Rumbling at the bones

Sometimes I can feel it, that rumbling at the bones. Something coming loose. Surfacing.

Then it’s a little scary, isn’t it?

What’s coming loose? What am I about to face?

Almost immediately, the desire to numb myself starts yammering. Distract, tune out. Find something shiny. Drink, smoke, sleep. Find a crisis to solve. Focus outward, find a reason to be angry (an easy task). Anything but this unknown.

Being numb doesn’t stop the rumbling, though. It covers it up. Might slow it down.

There are benefits to being numb. Being numb lets me face whatever it is with less sensitivity. Sensitivity is a gift but it often feels like a curse.

Being numb costs something, too. The price is awareness.

To be aware is to gain clarity. Sometimes I get to see new options. Most of the time I get to see old shit I’ve been ignoring. I still hoard my emotions too long, stockpile them like survival gear, keep everything humming beneath 17 layers of analysis and self-preserving calm. It’s a reflex. I don’t know if I can unlearn it, entirely, but I am learning to put some balancing measures in place.

Balancing measures like this: don’t go numb. Or at least, not just yet. Or not entirely.

Hold off for a moment and sit there with the rumbling. Maybe grit my teeth to keep still.

‘Still’ is a generous description.

I’m fidgeting inwardly even if my body is held taut. The mind is writhing, mind gets scared, mind curls in on itself, mind throws little thought-bombs to keep the rumbling scary thing at bay. Look at this! Look at this! What about this! Think about this!

Another type of balance is this: come at it sideways.

I can ask myself to be brave without demanding more courage than is needed. I have nothing to prove.

There’s nothing wrong with tiptoeing in, poking a corner here, unwrapping a piece there, rocking back on my heels, saying Hmmmm a bunch of times to hold full exposure off another second or two. It’s using my peripheral vision to kind-of-see a thing before I make myself turn and face it.

There’s always a lot to process from within and without.

Sensitivity is a gift but handling it requires skill. Change is what life is, yes, but it still disorients. Learning how to navigate change without terror (or with less terror) is necessary. Not only necessary but kind, a kindness I can give myself.