Monday, 9 May 2011

i'll do anything to be happy

In the middle of all this progress I've been making, a bad spell. A blue spell. A smattering of maddeningly slow and sad days, days that make me wish I were invisible.

It creeps back, silently, the hopelessness I've been curbing. (Everything I dream of seems too big and unachievable and I want to forget it all and live in a state of no dreams. But then the not-dreaming turns out to be impossible and even worse than the original hopelessness.)

It creeps back, and all I can do to control it is to lie on the floor of my room in a slice of sunlight and stare at the ceiling. Maybe read a bit. Slow down my existence, my heart rate, my too-quick thoughts. Write silly lists to keep my mind off things, sit in class and doodle, lie down on the grass during recess and tilt my head back to look at the sky.

It creeps back and I don't notice it at first. I chalk it down to another bad day, because bad days come and I try to welcome them and believe in tomorrow.

But then comes the time when I'm on the train going into town and suddenly a tear drops onto my lap. And then I'm crying silently but uncontrollably, stuck in public without a single tissue, wiping my cheeks with the backs of my hands and trying to calm down. Embarrassed and kind of scared.

Eventually I do calm down, tears still running down my forearms. I cradle my head in my hands and just breathe. (My therapist has told me to focus on my breathing and I'm finding he's not just being New Age, there's some truth to it.)

These things happen and I just have to weather the storm. At least I'm learning that there are far worse things than breaking down in public, there are far worse things than my body telling me something is wrong. I will feel better, at some point. Until then I'll listen to this song and try to believe.


  1. Breathing and just being mindful of yourself really is a certified thing therapists sometimes use. The first time I saw my therapist guy he mentioned it and it made so much sense, especially when reading about it afterwards (in psychiatric context). It also prompted me to read Hardcore Zen, which kind of helped, even if not in an "enlightening" (lol) sense but at least it made me feel like I was actively trying to get over myself.

    Even though I don't know you that deeply and can only make assumptions, from what you've been writing here, our "ailments" are surprisingly similar. I've been better for a while now, but really, I started listening to this exact same song by Noah and the Whale last year when I was trying to feel better!

    I think we should have an angsty bonding session. We could do it in posh British so as to not get too depressed.

  2. Oh my goodness, yes for the angsty-yet-posh bonding session. When can we begin?

    And about the mindfulness you mentioned: the rare moments in which I can actually focus on what I'm doing (be it breathing or whatever) are possibly the most helpful ones of all.

    I've been reading quite a bit of Zen Buddhist stuff for the past few years and I'm finding it really helpful, simply because it's important to realise there are different ways of thinking and being, and one of them is to experience things less through my own self and my emotions, but from a bit of a distance.

    Hope you're well.

  3. I suck at posh though. I would mostly sound ridiculous. I'm quite bad at accents and can't really even imitate a Scottish one despite living here for two years! But I can try. :D

    One evening last November, when I was having yet another horrible fit, I decided that instead of feeding it I would just open my window, sit quiet by it for twenty minutes and listen to the pissy rain. The sound of wet leaves swishing in the trees in the garden, sirens and street noises - seriously, it was the most profound "cure" to happen so far. I can honestly say that it stopped a cycle, like hitting rock-bottom and simultaneously realising how little effort silencing your thoughts actually takes. It was my first and so far last stab at "meditation" but it was pretty amazing. Recommended++

    I hope you're well too. Only a few weeks to go til summer!

  4. Through trial and error, my friend. (And I can try being posh enough for both of us. Have I ever told you some of my friends call me RP, as in Received Pronunciation? Gahh this is so embarrassing I'll go hide under a rock now with my pathetic Southern Englishness okay bye.)

    I've been trying to slow down. I used to think that cramming my days full of activities was the best way to deal with my problems, because that way I wouldn't have the time to analyse every little thing. (I tend to think myself out of contentedness really quickly.)

    Now I'm realising I need the calm and I need time to do things that I haven't planned beforehand, I need quiet evenings and the occasional lazy morning. And it doesn't lead to overanalysis but instead it allows my mind to wander, which is probably the most helpful thing of all. My therapist has told me over and over to stop punishing myself for not being able to focus, because (his words) the human mind is like a puppy. You don't punish a puppy for not staying in place.

    And so, wandering thoughts and deep breaths. Because that's what the whole meditation thing is about, right? It's not about not thinking, it's about not getting stuck in your thoughts but moving on.

    Summer, oh goodness. Waiting waiting waiting.

  5. Toinen kappale. Mun silmät aukeni, vaikkei se edes ole mitenkään supererikoinen ja oonhan mä ton tavallaan jo tienny. Mutta ehkä tarvitsin sen sanoiksi puettuna... Vaikka ei mulla kyllä raktaisua ole (vielä)

  6. i'd do anything that you'd be happy

  7. Where is all this Anon love coming from? Oh my goodness. Gahhh tearing up am pathetic you are lovely thank you. :)