Lately, I’ve been wanting to write about a line. It’s a line I’ve envisioned in my head to keep me from spinning out, from distressing myself with images or thoughts that don’t exist.
I often think there is some pre-determined path I’m on where I have no say.
I think I’m going to be mugged at any moment. I think about car accidents, terminal illness, or that I’m going to lose the people I love prematurely. I think I’m going to be late to work, that my room is never going to look right, or that I’m not organized enough. I think too far into the future, and even further into the past.
This is what I call spinning.
I don’t always realize I’m spinning until the world becomes a blur and I’m too dizzy to walk. It’s hard to pin point exactly how out of control my thought processes can sometimes be because this spinning happens so frequently, it’s part of my day, of who I am.
But I want it to stop.
So I’ve drawn a line. I see it in my head. It’s comfortable.
It’s straight, it’s firm, and it’s steady. It’s my rope, only softer. Or sometimes it’s a warm open road. When I hold onto it, or when I walk across it, I feel safe, like I’m right at the center of my being, like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and the wind isn’t going to blow me away to some unknown place where I am paranoid and afraid.
Anywhere outside of this line, be it two feet to the left or six miles to the right, is where I’m spinning. I’m spinning away from that warm, straight and narrow, off into places known only in my head, places that are typically cold with no light.
I’ve started to recognize this spinning in my life now more than ever before. When I feel like it starts to happen, I hold fast to the line. It’s comfortable, it reminds me of where I am, and keeps me tethered to one place when I’m off on paranoid flights of fancy. My feelings of anxiety or paranoia disappear. My heart slows, and I’m able to carry on drinking coffee, loving life, and blogging about ‘line therapy’.
I'm sure everyone has their own version of this line, some image or vision they think about that calms them and brings them back to center.
The line is mine. Its steadiness is comforting and peaceful, reminding me that yes, awful things are bound to happen, but that they can be dealt with as they happen, and not a moment before. Especially when those awful things have been fabricated entirely by me, and don’t actually exist.
The mind can be tricky like that, but in the same way it tricks you into believing in things that don’t exist, surely it can trick you into believing that these paranoid, awful things will never exist. Wouldn’t that be great?