Homeostasis or balance can only exist in a moment.
The rest of the time we are in a state of wanting and usually striving. Some basic need to be met, some task to be completed, some dream to lust after, countless problems to avoid.
There's always more wanting.
We crave approval, sex, to be desired, to desire, comfort, food, new experiences, old experiences, distance from ourselves, distance from others, uniqueness, importance, interestingness, familiarity. We rest, we get bored, we explore. We judge our lives against others.
There's always more aversion and dreading. The job we can't stand, the book we won't finish, the person we don't want to fuck anymore, the family gathering we don't want to be at, the hobby stuff we bought that hangs over us. Obligations.
Longing and dreading move in cycles. We long for things and then we dread losing them. We dread things even when our longing is on the other side. They hold hands and skip through our life.
What happens if that stops? What happens if longing and dreading don't tip you into action?
What if the world teaches you it doesn't matter what you do or what you want? You can cry for your family or friends, they aren't coming. You can beg for your life, it's not worth saving or protecting.
You can't even beg for their life.
The illusion of respect and care is gone. What propels you forward, when you can't touch another person? Can't share a meal or a laugh or a board game or a reality.
Some problems are so complicated to solve or at least they seem that way. But not this one. The simplicity of this solution stings every time someone opts out of it.
When your neighborhood is a haunting of memories and an echo of no. No to the ice cream shop, the thrift store, groceries, the doctors, the bar, restaurants, crowded street festivals everyone else is enjoying. But not you.
Every place and time can say no to you but you can't say no to the memories because there's nothing to replace them.
It took a million loops of thought to train yourself that other people always means danger now. What's the sense in coding any exceptions?
You try to prune the leaves and give it sunshine, but your longing dies without water. People carelessly and shamelessly dump and spill and poison their water right in front of you while your thirst persists.
Why want what you absolutely can't have? Learned helplessness is just acceptance when the door is actually shut.
Without longing to follow, dread has nowhere to go. You can walk it and try to tire it out, but it's coming back home with you.
There is nowhere to go and nothing to do but survive. You dread the dreading and long for longing.
So you walk and walk and walk, dodging human poison clouds, past closed doors and deceptive memories, carrying your dry and tired soil without hoping something sprouts.