Tag Archives: reflecting

One Word at a Time

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When I came back from India, where I hit my rock bottom, I wrote some journal entries and some poems. Grant it, I was still in psychosis for a month, so much of my writings are teetering on questionable madness.. but at least I have documentation of my unraveling thoughts. I have spoken to many people who see me in meetings jotting quickly —and mindfully— everything interesting that someone might say. They come to me after, questioning and prodding. “What are you doing? Why do you do this?” Inspiration, I say. For the future. To distract my mind all the while keeping it focused on the purpose of me being here. I reflect on these words somedays, these phrases that are jotted down in a penmanship only I can make out, it lifts my heart.

My journals on the other hand, don’t always do the same. People question me about this too, saying, “I don’t journal. I’ve tried. I just can’t get into it. Where do you start? What do you say?” I simply reply, anything. Everything. Theres no judgement but your own. Its just you and the paper/the keyboard, whatever. You just let your guard down and scream through the only words that come to your mind in that moment. You let it out. You get lost in the present as the words slip out of your hands and manifest themselves in front of you.

I find it healing. I also find it necessary to let go of all the thoughts that collect in the back of your mind. You make them real when you scribble them down. Something tangible that you can reflect on in the future. You start to realize how crazy you are. How human you are. You can map your progress, track your emotions and notice the moments in time that you let yourself fall and the moments you picked yourself up.

Its unlikely that I ever write on a good day. I am far too merry and cheerful and I often think I sound like a idiot. My ambitions are bloated and my head is held too high. I sometimes get scared when I observe this. It makes me think of mania… But its on those good days that I like to spin the clock back and see where I’ve been. Remind myself of the way life was regarded before I woke up with this smile on my face. I can see clearly that all things will pass. There is evidence of my mind when I felt I was stuck. Where time didn’t exist and the idea of life moving on to send me into the unknown was far from my imagination.

Today is one of those days to reflect. Not that I am in the best mood in the world; my thoughts have wandered here and there, sending me on a whirlwind of inspiration and thought provoking questions. After spitting out the ideas that were trapped in my mind (untangling them enough to make sense), I took a break. I shifted my attention to a long lost entry written when I got out of rehab, it read:

 

“Nothings doing it for me; running, Spongebob, Facebook, reading. Nada. Nope. I still feel like a heavy lump sits in my throat, a thousand butterflies wish to come up from my stomach, my body aches, my head spins, my eyes droop lazily on my clean face. I’m at a loss. I’ve been out of rehab for a few weeks now and plans of moving are becoming more official by the second. Halloween comes closer to reality. I just want to move. I just want a job. I want to go to school again. Some grandiose voice in my head tells me to study philosophy and be a professor. Write a bunch of books. Be a success. Be a success? Why am I always wishing for success? I can hardly handle failure. And I am such a great failure. The essence of depression wreaks from my veins today. Taunting me through every controlled breath. Gently caressing me, telling me things will look brighter. Don’t use. Don’t use, I tell myself. Moments like this, these receding moments that have lasted over 12 hours… they are the ones that make me want to use. Make me want to just pass out and sleep to wake up to a new day that has more purpose, more umph in my step. Where are those days? How do they come to me in my life? How do they even exist? I know that they have before, I can remember the ease of those days. Where did they go? What brought me here? I digress.”

Writing

As I sat there and read these lines I saw a glimpse of my past. Grateful to be here in the  future/present. Though I can’t say much has changed. I still get the occasional craving, though I try not to bother my mind when things are working out. I remove myself, not allowing my thoughts to unravel, revealing nothing but increased anxiety. Stop, I say. Don’t go there. You know how you’ll feel when you go there. And surely I do. You do to. You know how it is when your mind gets caught in a single thought. How it spins down, causing you to loose control, throwing you into a black hole. Thats no fun. Certainly counter productive. But its during these times that we have to remember to do only two things. Only these two things (from my experience) seem to work; prayer and journalling.

We need to take a step back from those winding thoughts and give them to our higher power to answer. “This too shall pass,” God most commonly replies. Then we have to let it out. Its no good bringing someone else down by removing them from their busy lives to complain and ramble on comically about nothing at all. At least, thats what we feel in these moments… So, instead of locking it up inside to save it for a rainy day, you got to just write it out and give it to yourself to listen to. Once its all down and you hand hurts from the process, you can read it over. Wow, you’ll think. Thats it. Thats me—right now.

