Sometimes my head feels like a very small place to reside.
I’ll find myself trapped inside this space where thoughts spin faster than I can organize them. I’ll feel fear or anger or anxiety or sadness, and instead of taking root and residing, they will bounce around and mingle and get all tangled up in themselves.
I’ll remember the clear head. I’ll remember the feelings of control and competency. I’ll remember the peace.
But at the time, none of that matters.
I just sit there, trying to catch the thoughts; trying to follow one to its conclusion; trying to make sense of it all. And yet sense will somehow elude me.
I remember one evening a few years ago. It was when my depression was at its worst. I had gone out to the store in an attempt to break my mind free from its bondage and find a respite.
But it didn’t work.
I found myself driving home at 9pm at night, terrified to stay in the space I was in. The pain inside me, while not physical, hurt more than any broken bone could have. It was a pain of emptiness and fear and hopelessness and despair. It was terror at not knowing how to break out. It was shame at being there in the first place. And it was a desperate scream from somewhere deep inside of myself for help. A scream so guttural and primal that it terrified me. It was a scream so shrouded in shame that I didn’t dare let the world hear it.
I’m not in those days anymore. These struggles now are temporary. I can feel my overwhelm fading even as I write.
But those old days don’t die from my memory. We don’t leave a war without some wounds.
Now when I find myself trapped in my mind, I look around at the world. I see a world almost cruelly neutral. There is sun and snow, raindrops and rainbows, day and night. It’s an endless cycle of disinterested neutrality. In essence, what it is is what we make of it.
There’s a fear in that when things go dark, but there’s a hope in that when things go well.
I know my demons reside in my mind. There’s a hope in that as well as a terror.
At least these days I know that there is always a tomorrow.
Brain image available from Shutterstock