Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

I have a little bit of a challenge for you this week. This is indeed a free writing exercise. It is a brain dump. But it’s also a stream of consciousness. I’m going to challenge you to go deeper. Before you sit down to write, think about what’s really in your head. Then write about it. For 5 minutes. That one thing. It doesn’t mean your keyboard won’t take you other places but let it flow. Try not to jump from one subject to another. Let your mind go deeper. Or as my husband likes to say, “Open your mind, Quaid.”

Side note: that’s a reference from the move “Total Recall.” We love Arnold movies.

***


I’ve noticed something about myself. I’ve turned my emotions off. I don’t know if it was consciously or subconsciously or even unconsciously. But I’ve noticed it more and more.

I first experienced this when I started taking medication a few years ago. An anti-depressant. I remember a friend telling me that “it just takes the edge off.” It took more than the edge off for me. I remember watching commercials that would normally make me bawl. I remember experiencing feelings of sadness yet felt unable to cry. Emotional numbness.

It wore off. I got better. I changed up my dosage and life went back to normal. But I’m starting to feel that numbness again. This time, it has nothing to do with medication. I recognize it as a defense mechanism. I bottle up my emotions and then wait to let them out in a rage or a flood. Yelling or crying. In the meantime, I stay neutral.

I hate it. Our lives are in transition right and when I say transition I mean that I know what we’re transitioning from. I just don’t know what we’re transitioning to. And it’s the waiting and the unknowing that has me all in knots. I think as a defense mechanism, I’ve shut down a bit.

And one of my favorite songs came into my head the other day. One that I recommended to a friend of mine going through a similar time. “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” by Colin Hay (from Men at Work). But you have to listen to the words.

Any minute now, my ship is coming in.

I keep checking the horizon.

And I’ll stand on the bow

and watch the waves come crashing.

Come crashing down, down down, on me.

I’m waiting for my real life to begin.

My life is here and now. But I’ve always dreamed, hoped, felt and believed in bigger and better things. What things, I don’t know but I’m still waiting for my ship to come in.

***

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Now…

1. Grab the button

(it’s now over in the sidebar)

2. Write your post.

3. Link up here.

(I’m trying out a new linky widget this week. Fingers crossed. Don’t forget to make your URL the link to your actual post.)

  • http://stayathomebabe.com Stay At Home Babe

    Okay, well, I love this post. I love the raw, deep honesty of it. Bravo. I think it laying yourself open like this, in being so honest about it, you are turning something back on. You can’t claim to have shut down anymore if you’re opening up so completely about having shut down. And, p.s. I don’t see your linky thing :).

    • Anonymous

      Well, it wouldn’t be Sunday unless I screwed things up somehow. I *believe* I’ve fixed it :)

      P.S. The sun is shining today so I think it’s going to be a better day.

  • http://lifecraftsandwhatever.blogspot.com/2011/02/sunday-stream-of-consciousness-mommy.html Life Crafts and Whatever

    I’m new here and have my post to participate. But there isn’t a place to post my link. :(

    • Anonymous

      I fixed it! I don’t know what it is about Sundays that turns me into a technical idiot but please come back and put your link!

  • Life Crafts and Whatever

    And I’ve dealt with depression too, years ago. I didn’t like the medication made me feel. Either super highs or super lows. I’m finally in a place in my life where I don’t need meds, which is awesome. I too tend to shut down when it’s a stressful time, and try to shut people out when I’m stressed. Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes in Blogland, it’s all fluffy rainbows and unicorns. Where houses stay clean and kids are well behaved. People don’t write about real things. YOU do. And that’s awesome.

    • Anonymous

      If you’re looking for troublesome kids and non-clean houses, you’ve come to the right place :)

      I’m better at pushing people away then giving them hugs (or asking for them). I’m working on it.

  • http://twitter.com/MadsBloggingMom Mads Mom

    I know this feeling….whether self or drug induced. The waiting, the not feeling and more waiting.
    Someone whose knees I want to kick said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” So I’m off to live a little and see what lands in my lap. I hope you are too.
    And yes, pretty please, fix the linky!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for that. I promise NOT to let life pass me by while I’m in the midst of waiting.

  • Anonymous

    I have a very distinct memory of a time on antidepressants where I wanted to cry, but I physically couldn’t. We are also in a transition. I keep telling my mom that I feel like a hamster in a ball, I’m running and running but I don’t know where I’m going. But I’ll be so happy once I get there, that’s for sure.

    • Anonymous

      Ahhh. But you have to keep running. Once we stop, it all goes downhill. We have to have faith that we’re running up a hill and there’s a magical destination just over the horizon!

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  • Sandi

    It’s true with most antidepressants that they flatten your mood(s). Never any really, really happy highs or really, really lowly lows. I have been there and felt those feelings, too and have watched a loved one go through it, too.
    That bottled up anger/rage/fear/sadness whatever it is only gets worse and deeper if you don’t let it out though. (again talking from experience). :) A therapist once told me that “anger turned inward turns into depression”…I didn’t realize that before he told me.
    Thank you for this deeper post. Like someone else said, I enjoy reading raw posts that go beyond the rainbows and unicorns.

    • Anonymous

      Aha. Anger turned inward. Wise words. It’s been a lifelong problem of mine. And yes, therapy has helped me find ways to express that in anger, you know, in better ways than just yelling ;)

      Remarkably, writing is one of those ways.

    • Anonymous

      Aha. Anger turned inward. Wise words. It’s been a lifelong problem of mine. And yes, therapy has helped me find ways to express that in anger, you know, in better ways than just yelling ;)

      Remarkably, writing is one of those ways.

