Simon Says…


So this feels like such a twisted thing, one I have no control over! Since late winter or early spring my emotions seem to run amuck, I cannot always wrangle them in and I often feel as if I am at their mercy; all of it lack logic and rationality which is how I function. As if all the years of controlling my thoughts, feeling, even my startle response to a point has taken its toll and I am worn down. Maybe because I have never had the luxury of just being, in any state and now I have lost the ability.  No matter how I try I seem to have no control over it, as if someone else is calling the shots some days. You remember that game you played as a child, Simon says, where you were at the mercy of a set of secret ideals or rules; after my two small steps forward toward balance it is as if I was told three huge leaps back.

I didn’t sleep well Monday night, a few strange dreams, which means the next day is a crap shoot. I didn’t feel great, my stomach was a bit out of sorts so I ate a smidge of yogurt and went off to take some pictures at a place where I tend to enjoy the tranquility. I got some nice shots, sat by a small pond and watched the dragonflies, and met up with a friend where we eventually ate lunch. As the day went on I felt my edginess and anxiety levels increase but I kept moving forward trying to shake it by evening, the humidity make my skin itch, my stomach was in my throat, I was a nervous wreck where the slightest movement caught out of the corner of my eye made me jump. Wednesday was an improvement and Thursday was not so bad. I went  to a museum with a friend, did some work, completed some research, went to the studio where I had some laughs with a friend and helped teach a class; all in all a good day.

So why did I wake up this morning with my jaw clenched so tight my teeth hurt, my muscles ached, I cannot still my shaking hands, and the cat jumping off her high perch with a thud in the floor made me leap out of my skin. I am riddled with doubt, from everything like how to write a reply email to regret over messages I wrote last night. I feel so very raw emotionally but there was nothing to cause this. I know I tossed and turned but am unsure as to why.  I met a friend for what has become one of our regular activities, something I have always enjoyed but today I found myself looking forward to it being over, I almost canceled.

Lately I have been feeling this crushing weight of lack of human contact, as if I want nothing more than comfort within a hug but as we were departing I found myself trying to position myself so I wouldn’t be touched, I was afraid I couldn’t keep it together, keep this façade of normalcy up within any caring embrace; I was afraid I would crumble in that moment…. I made it home with some finger tapping, a few tears, and a bit of regret.  Now I find myself counting, touching the tips of my finger as if I can create a pattern to calm my mind while trying to breathe but my mind makes me screams RUN which brings on the tears and that little voice, “Why are you crying, what is so wrong with you….” All I want to do is hide away, from people, form life as if crawling into the back of my closet will offer me respite.

I just need to make it through the evening, a studio full of people, both fellow artists and visitors but no special support which may make it easier.  I just need to keep the charade up until the moon is high but I am afraid the effort to continue to hold up the corners of my mouth may crush me.

“I have learned there is no joy without hardship. There is no pleasure without pain. Would we know the comfort of peace without the distress of war?” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


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