Boredom, the Worst Distress!

Hi Harvey,

What can you tell me about boredom? I've hit a hard spot in my life, and the recurring theme of it is boredom. There is an early incident in which I was utterly bored, and I have been discharging on that. But still it feels like the boredom is connected to my present-day life. My usual routines just don't seem interesting anymore. I think my whole life has been set up around this boredom thing, and now that I can see that, I want to make some changes. My counselors think I should just keep discharging because my ideas for actions seem unwarranted (e.g., moving out of Minnesota, pursuing a career that interests me). I've never been particularly confident about taking action in my life, so it's odd to me that people are not encouraging it.

My incident of boredom occurred very, very early in my life. Basically nothing happened for a long time, and there was not a lot I could do about it except let time go by. This incident came out of occlusion one night when I couldn't figure out why my life "wasn't going anywhere." I had the thought that maybe, just maybe, I was living out the literal recording of a distress experience. Then I made the connection to this incident.

My counselors almost always insist on doing something while counseling me, which does not give me a chance to discharge this. What has worked best has been getting the space to show my counselors that nothing happened. For real. There's a story to tell, but the content of it is that "nothing happened."

Life as I've experienced it is not full of people who care to sit around and do nothing. People are busy, busy, busy. But, when life does occasionally slow down to a slow, eerie pace, I discharge a ton. Lots of tears and lots of feelings of "I don't know what to do."

Have you counseled many people on boredom, Harvey? I'm wondering what you've done or what you might add to this for me. Someone once told me that boredom is one of the most painful emotions and that people would rather do almost anything than feel it. After all the things I've done in the last couple of months to try to avoid feeling this (spending money, eating tons of sugar), I can understand how boredom is a feeling that really wrecks people's lives. I've had to discharge every day just to stay on top of this. I'm at some kind of turning point (i.e., action), but I'm not sure what it is. I'd appreciate any thoughts you could share with me.

Love from Minnesota,

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Dear SN,

You have located the recording of the incident that has left you trapped in the feeling of boredom and the enforcement of idleness. Now we just need to figure out a contradiction that will allow discharge. You may get all kinds of discharge because the hurts came in on all kinds of levels, so you may have lots of tears, and shaking, and everything else. The pull will probably be to rehearse the boredom, and that just adds to the distress. You're lucky that you don't like it and are not ready to submit to it. I would suggest inflammatory slogans: "I'm going to change the world right now!!!" "I'm going to be so active and effective that I make up for any losses I suffered in the terrible incident of being bored!" "I will improve the environment around me with both hands, and I will celebrate change!" "I am a change agent!" etc., etc., etc.

Call me if you have trouble keeping the discharge going.

With love,

(Present Time No. 110, January 1998)

Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07