A friend of mine posted this video on his Facebook page. Curious, I clicked play and I watched. And then, I cried. I cannot imagine what this young lady feels inside, the dark places she must visit in her head in moments of despair. But I feel like I relate to her in one way, running. In the video, as she runs her body morphs and she can control her movement. She can speak clearly, focus, and enjoy everything around her without burden. It's amazing!
This woman whom I have never met, yet respect with every ounce of my soul, is the physical representation of what my mind and emotions go through every single day. Just as her body shakes and jumps and flails, my thoughts zip across the synapses of my brain never lending me for a moment even a sliver of peace and quiet. Except when I run.
I tried once to describe the chaos in my head to a friend. "Imagine," I told her, "That 500 middle school boys are in a concrete room. They are armed with as many racquetballs as they could ever want and a racquet in each hand. Some moron has instructed these young lads to hit the racquetballs as hard and fast as they can without stopping. And, just to make it more fun, if they actually hit another person in the room, they get double points. 1-2-3-GO!" What ensues is mass confusion, lots of fun, and complete ridiculousness......
Welcome to my world.
Most of the time, my mental chaos doesn't bother me. It's like an old friend that is slightly annoying but you keep him around anyways just because..... well, who knows why, but you do. There are times when I wish this dear friend would just shut up, just stop, just quit getting on my last nerve. Perhaps I am certifably insane, who knows? But I think insanity is pretty much a requirement for greatness, so I am in a good place, right? Anyways, there are some nights where sleep will not come because this annoying friend of mine just will not lie down and rest, even for a second. No matter how much I cry or beg or plead or promise, he is relentless. He is oblivious. And he does not ever seem to tire.
But I can outrun him.
Within a mile, I am far enough ahead that his screams have faded into silence and I am safe, free from chaos. It is the only time I am in the present, in THIS moment right now, the moment that matters. The only moment that I am guaranteed. I love that feeling. I enjoy the sensation in my body, the screaming of my muscles, the mind-numbing cadence of my footfall, the soft wheeze of my breathing. I am free to notice the world around me in a vivid detail that escapes me at any other time of day.
Sometimes if I am lucky, my dear friend Mental Chaos, is so hurt that I have left him behind that he will not join me again for an hour or two. But, more often than not, he is standing by the truck waiting to climb in and talk my ear off as we drive home. I am more patient now, the moments of calm still resonating in my heart. We can be friends again in these moments, my good buddy directing the middle schoolers in his loud booming voice, "1-2-3-Gooooo!" Chaos ensues.