This piece was written a while ago, while I was dealing with something pretty sucky and really investing my time into making myself happier.
I’ve been keeping a bit of a ‘diary’.
I’m sharing it now because this little ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ thing I’ve been doing has given me so many stories and revelations and pieces of art that I want to share.
That being said, I don’t think people will really understand what I’m on about unless I explain where I’m coming from.
I’ve been beating about the bush a bit by writing about all the weird things I’ve been doing, talking about psychology, ranting about films.
I’ve actually been in a lot of pain.
One of the things that scares me (which I will add to the list of things to do before I’m 21) is talking about my feelings in a way that isn’t abstract.
Actually saying hey, this happened and it cut me deep.
I’ve always thought speaking that way was very self-indulgent. I realise now that communicating in a straightforward, vulnerable way is actually very generous, because you’re giving somebody else the opportunity to relate and understand.
I’m a writer. If I can’t write about what I feel in a way people will get, I can’t do my work well.
What I’m trying to say is that sometimes, in order to get better, you need to fling yourself into life by taking pole dancing classes and laughing like a mad thing. Other times you’re in bed on a quiet night and you gotta deal with your challenging thoughts without letting them control you.
Healing is about dealing with your shit without punishing yourself.
I hope by sharing these more vulnerable pieces, someone who might be down in the dumps feels comforted.
I hope that people learn how to make themselves happier.
Today I am feeling a bit all over the place.
‘The Unravelling’ is a term which came to me literally just now as I was dragging myself upstairs with a cup of tea I forced myself to make after doing my laundry.
The unravelling which I’m referring to is the process whereby I’m finding all the knots in my brain coming untied.
Please bare with my pretentious metaphor, it’s the only way I can wrap my head around this (if u pardon the pun lol).
The way I see it, I was born with a head full of wool, and as the years went by and this ball of wool ravelled; there were knots planted within the thread.
Every time I saw something that shaped me, every time I had to find a new way of survival, every time I didn’t know how to cope with something that was out of my control- there was a knot.
Everyone has a brain full of knots. Everyone has a little bit of trauma. The difference between people who are free and people who are unhappy is how tied up they are. Whether or not they’ve chosen to unravel their knots.
I think it’s important to write about these things because it opens up conversation. Perhaps someone might be able to relate, it’s important to talk about deep stuff constructively.
These knots remained unnoticed in me for so long, until one day, I realised that I’m an adult and I’m all by myself and this is my life now. I took a look around me and realised- my life looked like the ugliest scarf I’ve ever fucking seen, and it’s all because I knitted it that way.
I didn’t know any better. But I can do better. I deserve better.
Thus began, the unravelling.
I started this process about 3 weeks ago on a very sudden impulse, and I haven’t looked back. In one moment I decided, my life is a sham and I can’t go on like this.
I’ll give some background info.
I live in a house with my Grandparents who are dying of Alzheimers, and I am alone a lot of the time. I’ve got a lot of childhood trauma which is difficult to deal with while I am in the same environment that it happened in. Additionally, for the last 2 years I was in a really toxic situation with somebody I believed I was in love with, subtly knowing that it was never going to work out.
Looking back, I think in my head I just thought that he was my way out.
I came home after a weekend away and a job interview in London and I guess I was just in a good enough place to not deal with the shit I got from this person anymore. He hurt me bad (again) and at this point I just thought enough is enough.
I blocked them, and there was no distraction anymore.
I just looked at my life and thought “fuck”.
So I had to fill the space.
Since then, I’ve been grabbing all the new experiences. Investing every ounce of my energy into myself, without distraction. That’s the first time I’ve ever done that.
I want to heal, for good.
Yesterday I had a stall at a charity event reading tarot. I read from 1-5 and then afterwards I participated in a 1-hour long yoga session, followed by a 1-and-a-half-hour sound meditation.
Yoga is wonderful. The body is wonderful. I’ve been throwing myself into my body more than ever lately and loving every minute of it.
The sound meditation… that was strangely intense.
I signed myself up because I’m willing to give literally anything a go at this point. It was done by a local sound therapist (former paramedic) who found sound therapy/spiritualism as a way to recover from a series of mental health disorders, and post-traumatic stress from being a paramedic.
