Should’ve Known Better

Hey y’all! Check my new domain name – fancy huh? thecocorose.blog. That’s right.

This post is all about being a deep thinker. I’m now off of anti depressants for the first time in years (weird) and I’ve been taken aback by the intensity of emotions I have been feeling . At one stage anti depressants were the help that I desperately needed and they made my mind bearable, but now I no longer need that help I’m noticing how emotionally limited I had been whilst on them. It makes me sad to think about all of the times I missed out on the emotional richness of experiences. Now though, whenever I have a minute to myself (especially when I listen to music) the emotional flood gates open and I find myself lost in a maze of deep, scary thoughts that I’d managed to partially numb with pills.

I had a very powerful moment in my musical career (a while ago now) when I got to sing ‘Should’ve Known Better’ by Sufjan Stevens with my LCV choir family at the Union Chapel. It’s a beautiful, intricately crafted song with the subject matter of suicide. It was a very emotional song for me to perform – not because I’ve ever been suicidal or feel that now, but I can relate to that feeling of rock bottom, not knowing where is left to go. And I find that being a deep thinker is often why I end up at this place. If I put on some music that is emotional for me and have nothing else to focus on, I go on a journey with my thoughts. It even got to a point where I was avoiding music purely because of the emotional outpouring  I knew listening to it would result in (and I just couldn’t be arsed for that). I’ve even stopped playing my guitar and piano, and stopped writing music in the past 5 years and convinced myself it’s because I don’t have the time (my pants should be on fire the size of that lie to myself ) Avoid all feeling, I repeat, avoid all feeling.

Put the music on and I build myself ten different careers in my mind. Think about friends, old and new, lost and gained. Think about my family and my loved ones. But the most emotional feeling always comes from thinking about myself. How much I’ve achieved, how much I’ve not, how much I’ve got left to do, how lucky I feel to be able to stare at the moon and wonder what’s up there, how grounding that is, how much I don’t know myself, how much I’ve put myself aside for other people and how much I mourn the years I could’ve spent in the company of who I know is truly me, not the stranger in my mind that the mental illness causes. That is where it normally gets dark.

But does deep thinking have to be a dark thing? Perhaps it’s liberating. Because after thinking of all these things – I’m still here thinking about them. And that means that no matter what my perception on stuff is, it still goes on – I’ll still look back on it in weeks, months, years and it won’t matter quite as much as it did at one point. And how liberating is it to know that so far, all of the ‘worst’ things haven’t been the worst because I’m still staring up at the moon and wondering what’s really up there, I’m still singing ‘should’ve known better’ and remembering that weird music power thing I experienced (which is definitely a thing people – music is real life magic), I’m still getting to know myself and I’ve still got the opportunity to look forward to making up for lost time with myself taken by the intruder of mental disorder. And this means that no matter where my deep thinking takes me, I’m still as free as I ever was no matter what my mind is mulling over.

Being a deep thinker is hard when it’s at its easiest. It’s hard turning against yourself when you find yourself spiralling in your thoughts; to feel so betrayed by your own mind for putting you through this. But instead of hating your brain for not being quiet, maybe let it tick, let it say what it has to say and then let it pass – feel the emotion and be thankful you can. Feel liberated that no matter how hard it’s got for you, it’s actually okay. Just because it passes through you doesn’t mean it will settle in and harm you, it’s just a reassurance that you’re still here, and thank fuck for that.

xxx