Posted by: scintillatingspeck | September 28, 2013

Tunnel vision.

I could almost laugh at myself, if laughter were a language I could remember in the moment.  A bout of midnight writing, hardly able to breathe, seeking some sort of relief… I turn around and find myself in this place, yet again, getting squashed by psychic pain, trying to push at the slimy, suffocating edges of it.

It seems ridiculous that I should be feeling this, when I live a life of abundance.  It’s not hard to list my blessings.  I know they’re there.  It makes me feel all the more awful and pathetic to be sucked into this poison quicksand, believing I should have the ability to haul myself out by simply appreciating all that is.

Never mind the count-one’s-blessings approach… be here now be here now be here now is the insistent refrain in my scrambling brain, looking for the only foothold that really exists, the present moment.  What’s here now?  I’m in my house.  It’s mostly quiet, although the ticking of the clock is unbearably loud.  I’m in a recliner, breathing shallowly, although noticing that just inspired me to take a deep breath.  It hurts to breathe, I think to myself.  What is this illusion of pain?  It’s not physical pain.  It just hurts to be alive.  It hurts to look around.  It hurts to not know what the hell I’m doing.

I have a vague memory of telling myself in shinier moments, Remember how tunnel vision works.  Remember how it descends, blocking all light.  It will feel monolithic, inescapable.  Don’t trust it.

…and down the tunnel runs a tiny first responder, assessing with sharp eyes and little paws.  It observes the slime, the exhaustion, the shallow breaths, the look in my eyes, sits on its haunches and declares, you’re depressed, girlie.  Listen up.  Take this tincture; you prepared it yourself.  Stop with the self-flagellation.  How would you treat anyone you love if they were suffering?  You would nurture them.  You would say, Beloved, it’s late at night; let me put you to bed; let me wrap you in blankets; let me hold you until you can sleep.  In the morning you would feed them something warm and delicious, and you would say, Come outside; come feel the sun; come see the brilliant New England autumn; lay your hands on the bark of the hickories; walk slowly on the woodland path.

Suddenly, Ophelia the cat is at my side, rubbing her cheek on my hand, gazing at me imploringly and purring.  I will let her lead me to bed.

Another deep breath.



  1. Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    I remember an especially bad patch many years ago when I spent a good hour repeating out loud the Dune fear mantra: I must not fear, fear is the mind-killer. fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow it to pass over me and through me, and when it is gone, I will turn the inner eye to see fear’s path. Where fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

  2. […] even though I wrote not long ago to never mind about counting blessings.  I changed my […]

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