What would life be without DRAMA?

As a Jew & being Gay; drama and guilt come very naturally to me. The Jewish community came to fruition after all through dramatic stories of miracles passed down through our sages. In the Jewish calendar we are now between the festivals of Purim and Passover. Purim that commemorates the defeat of Haman’s plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther. Jews celebrate the Feast of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.

The common narrative of the Jewish story (or drama) being passed down by the generations is someone did not like us as Jews, they wanted to enslave us or kill us, a miracle saved us and we got free thank goodness, let’s remember and celebrate! And then as a Gay man, the LGBT community still are fighting for our rights of freedom and then there is the AIDS & HIV epidemic. Where we have lost our lovers and friends in there masses and we survived.

 And then the narrative can play out in the friendships or relationships we attract. It is no surprise that some of us are pulled to walk towards drama, rather than walking away from it, one ends up getting entangled into the drama.

I know for myself and the Jewish community at the moment our sensors are turned up to full volume with regards to Anti-Semitism. Across Europe we are now on high terror alert. This has created much panic within the Jewish community. It is hard to measure whether we are reacting to our survival trauma. Don’t get me wrong I am quite aware that there may be a real risk and history tells us that we should not wait for something to happen. Though, I do wonder what the emotional well-being effects are on the younger Jewish generations. Being a third generation Holocaust survivor comes with a responsibility of keeping my family survival story alive. Though, this also means I continually need to monitor my reactions to the Anti-Semitism (drama), remind myself that yes it is out there, though I can make my choice of how I react to.

“Hi my names Joel Korn and I’m addicted to drama.”
“Hi my names Joel Korn and I’m a human being.”
I want drama to be just one small part of my daily life experience.”

This realisation came to me during a weekend looking at Mastering the Addictive Personality (delivered by Carloyn Cowan). It came to my mind that the one common factor in all my relationships that have not survived. Is the drama and chaos that played its part in the downward spiral of these relationships coming to a very difficult and sometimes painful end, it has been useful to hold in mind that bad endings can provide positive outcomes. What I’ve learnt is that friends, who can really step outside their own dramas, are those that will be able to truly be there through the good and difficult times. It was over this weekend where I was learning about addictions it became clear the dopamine high that this drama brings to us as part of being human. The drama of our daily life can feel like a hamster running around its wheel, not knowing how to find the exit.

dramaqueenLike most of us I accept it is part of being human to love a bit of drama or juicy gossip. What I have learnt over time is to make a choice of either stepping into or away from the drama that life presents to me. By tuning into my physical bodily reactions, such as my breathing or where I’m feeling tension or anxiety in my body. The benefit of this is that I’ve found that I can centre myself in more stressful times and this helps me gain clarity. Further, to this I can measure my reactions to the drama and formulate a response directly to the degree of drama at play in the here and now.

I asked a volunteer to read my article and give me their perspective on what drama means to them, here are some of their thoughts:

From my own perspective, drama signifies and often forces change. Drama in my life has sometimes been a result of a friend’s decision to no longer have me in their lives or a decision to write & tell me what it is about me that they have issues with. This has then brought me to the decision that this person can no longer be a true friend and remain in my life because they have misread me to such an extreme. Drama often goes along with misunderstandings, resentment, crossed wires and lack of communication.” N

Most of all, what is clear, is that as human beings we all can and do make conscious choices about stepping into drama. Deciding whether those friendships or relationships serve us well now, can be a very empowering decision we can make. Of course, by ending any relationship with what brings drama or chaos to our lives can bring a sense of loss that one needs to be prepared for. What I try and do is to keep a watchful eye that I am not filling that void with further drama. The benefits of getting rid of the drama, is that this has created ‘space’ for myself and attracted more authentic and healthier relationships into my life.

So when doing your Pesach/ spring clean; my thoughts are that perhaps have a think about the drama that you let into your life. Rather than reacting immediately to it. As a first step in dealing with the drama, think about the positive and negative aspects it brings into your life. If one out ways the other then you can make decisions on whether it is worth it based on fact.

Good luck!


About Author

Joel is a qualified counsellor and psycho-therapeutic supervisor working with both youth and adult clients. He has worked in the LGBT community for over 14 years working in the fields of health, social care and youth work. This has included working in HIV prevention and supporting adults and young people who are living with HIV. Since 1999, Joel has delivered training and workshops in the voluntary and statutory sectors around the themes of sexuality, homophobia and sexual health.

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