And The Wheels of The Bus Go…
June 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Face Your Truth.
These are the words I think early this morning, when all there is is dark and the soft sounds of my sister breathing. The buzz of Silence. The quiet slip of the rain down my window pane. The fuzzy reality that is the middle of the night, the early morning of a new day. The in-between.
And I know it’s what I should be thinking, because just the words scare me. Jump out at me. Slip in through a side door.
Face Your Truth.
I lie there and think, you talk a good game. You talk being better. And you are. But part of you is not.
I close my eyes tight, but still there is the buzzing dark, the exhale next door, the puddling of the rain on the sill. And still, there is the Truth.
Ever since I was little I’ve had an obsessive mind. One that goes round and round, round and round. Like the wheels on the bus. Like an amusement park ride you can’t get off. Round and round, round and round. Till you fall to the ground. Or puke.
My therapist told me, you may think you don’t have compulsions to think these thoughts, but you do. Subconsciously. You are wiring your brain to think over and over. You think something will go wrong if you don’t. Like the world will end. Or your identity will disappear. Subconsciously.
Subconsciously. Out of conscious control.
Well no, she says. No, no of course not. You can change these long-ingrained patterns in your brain. You can reduce your anxiety. You can deal with your childhood trauma in more healthy ways. You have the control.
Drip-drop goes the rain.
My mind is always doing something. It is never quiet. Of course, when I’m talking to people, I’m talking with them. I’m there. But walking down the street, sitting in my room, lying on this bed in the middle of the night, listening to the sounds, I start to slip away. My mind begins its routine run around the track. Its roller coaster ride.
Sometimes these things I think aren’t particularly bad, so to speak. Someone will introduce me to a new artist, and suddenly I’m thinking that song lyric every time I’m alone. I’m re-watching the Youtube videos of the concerts a million times, even if I’ve lost some interest. I’m walking down the street and replaying that interview over and over and over and over…
But sometimes they are bad. The things I think. When I was little, I was a complete slave to my brain. Nearly every second of every day I was thinking and thinking and thinking the same thoughts. Of death. Of suicide. Of my breathing. The beat of my heart. How often I blinked. How often I moved my eyes. Of tragedy striking my family, unspeakable tragedy, never-ending tragedy. Of men with knives around the corner. Of the knives in the kitchen. Of the sadness in my heart. The terror in my veins.
Round and round, round and round. We all fall down.
Get back up.
And round and round.
I still shudder when I look back on those days. A little girl who should be running around in the woods in the backyard. Who should be playing board games in the basement with her sister. Who should be laughing. Who should want to live, instead of imagining a million ways to die.
My thoughts change. Whatever the new thing is, my mind latches on to it with greedy fingers. Sometimes it’s the latest book I’ve read. The latest feeling I’ve felt. The latest boy to catch my eye. The latest way I’ve been hurt.
Now, it is the Past. For a year, my mind has obsessed on one thing. Worn it to the bone. Beat it till its dead. One year since the grand finale of my nervous breakdown, the break of a quiet dawn.
Not such a bad thing to obsess about.
All kinds of obsessing are universally bad, really, said the therapist. It’s the obsessing that’s the problem. Whatever it is you’re thinking about is almost irrelevant. It’s the over and over that’s the problem.
But positivity? But good things?
Well, I suppose it’s got to be at least a bit better than the bad, said the therapist with the air of a woman forced to relent, to pick the better of two evils, to give credence to something utterly distasteful.
I realize my teeth are grinding.
Somewhere a fly buzzes. Is it by the light? In the room? Is it just the silence?
Is it still raining?
But it isn’t good if it holds you back, I think, and I have to listen to myself. If you cling to it. If you make it a familiar friend, a new thing that allows you to say, no thanks, I’m all set, I’ve already got mine. I’m busy. If it becomes the new blanket that lulls you into sleep, a sleep of not existing, a sleep of avoiding life, avoiding yourself. Avoiding truth.
I close my eyes again.
Face Your Truth.
The truth is, I think to myself, the truth is, I have to let go again. There will always be letting go. There will be very little hanging on, very little no, please, please stay, don’t leave me. You let go before. It was hard. More than hard. It felt beyond human capacity. It felt like someone yanking out some essential part of you, or something you thought was essential, but really didn’t need much. Like an appendix.
How long a night can feel.
Be present, the therapist said. When you’re lost in your mind, you miss out on reality.
Hah, I thought at the time. Missing out on reality. Sounds pretty good deal to me.
But when you’re on the roller coaster of the mind, I think now, it’s all a blur. A mess of color and sound. And not a thrilling blur. Not the exciting, adrenaline-inducing ride that suddenly shakes you awake. Those precious few moments in our lives where we suddenly realize, I’m Alive. No, this blur is just that. A blur. Nothing concrete. Just, Nothing.
Face Your Truth.
And the Truth is, I think (and the rain has stopped falling now, but still the Silence buzzes and the breathing next door is ever there, ever in and out, ever alive) I want to be on a roller coaster, but the right one. Not the one that goes nowhere. Not the one that goes round and round. Even if my roller coaster jets off into the clouds with no end in sight, that would be better, I think. Because sometimes I do not like reality, and sometimes I want to get lost in my mind, see what’s in there, see what there is to think about, to wonder. But I want to be in control of the ride.
Well, as much as possible, I think. Consciously in control.
Subconsciously, who knows.