The Chaos that is “My Mind”

I love street magicians. I always have. The fascination of having the magic performed right there, within reach, with you actually becoming a part of the magic. I still remember the first time I saw a street magician… his little high table with the red velvet cloth draped over it. I remember working my way right up to the front of the small crowd, right up to his table. I had to stand on my toes just to see what was happening. He pulled a black foam ball out of his coat pocket and set it on the table, and then took three white cups out of his bag. “Would you like to play, boy?” he asked. I fearfully nodded in agreement. He place the three cups upside-down on the table, the foam ball under the middle cup. “Watch closely, boy…” He then shuffled the cups around on the table. Round and round, in and out. I watched closely and intently. He stopped. “Where’s the ball, boy?” Panic. Fear. Embarrassment. I had no idea where the ball was. I was watching close, but could not follow. I froze. I could feel the tears welling up. I said nothing. “How about you?” he asks the girl beside me…

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Depression & Anxiety I have dealt with as long as I can remember. Depression most can somewhat understand. We’ve all been sad, devastated, and completely down. They don’t get how you can just be “stuck” there, but you can at least explain the feeling in a way they can understand. Anxiety…not so easy. It’s not so much stress, not anticipation. Not really fear or pressure either. It’s a mash-up of so many emotions. It’s completely overwhelming. It is scary. It is stressful. And I hate it. For those of you who have never felt anxiety, I will do my best open your eyes. Let’s go back to the velvet covered table. there’s nothing there but the ball and three cups. No magician. No crowd. The middle cup covers the ball, and the cups slowly start moving… round and round. In and out. You’re carefully watching the cups, but then you notice the table-top getting bigger. You start feeling confused, and then there are more cups. First four, five, six, ten. You are trying desperately to focus on that cup with the ball. Then the noise comes in. Nothing in particular, but noise. The cups start moving faster, and continually increasing in number. The noise gets louder and louder. You are trying to keep your eyes on the cup with the ball and make out what the noise is at the same time. There are now more cups on the table than you can possibly keep count of, the noise is drowning out all thoughts, but one. You suddenly are overcome with the feeling that everything you know is counting on you picking the right cup. Fear now overwhelms. You have no idea what cup, you can’t hear your thoughts, and now you are scared to death.

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That, my friends, is severe anxiety… or at least the best way that I can describe it to you. For myself, it’s the worst. The most haunting. It’s literally like having one of your worst nightmares, but not having the luxury of waking up from it. It’s like quicksand when it starts building… the more you try not to think about it, the more it consumes you. I’ve got different coping methods I’ve been given to try and interrupt the anxiety… to snap out of it. Sometimes they work, if I can catch them early enough. But many times I can’t catch them in time, or the methods do nothing to slow the anxiety down. This, unfortunately, is when I resort to cutting. It’s the only tried, tested, and true coping method for me that ends anxiety. I hate it, I want more than anything to stop, but I’m weak. I’m fifteen days cut-free and counting… Still fighting the demons. Still fighting the Chaos… the chaos that is my mind.

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