Accept – to receive (as in a gift);
I’ve always had a good imagination. Underneath the current of my visible life – the life that you would see if you were to watch me in a reality tv show (which would be astoundingly boring, by the way) – there is a universe that’s all my own. The world I imagine. It’s a pretty cool gift, and some of my best ideas have from it.
Accept – to include (as part of a group);
Here I can talk to anyone I want, and because it’s all in my head; they understand me perfectly and are always empathetic and kind. I don’t have to worry about the painful reality that I – or they – might say something to hurt one another, that they might be too distracted by their own lives to have time for me just because I need them, or that they genuinely don’t care.
You might be there, if I know you well enough – but it’s not really you. It’s the you that I imagine; and what I imagine about you probably has mostly to do with me. It’s a pretty ego-centric universe; which might make you think that I always get my way there; but even though it’s my world; it’s not really under my control.
It’s the universe that my mind creates around me, made from my thoughts and dreams – my fears and insecurities. So a lot of the time when I imagine people; I imagine that they don’t like me very much.
Even though I could imagine myself a world in which everything is coming up Carol, what I usually do is replay old events and end up on a downward thought spiral – that I feel absolutely unable to control – in which I hate myself so thoroughly that I wonder that I have any friends at all. So I think of something else and try to imagine something good and next thing I know I’m back in the same shitty downward plunge all over again.
These worlds can seem to overlap until each eclipses the other, and I don’t know where I am. If you imagine something to be true enough times, eventually you forget that you’ve been imagining, and it just becomes true.
Accept – to acknowledge (as in a fact or idea);
That’s usually when I get panicked; reaching out to real people in the real world and trying desperately to connect with reality – and in my terror and desperation I can be … horrible.
People WANT to help me because I’m clearly in distress; but I can’t just “snap out of it” because my imaginary world IS reality for me; and I can’t see where the edges are to separate them anymore.
The more I try to convey what’s going on in my head in a way that anyone can understand, the worse it gets – why can’t I just let it go? why do I have to keep talking about this? Why don’t I just stop thinking this way?
I don’t know.
I try to. I do my best to put my mind into work, into music, into my community and the people around me. I do my best to focus on positive things and try to catch myself when I start brooding. I try to meditate and excercise, to learn new things, listen to new music, watch new movies. I try to find things to be excited about and look forward to.
But it’s always there in the back of my head.
I think I’m doing okay, and then I notice it suddenly – like a shadow seen out of the corner of your eye, it can seem to disappear when you try to look at it, but then it comes back as soon as your attention wanders. I don’t even notice it most of the time, until I do. And then I look back and realize I’ve been doing it the whole time without seeing it. Imagining again.
And my biggest fear is that it always will be. That I’ll never really be “okay”. That I will always have these dark thoughts in me – the first thing to fill my head when I wake up and the last thing that keeps me awake long into the night – and that I’ll have to fight against them every day for the rest of my life.
I’d like to think that in time it will get better, that I’ll get better at it and this will all get easier. It probably will.
But in the dark times … times of grief and loss, times of fear and distress, times of hurt and anger … will it always be this hard?
Accept – to take in;
Nothing in this world is completely one-sided. Technology is amazing because of what it lets us do – your cellphone is more complex than the computers on board the shuttle that took astronauts to the moon. And terrifying because of WHAT IT LETS US DO – google up the Pacific Garbage Gyre.
Focus only on the good and you may not see negative impacts until it’s too late. Focus only on the negative and you’ll never get the benefits something might have to offer.
I never realized – until recently – just how often I live in my fantasy world. Even when I’m out in the real world, talking to real people; I can get lost in the stories I tell myself. It’s something I have to watch for. Maybe always.
But it does have it’s good points – I don’t think I would write as well (hopefully I write well) or as often if I didn’t have this imaginary world stuck up in my head.
And maybe talking/writing about it is a good thing too. Yes, because it lets me get some of this stuff out of my brain, but also because hearing feedback from other people helps me distinguish the lines between what I imagine and what is real.
After all, in the end, isn’t reality just the imaginary story that we all agree to tell one another?
Drawing by xbooshbabyx
*** I’ve decided that from now on whenever I miss one of these, which I did yesterday, I’m going to do a punishment of some kind.
This could be anything from doing a cover of your favourite song, to eating something unpleasant (not unsafe), or even dressing up as a superhero and volunteering at a local shelter/soup kitchen/community event;
So if you have an idea for a punishment, leave a comment (nothing dangerous, illegal, hurtful to others, etc.) and I’ll make a video of that on Sunday and upload it to YouTube. 😛 😀 ***