“have i gone mad?
im afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usualy are.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I know I’m slightly psychotic but strangely enough, I have found more comfort in accepting it than I have in all my years of fighting it.
You see, because I’m crazy, I can get away with doing the craziest things and everyone around me says, “That’s just Xyvah, you know she’s crazy!”
So I woke up one morning feeling rather depressed, having slept off on the sofa, I strolled into my bedroom to confront the utter chaos which reflected my state of mind.
My room looked like a hurricane had hit it the night before. Not surprisingly, I found comfort in knowing that I had a rough idea of what my heart and mind looked like on the inside.
I was hurting, had been for years. So many things had happened in the past that I had held on to, memories I had collected, experiences I wouldn’t… no, couldn’t… let go of. And it was eating me up inside.
I had been through so much, I couldn’t begin to process it all. My heart and mind had no room to House all these experiences and yet, I kept accumulating more and more.
I was done!
“It all ends today!” I told myself…
And subsequently went on to post it as my status (Which made a lot of people think I was about to commit suicide which, to be fair, wasn’t too far from the truth).
So I grit my teeth, girded my loins…
lol basically, I pulled out two big bin bags and literally just started chucking stuff in them. One bag was for rubbish; broken stuff, old papers I had jotted on, pens that didn’t work, and all the other crappy things I kept under the guise of them holding sentimental value.
The other bag was for the things I decided I wanted to give away to charity. I put in shoes and clothes I hadn’t worn in a year. And then when I was done with that, things I hadn’t worn in the last 6 months, three months, then one month, then finally things I had worn and kept but knew I would never wear again. In the end, I put away 4 bin bags of clothes and two bin bags of junk (imagine all the stuff I had crammed up in my head).
I chucked all my stuff till I was down to the barest minimum I needed to survive on a daily basis.
And then I realised… I’m becoming a minimalist.
I felt liberated!
But the feeling didn’t last. I remembered the massive cartons full of stuff I kept under my mothers dining table, the cartons of books and the suitcases of stuff I kept in the store.
My heart sunk. I thought, “why don’t I just leave them there? After all, they’re out of the way and no one can see them. Plus I might need them later.”
I thought about all the books I had kept from college, 7 years ago, which I never read but constantly kept reopening and repacking. The suitcases full of clothes I never wore and things I never used because I had owned them before I moved countries. Stuff I had brought back with me from my apartment when I moved back in with my mum… All these things lay buried, tucked away in the store, and the thought of unearthing them filled me with an inexplicable sense of fear and dread.
But I was determined now! I was on the road to being a true minimalist, living life with what I needed, freeing up space in my life, heart and mind, and only keeping what I saw as necessary to/for my existence on earth.
I was going to do this!
So once again, I rolled up my sleeves, girded my loins, and dived under the dining table first… I emptied two bin bags of things, scraps and stuff I thought I needed to make stuff. Eventually, I reduced everything to 4 small (and I mean minute) storage boxes: one with my paints and brushes, one with my beads and craft, one with my sewing materials and the last with my wool-work.
Then the strangest thing happened… I felt like something in my mind had shifted, like I had just dislodged something buried way down in my thoughts.
I felt tired… Exhausted… I had lost the desire to carry on.
I felt miserable, like there was some hurt and brokenness, some disappointment from unfulfilled dreams that was welling up from inside me. And I began to cry.
I cried for quite a while, and when I was done, I wiped my tears and dragged my tired self into the store where I pulled out 9 cartons full of books and 3 suitcases of things.
I started the long, laborious process of sorting through them all and with every box or carton I sorted, I felt like a layer of me was being stripped off, like I was unveiling secrets I would rather have left buried… By the end of it all, I had emptied the boxes and cartons down to 1 medium sized carton of books and a small suitcase of my “see-you-later” stuff… And now, I was depressed.
Severe major depression is something I suffered from for years. I tried everything in the book… Everything except counselling, and that’s because there are some things in my life that I’ve always wanted to keep buried. Some traumatic events that I’ve decided I’d rather not deal with. Some issues, I decided I would never face. So I built walls. Walls of rubber, of cotton, of paper, of wood, of steel, of titanium. Walls to protect me from myself.
And with the stripping down of all my things, I felt the walls crumbling all around me… And in that instant, I was a 5yr old girl again, scared, hurting, defenceless, suffering in silence.
Everything felt like a giant around me. The smallest of problems felt like a mountain towering above me. I felt trapped, with no hope of an escape.
The worst thing was, while I felt this way, I knew in my head that I was in my 20’s and much stronger than I felt, but I couldn’t seem to overcome this.
Although I was in my 20 odd yrs old body, I was stuck in my 5yr old mind. And there was nothing my 25yr old self could do to save me. And I was watching myself suffer over, and over, and over again.
Long story short, I tried (quite unsuccessfully I might add) to escape by ending my life. You know how in the video games, if you die, you get to start again from the beginning of that level? Yeah, that doesn’t work in real life. If you die, you’re dead. And if you try to die and fail… Well, if you’re lucky enough to be like me, you end up blogging about it.
The point of this post was not to prove that I’m crazy, it was to prove that minimalism has helped me on my journey to sanity by helping me let go of the thoughts clogging my mind and pointing me to the things I’ve kept bottled up which I need to deal with and release.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
1 Timothy 6:6 KJV
When you keep hiding parts of you from yourself, nothing you ever have will be enough to cover you. Yes, you may be scared, bruised and broken, but you need to accept yourself just the way you are.
Learning to appreciate the few things I had and learning to hold on to nothing but to keep only the things necessary for my daily living, I learnt to appreciate myself, the good and the bad, and to let go of anything I had held on to from my past, my experiences, my ideas of who I am and who I should be…
I’d like to say I feel a thousand times better but the truth is, I only got out of hospital yesterday and I’ve got tons of work go catch up on and honestly, I feel rather tired and exhausted. But at the end of it all, my mind and heart feel freer and, for once in so many years, I have hope that my future could be brighter than the darkness of my past.