Night-Time Apparition

I occasionally have a recurring dream,
Which is more like a nightmare, it would seem;

The dream involves,
A puzzle to solve,
With a sequence of mental steps,
Which must be executed,

If they’re not done right,
I’ll remain stuck alright,
–– My mind in a trap,
With neurons alight;

These β€˜steps’ are intangible,
Yet I know what I’m doing,
–– Only,
I just can’t quite seem,
To be able to navigate it;

It’s fitting that I should dream this dream,
For in my waking consciousness, I see…

It’s nothing but a perfect apparition,
Of haunted OCD.

πŸŒͺ

17 thoughts on “Night-Time Apparition

  1. A grand poem. That’s so interesting, Robin. If you don’t mind my asking, do you have the very bothersome type of OCD where you have to perform rituals before you can go anywhere? If so, that must make life very difficult for you. As I say, my OCD is very mild, but I never get into the car without saying thank you to the Buddha before I leave.

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    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

      I don’t mind you asking at all. I don’t really do much context-specific OCD, it’s even more β€˜portable’ than that…it’s more like anything I do is open to repetition or rumination about how I did it. It completely comes and goes with my mood, feeling of fulfilment or sense of perspective. It’s also quite strongly tied to sensory issues–– getting agitated by sound, sights, smells, heat or itchiness are big triggers to start repeating whatever I’m doing at the time.

      Yeah… I don’t have any specific β€˜tangible’ rituals like your Buddha one. To be fair, that one makes some kind of rational sense! If that makes it any better πŸ™‚ (I know it probably doesn’t).

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    2. And it would go away completely if I had the freedom of running/cycling/being outside, that was how I used to self-treat it before. Completely changes my mental state and takes me outside of myself, whilst I am glowing gloriously from within. Everything flows outwards rather than inwards, that’s how it feels.

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  2. That’s so interesting. I just commented on ‘Unboxable’, which I loved, asking you if maybe you are an HSP (Elaine N. Aaron is the expert for this). Your answer about triggers suggests that you may well be. It is clearly so frustrating for you not to be able to do all the things you used to do. Is swimming a possibility for you or is that also difficult because of arthritis? And thanks for your comment about the Buddha ritual. I don’t worry about it. I have a good friend who likewise always thanks her guardian angel. I think these quirks are actually very widespread.

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    1. Haha, thanks! Not sure if you agreeing about my β€˜unboxableness’ is re-assuring or not..,

      Yes, it has been immensely frustrating at times, to varying degrees. In 2016 I started getting back a lot of the feeling I was missing, through getting into guitar, singing, ukulele and choir. Now I am getting that back mostly through piano. But from the age of 17 to 31 (this time last year), I was swimming regularly, and for most of that time every day, in the mornings. Once I could no longer use my legs to swim, I carried on by using a pull buoy float, which was a real life-saver.

      However at the beginning of last year, through all the trauama and anxious activity in my brain, swimming I lost the benefit of swimming and it started to make me feel worse. Also, I would spend hours getting locked into rituals in the changing rooms, anxious about the coming trauma of not being able to enjoy swimming… jesus.

      And since then I’ve been viewing it very negatively–– the only way to get over the boredom of it was to make it a habit that i didn’t question–– to just begin my days like that because it’s immensely better to do so than not. It’s also very time-consuming, so takes a lot of discipline. I would also have logistical problems at the moment as I’d then be using my car much more, etc… and I’m low on money.

      So, I need to rebuild that relationship with swimming, as well as having the stability to do it regularly. If I start doing it occasionally, I’m going to really resent the days when I can’t, because that mental state will only contrast even more. At least at the moment, I can convince myself that I’m pretty functional! Whilst I know from past experience, the moment I get to enjoy exercising again, I’ll be seeing everything in a completely new light. But shhh…

      Also starting antidepressants and having the opportunity to eat really healthily, plus writing & piano… all of that goes a LONG way to helping me relax, and I consciously practice not letting those things get to me as much :).

      Sorry long answer, extremely complicated question!

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    2. Oh my god, I’ve just started viewing these comments on my computer and realised just how long they are! I’m sorry!

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  3. Oh, Robin. How sad to lose swimming too. Sorry, my Kindle is about to run out of charge, so more tomorrow. To me, unboxable is definitely a good thing. So glad you have so much music in your life. I hope you enjoy your evening. πŸ’–

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    1. Thanks! :). It’s ok, knowing I will get swimming back again. Plus there is wheelchair basketball to get back into… another story!

      Thank you, enjoy your evening/night too :).

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    1. Great, it’s great to relax after doing a lot of useful things :). Community–– haha, that’s a great show! I watched it all with a friend a while ago.

      I can’t remember how I/that day was now, haha. Yesterday was very cold with blue skies and frost though! Most frosty it’s been this winter.

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    1. Thanks! I did actually :), I lived up to my promise to not ruminate and I felt way better. Writing that poem really helped to commit to it :). It reminded me I was doing great at that all the way up to Christmas! And even between Christmas and New Year. I feel the antidepressants I’m taking helping when I don’t stress myself out like that.

      Haha, my favourite were Jeff, Troy and Annie.

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  4. So glad you had a good day. The power of poetry to release feelings is phenomenal. Many of your poems are very powerful.

    Community is well worth a rewatch. We watched it on Netflix first time round and now it is free again on Amazon Prime, if you have that. Each episode is a work of art. We mostly watch comedy. Brooklyn 99, Parks and Recreation, The Office, The Middle and Life in Pieces are among our favourites. Oh, and obviously Big Bang theory and Friends. We find that watching comedy and mostly ignoring the news helps to keep us sane and happy.

    We are also hoping a new series of Star Trek Discovery will come along soon. You said a while ago that you like Science Fiction. Are you a fan of Discovery?

    I agree about Jeff, Troy , Annie and Chang. All great characters, and Britta reminds me of my younger self in some ways.

    Really good to hear that the anti depressants are working for you and I hope you have an enjoyable day, Robin. πŸ˜ƒ

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    1. Thanks a lot! Yes it really is amazing how they can release feelings, much more than non-poetry writing, because they’re a more pure translation of feelings and thoughts, and there’s also the light-hearted satisfaction you get out of nice rhymes, which really softens the edges of a hard subject! I’ve been searching for a definition of poetry actually and that’s as good as i’ve come up with, haha.

      “and mostly ignoring the news helps to keep us sane and happy” –– yes, I find this to be very important too! It’s become a dark form of deliberately-addictive entertainment.

      Yeah I’ve read a lot of science-fiction books. I actually specifically tried to get into Star Trek a while ago after I learned about the Dyson Sphere episode, and I mostly tried watching the Voyager series, but I got bored because the good science-fiction ideas were too sparsely spread out over the ‘soap opera’ stuff. Like most things it just boils down to being primarily a soap!

      Thank you, today’s not been too bad so far :).

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