On Distractions

I have always prided myself on being a non-procrastinator. I am, at core, the sort of person who does not shy from getting work done, be it for school or Half Mystic or writerly ventures. This—the head down immersion, the project in its entirety, the brain wrapped round one true notion, no static stops or starts—is the stuff that fuels my soul. I am rarely known to deviate.

But ever since my OCD diagnosis, I feel some being clutching such a trait in its meaty fist, squeezing & squeezing & squeezing until the squeezing becomes the ceasing to exist.

It is a being of distraction, I'm realising. There are so very many distractions—marathoning Marvel films; eating peanut butter out of the jar; going for very long walks; rereading childhood books; taking too many selfies with my baby sister.

All of these are beautiful things. Things that I so adore.

Also: not the things that I should be doing.

There is so much struggle in my soul for that word. Should. Should. Should. My therapist has pointed out many times that I feel restless, jittery when I think that I'm being unproductive. That I rarely allow myself clock-ticks of peace to simply be.

Tell me: is there a way of reconciling the part of oneself which is restless, yearning, forward-backward-anxious, unable to ever slow down... & the one with photographer eyes and a whisper-sweet soul, the one that finds contentment only in the soft of the staying?

I have been contemplating such a thought lately.

A conclusion, of sorts—

I may find peace, perhaps, in the intertwinement. Understanding the doing in the not-doing.

Does that make the barest hint of sense? Perhaps not, but don't go—ponder this. I am unravelling into the thought that the way I have learned to cope with such horrible disorders (& how odd that I am only grasping it now, after three rounds of diagnoses) is to detach. Disconnect. And—of course, of course—to distract.

To lose, to shape-shift into the knowing of ephemeral wonders. To ignore what I should be doing instead.

And now, this curious wondrous revelation: that the most important work of all—the healing, the healing, always the healing—happens in the not-doing.

This could be my incessant idealism shining through. (But tell me truly—would you still be trailing along this small blog if not for love of that idealism? I think not.)

As I begin to laugh again—if only at characters in books. As I sing a theme song to a television show in the shower. As I send a text message to a friend, without reading it over thirteen times & deleting eight drafts. As I take iPhone photographs of the sunset on another one of my walks.

This is what they call: beginning to feel okay again.

I am not okay. I am so very far from it.

But I'm finding a kind of retreat in these distractions, a sanctuary that seems a rarity elsewhere. My mind forces me to slow, to forget about end product—that perhaps as I submit to impermanence, I weave drops of happy into the cracks left behind. Find the light where only shadows slunk before.

I am learning to forgive myself for the distractions.

If only in the lingering truth that they may be doing the most important work of all.


p.s. on the pursuit of loveliness & silver-tipped swallow & love letters for more

p.s.s. this is a song I recently discovered & have since been playing on repeat. "everything, everything will be just fine / everything, everything will be all right" — I hope so, I hope so, I hope so.