You’ll feel better. Trust me. I know it may seem hard at first. Maybe time consuming. But it really isn’t. Once you lose yourself in the rapid collection of your thoughts, you’ll pull back feeling a weight lifted from your shoulders. You’ll realize that everything that had concerned you in those moments that were just vented seconds ago were actually real. There for you to decode and “digress,” as I say. Its out, your free. Free from those emotions that once felt like they were going to take over and drag you down so low that there would be no way you could get up. The feelings where you felt like you just wanted to give everything up, just to use, now seem like foolish memories. You thank God they’re gone.

I recommend to everyone I meet to journal whenever they are bored, alone or confused. Sometimes I find myself coughing up broken sentences and take those opportunities to write poetry. They don’t always have to rhyme, you know. None of that it matters. You have to keep in mind that these entries are for no one other than yourself. Of course, if your proud of your creation you can always share it, barring in mind that not everyone can or will relate. I certainly keep that in my mind every time I post a blog that is actually written by myself. I have never been trained in the art of English, but I enjoy it. I know that not many people (or no one at all) will actually read the things I put out there. I don’t let that bother me. And you can’t let it bother you. Let any shred of doubt be transformed into emotional release. Because writing is like a form of meditation; you focus your thoughts on present, reflecting on the things you feel and the anxieties that are stressing your mind — then you breath— and let it go; one word at a time.

 

 

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Take Eight

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She just couldn’t do it. She tried so hard to withdraw those memories from her mind. The ones that tormented her everyday of her few months of insanity. It was too hard. She thought about the people she hurt, the things she did and the crazy conclusions she came to. She wasn’t sure how to go about it.

The experiences in India were so different than in Illinois. In India everything was so profound, so spiritual. In Illinois it all surrounded around a boy that walked into her life at just the perfect time of her unraveling mind. The disillusions she had of him were the clearest memories of them all. The most embarrassing of them all. Surely he knew she was crazy right?
She doesn’t know what he knows or what he thinks. She only knows he doesn’t care, at least that’s what he says. The fact is though, she cares. It was her entire life that flipped upside down during those months and if “God” or reason has anything to do with life, then what was the reason he came into hers?

She read his poetry as if she was cracking a code. She was in such deep thought as she combed through every line. Around every phrase she formed another dissolution. She went to him, almost in tears, after she read the Egyptian Book of the Dead. She was convinced it was her life written out in clear text right in front of her eyes. He didn’t understand like she thought he would…

She thought back when he took her to a graveyard. This was such a bad idea given her state, given her thoughts that she already had about her mortality. She hadn’t remember the plane ride home, she was sure that she was dead and that he was clearly dead to. She remembers looking at the scar on his right cheek, wondering how he died. She didn’t want to ask, she thought it was a touchy subject. Besides, she had multiple conclusions about her own death besides the mystery of the flight back home.

When she was in India, trapped in a room (that was for her own good because of the way she was acting out) she had extreme pain on the top of her head every time she woke up. And every time, that pain was in a different place. It was like someone had shot her and left her there to die, only now she was a ghost… Maybe. It wasn’t clear to her at the time. Those thoughts she experienced in that room were…as said before– profound. They were extreme hallucinations and vivid meanings behind every object in sight. Stories played over in her head, lessons taught throughout her childhood were painted on the walls, echoing in her brain… Driving her mad.

She’s come to terms with the fact that she’ll never know the answers as to why she went through such a traumatic mental maze. She’s just grateful that she found a way out. She still has questions and she hates how all of the relationships she formed before her psychosis had disappeared in the dark. She can only hope that someday she will be able to let it all out. Let it all go. After all, people are entertained by the stories she tells of those month of insanity. Those months of believing she could control the air, never die and find meaning in everything she saw and heard. She was invincible yet so confused. It was too much to handle. All the knowledge she thought she found through her observations were not the answers to life. At least, she has no proof that the unraveling of her mind brought her to the right conclusions. She can no longer define the line between truth and reality. And as she sits in a Starbucks with no person she knows, surrounded by no place she recognizes, she comes to the realization that everywhere she will go from this point on and every person she meets will have no idea of her past. She decides that this might be a good thing but she still has flashbacks of all the places she went, all the people she met when she was insane. Moving on and letting them go was like letting go of those memories. Finally accepting that that was then and this is now.

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(This is a picture I must have took of myself on the plane ride home. I’m not sure how I even got it that colour… I have absolutly no memory of the entire trip back. Even the drive to the airport, home or even most of the days afterwards.)