* The Meta-feeling Charlie Foxtrot

Most of us are carrying around two parallel sets of reactions.  There is the original, genuine feeling and then the feeling about the feeling.

I’ve discovered that a good portion of my problem is in the feeling about the feeling.

Something unhappy happened a few months back and my body immediately told me I was scared.  The feeling was the feeling.  In the same breath, however, I began piling on additional feelings.  I was afraid of the anxiety that had taken up residence in my stomach.  I judged that anxiety.  I tried to talk myself out of it.  I argued with it.  I fought it tooth and nail.  Every time I wanted to cry, I judged that too.  I tried to tell myself why the need to cry was stupid.  I started looking for someone else to tell me things were going to be okay.  I floundered.  I kicked and screamed.  I railed.  I lost all sense of my own knowing because I was working so damn hard to distance myself from the original feeling.

Guess what.  It didn’t work.  The further I tried to get from my scared, the worse it got.  The harder I fought it, the stronger its grip.

The annoying thing is that I know better.  What do I tell myself all the time?  Surrender.  Go under.  What you resist persists.

Apparently, this is a lesson I need to learn six ways from Sunday, because it took me nearly three months to admit that all of my denial wasn’t getting me anywhere and to ask the question “what if I just let myself be afraid?”

Three months of waking up with my stomach twisted with anxiety.  Three months of being afraid to brush my teeth because I just knew I was going to gag on having something in my mouth.  And with two weeks of letting the terror be what it is and not judging it…  I’m not blissful, don’t get me wrong.  But I have re-directed myself back into the pool and I’m being a little more constructive than I was two months ago.

How useless is it to feel the fear twice?  I’m scared.  Okay.  Now I’m going to be scared of being scared?  Really?

So here’s my reminder to myself: feel what you feel.  Absolutely.  But don’t add layers of feelings about the feeling to the mix.

I’ve been contemplating a trip back to the tattoo shop.  I had all of these brilliant ideas, but I am thinking that what I really need is to put “surrender” right on my wrist.  Maybe with a little white flag.

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* The Meta-feeling Charlie Foxtrot

One thought on “* The Meta-feeling Charlie Foxtrot

  1. Entrope,

    I surrender to the spool-up a little differently, I let it wash over me. Sometimes its weeks, but usually days…the more negative stuff does tend to stick around longer. So I don’t resist, but I’m also curious to see where my mind is playing at…”okay, what have you got to show me?” Whether it is old crap resurfacing or current situations bubbling or my brain just unlatching it’s leash for a tear around some neighborhood…there’s usually a nugget or two of information I can use. The darker stuff often sprouts humor, generally I don’t mind the boundlessness of my mind, it seems many people compatmentalize or otherwise confine their thoughts. I tend to see my minds travels as impromptu mini-vacations on their own timetable.

    I can usually operate decently with several slices of my brain in daily operations mode while a few slices are shunting me off somewhere. You mentioned Walter Mitty a while back…it is kinda like that – with some wilder warps and scary (I look at it as funhouse shit) stuff. I consider the on – its – own – terms work my mind does to be like its own trip to the gym. We might wander into a gym, but will likely get bored, slip out the back door and pop across the street into a coffee shop…”I wonder what it would be like to crank out a million complex expressed coffee orders in an afternoon?” So then, usually around 127 shots later (we get distracted easily) we’re tunneling underground for that damp dark terrain or whatnot.

    You have a wonderful ability to leap with logic and humor Entrope, I enjoy your elegant / twisted travels. I consider you to have an Olympic mind (things get fun when you understand it is only able to compete with itself). Keep playing, even the shitty stuff is play…a lot of it is cross training for agility, but some of it is just crap you gotta slog through to get to more interesting bits.

    Cheers,
    RR

    Like

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