The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result…

I remember when I was a little girl my mom used to always have a puzzle on the go. It was usually one of those puzzles with a gabillion pieces and would sit in various states of completion, a few pieces finding their way every day. I would try to help sometimes, but the pieces were small and they all looked the same and, in my mind, nothing at all like the picture on the box. My skill for puzzles was always the edges. I could figure that out. I could build the border like a boss. But the middle, the actual picture, that caused me stress and confusion.

As a teenager, I was called a “worry wart”. I used to worry about the worst case scenario constantly. And I would focus on a thought, or a worry, or an action I needed to carry out, and it would engross me. It became all consuming and I would fixate on that thought, turning it over and over and over in my mind. Anxiety has always been a part of my life. I can look back now and recognize that “worry” as anxiousness. I began sleeping with a notebook and a pen by my bed so when the thoughts came and started to hang out and pull up a seat, I could write them down, delay their house visit and actually get some sleep. It only worked half the time.

Recently, I have experienced the same rush of anxiety, “worry” and dominating thought processes. That anxious feeling, reminding me of nausea, spreads up from my gut and heads to my brain to take over the logical side of things. When the spidey senses get triggered, it is really difficult to turn them off or quiet them down and listen to reason. I have correlated these reactions to my gut, my body, telling me something is off. But I’m not sure of the best way to tune in? Often, what my spidey senses are ringing off the hook about, are things that are completely out of my control. They involve other people and their responses to me or lack thereof. I have become so finely tuned to the slight nuances of human reaction, when something or someone is even slightly off, I pick this up. Once I start ruminating on it, I find it extremely difficult to stop the ball rolling.

Logically, I know that other people, their reactions, their thoughts, feelings and actions, are completely out of my control. Logically, I know that I just need “to let shit go” and get on with what makes me happy. Logically, I know that happiness is a great decision and I am the only one who can provide that to me. I have built the border, the edgy pieces are all lined up and the corner pieces in place. The puzzle has an edge, a border, a framework. But the smaller pieces, the ones that fill up the picture on the inside, are still waiting to find where they fit. I pick them up sometimes and try to jam them in, turning them around and around to see if they will fit where I think they should. It’s even more challenging than the puzzles I attempted as a child, as there is no box with the complete picture on it. There is no guide as to how this should all look and fit together at the end.

I have the frame and I have all the pieces needed to build the complete picture, but I still can’t see what it’s supposed to look like. I’m learning to trust my gut, but also to let go. I’m learning to find the pieces that fit for me and not continually try to push them into the same places they didn’t fit before. Slowly, the pieces are coming together to complete the picture. It is in a various state of completion and wonder if it always will be? Accomplishment and happiness come from putting a piece together. And just like my mom, I’m content with a few pieces finding their way everyday. The puzzle will be there tomorrow, my notebook will remain by my bed and I will hone my spidey senses and use them for good and not evil.

7 thoughts on “Gutted

  1. You’re optimistic. That’s a good start.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope you complete your puzzle one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have confidence…some days…others blind faith…and some I think I’m just stumbling around in an attempt to be a good person. Perhaps we all are really… 🙂


  3. You started with the right foot😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this. Up until the last few years I have to admit that I was still working on the borders. I didn’t like the way the picture was framing, so I kept pulling pieces out of other boxes to make them fit around the edges. It didn’t work. Surprise.

    So you’re years ahead of me already, with the border put in place. And once we know the pieces that actually fit the puzzle, and we gather the patience to learn how to complete it, we are on the winning side of life.

    Your statement about the puzzle box, and not knowing the picture ahead of time, reminds of when I used to say to the missus, “it’s like everyone else got a manual for life at orientation, but I was sick that day.”

    I don’t say that anymore. I have a better idea of the picture. Most of the time I feel like I have a manual. Or better yet, I’m writing one. That’s the best feeling in the world.

    Really great stuff, Nicola. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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