April 16, 2020

I can tell you who didn't make it out. It was the optimists. [...] They were the ones who always said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' Christmas would come and it would go. And there would be another Christmas. And they died of a broken heart.

This is what I learned from those years in the prison camp, where all those constraints just were oppressive. You must never ever ever confuse, on the one hand, the need for absolute, unwavering faith that you can prevail despite those constraints with, on the other hand, the need for the discipline to begin by confronting the brutal facts, whatever they are. We're not getting out of here by Christmas.

I can so relate to this. Sometimes, especially if you're prone to anxiety or building up chains of steamrolling disaster, some naive optimism is in order, maybe. But the BEST optimism isn't contingent on external circumstances changing... it's facing facts, knowing you're not hiding anything from yourself, and embracing the existential truths - and that you will get through. Embrace the Suck, like the soldiers say.

And like Wavy Gravy said: “There's always a little bit of heaven, even in a disaster area.” In the meanwhile, 'til things change, or until they end, look to those.