I have been trying so hard to write for the last hour and a half, but I keep distracting myself with games, and social media and anything else I can focus on that isn’t writing, because I don’t want to face myself again. I did enough of that in my “live” this morning, but I know it is what my soul needs and what my brain needs to hear, but the harder I try, the less I seem to be capable of writing something that won’t lose someone in the first sentence. If you have made it this far, congratulations and thank you for hanging in there. Now imagine you’re the one trying to write this.
I have a playlist that I created a month or so ago called, “I’m agitated”. I find it easier for me to find things that imply where my brain is at when I am looking for it. It’s not soft music, no it’s Metallica, Black Sabbath, Linkin Park, etc. Why did I choose a play list like this? Because more times than not it helps me, but even today it is not doing much good, even though I am in fact still listening to it.
I have played endless rounds of angry birds this morning in an effort to free myself from my own brain, but even that wasn’t working, including the twenty-minutes of infinity play, which usually delights me, but I could feel the rage and sadness building in me and when Linkin Park’s ‘One Step Closer’ started to play, I realized I am exactly where I thought I was, but was afraid to admit to myself, “I’m one step closer to the edge…and I’m about to break.” However, I won’t give in. Now the line “shut up when I am talking to you” is playing or being yelled. This is the struggle my heart and brain go through when I don’t listen to what I need to pay attention to.
Doing endless rounds of shadow work, and healing every last bit and bauble that has been lingering in, and destroying, my soul has taught me tools to cope with these moments, but what I am writing about is relatively new to me, but not in the way one would think. I have been here before, I have stared into the abyss and almost jumped, but something always stopped me and then I thought I was better, but this time I am standing at the edge and refusing the idea of jumping into the abyss, because I know there are better moments to come, but I have to trust and be open to those moments.
During the last few months my depression has sunk me to new lows. Learning to go with the flow has been not been for the faint of heart and I feel like I am trying to learn how to surf, but with fifty foot swells that keep trying to drown me, and yet I get back up and keep trying, hoping that it will get better, but this time I recognize the problem. I am not getting back up on that board thinking I will conquer that wave, I have been getting back on that board expecting to be knocked off again, and again and again.
I have been the star of a fabulous shit show, and it wasn’t until I was doing my “live” this morning that I realized I was never in control, but I wanted to be. It took me all these months to accept that life is not linear. I almost wrote understand, but I already know life isn’t linear, but I was refusing to accept this idea that I am not in control and that I if I do not learn how to adjust my sails and go with the flow that I going to continue in this radical spiral of twists, turns and loops. It’s like a roller coaster ride straight out of Final Destination, (if you know, you know), but, Eww, I don’t even want to think about that outcome.
What I do want to recognize is the reason I gave myself five stars, and why I think we all should, even if the show we are living gets a rotten tomato to the face, because we have the potential to go from surviving to thriving. Everyone’s journey is different, nothing is a cookie cutter path, but when we recognize the strength it takes to see how unbalanced we are, we can see that we are trying, and that this mental health thing will not tear us down or count us out, no matter how close to the edge we might get.
I had to hit bottom to finally accept that I am not in control of life, anymore than I am in control of how this planet spins. Life could be an exciting journey for me if I would stop looking at it like the enemy who is out to get me. I need to see it for what it is, that my shadow work is working and that everything I am facing now seems so much more real to me, because I have acceptance that there is so much I am not in control of.
Control served me when I was younger and had pain to hide. It kept me safe, but what was once useful to me is no longer a tool I need, instead it is hindering me, not helping me, but I have struggled to let it go, because it is familiar and the unknown is scary as hell, but this is where I need to learn to trust and to get back on that board and surf to conquer, not fail. For clarification I do not know how to surf, though I have always found the idea of it wonderful, like flying on water, but I am a self-proclaimed metaphor queen (Even my former therapist couldn’t wait to see what I would come up with each week, never the same one twice).
So now I sit at the bottom of my mental well. There is no hidden bat cave, or way out, hidden within the wall’s foundation, just uneven stones that lead back to the top that I am going to have to figure out how to navigate to get out, but it’s a challenge I am willing to undertake. I have acceptance now and that might very well be the most important acknowledgment I will have to make in my life. It’s an acceptance that the person I was yesterday, is not the person I am today. I today I saw myself in the proverbial mirror and realized that I can’t keep living backwards and sitting in a headspace that I no longer belong in, and very may have never belonged in.
I suppose the other thing I need to admit is that I am terrified of moving forward in this new mindset, because it is unfamiliar to me. Feeling feelings in the moment and doing what I need to do to keep myself present and not regress…it all feels like it could fall apart in a second, but while I would tell someone else in my situation, and have, “stop waiting for what could go wrong, and focus on what could go right,” I am terrible at taking my own advice. Maybe it’s time to give my own words a go and see what happens.