Feeling Lost

Today I feel that familiar feeling of lostness. Like my body is neither here nor there.

Today I feel that familiar feeling of lostness. Like my body is neither here nor there.

That it is a shimmering collection of atoms scattered across multiple planes of existence and that don’t quite know which one they belong on.

Stuck in existence. Like being frozen.

In some ways this has been triggered by a sense of my own inadequacy. I have been excited by an idea, but (on the surface) have no way of executing that idea. And I feel deflated, disappointed, useless and lost.

(This is exactly why I felt bipolar in my early 20’s. I would have these grand, overwhelming exciting ideas. I would float around in the joy of them. Everything around me was brighter, more delightful, while I was absorbed in the fantasy. But the moment the thought crept in that it was impossible to realise or it was just a fantasy, I would crash into the depths of despair and depression. The darkness lasting far longer than the high.)

And so I spiral into a bit of an existential crisis.
What path am I on? Why am I here? Why bother? What is this all for? Is this all there is – pointless dreams?

I had been thinking about creating a class called “writing for healing.” Over a few weeks, I would teach a range of different writing techniques that help someone release the wounds, feelings and pain that hide behind our anxiety, depression and illnesses. It would help close old or open wounds.

But I have no one to teach it to. No list. No audience. No company. No skill in marketing or advertising. No desire to put more crap into the world. None of the accoutrements that make it easy to take turn an idea into opportunity on a dime. And there are only so many times you can round up friends to help you test another idea.

So this familiar feeling of malaise creeps over me. Sliding over my skin like ants.

But malaise is just a feeling. I force myself to remember that feelings pass. Even if it doesn’t seem that way in the moment.

But maybe I can take my own advice and write my way through it.

Maybe I can use words to help me feel this feeling, to make sense of it, to relate it. After all, that is what the class is about. Releasing my feelings, pain, stuckness, onto the page and finding something new. Finding what is behind the weighted blanket that suffocates me.

I have been resisting seeing my therapist again. This happens every year. I spend January pretending I don’t need to talk about my feelings and that everything is fine. Come February I am a bit of a closed off mess. Wallowing in feelings I barely see, let alone understand. “It is all fine. I feel nothing, so everything must indeed be fine.”

I feel nothing, ergo, I must be fine.

I have stopped exercising and am eating too much. My hair pulling is back and I am missing half an eyebrow. Not to mention the insomnia and prolonged illness.

Maybe this is why I need to express my creativity. That if I am not regularly expressing it, like a weekly gym routine, it will emerge in these destructive ways. It needs to be regularly channelled, even if just into bad art or bad writing.

Going deeper, there is something about teaching that triggers me.

Maybe it’s that feeling of having designed a class that teaches lifelong skills and is enjoyable. Maybe it is that feeling of being in control. Maybe it is just the stage on which I feel most competent and confident. And that stuck alone in rural Australia, with little contact with the people outside my immediate family, maybe here my ego is feeling a little isolated.

Maybe it needs some control, confidence, excitement and the opportunity to chase those things.

It’s funny how the ego works. How it manipulates you into doing what it wants because it wants to feel secure. That your feelings secure makes it feel insecure. So it directs your thoughts, feelings and actions. In a zombie like, mind controlled state, the ego keeps you locked into patterns that meet its needs, not yours. Of control, validation and consistency.

All the good things about our humanness sit behind control, validation and consistency. Life can’t be controlled and is rarely consistent.

We might pretend that we can control life and ourselves, gain validation from others and create consistency in our environment. But that is what our ego wants. Because it doesn’t trust the self that sits underneath. The self that knows life can’t be controlled. That all you can do is be present to life as it happens and trust that you can respond to it as needed.

So at the end of this writing session, am I healed? Do I feel better? Has this worked?

It was helped me remember these patterns that I play out again and again, and that this is another one. And that pattern is being played by my ego because it needs something. Because it needs to feel alive and excited. It needs a break from being stuck in bed sick. It wants to feel like there is a point to life.

And yet I know that the point of life is just to be present with what is happening right now. Now right, my brother in law is feeling my nephew breakfast while singing a wiggles song. The radio plays in the background. The gates rattles as my sister returns from feeding the horses. And I sit here typing, crying, drinking tea, feeling like my heart is wrapped in chains. (Although that is an improvement over the weighted blanket through which I felt nothing).

That is life. Being here. Feeling this. Knowing it will pass. Knowing that writing, showing up to the page, helps me do just that.