I sure as fuck do: Been caught on the sod for years, if not decades – and am just a tad tired of looping the sodding anxiety loop as if I were (manfully mangling my metaphors here)nowt but a deer/rabbit caught in perennially-blinding headlights; as if my whole life were an endless replay of the loop that is ‘Groundhog Day’…
Time to disembark, methinks. Time to understand that silence is a grenade used only by the emotionally warlike. Time to understand that I am stronger than my fear. Time to see that most physical symptoms are a part of the loop, and not independent entities with a separate existence. Time to trim the wick of adrenaline’s mesmeric, and slightly sinister, candle. Time to acknowledge how far from the loop’s hourly control I have already come. Time to see blips as mechanical malfunctions, easily remedied, rather than the start of it all again.
But also, and crucially important, time to be kind to the self who does still get caught in that painful and scary loop on occasions of high stress. Time, in effect, to say, ‘You’re allowed. It’s not a crime…’
What you see in this post is a psychological process, a deliberately-shown shift, a look at the peeling back of the layers we all use to protect ourselves. I have not interfered with this, or tried to regularise it.
Like so many of us, I tend to start big and brash, trying to cover my vulnerable centre with vulgarity or laughter, or defensive comments. Then I get into the groove of whittling disappearance, as I call it: A deep voice, a voice from far away, takes over and moves ever-inward. This sound, often using repetition for effect and building, building emotion like waves, then lifts the sand and shows the small and defenceless creatures cowering underneath.
Suddenly, I land – and it hits me like a solar plexus punch: Those who snap, ‘Can’t you just jump off the loop, for heaven’s sake?’ are themselves caught in an equally intractable loop of inflexible behaviour and intransigent thinking. Theirs is the Loop of Intolerance, of anger triggered every bit as irrationally as my anxiety! But our loops clash and clatter and crunch into one another like damaged rails on a huge roller-coaster and the little carts of potential understanding and fellowship get crushed in the crash.
A loop can represent the most fragile centre of someone’s character. It can be an intensely private shell of protection, a mantra to use against the frightening outside forces.
I am just playing around with the word and some of its associations – but, through this play, comes a sense of mystery and oft-misplaced assumption: We read books, do degrees, follow religions or spiritual groups and become so sure, in our own minds, that the loop we travel upon, no matter how sick it makes us feel, is the right one, the only one, the One sent to us from God. Basically what we are saying, or implying, is that those who do not react to life the way we do (ie travel round OUR loops) are WRONG – insensitive, or cowardly or possessed of some personality disorder or another…
Or that the other person is just bloody stubborn in refusing to acknowledge that OUR special loop – even if it makes us feel like death warmed up – is the only true way of travelling the train-tracks of the emotions! That constant anxiety makes us appear winsomely sensitive. It doesn’t! That perpetual raging fury makes us seem big and brave and bold. It does nothing of the kind! Our default responses to others reveal these loops as clear as clear can be! But, all too often, we are so ensnared in the REACTION caused by our loops that we genuinely cannot see how enveloped in the loop we are ourselves!
Of course, I could just be plain LOOPY (taking another slant on this prompt) and talking through my amply-padded posterior!