April 03, 2006

Smile

I don’t have a picture to go with this one. Maybe I do, but I don’t want to bother looking for one. When I started writing this one on Sunday I had typed in a few lines about how last week has been an extension of the week before in hell and how I was getting used to it. There were also things said about how I was having imagined conversations, with people I know and myself, in my head, while outwardly I had withdrawn into my shell and stopped speaking to almost anyone. Then, I just could not write anymore. I just gave up and tried to see if there was something else I could do.

Afterwards, on a longish and relaxed drive, I realized how stressed out I was and that my mind was working overtime, bordering on the neurotic, even when it did not have to do that. It really felt like my own internal cacophony was building up to a crescendo, with endless iterations of self-analysis and analysis of every minor thing that was happening around me. It is a pleasure of the most masochistic type to make yourself a test buggy and note down every single action/reaction cycle you through, as a study of your own nature. At the same time it is obsessive and massively self-destructive too.

Emotionally, I felt clogged from the inside like someone with a chronic case of sinusitis. It has been building up for a while now, not helped in the least bit by recent events. Gradually, your ability to breathe diminishes to the point where you almost choke yourself with your emotions. Then comes the numbness - of being not able to smell, breathe, taste or even feel anything. Then you wonder about what went wrong and look desperately for a rope, even the tattered ends of a straw, if there are any available, to grasp on to. It is in those moments that even more mistakes follow, the kinds that long term problems never get fixed by.

What snapped me out was the meeting with a friend on Sunday. It has been one of those weird friendships where there is a connection made even when there are no common grounds or even major similarities in personalities. It just felt different, comfortable and it felt like I was walking out of my own clogged up, rotting skin. It felt nice to be able to breathe again, to find that there was still warmth left somewhere in the cold confines of your own soul and that you could be liked, without having to project an image of invulnerability and strength as a year-round project, even when you are just being yourself.

Later, I called up an old friend, talked to her for a bit. I thanked my lucky stars that I could actually trace in me a little bit of the fondness that I have always felt for her. My home, empty and dark, awaited my return and I hate when the dread of going back to an empty home comes back to haunt me. But there is only that much you can run away from your demons and they really don’t feel so funny when you come across them anywhere other than Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. Bree’s (rare?) histrionics and Jack’s past provide an adequate distraction. Sleep, attempted later, is one lousy client that almost never turns up.

When Monday morning eventually arrives, I welcome it with all my heart. Anything that provides a purpose to my hours and keeps me busy is a welcome visitor. Of course, with inflexible caveats added in for good measure. I have already walked away from one confrontation; I don’t need any more of them for a while now. The road back is very long and difficult. The spirit’s been close to being broken for a while and alarmingly the body too is following suit now. Before long, at this rate, the situation would become unrecoverable. I guess I don’t have that level of masochism within me. The small mercies one has to be thankful about in life.