There is a place in our mind where we store our memories. We keep our experiences here. We store opinions here.
This is where we keep our regrets. We keep our hopes here and our dreams. We also keep our doubts here and our insecurities. We keep our emotions and feelings here too. We log them away like old files and store them for reference in case a similar situation should arise.
I stayed up for a while to watch the snowfall last night. I love it like this. The house is quiet. I can hear the noise of the hot water as it moves through the radiators.
The snow-covered ground illuminates the dull gray sky. And it’s nighttime. Everyone is sleeping. The roads are mainly empty and the world is mostly quiet.
I love it this way because there are absolutely no intrusions. There is nothing but me, the quiet, and my own true self. I don’t have to think or say or do anything. All I have to do is look through the window to watch the snowfall.
The problem with having a habit is it’s a habit.
And that’s it.
The body already knows what to do without needing any input.
The problem with being habit-minded is you’re habit-minded. To be any other way becomes unthinkable. And that’s the problem. The mind simply cannot conceive it living any other way. Whether the habit is smoking; whether the habit is food, drinking, smoking, sex, or whether the habit is working too much, sleeping too much; whether the habit is an addiction to say, emotion, depression, codependency or if the habit is based on self-harm, cutting, or any compulsion, which delivers a moment of gratification but the satisfaction is only fleeting, when it comes to the habitual mind, it becomes unbelievable to consider that life could be lived any other way.
Every so often, I have this recurring dream of a place from I childhood. I see this as a sign of change. I have these dreams when something is about to switch and either a new chapter is about to begin or an old chapter is finally about to end.
The dream I have is of an upstate place in a little town called Ellenville, New York. I went to camp here when I was somewhere about 10 or maybe 11 years-old.
I didn’t want to go here. At least, I never asked to. This was sleepaway camp, which meant I would be someplace with kids I didn’t know that came from from places I never heard of.
It’s not the pain you’re afraid of.
It’s not the tragedies.
It’s not the outcomes either.
All of them are predictable.
After a while, the pain makes sense. Throughout time, you become comfortable in your discomforts because at least these things make sense.
So you breathe . . .
. . . you breathe because breathing
is the one thing
no one can stop you from doing
You breathe because
your breath is your proof
It’s the one thing that says,
“You’re still alive. Now go”
Your breath is your proof
This means you haven’t stopped
This means you have life in you
no matter what is said or done— just breathe
because your breath is the one thing
no one can steal
I received a call on a Monday night from a nurse about my Mother. I was at work at the time. I was on an overtime shift. I was tired in every sense of the word. My mind was tired. My body was tired and so was my soul. I had life things going on. I had responsibilities that needed my attention and list of bills that needed to be paid. Work was busy and life was busy. Everything was busy at the time.
I was at the tail end of a crazy night.
All of the powder was nearly gone and my usual running partner was missing for some reason. This had altered my usual routine. Instead of commiserating with my partner, I found myself home alone with a substantially large amount of cocaine that was either shoved up my nose or cooked and smoked in a glass-tube pipe. This was early summer, 1989.
June if I’m not mistaken.
There are two branches of government here. The first branch is anxiety and the second is Panic. The two interact.
They create a sensory overload and mental chaos. The chest tightens, and it’s hard to breathe.
The heart races like a thousand angry horses, charging fast, and you can’t escape. You can’t get away.
Suddenly, it’s like the whole goddamned world is closing in on you, which becomes more frightening because you are vulnerable; you scream or you cry, and more than anything, you just want to jump out of your own skin. More than anything, you want everything to stop so you can calm down. The only problem is the harder you try to recover, the worse the symptoms become.
The hardest thing was to sit in a classroom and see everyone with their eyes on their paper, pencil swirling around from the tops of their hands as the other students wrote their answers—but me, even the so-called simple problems were far from simple.
Nothing was simple to me. I could never grasp the lessons. I had no understanding of what I was doing. I needed help but I never knew how to ask.
Besides, kids that needed help were seen as “Kids that needed help.” And me, I didn’t want to be that kid. I never wanted to be that kid. I never wanted to be pointed out because I was “Special,” or taken to a different classroom and segregated because I had a learning disability.