There’s a concept in physics (what, who is this chick? bear with me, it’s not that crazy) that by observing something, you change its properties. I could never completely wrap my head around that because it seemed to me that if you measured the length of a piece of string, it’s still the same piece of string as before you measured it. But that’s beside the point. Because when it comes to your own mind, it makes perfect sense. When you constantly have those “less than” thoughts over and over again, they’re just a part of your mental landscape. “I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not sexy enough.” “God, why did I wear that? I look so fat!” “No wonder he didn’t call back, I’m such a bitch. Who could love me?” Black and white, on the screen, looking at those words, observing them changes them though. They don’t feel like the simple, inner workings of your brain anymore. They sound so harsh. Horrible words that no one should ever say to another person, which makes you wonder why you allow yourself to say them of the most important person in your life.
When I pull into myself, make myself into a pool of still water, I don’t write (as evidenced by my lack of posting here). My personal journal lies empty and blank, my thoughts stay in my head, weighing me down, but completely unexamined. Why? Wouldn’t this be exactly the time when I need to think, to examine, to look at what’s really going on? In a therapeutic sense, probably. But the problem with that is the disturbance it would create in the still waters. They would boil up with the turmoil from below, bubbling and frothing, becoming a dangerous whitewater that would warn all to stay away. You can’t fake it and examine at the same time, or at least I can’t. So I choose to fake it. I choose to smooth on the veneer of a calm pond when really, I feel like a rushing, swirling whirlpool. Is it disingenuous? Maybe, probably. But it’s how I’ve survived for more than two decades. Because putting on the mask of peace allows me a few hours a day when I can shush the tempest. Be quiet raging winds of thought, I’ll deal with you later. I will not look at you right now because I don’t have the time to break down. You can make me cry and toss in the night if that’s what you want, but for a little while, let me pretend that all is well, because maybe, just maybe the calm will pervade the surface and actually quiet the tempest for real.