  • http://twitter.com/snarkymomma Tiffany

    I’m waiting on a ship, too. No clue where it’s going to dock or when its coming, but sometime, somewhere…

    These SOC exercises really help, actually. Makes me skip that stuff off the top of my brain and evaluate it. From there I can choose to act, or not — either way, it quells the anxiety.

    • Anonymous

      I’m so glad. And this is a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy ;)

    • Anonymous

      I’m so glad. And this is a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy ;)

  • http://babyshitandgiggles.blogspot.com Rusti

    I feel unprepared to comment here…. I have very little experience with depression or emotional numbness… I’ve always been the one who is “too emotional” and “overly sensitive” – the family joke is often “oh, don’t tell Rusti – she’ll start crying” so I don’t know what you’re going through, but I do hope that you’re past it soon… that your ship DOES come in… and that there ARE bigger & better things for you when it does… in the mean-time though, I hope that you are able to enjoy the here & now.

    • Anonymous

      I always enjoy what I have. I might be a little too anxious sometimes for what’s next but one thing I do is make sure I never live a life of regret. And I’ll be careful not to make you cry ;)

    • Anonymous

      I always enjoy what I have. I might be a little too anxious sometimes for what’s next but one thing I do is make sure I never live a life of regret. And I’ll be careful not to make you cry ;)

  • http://rediscoveringdomesticity.com redmestic

    I know how you feel. I keep waiting to feel “grown up.” To be able to not pinch pennies so hard – to just ENJOY. For the big break to come along. It’s hard to remember to enjoy all of what comes our way and really embrace life. If we don’t, life will just pass us by.

    • Anonymous

      You said it. It’s like waiting for the right time to get married or have kids. For some things, there never is the right time. You just go for it and make it work.

  • Anonymous

    It’s funny that you posted this. I feel as if my emotions have been turned on overdrive. I need to scale it back some but I honestly think it’s the pregnancy hormones.

    But you are opening up and letting your emotions out through these posts. So they are there somewhere. Keep writing! I know it helps me alot.

    • Anonymous

      There’s always a ton right below the surface with me. I’ve never been known to be an emotionless person. I think I just pick and choose what comes out and when. And for the good of society, it might be for the best ;)

  • http://differentbreed-lifeintheslowlane.blogspot.com/ Ry

    I have felt similar in the past…often when things in my life seemed to change suddenly or turn upside down. I have shied away from meds because they make me numb and it never goes away, no matter what the dosage. I hope just admitting and writing about it will help you work through it.

    p.s. the linky thing-a-ma-jig won’t accept my long link to post, so I just linked my page…bummer

    • Anonymous

      I found your post so no worries. Numbness isn’t a good thing but I think it’s keeping me from going crazy right now with the waiting. At least I hope it is!

  • Carabee

    First off, I totally new the movie reference. I’m a bit of an Arnold fan myself. Add in the sci-fi element, and I am so there.

    But on to the meat of your post. And it was a meaty one. Whew, emotions. I’m a classic bottler. I don’t share anything, I keep it all tucked away in my special little emotional closet and then when it gets so full I can’t put anything else in there, the door flies open and a bunch of shit comes pouring out. Probably not the best way to live, but I just don’t know how else. Anyway, this isn’t about me, it’s about you. Just trying to say, I GET YOU. Great post!

    • Anonymous

      Oh, I knew I loved you! If I ever move up that way, we’ll have to get together once a month and unbottle our emotions in totally crazy and semi-productive ways!

    • Anonymous

      Oh, I knew I loved you! If I ever move up that way, we’ll have to get together once a month and unbottle our emotions in totally crazy and semi-productive ways!

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    I recognize that defensive move. I’ve used it more times than I can count…often unconsciously, but sometimes on purpose. Sometimes I long for the numbness, and sometimes I curse it. Either way, I’m still waiting for my ship to come in.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe it’s a big luxury cruise liner and it’s just taking it’s time because it has to stop at so many ports to pick us all up.

  • http://beforethebabywakes.com Alexandria Campbell

    I know exactly how you feel. My husband & I are going through a transitioning stage right now as well and as exciting as it the fear of the unknown also has me a little squirrelly & its hard not to just want to shut down close my eyes & wake up when its all figured out.

    • Anonymous

      YES. That’s it exactly!! It’s not all bad but it’s the unknown. If you could tell me how it all turns out, then I would gladly enjoy the wait!

  • http://iknowitsthebestforme.blogspot.com/ LEAT

    I just stumbled over your blog and I’m so glad I arrived this week, and read this post and listened to this song. Especially as I wrote before reading and it speaks to me too. I savour the poetry of coincidence and try to look at it from other directions to help me see things a little better. Everyone speaks so highly of your writing – I look forward to hanging around. Hope you can bring a little part of your dreams into your here and now everyday.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the compliment about my writing. I can’t wait to meet “everyone”!! I truly live the good life. Don’t take on single thing for granted (most of the time) but I’m human and impatient and frustrated. But I’ll keep waiting! Hope you stop back.

  • Anonymous

    I’m over from Cara’s at Land of Bean. I just love this whole concept. I keep forgetting to participate, but I do enjoy reading these!

    • Anonymous

      Well, Sheila. DON’T FORGET! We’re here every Sunday and if you’re on Twitter, I start nagging people about it on Saturday!

    • Anonymous

      Well, Sheila. DON’T FORGET! We’re here every Sunday and if you’re on Twitter, I start nagging people about it on Saturday!