“I’m an apostrophe
I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see
I’m just a product of the system, a catastrophe
And yet a masterpiece, and yet I’m half-diseased
And when I am deceased
At least I go down to the grave and die happily”
“Whatever It Takes” – Imagine Dragons
(I admit, I’m a late comer to the Imagine Dragons fan club. Yet, I could easily become #1 Fan Girl as much as I’ve been listening to their music lately.)
Everyone is aware now that I fixate – this is not a trait that operates in isolation, you guys. I can survive off a good playlist the way that an engine survives off fuel. Most of my sense of smell and taste are shot, and my sense of sight will fail me at some point, so audio and touch are paramount to me.
This is really important to my mental health. I can use a song to flip a switch in my brain. During certain times or on certain days I really need to be able to change gears to avoid going down the rabbit hole. Early in December, I had come home after a frustrating day and was trying to tune out the brain chatter when this song came on. For whatever reason I honed in on this part of the song and was hypnotized by the music video. Everything else faded away. I was able to center myself in the lyrics and zone out of the bad mood I was in. I was grateful for a moment to escape my frustration.
Now normally, I have my Tennessee man to center me and pull me back from the edge, but with him being 10 hours away I’m having to really make a conscious effort to not get caught up in my own mind. It’s hard! I mean, I am ashamed to admit, but my daily routine has gone out of the window. My tidy little life is quite messy again. So naturally, my internal life is a bit messy as well. December, despite being my birth month, has never been my favorite time of year. A lot of my most personal challenges and heartbreaks have come during this month. I tend to be in a bit of a “bah humbug” mood most days. So, with the exception of having Tennessee by my side for a week and a half, December was not a fun month. I had a brief high point when I spent a week in India in mid-January, but when I returned I suffered a strong emotional crash.
I fully admit that since then I’ve been grumpy. And a bit petulant. And I really just wanted to be left alone to wallow in my lonely sadness. I was frustrated by being away from Tennessee, frustrated by a lack of progress at work…I was grumpy enough to neglect my posting/blogging/writing because I just couldn’t un-cork my negativity and pour it out. Shame on me, I know. One of these days I’ll learn.
But what about faith? you say, what about prayer and good energy? Don’t we tend to fall back on those things when times are tough? Did you not supplicate and offer devotion in exchange for relief?
Yes and no; the Gods know my reluctance. Trust me. We’ve been in a relationship since birth and they know my faith is solid, but my stubbornness can chip away at that. Stubborn and selfish. So, no amount of prayer and offering with a closed heart will get you anywhere close to happiness. I had to be reminded of this. I was given kindness though others, and was able to use that as a buoy until I could find my way back to center. I hate that I can go up and down so fast, the ocean of emotions changing tide quicker than I realize, and without anchor I’m adrift and bobbing on the current.
The time has come to pull myself up and out of this grumpy, self-pity, depressive state. No amount of wallowing gets me any closer to being happy. This is a negative example of how I fixate on things; it can set me further adrift if I’m not careful. I have to pivot to how happy I was to spend time with Tennessee over the holidays and how good it was to settle in to what life would be like out there – using it as a beacon of hope, instead of viewing it as a distant memory. I should be doing whatever it takes to be grateful and productive, instead of whining about how sad and lonely it is without him.
That brings me back to the song I reference above – I’ve got to think about my fixation as an apostrophe. I know the mechanics of how my mind works, and I know that I’m capable of a lot. So, I know that my fixation has it’s upsides and downsides. It means that I tend to invest time and energy in people, causes, connections. Yet, now I know that I have to monitor this and be aware of the side effects. I’m a “masterpiece and yet I’m half diseased” and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. I’m not slipping back into darkness.
Thank you to my Tennessee man and my beloved Kentucky. To Sarnen, Augsburg, Kuala Lumpur, and more. I love you all; you’re the reason I write.
-Began January 2018, Finished March 2018
Writer, Wannabe Artist, Overthinker, List-Maker, Photographer, Chronic Under-Salter