Parking Skills

So, one of the coping mechanisms that seems to have evolved itself is to do nothing.

The crazed chaos that is in the head …

So you start walking down a nice straight path in a little wood. Trees are all lined up regularly. Regular sizes too. You can see some distance through them. It’s bright. Almost sunny.

And then the path curves and veers off into the undergrowth. Which comes up from nowhere to surround you. You look up and the light has changed.

It’s not dark. But it feels dark.

And you find yourself running. Into tree after broken tree.

And you only run faster from the last gnarled branch that scraped across the back of your neck.

An inky blackness opens up amidst the trees. You’re only too happy to plunge headlong …

Wait. Poetic license be damned, this is what it feels like. Worse. Much worse.

That’s what I do. Wait. For 5 minutes. I have had to learn to.

I pause to catch my breath. There are days when I cannot. Not the first time in any case.

into a cul-de-sac. Backing off in terror, suddenly claustrophobic. Breathing stutters.

I absolutely stop doing anything and everything. Have to go find my corner. I do. If I have to excuse myself from company, I do. If I have to avert my eyes while doing so, I do.

I smoke.

And watch the smoke.

Till my breathing stabilizes.

It’s a little brighter. Not much. In fact, very little. But it’s a little clearer. You start walking.

I start thinking. Mostly strange and weird extremes. I tell myself that it’s okay.  Entertaining them is not always the same as hosting them.

So I let them do their thing. But, I do nothing. Most times. And do so well enough.

They deflate. Invariably. Years of evidence?

It’s much brighter now. You spy a curiously pretty path leading back to the straight…

Find something.

Anything that takes all my attention and and emotion. And thought. I lose myself.

So, the idea is to be able to park responding – in any manner whatsoever, no matter what it takes – to these brutal impulses. For a very short period of time. It helps me to focus on getting my breath back to regular.

Break the spell.

It’s a small victory. Small victories go a long way.

For those moments when you cannot resist, you prepare a soft landing. Catch yourself as you fall.

H/T: And then… for the title. I hope you’ll forgive me. 😀

 

 

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