Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sometimes you step outside of yourself

I've alluded to some pretty intense stuff going on at work. The last three weeks have been among the most testing - if not the most testing - I've ever had to deal with. There was the potential for the worst of all possible outcomes, amongst all sorts of other upheavals and uncertainties.

I'm not saying it's over yet, that particular scenario, but it feels like a critical point has been reached, and passed. I had to confront a rapidly-building crisis, and in doing so then I suppose I had to confront me, too.

It's touched a raw nerve in me. No, not touched it - poked it, prodded it, gripped it tight.

It has, I think, made me more aware, slightly more conscious, at least for now. More sober too, far more sober, but not far too sober. It feels like dust has been shaken in some of the darker recesses of my mind, to reveal something.

To reveal, erm, a thing. An I'm-not-sure-what. We'll call it a knot. But it's something, and it's there, this knot, and it needs to be untied. This knot feels as though it isn't just about the raw nerves that have been exposed over the last three weeks - it's about other things besides: recent events have perhaps served as a catalyst.

That knot was there last weekend when I went to visit my mother. It's been there for a long time, I think - and it needs to be untied.

I remember once, when I gave up drinking for a few years, there was a curious sense of unravelling in the first few months. Not in the sense of falling apart, but in the sense of things, feelings, long hidden - perhaps that I'd chosen to hide from - gradually revealing themselves again, sometimes in a subtle way, other times sledgehammer-subtle.

That, however, was when drinking had itself become an issue which needed to be addressed. That's not the case this time, I have no concerns in that respect, I'm in a different place. Yet still there's this knot, and it needs to be untied. Whether I address it in the same way - ie a lengthy period of sobriety - or via other means, I'm not sure. But it's there, and I don't think it'll be going away anytime soon, and I'm not content to leave it alone.


Fire Byrd said...

Sound like you need some therapy if only you knew any good therapists!!

Seriously though we do view our lives subjectively most of the time and using a therapist allows you to start looking objectively and make quicker progress in undoing the knots of life that get tangled.


Reading the Signs said...

It sounds like a very testing time, Trousers. Your description of the unravelling resonates. These times can be so important in terms of inner growth - but one can only really say that kind of thing retrospectively. To carry on living through is the thing - as it seems you are doing. Respect.

Zhoen said...

A knot in need of a sword, or a knot that must be slowly picked apart?

tpe said...

Hello, Trousers. This is all very abstract and mystifying to the outsider (as it probably needs to be).

These past few days, I’ve been clawing my way through all of your posts since January – and all of the comments, as well. The thing which comes through to me – not just in these past three weeks which you allude to here, but in the past six months as a whole – is the sense that you give of being (almost) permanently conflicted. I’m not sure what you’re conflicted about, obviously – and I’m not sure that you know, either – but that’s the feeling I got, anyway.

Maybe this is just another way of labelling the “knot”, I don’t know. If it is, however, then it would suggest that it’s been gathering some force behind the scenes for even longer, perhaps, than you’ve allowed yourself to be aware of? (If that makes sense – hope so.) Sorry, this hardly helps, I know, but I wanted to say it all the same.

Anyway, if you can still force your breath round the sides of this knot, then at least we know it needn’t be terminal.

In other news, I’m very impressed that you stopped drinking for a few years and overcame (what you felt was) a growing problem. And I’m even more impressed that you manage to drink sensibly these days. (By “impressed”, I think there may be an outside chance that I mean “jealous”.)

Keep breathing, Trousers, knots often unravel by themselves. The trick would be not to unravel with it, of course, but you know this.

Kind regards etc....


trousers said...

Oh I certainly think I'd benefit from a dollop of therapy, FB - self-awareness is one thing but an external voice would be a welcome thing.

Signs, I think the whole year has been a testing time really - lots of things going on which push particular buttons for me, and the most recent stuff has been quite acute. I think - hope - I'm learning a lot.

Zhoen, slowly picked apart, definitely. Not too many surprises or upsets if they can be handled gently enough. I enjoyed reading the article by the way, thanks for the link.

TPE yes I don't aim to befuddle, I'm mainly taking care to avoid specifics because of confidentiality - I do hope that, at the very least, there's a sense of what I'm trying to convey.

It would seem, from the responses to this post - yours included, of course - that enough of it is coming across. You may well have put your finger on it. I've mainly (as in, throughout the year so far) been aware of dealing with the predominantly external conflicts that have presented themselves. It has been a year of change and flux in many respects. But the thing, the knot, has certainly been there: just thrown into sharper relief by the past 3 weeks of (external)crisis. It feels good to know it's there, and hopefully it will be rendered still more tangible.

It's an odd time.

But thank you for the very thoughtful and considered comments - that's everyone above, by the way.

Carol said...

Recognising that there is something inside which needs to be dealt with is half the battle. Sometimes the only way to heal is to face the stuff that we're not really comfortable looking sounds to me like you will be happier once you've dealt with whatever it is that unsettling you.

C x

trousers said...

Carol, thank you - I think you're right. I'm still yet to fully face what this is (and I don't mean that to sound grandiose) but the fact that I've realised something is there...well it's a step in the right direction.

Another nod to TPE, regarding the drinking - an issue which could be a post all in itself, were I comfortable enough to write such a thing. I would do so if I could avoid it becoming something so tedious as a confessional, and that's not something I can guarantee.

Needless to say I've framed it rather neatly in the post - what I've said is true enough, but the devil is in the detail. Should I find a way of posting any of the detail without succumbing to the kind of problems I've just mentioned above then I'll do so.

Montag said...

There is no easy way to face something like this. And it seems every one is different.
For me, there was no revealing of things past, but a revealing of things future. The difference between past and future is but a tense in language: "was" versus "will".

Some people suddenly find themselves having to do the hardest thing in the world. They then become heroes, whether known or unknown.

trousers said...

Montag, I think - at least on my own terms - that I know what you mean when you say "there was no revealing of things past, but a revealing of things future."

Fabulously put, with such brevity, by the way. I've many more thoughts about your comment but, for now at least, I'll maintain brevity myself. Thanks though, I think you too have nailed this in your own way.