by Alex King
There is an issue I will address in my next “behind the scenes” post that deserves its own consideration. This is the concept of boredom. At first glance, boredom seems, well, boring. The reality is, it’s anything but. Boredom is a disease of the mind. It festers and grows, feeding off itself. If allowed to go unchecked, it can completely debilitate its victim.
In the free world, if someone gets bored, they may watch a movie, play some music, go out… many options are available. Even if the perfect solution is impossible, some solution exists. Imagine if all these luxuries suddenly disappeared. Instead of just the perfect solution being unavailable, imagine that all the movies, music, books, even the people providing the best company were all inaccessible.
Everyone knows what boredom is. Our minds shy away from recalling the specifics, but that is perfectly normal. One severe from of torture is intense, prolonged discomfort. The human mind seeks escape from the memory of physical discomfort the same way it avoids the thought of being bored. When boredom occurs, it stimulates a psychological imperative for reprieve.
The onset of boredom induces a type of wanderlust, this sense of being out of place or in the wrong place. It feels as though an oppressive cloud is weighing down. Once this happens, the individual realizes they’ve been infected and the search begins for relief. If none is found, the sensation builds. The mind starts to become erratic. It grasps at anything that could provide even the faintest hope of a remedy. In the latter stages, this disease advances into a form of desperation, or even hopelessness.
Boredom has been the bane of my existence. When I was a child, I constantly sought out a way to alleviate the symptoms of this disease. At first I read, but there are only so many times you can reread the same books. I needed something else to pass the hours I spent sitting in the break room at my father’s workplace. In this, I was fortunate. My sanity was spared by an active imagination.
At a very young age, I developed a skill that kept me afloat for many years. I would put my head down on the table I sat at and create stories in my head. It started with imagining the books I read as though they were occurring then. I later began modifying the stories, and eventually create some of my own. This technique passed the hours, made those times bearable.
As an introvert, I was able to stave off the worst of boredom. While this works for me, the fact remains that everyone is different. We all have this disease, dormant or active. The needs of the individual can’t be generalized. The environment I will describe in my next post gives tale of a place with limited options, options given without regard to individualized needs. It is a place of torture.
Groove of the Day