S is for...Separation Anxiety
Interesting title, isn’t it?
But what could it be, I wonder?
Here’s the thing... I know that when we each take the time to think about any given topic it means something unique to each of us. Be it, something we’ve experienced, something we are doing, something we are going to do, something we have never done, something we tell ourselves we are never going to do, or just knowledge and information. Our understanding and perception of it is unique to each of us.
Maybe it’s something we shared with others: a memory, thinking about a memory, talking about the memory, actually doing ‘the thing’, or even the way we plan to do something. It’s all unique to the individual. You know this too, if you are prepared to be honest about it.
Even if we, by definition, are talking about EXACTLY the same thing. Your interpretation and understanding of something is specific and unique to you. EVEN if you use EXACTLY the same words. EVEN if you have EXACTLY the same gestures, tone of voice, accent, and so on. Whatever it is, is unique to you. I mean, you can’t ever really truly replicate things to be exactly the same. That is genuinely impossible. But you can make them astoundingly close.
I’ve refered to this notion of unique experience for years as ’qualia’.
I learned the word whilst I was on one of my song writing hunts in my twenties trying to find something cool to write about.
So, whether it’s Separation Anxiety or just drinking a glass of water, your experience of it is unique to you, and ENTIRELY different to mine or anyone else’s.
But, most of the time we tend to gloss over that fact, because we’ve got shit to do. The reason being that, our experience of everyday occurrences, like drinking a glass of water, are probably going to share more common elements than each of our experiences with a concept like separation anxiety. It’s easier to relate to each other within the context of one than the other. Because the probability and ease of one occurring over the other is much higher. And the complexity of one is less than compared to the other.
It takes effort to be empathetic and relate to one another. Which is why we often focus on the basic, everyday, simple things that we have in common. To keep the status quo. It’s also why people fall out, because we will inevitably hit those differences in opinion and belief, and we don’t put the effort in required to respect our differences and find a new common ground.
The thing is, it’s all relative. It’s all within its own context. Let me elaborate.
I wouldn’t say I’m a master of dealing with separation anxiety. But I’m not bad at it.
I was born in Wolverhampton. My folks split when I was 8, and I moved approximately 3 hours/180 miles away to Exmouth.
That’s a fair amount of separation. And I can tell you, physically, mentally, emotionally, It was brutal to deal with. I experienced, what I thought at the time was, an unhealthy amount of anxiety.
But through a series of events I learnt how to deal with it; because I had to. I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t have a say in whether or not I moved to Devon. I was moving to Devon.
So, my problem is, I struggle with people who don’t have good skills or experience in how to deal with separation anxiety. At least in the geographical sense, and other senses too. Because I tend to find, when you indentify a skill, the next thing to do is learn how to make it transferable.
I think most of us struggle with separation anxiety. In fact, I know most of us struggle with it, because whatever way you want to define growth, change, separation etc. is a struggle. But struggle doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We all have to deal with the S is for...Struggle is S is for...Some shape or form.
But like most of my attempts to deal with things this will count as one of my attempts and efforts to support those people that struggle with ‘separation anxiety’. By writing an article on it and highlighting the notion of it.
So, as far as I’m concerned separation anxiety can manifest in an infinite number of ways.
Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual perhaps being the easiest ways to separate it’s potential forms.
I think it’s important to find a way to become comfortable being uncomfortable. The way I see it, growth and maintaining standards is about letting go of the person you were yesterday, maybe even the person you were a few minutes or seconds ago and actively being that better version of yourself that you want to be. Separating yourself from yourself and continually pursuing a new, better version of yourself.
You could have separation anxiety for any number of reasons and in any number of forms.
But it’s fine. It’s natural. It’s supposed to happen. It’s just part of processing everything that is going on. But over time, and with practise and effort you will get better at dealing with it.
Whatever you think is a big deal
to you IS a big deal to you. Because of qualia. Because it is specific and unique to you.
That’s why it’s helpful to create and acknowledge some kind of S is for...Spectrum. Espcially one related to something like separation anxiety. Because then it’s easier to acknowledge, understand, respect, and support each other’s similarities and differences.
Now...get over it.
Something someone supposedly said
“I had a dog named Oliver with severe separation anxiety. He couldn’t be alone... so I had to take him wherever I went.” - Matthew Pearl
Let it go - Frozen
Breaking up is hard to do - Neil Sedaka
I’m moving on - Rascal Flatts
Listen Up - Oasis