Inner hurricanes, chaos and maelstrom


Have you ever felt overcome by your thoughts? That moment when every single little stray idea is clamoring for importance, shouting its significance to the skies only the skies are trapped inside your mind and all that you hear is chaos, a murmur rising in intensity, a hurricane sweeping everything aside and then you’re drowning, drowning in your thoughts, drowning in your head, drowning in an ocean of thoughts that sweep everything away, the shore so far that you feel that nothing could ever bring you back close to it, help you plant your feet in the sand? That moment when everything is chaos and water, sweeping your very self aside as you struggle to grasp it and there’s little coherence left only panic, fear so visceral it burns into your very being?

It starts with a whisper doesn’t it? A stray thought. A what if. An offhand comment from a relative or maybe an email that stirs something up. And then the whisper grows; decibel by decibel it rises in intensity. And then another comes next to it. Maybe it’s some news you weren’t expecting. Maybe a stray idea that you wish you could pursue further. And then a third. Something stressful. Work or school. It’s no longer a whisper by then; not quite chaos yet either. It’s the murmur of a library room, the silent chatter inside an office during a busy day. It’s harder to manage, but still acceptable, each thought easy to differentiate from the other, distinct threads you can pull at and unravel, chords that on their own create their own harmonies, but make a cacophony together.

But it doesn’t stop there does it? Because you start over-analyzing each single thread. The what ifs gather and gather and gather, grains of salt building up in a hourglass that is slowly running out of time, the moment that makes the transition from whether things are manageable to whether things are no longer not. And by then it’s too late because the murmur turns to something else, a dissonant chaos that you are no longer able to tell apart. A tidal wave that sweeps you away, a hurricane that washes everything in its path, and you are suddenly just a rag doll thrown at the winds of the storm that rages everywhere.

It’s chaos. It’s darkness. It’s a hurricane and a tsunami and a flood and a firestorm. It’s whatever metaphor feels right, whatever natural disaster can better paint the reality going in your mind. Its confusing and overwhelming and relentless and seems to have no beginning and no end, but rather a middle point frozen in destruction, a battleground where bombs still fall, where shots are still fired.

It’s hard to understand. It’s lonely. It’s scary. It’s painful.

And it’s so so hard to explain.

Because when you do you hear words like “you’re exaggerating,” “it can’t be that bad”, “others have it worse,” “why can’t you manage this”, “you just need to stop thinking about it,” “stop letting it get to you.” Or perhaps you hear other variants. Perhaps your words are different. Different phrases, but the same meaning, over and over, an echo of disappointment that adds its voice to the already chaotic maelstrom raging inside, another fear added, another thread woven in a haphazard tapestry that can no longer be unraveled.

And the chaos simply grows.

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