Thursday, September 06, 2007

Inside Skin

Things are not so hot here, Chez Butch. I wish I meant inside my apartment.* Sadly, I mean inside my skin.

My mind is a bit off, reverting to old patterns I don't much like. Consciously anyway. It's startling to find that a decade after I really stopped hating myself, those neural pathways are not only still there, but feel entirely comfortable and strangely comforting.

Those pathways snake out into the rest of my body, old patterns like veins. Physical manifestations. That feeling like I want to shake myself loose. Like I have ghost fingers itching to claw myself out through my eyes just to breathe outside air a little while. That tense spinning feeling under my breastbone that gears up after I do anything, that throws off crazy-stupid meteorite sentences like Oh I shouldn't have written that, oh, why did I say that, oh, people are gonna be mad at me. That galaxy of anxiety in my sternum whirling just a little faster and my breathing just a little harder.

It makes me full of tears even though I don't feel sad. It makes me think I don't want to eat even though I know I need to. It makes me bone tired.

Luckily, I know how to distract myself pretty well by now. Luckily, I know the nicest people ever, and my friends and paramour have been saying and doing no end of nice and supportive things to and for me.

Also luckily, a few weeks ago I booked an appointment with my wonder-wonderful therapist. At that time, I was feeling mostly fine, but was starting to notice an aura of needless anxiety around my edges. Consciously, I'm surprised the bad feelings have shot into the centre so fast, but you know, I think my fingers knew when they tapped her numbers into the phone.

*Where I have a brand new giant bat poster to hang up, to make up for my lack of flying mammals this summer. Thank you, mysterious present-giver!

1 comment:

coyote said...

I know a little about this. Somebody wise once told me that sometimes we sink back into old, bad patterns because they're familiar. There's a certain perverse comfort in familiarity, even when it's not a good familiarity.

The flipside, of course, is that after the kind of deep neural bad-burn-in you talk about, good things can feel kinda weird sometimes, just because they are unfamiliar.

But even if good things feel weird, they're not undeserved.

I rather think those old veins, while still part of you, are not exactly all of you anymore. Know this: you're a much richer personality now than you were ten years ago. It's possible you're more able to look at those old patterns safely this time around - with your own new perspective and with your friends, and with your wonder-wonderful therapist's help. Good that you have a guide. Some journeys seem to need us to revisit the same places a few times to understand them properly. It's a journey. I wish you very great luck and fruitful travels, ma'am...!