Everybody in any of these sessions is kind of in the same boat. Doesn’t matter how many sessions you’ve been to or how ‘spiritual’ and ‘enlightened’ you claim to be, when you enter a meditation, you don’t know what is about to come up for you. You don’t know what you’re about to experience. Spiritualism isn’t about ego or being better than anybody else. It’s about doing what you gotta do to feel improvement within yourself. To feel wholeness, healthiness, comfort within yourself.
There was about 11 of us in a semi-circle, at the front the sound therapist was there with a table of instruments and some wonderful, colourful, emotive and abstract art pieces.
We all closed our eyes as our musician played us a variety of instruments; each one bringing up a different reaction within us.
Chimes, a native American flute, a shamanic drum, a tongue drum, a guitar, a rain stick, his voice. Chanting, throat singing.
To begin with, the egoic (but sometimes quite funny and very witty) side of my brain which relates to peep show and the office thought of this environment as a scene from a sketch show. It’s an out there setting which can be seen as comedic, but I signed myself up and I’m wanting to get something out of it, so I shut up and meditated.
I observed each feeling. The gong brought up a feeling of anticipation, the rain stick brought up irritation. The flute made me feel at ease, the tongue drum made me feel full of love. At one point I felt the girl next to me (who had never experienced anything ‘spiritual’ before) burst into tears- I think that was while the chimes were sounding.
I went into this thinking that maybe the sounds would have a direct link to what was going on with my thoughts, but it didn’t. It just triggered these feelings.
My thoughts were relatively muted- which led to me thinking ‘why don’t I care? Why can’t I just care? Why do I have to cry for people to recognise that I care?’.
Then I realised, that I do care. And it actually bothers me that I can’t seem to show that I care.
My mind sat there for a bit just listening to the instruments.
It was during the last 10 minutes when our guide was singing us a song that a memory from earlier on in the day flashed into my head.
I was eating pizza in a room after packing up my stall with the youngest daughter of the lady running the event.
She was a sweetheart. 5 years old. She was one of the small army of children that kept me company that day. I enjoyed their presence and their funny chatter, it was innocent and sweet. I love playing the role of the babysitter.
It made me think of a little girl in my family that I don’t speak to anymore.
It made me think of my family.
And down the rabbit hole we fell.
It made me think of my childhood, and all the knots that I accumulated which sewed me into this ugly scarf.
But like, in a more tangible way than before.
I left the meditation and I went to my friends house to get drunk.
It was lovely.
It is so lovely to keep busy.
I woke up and went to pole dance.
In that hour-long lesson there was nowhere else in this world that I would rather be.
I did my food shop. I went to get some new paints at a craft store. I was going through the motions.
And then I came home.
And I was alone. There were people in the house, but I live alone.
And that’s when it sunk in.
That’s when I cried for 10 minutes while doing the washing up. Life goes on, even if you’re dealing with some heavy shit right now.
Unravelling is a funny old thing. Things come to you in waves. Memories flash before your eyes and ears and things just make sense in an instant. The memory of an event which resulted in you never being able to relax, the thought process within you that makes you feel like you have to work all the time or else you might die, the reasoning behind the belief that you’re probably always going to be alone.
You get a memory of something that hurt you as a kid, and all of a sudden, that toxic ‘relationship’ or whatever that you had for 2 years makes sense. You know what you were looking for.
It’s all unravelled.
Nothing is hidden, or repressed, or knotted.
It’s just there, right in front of you, for you to see and feel and comprehend.
And you don’t really need to do anything about it but acknowledge what it’s done for you.
Because then, when you recognise how that trauma still affects you today, you can change what you do today so you no longer have to live that way. Living like a prisoner of the past.
Unravelling is intense and it can be really lonely.
If there’s one thing I learned from last year, it’s that once you’ve cried, it’s important to get back to reality. Go and have fun, remind yourself that life exists outside of your head. Talk to a friend, do some acrobatics, run an errand.
It’s just a process.
I think maybe I need to get away.
This is the first entry of this diary thing I’ve written this last few weeks. They get happier.
I’m looking forward to sharing them.
Lets give this ‘openness’ thing a go.