you look hard. You see what it is."

It was good.  It was good to do this.

I happened upon it again the other day. I have roughly a gazillion writing notebooks going at one time, as I tend to leave them places constantly...  the car, upstairs, downstairs, the garage, desk drawers.  I never know WHERE I'm going to find something I've written. But I ran across it and re-read it. The first thought I had was, "Geez, that was harsh."  And it was.  It WAS harsh.  But it was also needed.

Sometimes you need to slap yourself in the face with truth and just get ON with it already.  Rip off the band-aid and deal with it.  DEAL. WITH. IT.  And then be done.


  1. Yes! This explains it perfectly. I just didn't know what I was doing when I did it. I rarely do, I guess. LOL

  2. For a real band aid I rip it off, but for the emotional stuff I find I really do need to wallow for a day or two and just experience the pain until it processes out of my system.

  3. I tend to go slow with emotional stuff at first, and then rip it off. That's a good analogy though, I hadn't really though of it that way. Honesty can be really hard to face. Sometimes I look away on purpose even though I should just confront the problem.


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