The prerequisite for writing one of those posts is just starting Lightroom. I started it, and it said: My house is the backstage. Fitting, considering I just moved back to my hometown.
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I’ve come a long way since I took that photo back in 2013. On the first glance the problems are still the same: I still run away. I still escape. I’m still very, very afraid. I still don’t believe people are not gonna just leave me. Back then I was bent on figuring it all out; turns out it just took way, way longer than expected. Back in 2013 I was hurting – and I’m hurting now.
The difference, as usual, is that today I understand what’s going on.
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Back in 2013 I had no idea. I knew I’m hurting – but I couldn’t pinpoint the pain. I felt alone – but helpless to change it. I’d jump from one addiction to another, never quite knowing what I’m running from. I’d devour emotions in a desperate attempt to feel less empty. I didn’t know why back then. The only tangible difference that matters is that now I know. I might not yet be very good at acting on that knowledge – but I’m working on it.
Today’s me understands why everything seems wrong – and has some ideas how to fix it. The remaining obstacle is the old me that’s very good at running away. I need to teach that person that they don’t have to run anymore.
It’s gonna be one hell of a ride.
My state of mind is weird, but adequate.
This part of the story is about trying to express emotions but ending just looking silly. This part is about trying to act careless when you’re shaking inside. This part is a delusion. I keep trying not to express anything even remotely sad – which is a supremely stupid thing to do in autumn.
Part of my identity is being low-key sad. Not depressed, not melancholic – just a little bit slow – just enough to let myself process everything that’s happening. It’s not a state of malaise; just adapting the pace of life to how my head works. The faster I get, the crazier things get around me. As much as I enjoy this craziness – there inevitably comes a time when I need to slow down & clean up the mess.
The first symptom of the mess piling up is me being unable to enjoy the simple things, like a walk in the forest.
Whatever’s gnawing at my head has been doing it long enough that it began to eat into who I am.
No, wait. I take that back. This part is immortal. There’s no evil in this world capable of taming, destroying or twisting that force. What happened, though – is that the evil tried to cut it off. Why bother destroying something existing beyond place and time when you can just veil it, cover it, pile fear on top of it until even the bearer of that force themselves cannot find it?
I can’t sleep. Whatever’s gnawing at my head takes the biggest bites at night. I read psychology handbooks in bed, and it rarely helps. Escaping obviously doesn’t help either; the wicked side of proper, successful therapy is that once you make some changes in your head, you can’t get back. I wish I could spend hours or days blissfully unaware of whatever’s going on around. I can’t. Now that I’m aware of how things could be, now that I’ve unblocked my ability to feel – there’s no escape. You don’t get to lie down once you learned how to run.
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The despair has not changed – but I have. I still feel like I’m Tennessee Williams; I wait for the click – except I’ve found some less drastic way to bring it upon myself. Back then I used to drink myself into oblivion; now I’ve found some very promising ego state triggers that hopefully make me click. Because mind you, it’s a known phenomenon. Ego states. On a good night, I’ll just introspect upon myself and watch the post-traumatic cauldron of thought. On a bad night I am both the cauldron and all within. From the inside, trauma doesn’t feel like an inflicted wound; it feels like the world is on fire.
Reading psychology handbooks in bed surely can’t be that bad.. right?
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Folks, I’m fooling myself. Books no longer bring me the enlightenment they used to. I’ve found people. My stupid autistic ass has found people, human connection, emotions, compassion – and now I can’t go back. That stuff – even though extremely taxing – seems way stronger than any kind of excitement I could get from a good design or a good book. So here I am, with a goddamn choice: stick my head in the tarpit of everyday life’s escapism – or stick my head in the sun. My choice has become the infinite boredom, or the infinite connection. In a way, I learned the whole spectrum of feeling and being, just to be thrown back in the same old choice:
Too excited / too frightened / too exhausted / excruciatingly bored.
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I forgot about this blog. Of all the brain outlets I have – and mind you, I have plenty – this one seems most personal, most “me”, most “I don’t give a damn about what you think about me when you read this”. I forgot I don’t have to be comprehensible here. I don’t have to make sense. I get to juggle emotions, to mistreat words, to tell lies with pictures. Only the die-hards will read this anyway; only the fools and witches will understand.
I like this place. Soon it’s gonna fill up with pictures once again. Didn’t I tell you? I found the click. It’s my camera’s shutter sound. It’s the pop of a developer bottle’s lid. It’s the film reel closing. It clicks – and I’m back. Not whole, not healed, not suddenly free – but at least fully present. At least with this click I get to tap that creative life force I almost thought I lost.
I read up so much about traumatic triggers I didn’t realize there are also healing ones.
(Uraz/Wrocław, February 2017.)
Lądek Zdrój, March 2017.
“trgal sem rože noči
trgal na njivi prekletih
trgal vse dolge noči
strup je bil v žalostnih cvetih
pil sem pijačo strasti
pil sem pijačo strupeno
pil sem jo v uri slasti
dušo prodal sem v zameno”
I used to live on the edge between the real and the poetic.
I still find myself surprised as to how did I manage to go from this – the one man adventure – into fear. I know who did this, yet I don’t know how. The artifacts – photos, mostly – serve as a way to pull myself out of a living hell. They serve as proof that I contain multitudes – and I can reach out to them as I need. That no matter how hard someone tries to cut me off from the very essence of life – I do have some sort of grasp that lets me get it back.
I have been hurt, badly. There’s a whole cautionary tale to be told about abuse – but that’s for another time and place. I’d rather this story be about the good things that happened.
Niebowo means heavenly; it’s both a state of mind and a real place.
The previous post was right. The previous post was wrong. I neglected what I needed most.
The first step is my car, and it’s not that puzzling after all. My car is my dojo, one of many; it’s for getting places and people. Should a djinni appear out of the blue and grant a wish, I’d ask for infinite gasoline. That’s the first step. The second step is my camera…
The third step is you.
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