Über obsessive thoughts – an airtight chamber

A bit of jet-lagged pontification on the topic of obsessive thoughts.

Obsessive thoughts are an airtight room with a never-ending storm locked in it. You walk in and the door shuts behind you. The wind gust hits you in the chest and you no longer hear anything, smell anything. An all-encompassing noise is surrounding you. Demanding your attention because your life depends on it. You need to keep your eyes on the house roof that has been picked up by the wind and not let it hit you. And the better you follow it with your eyes the more accomplished you feel. And that’s all there is. Just you standing in a corner and following some irrational threat with your eyes until it has you in its hypnotic grip. 

And attention to the only aspect of life that matters is lost – the present moment. Because time doesn’t stand still. But when you are standing in the storm you don’t hear the clock ticking. You don’t hear the footsteps that slowly but surely are moving past and then away from you.

Then you step out or something pulls you out and you feel so incredibly exhausted. A nap is what is needed right now surely after all of that incredibly hard work.  How everyone is not understanding your labours is a mystery to you.

God, I hate it so much. But it is almost a reflex to go to this chamber. The distraction somehow is the only way to bare my own inadequacy. Of course it only my own perceived inadequacy. I am a perfectly fine human being and I can say that but how to accept my own humanity? The one of being flawed and imperfect and getting chubby.

Change is something that happens slowly and pivoting into it calls for enormous amounts of courage and some stupidity. Or it requires to be an American and living in a cruel system where even the most horrible outcome is likely better than the governments plan for you. 

But see when you go to that little chamber change can be your storm. And dreams can fly around in it and you look at them and bask in the light of fantasy. This is what the coaching and motivation workshops sell us. A bit like Merry Poppins for adults she promises we will take that storm out of the basement and fly a kite in it. And it sounds ever so tempting. 

Meditation offers to build a window into your airtight fortress. It offers to build a window at which you get to stand and look at yourself. Yourself in that corner with that dull look on your face. Maybe even a bit of spit is dribbling out of your mouth for dramatic effect. 

The practice journaling suggests you might want to write down what you see and then that might make you a bit turned off with the whole affair.

I disappointingly need to say that based on what I have read and experienced it takes a long time and boring routines until the obsessions loosen their grip on you. Or at least me. There is no cut scene like in movies that fast forwards through the progress. There are joyous moments when I notice I have reacted in my own head to a situation in a somewhat sane way.

And around comes a new threat. Something that reaches my vulnerability and fears. I run back to my panic room. The wind gust hits me in the chest and it is so pleasantly loud. It drones out those primal fears of loneliness and rejection. But the window is still there and I see myself. Eyes blank and mouth agape. Not a pleasant view. Not a pleasant feeling. Not an easy room to leave. 

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