Life after Nihilism

The COVID-19 pandemic was our collective experience with Nihilism, a realization that we could die and no matter what we did or believed in would make any difference or even matter as far as a non-sentient disease goes.

In those early days of the pandemic, my mind went instinctively to connecting with a community of optimists and those who were focused on encouraging others. Indeed, my most popular posts to this day date back to those days.

Conversely, there were many people who just couldn’t wrap their heads around the possibility that they could die at any time and so their instinctual response was to go strongly into denial. They sought out a much-needed community of people who had the same views.

What used to be fringe thinking by groups of conspiracy theorists quickly became mainstream, influencing many new believers into following all sorts of whacky beliefs, essentially they were digging into their pandemic denial and chose to believe alternative theories rather than face the possibility of dying.

Death and the prospect of dying are still topics people shy away from discussing, so it is no wonder that so many people were unprepared for dealing with a global situation that seemed uncontrollable.

It is easier to try to find something smaller that can possibly be controlled, so the popularity of those websites and the information they offered gave some sort of uncomfortable, and angry comfort to them.

Anger is an emotion we are much more familiar with, and is preferable for many over fear. Anger is also seen differently than fear; the righteous and strong get angry, while the weak will fear. This either/or choice compels many to hide their fears and anxieties so they don’t get labeled as weak.

Indeed, many who have deep anxieties or issues with fears, tend to display anger overtly in situations when their fears are triggered. Venting anger is then an extension of feeling those powerful emotions, and unless a person has actively developed tools to deal with their anger, it will bubble over and find an avenue to express itself.

Finding an avenue to express anger isn’t always easy, because there are too many situations where we are hard-wired not to show our anger, for example on our jobs.

It is usually the “lower” rung of jobs classes or people who will then be seen as “acceptable” targets, so we saw a huge uptick in people venting on those in more vulnerable positions such as cashiers, baristas, and waitresses. Certain ethnic or racial groups were also seen as “acceptable” targets to vent on, giving way to people not only venting verbally but also beating someone to the edge of death.

Instances of domestic violence escalated, addictions multiplied, mental health issues sky-rocketed, and divorces became a by-product of those times.

Has this become our “new normal” or do you see signs that the mania is slowly shifting back to a more balanced place?

In order for the mania, the violence, the addictions, and the mental health issues to become more manageable, people need help to make those changes.

Are you seeing evidence of people getting the help they need? Are you seeing that the edge of people’s fears slips back into the background areas of their lives, or are these still being played out in your region?

As the pandemic slowly fades from people’s day-to-day lives, the immediate dangers are slowly being removed, and people’s fears are getting a chance to subside.

As their fears subside, their need to grab onto any mental life raft they can find also lessens, so we are seeing people slowly walking away from their online obsessions with websites that actually fed their fears, and they are re-entering their lives.

Learning how to handle our emotions, and how to develop tools of resiliency, empathy, and kindness during difficult times is challenging in the best of times, but unless we do the work, we won’t have them in our toolkit to fall back on when things get tough in our lives.

It’s never too late to make changes!

Start small, with manageable things, and then build to the areas which are giving you problems.

You can do this! You are stronger than you realize at this moment!

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16 thoughts on “Life after Nihilism

  1. Much of my family still wears a mask when we are in public places because it was a scary time when many of us got sick. I not only still wear a mask but I still wash and sanitize my hands quite a bit. I don’t want to get sick again and I don’t want to pass anything on to my loved ones. People don’t realize how often they touch their faces and just think of all the things people in public places touch. Good post Tamara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pennize! Good hand hygiene and masking are good protocols to follow when there is a lot of illness. Even to avoid the flu and the common cold! Glad you guys are doing what you need to in order to stay healthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think a lot of people don’t understand how to process human mortality or the fact that death is always sort of nearby. And that turns into negative emotions of hate, denial, resentment etc. I’m glad we’re kind of getting back to normal but it seems a certain amount of people are too deep into the conspiracies even now and they may never come back to the real world which is deeply saddening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too true. It’s almost as though some people tipped into the insanity too far, and when that happens it’s difficult to go back, especially if it might mean they’ll look like they were wrong. Some could never admit fault and may die holding onto the reality that sustained them. They may not come back, or may e one day they’ll simply flip and act as though it never happened!

      Yes, mortality is difficult to face even in normal times, so this one is extra hard to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, true. I think some people really went too far down that rabbit hole. I hope they can one day admit they were wrong and just move on. It’s so sad to see them still holding on even when they’ve been proven wrong so many times.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They can’t admit they were wrong after investing so much time and energy into it. The best thing for them is simply to walk away and start living their lives once more!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Devang. I like looking for the truth lurking behind the apparent truth to better understand people and events.


  3. “Learning how to handle our emotions, and how to develop tools of resiliency, empathy, and kindness during difficult times is challenging in the best of times, but unless we do the work, we won’t have them in our toolkit to fall back on when things get tough in our lives.” – Well said, Tamara!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wynne. When I look at how many reacted to the pandemic, apart from the political polarization, I see people who are fearful of dying a difficult death, who then connect with people who are likewise denying the thing that makes them terrified. Then I observe others who became the encouragers, and I saw people who were facing their fears and digging deep within to be able to get through a prolonged and scary time. This is a massive mapping of where we are, and shows us where our inner work needs to be worked on!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Then may I share a big hug dear lady, may its energy shared bring a smile, a belief in you and a love rippling onward. That power is ever undeniable. Great post, and thank you for sharing dear lady 😀❤️🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Since the coronavirus is still among us, we have the option of wearing a mask when navigating public spaces. Fear appears to have subsided. But many of us, including myself, still wear a mask when using public transport, in grocery/drug stores, the shopping mall, and other commercial buildings. I have found being proactive a better way to deal with the uncertainties of life. Denial changes nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, we need to face the reality and take precautions in ways we feel comfortable with. I feel so done with the virus, but still take health precautions. I understand when people don’t want to but those same precautions can help us avoid the flu and even the common cold, so no harm it being careful, right?

      Liked by 1 person

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