I am sure all of you have gone through some form of inner turmoil at some stage in your life. Some of you may have had it since you don’t know when; however, calling out to the writers, don’t these moments of unrest usually stimulate your creativity and motivate your writing? Don’t they help you dig deep to express yourself?
I’ve been going through a rough mental patch for a while now in which I struggle to focus and concentrate, and thus I manage nothing on paper. Suddenly, these moments of unrest have become more of a burden that will not disappear into written words, mainly because there are no words. Not that the burden has ever disappeared, but as a form of self-medication, writing has always helped one to unload the head for a while.
As of now, I’m not sure if I am showing symptoms or a pre-stage of Alzheimer’s. I speak English all the time, I write in my journal daily, and I read a lot, but somehow my vocabulary and grammar are escaping me big time, which indicates a huge language problem. I’m also very disoriented and get lost easily. Also, ask my boyfriend about my severe mood swings.
Having said that, now my level of confidence has gone down, too, because I feel like I am not achieving anything, neither am I good with people. Lately, the more I have to be around them, the more I feel like suffocating. The pressure arises from their demand for me to speak. Of course, they don’t necessarily demand it; it’s all in my head – the constant pressure that I need to be sociable when people are around. I’m never at ease. Generally, people are not comfortable with sheer silence, except me. It’s not easy to win me over to a conversation. I lack interest in many, many things. Call it apathy if you want; it’s only me who knows that I am not an apathetic person. I have different interests. A lot of people either don’t see that, or they are not interested in my interests. On the outside, they are all strong and happy, whereas the sad side remains hidden. Happiness is best when shared, but what about sadness? Does it make everyone walk away from you? I’d rather walk away from them before anyone notices it. The truth is that I cannot hide anything. I can’t lie, either. People merely knew Pagliacci’s stage performances, not to mention Robin Williams’s. I could list a bunch of these talented people. I can’t help but believe that they are good secret keepers – the biggest secret being their real “I.” That’s the most selfless thing you can do, namely, hide from the ones you love by making them laugh, making them happy. That way, a huge part of you must be happy, too. No?
I may have become more antisocial than I was before, but I do try not to be like that, so I participate in parties only to figure out in the end that I require more recovery time than anyone. I wish it were as simple as a hangover, but it isn’t. I don’t drink anywhere near enough to trigger a hangover the next day.
And yet, I still go out to a noisy bar, where I fail to catch the whole sentences that people shout into my ear. Instead of uttering something back, I opt to let out a laugh. It always seems to work, ok. Though, with every fake laugh, you earn a wrinkle.
I even took some Pepcid AC to control the flushing on my face; it reduces it down to 30%. Also, that way, my head and my esophagus don’t dwell too badly in discomfort. I do this for perhaps a beer and a shot and nothing more for the rest of the night, as my body still doesn’t like alcohol. I’m doing it to make friends with people I either don’t like or with whom I have problems bonding. They are all busy blending in. I am not.
So I am still at the bar, watching how all those drunken douchebags express their tactless pickup lines to the girls. My only observatory power is soberness, which means that I am the ultimate outsider here. That’s why I walk out of the door.
Why can’t I relate to them? How can I even try if I cannot think clearly right now? With this lack of concentration, I am totally lost. The lack of clarity in my mind’s landscape resembles a Dickensian fog. I am so disoriented and nauseated that I am about to faint.
People refer to the word hermit as something bad. I value solitary pastimes. It’s something I need all the time, not just once in a while, most people. I don’t remember the last time I felt so disconnected from myself. Stress has impoverished my ability to express myself.
I want my focus back. I have a feeling that something bad will happen if I don’t learn to focus again. One cannot say that I am not trying to be good to myself. With all this stress going on, I can’t think straight. I don’t have space where I can search for peace of mind. We’re in such a big world, and yet we seem to struggle to find a quiet and safe location for our minds.
I’ve attempted meditation several times. Starting with five minutes, then my record being twenty minutes. I haven’t managed 20 minutes again for years.
I was spraying rescue drops into my mouth when I finally realized that something needed to be done. I had started pulling myself together and get serious about getting better. I am not well.
I began looking for serious meditation courses similar to retreats and lasted longer than merely a day. I then remembered that a friend practices Vipassana meditation, and I started looking into it.
Suddenly living in Calgary made me feel claustrophobic because I was looking at Vipassana courses in Asia, and I don’t know when I’ll be in Asia. I need help right now.
Luckily a friend made me aware of a Vipassana school three hours outside Calgary – in Youngstown. I took it as a sign and tried to enroll right away for late June. The course is run by donations only. I’m trying to raise funds to contribute towards the effort of a group of people who rely solely on others’ generosity.
I can already picture myself in a meditation room. My eyes are closed. First, I would listen to my breath and then pretend that my body is light as a feather. I will try to get my head empty for hours, which might not happen until a lot later. The aim is to let go of all impurity. The aim is to focus. The aim is to become less selfish.
I currently have no income and no permit to work. I’m saving my money to travel to Australia this year. My boyfriend is looking after me, too, for which I’m grateful. Alternatively, I would still like to remain independent. But being independent is different from asking my friends for help. I don’t often ask for help if I can handle it on my own. I don’t like being indebted to anyone. Many people know that. I always return the favour if I can, but if I can’t? Like I could never pay my parents back for what they did for me. This is the worst feeling of all.
Now for once, I will stop worrying about it and say: Please help fund the student that will take my place once I’ve accomplished my 10 days. May he or she feel as bright as the sun and as clear as fresh air, because I know I will.