Wednesday, 23 May 2012
I am a problem solver. Most people who know me well can attest to this. I see a problem and I become obsessed with finding a solution. It is one of my greatest qualities because it has allowed me to tackle things a lot of people wouldn't be able to face. I work tirelessly, until I find an answer that can bring me peace of mind. I chip away at each possibility: researching, feeling, thinking, asking. Always asking. I intuitively know how to look at something from all angels and the best part is- I can actually put myself in the situation and examine how each solution would make me feel. Only I don't merely imagine how it would make me feel, I take myself there. I actually become completely enveloped in it, as if that path has happened. A lot of people have similar qualities about them, but many who know me would agree that I have a certain intensity and tenacity about my approach that is fairly uncommon.
And that's probably due to the obsessive nature of my trait. This great quality is also my inner demon. Sometimes its best to just stop. Some things don't have solutions that can be imagined in one night. Some things take time. Some things take hope. Some things are simply 100% out of my control. And even yet, some things don't have a good answer. Sometimes the answer will be one of pain regardless of whatever skills I have. And when that is the case, I clench hold even tighter. I wrack my brain over and over, rolling the possibilities amongst each other like powerful waves crashing in my gut, begging for it to end. I find myself lying awake at night with a chest full of pounding, ice-cold steel spreading across the trunk of my body until it finally reaches my limbs and I can't help but let the panic set in. The realization that this situation is not one that my problem solving skills can fix. I am trapped.
I would say this is the number one source of agony in my life. When I was younger, around 15, I started thinking about death. Not in a morbid way. Not in a suicidal way. In a realistic way. I realized it would happen to me. It would happen to everyone I could see around me. It was only a matter of time. Here we were, investing everything into this life, pretending things mattered, when ultimately we all would end up the same- in the ground. It scared me. It more than scared me. It changed me. This was the first unsolvable problem I encountered that took my mind hostage. I raged against nature, against the universe, angry for the lot I had been given. I felt it was cruel to be given such a wonderful life, to be put here in the world and given no explanations. Why do humans exist? Why does anything exist? What is going on here? It felt like a ride with no exit. Stuck on a roller coaster, that eventually drops off into a great, back abyss called death and you have to keep riding. I looked for escapes, but there were none. And I panicked for a long time before I relented. The whole time there never was an exit, and I wasted a good portion of my teen years filled with anxiety over something I was powerless to. I could have relented long before and seen the beauty around me, learning to enjoy the ride rather than be tormented by it.
And I have to say, I've changed very little. Autism threw me into a similar whirlwind. I looked for the exit routes, I searched for the answers and ultimately, the only one I could find I did not like- time. Only time will tell how my little girl will fare. I can only be responsible for as much as I can do to help her in the right direction, but there is no way to tell where this path leads right now. Another answer I did not like was the frightening truth that it wasn't all up to me. I could not bear full responsibility, though I would like to. Much of the outcome would depend on my daughter. Being a guide is all I can be to her, but in the end she is the one who steps where she steps, not me.
Why I try to bear the burden of others' decisions is beyond me. I so desperately want them to make the choices that I think will make life easier and good. But in the mean time I waste a lot of energy worrying, fighting, and filled with anxiety about things beyond me. I can only hold myself accountable for my own actions and feelings, but not those of the people around me. Their feelings, their decisions, their path is ultimately their own.
My fists have been clenched so tightly that I have not allowed any room for faith. It takes a whole lot of faith to get by in this life, whether or not people even realize they are utilizing it. Sometimes you have to open up your heart, release your grip and say "I did my part, the rest is up to you." All I can do is invest in the things I love, in the people I love and have faith the I can handle whatever comes from that. If it is a dark, scary place, then I can say I did my best. But my best is all I can do.
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." -Maya Angelou
I think its time I changed my attitude.