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A box of wool

 Over the last year I had a lot of heartbreak, family deaths, I lost my job and lost a baby. It was hard to accept that I was struggling with life, as I wanted to just get on with it like everyone else has to. I was struggling like never before, my mind was all over the place, my family kept telling me to get help, but how can you get help when you don’t feel like you deserve it? You feel like there are other people who need more help then you, so you should just suck it up and carry on. All I kept thinking about over the last four months was how my brain was just like a box of wool.

It’s really annoying and can be quite distressing to have a woolly, whirling mind. I find it very difficult to put into words what is in my mind, especially defining what emotion I’m feeling. To put it into a pictorial view it’s like a box (the sides are the perimeters of my mind) and inside the box are oodles of things muddled up and spinning around. I can perceive a general feeling of what I am trying to think about, but I am behind a transparent layer that prevents me from dipping in and understanding what is going on. I suppose this is a dissociative defence in order to protect me, but it does make life difficult, especially during therapy. Inside my box I imagine a load of strands of wool all twisted and writhing around and the colours are a chaos of vibrant mush. It looks kind of pretty, but in reality is very heavy and contains a huge weight of thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories. In fact, it contains all of me.

Trying to reach in, grab some strands before they twist away and then attempt to untie and dissect them requires a nigh on impossible amount of clear concentration at that exact moment. A mind that is clearly directed and honed in to hearing the box innards works best. Relative calmness is required in order to subdue the dissociative defences into relaxing and allowing me to reach in. In practice, this is extremely difficult, frustrating and draining.

I am like this the vast majority of the time. I am fairly quick witted but diving in and extracting thoughts from the whirling mass and dissecting emotions is hugely difficult. Sometimes I feel as though the whole world is having a jolly old riot of a time inside the box, whether I like it or not. Having no voluntary access means I can’t easily control it or slow it down. It can drive me to distraction.

My mind would appear to work at a surface level – prevented from dipping below the waves into the tides of the whirling wool. For me, feeling woolly headed really does feel like everything is stuck within a distant faction that, annoyingly, refuses to sprout forth and be put into meaningful understanding and words. It would make life a lot easier if I could reach in and grab a few strands. It’s a weird reality to see inside the box but not touch the wool.

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