The brain is a fascinating piece of equipment. Yesterday, on my therapists couch, I called it “crazy.” She called it “smart.” The brain does this thing when you experience something traumatic. Well, I mean, it does a few things for different people. For me, though, it allows me to form a smile as I pull the figurative door shut, put the key in the figurative lock, and back the hell away.
What I’m trying to say is that I retreat and repress. And neither of these things are exactly healthy traits when you want to be a healthy person, both spiritually and mentally. Even physically.
I say physically, because, when I’m repressing, my chest feels like a thousand cats took up real estate on my ribcage. I don’t complain since I’d rather think it’s a cute circumstance than, well, a shitty circumstance.
I did this for a week straight. I let the cats rest and tried to breathe normally. My retreating found a home in a forced smiled and I pecked along.
“Oh, hi!” “How are you?” “Great.” “Good.” “So good!” “Awe.” “Wonderful.”
Until I found myself staring at paper, but not registering words. I quite literally could not fit another thing into my brain. I was in overdrive; 0% Memory Left zone. I felt anxious and overcome, but no emotion followed to match. No tears, no balled fists. Just a tightened chest and a locked door. I felt blank.
Sitting on my therapists couch, we searched for the keys together. The brain, and all its ingenuity, yields to neither the process of retreating nor repressing. It is a ninja in the night.
The brain is a fascinating piece of a equipment. Yesterday, I learned how it protects and rejects, and helps me start again. Next time (ugh), though, no more doors. No more locks. No more ribcage cats. No fighting, no derailing. I will know I cannot fix what I did not break. I will acknowledge the pain for what it is. And I will be free.