- Mental Health»
- Stress Management
The Ways the Mind Can Mask the Heart
A few days ago, I posted a status on Facebook asking for recommendations for my next article. What people would like to read about, what interests them, that sort of thing. It seemed like a great idea at first because I was getting a ton of feedback, but the truth of the matter is that even though I yearned to write about the things that I knew people would love to hear, as soon as my pen hit the page I felt completely and utterly blocked. I don't know what it is with my writing but I can only ever write about what my mind is already thinking. And these past few days, all I can think about is why I will never be able to write about my journey with self harm.
The thought was wonderful, getting my own story out there and sharing the adversity I faced in order to help so many others, but the action itself was so much more difficult. You see, my story starts from such a young age, and for me to sit back and explain everything from start to finish so that others could understand, I would need to relive every traumatic memory in gruesome detail, as I never leave detail out because it distorts the true image of the past, even sometimes the present. And reliving those memories, before I'd even begun to write, changed me in ways I wasn't expecting.
My husband is a very relaxed, caring, and understanding man. He typically catches on to my own feelings eons before I do. Unfortunately, I make it my own person goal in the moment to completely dissuade any external influence regarding my behavior, and typically pin it on the first small thing I can cling to. In this case, pumpkin seeds.
I had spent most of the day writing out a story line from beginning to end of what led me to turning to self harm later in life, and I just remember feeling this tenseness creep up on me like a rubber glove slowly tightening its grip. The more I wrote, the more I allowed myself to relive those things, the more I felt it. Eventually it got to the point that I felt like I couldn't breathe, I felt like I was underwater and I was drowning. Panic surfaced into my chest, and it just so happened that right then, my husband walked in.
At first, I realized I was being fairly short and snapping at him, and I cringed every time I did, but eventually that panic developed so much in my chest that I needed something, anything to blame. I needed something to be mad at. I knew that if I didn't, then I was going to explode and I didn't want to cry, I didn't want to look weak, like my past still bothered me. So when my husband mentioned giving some of our pumpkin seeds I was planning on roasting for us to someone else, I lunged. We fought for a good couple of hours. I yelled, started cleaning like a crazy lady as I always do when I'm under stress, until eventually he gave up and he went back to the bedroom to be alone. I, the prideful one, sat my very unhappy butt on the couch in the livingroom and played on my farming game, got bored of it, scrolled Facebook, got bored of that, then put all technology down and just sat there and thought for a while.
I hated the thought of saying how I felt about it all out loud. Somehow, it seemed like my past was winning that way. It made me feel like I was weak for not being able to move past the things that haunted me just enough to write about them because I was so convinced that I could do it. I knew I could, and I had already promised someone that I would. I felt like a failure. So instead of saying it out loud, I pulled up my laptop, clicked on my notepad, and I started writing. Two pages later, I printed out the finished work, handed it to my husband back in the bedroom, and closed and locked the bathroom door to shower.
I gave up my pride. And it was only by doing so that I was able to towel off, get into a pair of comfortable jammies, and cuddle up to the person I love most and cry, and talk, and get all of that weight off of my chest until finally, and blissfully, falling asleep. It is not my duty to delve back into things that do more damage to myself and my energy than it will ever help another human being, and I had to realize that. As much as I want to be able to save the world, change it, turn it into something better and brighter than ever, I'll just have to figure out a different way to do it. Because what kind of story could I even write if my heart was not totally and completely aligned with it as well? Only the heart writes the best stories, and I can promise you that any work I ever write without it will fail to please anyone, or make any sort of important impact. Of all this, I've learned that my heart knows best, and not to ignore it. Of all this, I've learned that all I have to do is listen.