It is as if I have gone to bed the previous evening with all of my thoughts all neatly lined up and organized and all my thought processes all neatly laid out and functioning ‘normally’.
And yet at some point during the night – or so it seems – someone has come along and shaken my mind up so that when I awake all my thoughts are a jumbled mess and all my thought processes all tangled up like last year’s Christmas tree lights.
And in truth these really aren’t very good experiences when they happen. And – let’s be honest here – can lead, if I am not careful (although they probably will anyway), to a whole chain of mishaps, wrong thinking and to what would indeed be a comedy of errors if it wasn’t so very sad and so very frustrating.
I know the signs very well and I know the usual results: The over thinking of things. The lapses in concentration. The zoning out for huge chunks of time. The going into a room and forgetting what I went in there for. The fixating on the simplest and most trivial of things. The way simple things take so much more mental effort. – like for instance the fact that it has already taken me some 40 minutes to write even this much.
The misinterpreting of the most innocent of texts or comments or statements. Followed, of course, by the hours of wondering, over-thinking, analyzing, just what you have done to upset the person who texted you or made that comment or statement. (Who, of course never actually meant anything by the text or comment or statement and who in fact has no idea you are sat beating yourself up over such a thing – and why would they? They never actually said or meant what your mind is telling you they meant anyway.)
The paranoid thoughts and slight side-swiped hallucinations of nothing tangible and yet something even.
I have to be honest here. My initial (and most common response) is to isolate – to hide. Mainly so as to reduce the opportunities a) for my mind to mess up and b) so as not to concern people over how I am acting.
But that is a slippery and unhealthy slope isn’t it? That way leads to even more time to over-think and over-analyze and then on to deeper, darker thoughts and then into very dangerous territory.
So far I have resisted this isolation temptation. Actually, I have even answered my phone twice already this morning. Which I have to be honest I really struggled to do. But seeming ‘normal’ on the phone is easier than seeming ‘normal’ face to face and in person, isn’t it? But man does even that take some effort! And to make it even harder the neighbor’s kiddy has already been into me twice this morning – once to borrow a stapler and once to return it.
Likewise I have resisted the temptation to draw the curtains and lower the blinds. It is another common response and all part of the isolation process that I know so well and yet know I have to resist.
Poor old TJ – my dog – is looking at me with a sense of concerned bewilderment. It is funny how dogs seem to sense when things are not right isn’t it? Of course he has watched me get up and put my trousers on backwards and then walk into the kitchen and look lost for 5 minutes or so whilst I desperately struggled to rescue the realization that actually I was in there to make coffee and take my meds. (Hm. that was a bit random).
OK. Time to set some anchors in place!
Praise and Worship music! To keep my thoughts positive and to stop my mind from going to those darker, unhealthy places. Places that are not safe for it or me to go.
Prayer! But it is so hard to pray sometimes when your mind is intent on jumbling your thoughts and tripping you into no go areas. And yet prayer is so essential even more so now. I guess I should by rights really text and ask others to pray for me right now. And yet what if they ask what is wrong? Heck what if they want to come and check on me?
De-cluttering! Physically de-cluttering my desk (is that even a word?) will help and will at least give me a diversion and something I can achieve. And of course writing this post is all part of that process – forcing the mind to produce (ok so there have already been tons of corrections and the removing and rewriting of parts but at least I am winning) something logical and organized has, if nothing else, distracted it for a while. And hopefully others who go through things like this will see that they are not alone and that there is hope.
Holding on to the truths and to realities! Yes that is important. OK. Truths and Realities! I have been here before and have survived. God is faithful! Yes that is so very true, He is so very faithful and has always brought me through these things. This time can be different! Yes, I can make it different. I know and recognize the normal process and if I know and can recognize the normal process I must still be at place where I have the ability to change and divert that normal process.
Ok. So that has to be my next action. Stop writing and cause a change.