Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dreaming of something better

I like to think of myself as a pretty optimistic person who tends to see the positive in just about any situation, but lately I've been feeling the opposite, and I just can't seem to shake it.

Granted, I think almost anyone would feel the same way if they were in my shoes, but it sucks the joy out of things I normally take pleasure in. Not a great place to be, for sure.

Part of me would love to rant and explode, but mostly I'm just tired of even feeling the weight of everything on my mind. When I'm laying down at night and I hear a train rumble past, I like to envision it taking my troubles with it. I inhale deeply and imagine clean, pure air filling my lungs. Then, when I exhale, I try to let go of my anger and picture it leaving in a murky cloud -- one that's swept up in the current of the boxcars racing by.

This is the latest of my mental release exercises. I've invented different ones over the years for different reasons. It's a habit I formed when I was in seventh grade after a counselor walked a room of us through a relaxation program when I was at summer camp. I found it so freeing that I started doing it when I was having trouble sleeping and it just sort of took off from there.

It sounds silly to even put it into words, but it really has helped me cope with a variety of issues throughout my life. The counselor instructed us to envision ourselves as a stick of butter on a hill at dawn. Then, little by little as the sun comes up, the butter melts into the ground. By the end, I feel weightless and free of the skin that binds me. And my troubles don't seem so important anymore.

When I'm feeling empty and broken, I like to envision myself as a hollow vessel on a beach. As the tide comes in, it fills me with warm salt water, swirling into my extremities and pulsing with life.

And sometimes, when I want nothing more than to walk away from all of the complications that come with being alive, I imagine what it would feel like to stand against a wall and become part of it. Letting it envelop me. Becoming an inanimate object that can't feel pain or anger or hurt or betrayal or animosity or any of it.

Well, there's a train whistle now.

I hope it has a few empty cars because I have a lot of emotional garbage today.


Anonymous said...

Kelly, I hate it that your going thru this and I hope things are better soon. With that being said... You dont know how your blog just helped me. I was just going to ask my Doctor for something to help me with this thing I'm going thru and I read your blog and thought I will give this a try first. I really don't want to take a pill or anything. I hate that, but I will try this. it sounds great. Stay strong and thank you so so much.

julie said...

(Hugs) I too am sorry you're going through this. And yet I too am grateful you posted it for I need the same things right now and will try your methods. I've never been good at relaxation, but I'm going to try these and see if they help me.

In the meantime, I offer an ear if you ever need a more private place to let stuff out.

Kristin said...

It sucks that you have to go through this, but it's nice that you have a way to cope with it. I hope you feel better soon =]


~rita @ said...

Kelly, I'm so sorry to read this. I also think of you as unfailingly positive, and everything you've posted recently has been so lovely. I don't know what's sparked this feeling, but you might want to talk to your doctor to find out if you could be suffering from post-partum depression. It's not unusual, and from what I understand, it can just suck the joy out of life.

Whatever happens, though, I hope you know that there's a whole community of us hoping you get your happy back soon - not for selfish reasons, but because so many of us truly care about you.



the plainsman said...

Well, you do have much on your plate right now, all the musts and little of the wishes, if you can think of them at all.

I have found it helpful to envision a time beyond what may be my current situation and focus upon that new place to get me thorough the difficult currents. And it seems to work and lessen the stress about the present, or at least faces me towards paths to move beyond it. I really liked your freight train relaxation technique and will remember it as at least we have a few trains left here, too.

I am confident, though, that you will work a way through things, but sometimes the paths are not as clear as we'd like. Keep speaking of them, as you have many good listeners.

chelsea said...

I'll have to try that. I feel the same way now. I have some of my own cars to empty. I hope things work out for you. We're all here for you, if you need to vent anything out. <3

Ray said...

That was so beautifully written Kelly. And it's a side of you I don't think I've ever seen before. Thank you for sharing this other side of you. And for once again being so open & honest.

I wish I could take in these mental release exercises like you have. But I just can't seem to be so relaxed. I think that's why I can never try Yoga (not that it interests me. But if I did I wouldn't be able to participate in a class if I wanted too). I could never get my body and my mind to become so at peace. I guess it's because I'm such a stressed out person (stressed about nothing because my life isn't even hard. But even so: the feeling doesn't escape me).

I'm glad though that it can at least help you out. Great exercise to get you through things. I hope you were able to release everything bad, while those trains were passing.

Take, care.

sarahhhh said...

i would encourage you to look up something called Guided Imagery. I did a presentation on it during my last yr of college. everyone in class sort of thought i was kinda odd at first, but after a half n hour people were coming up to me afterwards and saying, "yesss i get it now."

i remember doing things like this when i was like 5 yrs old and thinking it was a sort of a daydreaming game.

you're so smart and so beautiful. your mind is stronger than most. good luck to you and yours.