I’m busy washing dishes, everything is fine, nothing is out of the ordinary, and then all of a sudden, there it is, the sinking feeling, that black pit in my stomach sucking everything into it, my heart beat starts to rise, and I feel like I’m about to cry. What am I doing with my life? Why do I feel so empty? What if I fail? What if this is the worst decision of my life? What if I ruin my life? Ohgodohgodohgodohgod.
My first instinct is to find some way to push away these feelings, get rid of them, this hurts. My second instinct is to just surrender and bawl my eyes out, maybe if I let it out, it’ll go away, maybe if I just act the feeling out, it’ll go away faster.
The entire time, I’m trying to get rid of the feeling, either by replacing it with something else or by surrendering to it in what’s most likely to be an emotionally destructive drama. Because it hurts, goddammit, and I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to think about that.
I keep repeating in my head, it’s going to be okay, you’re going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, you’re going to be okay. Trying to counter the painful feeling in vain.
Then one day, I’m sitting at my desk, staring at the quote I’m trying to write in a particular calligraphic way, and it’s just not working. I keep trying and trying, and I keep feeling like I’m failing. And it triggers That Feeling. Sinking, black pit, heart beat up, feeling of tears, everything. I try to get away, away, away.
Then suddenly, as I took in a deep breath, I paused. I literally paused in the middle of my intake of breath. I noticed my breath, halfway into my lungs, my ink stained fingers limply holding the pen, and the music in my background.
I don’t know why I noticed all of that, it was only a second, but something shifted a tiny bit. I was hurting. And I saw it. Me hurting. And I said to myself, okay, hurt. And I did. That whole time, I wanted to stop, just stop and distract myself, or just give in. But I didn’t. I sat there and let myself hurt.
And I breathed. Deep breaths. In. And out. In. And out.
Slowly, and I mean very slowly, the hurt started to shrink. The black bottomless pit in my stomach and the shroud of doom I felt was around me started to curl up and become what felt like a small black ball in my chest. (this sounds like woo woo, but it’s just what it felt like)
I breathed. I looked at what was in front of me, my computer screen. I listened, Jazba-e-Junoon by Strings. I breathed.
I am here. And in this moment, this is what’s happening. In this moment, I’m not failing, my life is not ruined, I’m just sitting here with a pen in my hand, and a computer in front of me.
And then I yawned. And it was like that little black ball flew out of me when I did. I stretched. I got up and I drank a glass of water.
I am here. And in this moment, I am okay.
School of Fish: Oh and one more thing, when you come to this trench, swim through it, not over it.
Dory: Trench. Through it, not over. I’ll remember.