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Living in harmony

I am learning a lot about harmony these days. How it works, why it sounds the way it does, how to improve upon it and describe thematic variations. I am still a girl adrift on a dark sea in a boat I don't know how to sail, but I'm starting to feel my way around the rigging, and pretty soon I'll develop a knack for reading the stars.

I am learning other things, too. How to live in harmony with my own inner turmoil, fighting back against the riptides that try to drag me out to sea, off the edge of the abyssal shelf. The other night, alone in the house, I was consumed with fear, absolutely convinced that something horrible was creeping down the hallway and about to come around the corner. Believing that Gurgles' face, turned away from me, had changed into something nearly human, with dripping black eyes. It was so real to me that I couldn't even look at the back of his head for a few seconds, in case he turned around and I'd be faced with my nightmares seeping into reality.

I covered my eyes with my hands and turned my head away. My heart began to pound as the fear surged inside of me. It isn't real, it isn't real, it's only a feeling, I told myself. Eventually I was able to remove my hands and give Gurgles a sidelong glance. Indeed, his face was the same adorable kitty face it had always been. No trace of my terrible vision had made an appearance. Of course, this sounds ridiculous to anyone who doesn't have an illness. Obviously my cat's face hadn't suddenly changed species. But I tell you, to someone with slightly altered mental wiring, it is real. The dread is real, the visions are real. They are nightmares come to life, to haunt you with chittering echoes of what you know is waiting just outside of your peripheral vision, stalking you until the opportune moment, when it will destroy you from the inside out in one immense scream of fear.

After the terror began to fade, I felt a deep rush of anger. Why should this happen to me? Why am I plagued with these awful feelings and visions? What did I do to deserve it? Why can't I just be normal and feel like a regular person? Well, I can't. I am wired this way, and there is nothing I can do about it other than just try to live with it. So how do I live with it? I ignore it. For the most part. I hold on to something, anything, until the waves are gone and I can start treading water again. Sometimes it is hard not to let it drag me under. But who is it who's already lived through all this crap and dealt with years of borderline-derived emotional upheaval? ME, that's who. I've been living with this garbage for 32 years, and I haven't yet become a washed up wreck of a person. I'm not homeless or addicted to anything, I have a relationship I cherish and family, friends, the works.

So, fear? You can go to hell. I've been facing you for years, and I am only stronger for the experience. You can't break me. I am going to live, and I'm going to do it for a long time. I know I can't get rid of you. But I can most definitely ignore you. And I can be happy in spite of you.

You have no power over me that I do not give you.
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