Saturday, September 1, 2012

In Which I Attempt to Convince Myself of a Truth

Yesterday, I was feeling yucky. I looked up at my daughter and said, "I don't know what's wrong with me. I just feel so bad."

"You're kidding, right?"

"No, what happened? Oh . . . right."

Then I remembered what I'd been distracting myself from all week. Something yucky had happened, something that blew me out of the water, something I didn't want to deal with. And I buried it. Under distractions: being busy, being mom, watching SciFi, reading everything I could get my hands on. It worked, I forgot the problem. I was sort of dazed this week, unable to concentrate, and whenever I got a minute and my mind began to focus on the issue, I shoved myself head-first into something that would make my thoughts SHUT UP.

Distraction worked and it didn't work. The pain was still there. My subconscious was picking at the scab. I had symbolic nasty nightmares all week. I still felt like crap; I just wasn't as sure why.

I know I need to write. Some people need to run. Or to paint. Or to dismantle a car engine and put it back together. I need to write. Writing is the way my brain processes yuck, takes my issues, those chaotic feelings, and forms them into sense. Then my psyche lets the problem go. When my thoughts threaten to drown me, if I write them out then I clarify those thoughts, work through them. I have a journal entry or a bad poem or blog post instead of free-floating anxiety. Seems like a fine idea.

But I've been avoiding writing. Because the clarity hurts. Writing hurts. But after I write, the things stop killing me. My subconscious lets them go. When I wrote about my mom's death I sobbed through the process. I sobbed as I read the post twenty times, then I moved on. The nightmares stopped. I could think about what happened in passing without being thrown back into the situation. There's hundreds of instances on my blog, in my journals, in my correspondence of times when this process has happened.

With distraction, I feel better in the short run. With writing, I feel better in the long run.  Like exercise and good nutrition, like getting enough rest, like the golden rule, like reading the scriptures daily, the easy way is the wrong way. And not easier. Truly.