Coffee Convo: Dealing with our Inner Demons

It is in our isolation that our inner demons congregate

Some guy on the Internet.

As the pandemic rages on in Malaysia, I’ve been stuck at home coping with the limited sanity I have left. It’s been an entire month since I’ve last updated on how I’ve been coping. So, I thought that there is no better time than the present.

Being stuck at home has limit my social interaction with others. Prior to the pandemic, I would consider myself a semi-active social animal. Enjoying awkward conversations, budget meals and cheap diabetic desserts. Like most of the valuable things in life, you never realize the importance of it once it’s gone. Namely:

Social interaction and the human connection.

I’m sure many have felt that way since the pandemic begin, being cooped up in the house. At first, we flocked to Zoom meets. Though functional, it proved no true replacement for the physical presence needed to pursue authentic connection. So, we are stuck.

This isolation has revealed to me the working of our Inner Demons.

Our Inner Demons

Now, to clarify. I’m all right. I’ve got a good support network of friends and family that I can reach out to – Shoutout to my all peeps who WhatsApp me once a week 😉. Yet, I’ve observed that there has been more internal turmoil recently.


These things range from dissatisfaction with life, comparing with others, wasting my life browsing social media, and a slight addiction to coffee. I’ve never really struggled with this until recently, but it is has become a recurring theme. It’s as though as the extended amount of free time has surfaced these inner demons within me. I sense that there are a bunch of factors that are in play but let me share one.

Social Media

As an extrovert, majority of my time is spent on interacting with others, which now is obviously no more. This leaves me with much more free time. I’ve always prized the fact that I prefer real world interaction over social media. But now, social media use is the only way I can engage with the world.

No longer we can engage with the world without social media. But the issue is that in social media, we are looking through an artificial lens. There’s authenticity when it comes to real world interactions, but social media is the entire opposite, a fake world designed by an algorithm to generate interaction.

I’m alone, so I want to engage with others. But the only way to do is it through social media. But as I use social media. I feel more alone.

it’s a vicious cycle with no other alternative.

Thus, there birth my inner demons that comes to haunt me. Fleeting thoughts beside my bed as I lay awake at night. Bad ideas that creep in my minds waiting for the opportune moment to strike.

Conclusion

I can’t help but think of Gollum and Frodo from Lord of the Rings. Gollum is one of the more sympathetic villains in the series. In the story, the One ring corrupts Gollum turning him evil. In this transformation, he isolated himself in the Misty Mountains for the next four hundred years, letting the ring corrupt him until there was nothing left of his former self.

Golumn from Lord of the Rings
Gollum from the LOTR movies. Photo from New Line Cinema

Compared to Frodo who also held the One ring. Yet, instead of succumbing to its temptation, he managed to resist it up until the very end. This is in no small part due to his team, the Fellowship of the Ring, which stood with him and fought with him till the very end.

What an apt analogy.


The ring represents our inner demons. Will it compel us to dive deeper into the darkness or compel us to seek out others. The choice is ultimately yours.


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