There is a great song from the 80s with the same name. It came out in 1983. And even back then, it spoke to me because I could relate. It was how I lived life. Always in this state of overdoing, but having that exact same trait cause me so much issue and sadness, and anxiety.
And so my life would go, for years. Every day I would get up and overdo the things that I likely should have ignored entirely. And underdo the stuff that was likely much more productive. And instead of doing much of anything, I would stay up late worrying about it all. Playing and replaying the scenes of my life, over and over again. Seeing where or how I could possibly change it up.
“Ghosts appear and fade away...”
Last night I sat in a room crowded full of other overkillers. A room of at least 100, maybe more, people who feel and think so like me. People who spend far too much time in their heads, overthinking, overdoing, overkilling life. But there is something about being gathered together, in one place, at one time, where the collective need to overkill pretty much anything and everything, changes us. It is like we come to listen to one overkiller discuss and talk about exactly how they overkilled this whole life thing. And in so doing, we are given a reprieve, a chance to do it differently.
Life moves pretty fast. And I can see that my tendency to engage in overkill, and then morbidly reflect upon it until I just hate myself, is not unique to me. I come by it honestly and it is almost a prerequisite to my admission to this particular group of people. We are all overkillers, one and all.
“I can't get to sleep
I think about the implication
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps it's just imagination
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away”
And the only antidote to overkill I have found is faith and service. Faith helps me make it to the group, faith that perhaps one of these other overkillers might could help me out, show me a different way to do this whole life thing. And service, that once I have been shown the path, that I might use what I have learned to help others do the same.
I am and I guess have always been the kind of person that overdoes pretty much everything. I am the person who insists that one is not enough, that more is always better, that the more I think about an issue or problem, the better chance I have about solving it. And I have been shown repeatedly, like over decades, that this is wrong. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
But that is the thing about overkillers, our abilities and incessant need to obsess over situations that we have a great deal of experience working out alright...is the hallmark, the trait that gains us admission to the only club that ever wants us to become members...without the overkill, we just can’t relate.
Drunks and addicts are some of my most favorite people. I love having a ring side seat to watch your particular brand of craziness. Intermittently, it makes mine not look so bad, and in just as many times, it makes me stop and assess how awful mine truly is. You are my mirrors when my ego checks my own reflection and tells me lies:
“You are wonderful and nothing hurts!”
“You are nothing and that is all you will ever be”
These are the only two versions of me reflected according to my ego. It has taken a lot of rooms full of wrecked human overkillers to show me that there is a middle path between the above two life mottos...and it looks like:
“You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little work. Like every single day.”
As a life long overkiller, I am aiming for that so rarely experienced middle ground. That place that I only usually observe as I am swinging past it to my usual residence out on the lunatic fringe. This is what overkillers do. Extremes of thought, of feeling, of action. This is what it means to be an overkiller.
But even overkillers can change. When armed with the proper facts about themselves and what is exactly wrong with us, we can and do change, metamorphosize into something else entirely, we move from anxious, fear ridden people who are so self obsessed that we cannot or will not even grant you a passing glance unless we have decided that there is something you have that we want.
Only a divine intelligence could use that exact trait that almost killed us a million times over, to be the exact thing we need to walk into a room filled with other overkillers and sit down, shut up, spill the coffee everywhere, but take a seat and decide to just sit there instead of letting that overkiller brain to take over and overkill us one more time.
If you ever have a chance to hear a drunk’s story, if you ever get that chance, you will see that what it really is, is a story of overkill. Which often really does resolve with a kill. Killing of self, relationships, health, life. We overdo until we are gone, or wish we were anyways.
And for me, nights like last night, are what saves us.
“At least there's pretty lights
And though there's little variations
It nullifies the night
I sit in rooms and hear the pretty lights, the beings charged with soul, and purpose and love. And that creates the little variations and nullifies my intense and pervasive desire to overkill.
We suffer alone, but together we recover. And I can tell you, with an earnestness that was absent from my life forever, I, a life long overkiller, need all you other overkillers to survive. And I will say, as I drove home last night, filled up to the brim with love and gratitude and purpose, I drove home with the top down, signing and laughing and loving the overkillers with me.
To think I would have missed it...makes this particular overkiller, willing to continue another day, to check the “I am all in” box one more day. To know, that addiction reappears but so does recovery...one moment after another. My only required action is to hit bottom, really and truly then join the rest of the overkillers, and just accept the help they offer for fun and for free. And do the work. Never, can I forget the work.
And because I do that, my life is this wonderful cacophony of joy, love, hope, faith, laughter and fellowship. And I would have missed it, married off to only my ability to overkill the fuck out of life. But it was from a group of other overkillers that I was given a new way to live. And I am deeply and profoundly grateful.