I should be cleaning my apartment right now. It’s not dirty, per se. The laundry on the floor is clean; I just haven’t had the energy to put it away. Same goes with the dishes in the drain tray. There are a few too many papers on my coffee table. So my apartment isn’t dirty, but it’s a little messy. Probably a metaphor for life. Based on the chaos of my life right now, I’d say my apartment looks damned good.
So why am I writing, instead of cleaning? So glad you asked. Believe me, the perfectionist monster in my head is screaming at me to get off my ass and put those towels away. I’ve managed to quiet it some, as there is a load of laundry in the dryer, and chick peas cooking on the stove as I type. (Somebody poke me in ten minutes, or they’ll burn).
Today, I am writing because of a question posed to me (well, everyone) in group therapy today. We were asked to identify tactics we use to escape reality, which is something I’ve been working on for a while now. That part was easy. Then, we were asked to identify our “pause button” . . . a healthy something we can do to escape the noise and reset our brains. Not so easy. Most things I would do to get out of my head are either blatantly unhealthy, or could easily become so. For example, ballet gets me out of my head, but it’s not something I could do as often as I’d need to, as it could easily lead to an exercise symptom.
I sat there for a long time drawing blanks. If my head is spinning, no amount of reading, tv, computer, music can quiet the noise. Being around people distracts me for a time, but the noise picks back up where it left off as soon as I’m alone again.
Then it hit me. Lately, WGT has had me doing a lot of writing as part of my therapy. On days when I do it, I find I sleep more soundly. I just assumed that it wore me out, but maybe there’s more to it. Then there are times when I’m lost in my head and feeling tortured, and I’ll write something here, on the blog. It doesn’t have to be about what is upsetting me, but spending so much brain power trying to organize my thoughts into words seems to be enough to stop the rest of the noise. It’s my pause button.
Pausing and reflecting in writing seems to keep me from sitting and spinning in my head, and stops the noise long enough to maybe get some time off after writing. Your comments, both here and via Facebook/Twitter etc., will often prolong the quiet times, sending my brain juices flowing back in this direction instead of towards the murky vortex of doom. (If you say that last part with a creepy voice, it makes it sound way cooler).
So thanks for being a part of what gives my brain a break. Just knowing you’re there, maybe reading, maybe skimming, maybe just looking at the pictures, helps a lot. If you have any brilliant “pause button” ideas of your own, feel free to share.
And just so you know, my chick peas are safely stored and did NOT burn.
*Bonus question: today’s blog title is also the title of a song. 10 points to anyone who can tell me who first sang that song. For those of you keeping track, Tess is in the lead, points-wise. Not that I’m encouraging competition . . . just healthy musical theatre nerd-dom.