There is a levee holding back a flood of shit in my mind these days. I am overloaded, I feel like it is finals week all over again. There are hundreds of thoughts boiling to the top of the pot, but it won’t ever boil over. It’s like the constipation you get from heroin; it twists your insides and doubles you over as you sit at work. So many ideas flying around in my mind, none of which I can seem to get out. I am distant and my gaze is distracted. I’m finding it hard to focus on reality when I can’t escape from my daydreams.
I’ll drift into fantasy on the freeway or in conversation, only to be startled by a honking horn or an annoyed friend. It is beginning to affect my work and my basic ability to socialize. I feel like there are so many things I need to sort out before I can start functioning again, I just don’t know where to start. They trickle out in little spurts, but never enough to provide sanity. I ended up getting distracted. TV, video games, phone calls, blogs, drugs, porn, beer. By the time I realize it, it’s time for sleep, or more accurately time for bed.
Sleep is elusive.
The sleep I do get is full of vivid dreams, some relevant and others zombie related. I dream far more in times when my mind is cluttered, it seems to be my brain’s way of housecleaning when I’m not there to dirty it up. I tend to believe that my dreams reflect the themes of my everyday life, especially the ones I have trouble realizing...or plain don’t want to.
Someone told me once that if you look at a task as a whole it seems impossible, take writing a research paper for example. You have to come up with an idea, research it (multiple tasks in itself), outline, write and revise in order to produce a paper worth reading. Looking at it as a whole makes it seem daunting. You might feel helpless, like a man standing in front of a mountain with no idea where to start.
So I had a dream the other night that seemed to follow this general plotline.
I am in a Wal-Mart, she is with me. We are exhausted, scared and alone in the store. I know it immediately that this is a zombie dream, I have them frequently. I have varying degrees of control over my dreams, and in my zombie dreams I go for weapons as soon as I realize the dream’s…genre, if you can call it that. We are in sporting goods. No ammo for the guns, no arrows for the bows and nothing else that looks like it could cause a human head to explode. At this point the theme is becoming obvious…helplessness. It’s like the dreams where I can’t seem to remember how to run or where my punches slow as if they were being thrown underwater, dreams of futility. She has a hedge clipper and I practice swing a Louisville Slugger as we hear them coming. I don’t remember much else, just the feeling of frustration when the blows from my bat do not kill the zombies. In fact, they don’t even seem to wound them. It’s all part of the theme of futility.
I wake up in a sweat just as we are overrun in the tire section.
This dream manifests itself in different ways during certain points in my life, it conveys frustration and helplessness. The dream only comes in times when a particularly daunting task lies ahead of me. But I know how to stop the dream.
Let’s get back to this looking at a task as a whole point. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, you’ll simply end up dying while your co patrons wonder why no one in the restaurant knows the Heimlich. Instead you have to look at a problem in segments, take our research paper, for example. Don’t think about the revision process while you’re still coming up with an idea, you’ll simply get yourself worked up. Take things one step at a time and keep your eyes focused on the task at hand, before you know it you’ll be at the finish line. Of course this sounds way easier than it really is, it’s much less difficult to let the shit all flood to the levee and drive you insane.
I’ve been taking that easy road, hoping for a lucky break in the completing of the task I have at hand. It isn’t going to solve itself, but one has to realize that it won’t happen overnight. Taking small steps toward the completion of my task is the only way to prevent the mental constipation that comes from over thinking every little thing. But over thinking is my specialty, I analyze everything to the point of unhealthiness. I must admit though, it feels good when you accomplish little pieces of the task at hand. I started putting my resume together this weekend. One wouldn’t think it would work such wonders for my sanity but it does. It is just one little task in a massive undertaking but it makes me feel better, helps me function and helps me get to sleep at night.
Every little chip off the stone eases the pressure.