25 June 2009

Brain train wreck

How can I be completely aware of a train wreck happening in my head and yet be unable to stop it or look away from the emotional wreckage?

Of late, I've been reading a book about communication that, honestly, makes me feel a bit like a hippy but also seems dead on in many respects. Among other things the author talks about how we're all responsible for our own feelings. Something external might trigger a response in us, but what we do from there is all up to us. Yes, I thought to myself, that's so true.

I'm about halfway through, and intellectually, I get this book. But if yesterday is any indication, stupid things like hair cuts can still set me off. Even though I understood the various reasons behind the hair cut bothering me, I didn't know how to switch tracks or derail the train before the impending mental wreck. I tried being rational with myself, but it did nothing discernible to ameliorate my frustration. In fact, I was bothered so much, I was literally uncomfortable in my skin. You could chalk it up to heat, but it was more than that, and I have a feeling it was psychosomatic. The best I could manage was to seek out total distraction which was sporadically effective.

But where does distraction get you ultimately? Just a reprieve before the mind returns to the scene of the wreckage.

I even tried to shift my thinking: I can fix this. The catch there is that despite the urge to take a pair of scissors to my hair myself, that won't produce the desired results and would likely make matters worse. Needing someone else to lop off more from the bottom puts me back at square one.

I tried focusing on the positive: it doesn't look scruffy anymore and it looks all right even though I don't care for it. Still wasn't able to let it go for whatever reason. That's one of the catches of depression and anxiety: the repetition of all that is negative. I could see myself doing it all day yesterday, even woke up early today with the same series of thoughts on my mind.

The not knowing how to control and shift my own emotions and reactions is as frustrating as everything else if not more so.

Scrubbed the hell out of my skin in the shower, so physically I'm feeling better today, at least for now.

Without any conscious design, the image of a needle in a groove of a rotating record came to me. There was no sound, but I lifted the arm and set it down further into the album.

And here we are.

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