April 7, 2022

By far... The one thing that finally made my mind heal most

When I started this new blog, I mentioned there would be times I would write with wild abandon and there would be stretches where I didn't write at all. Well, my writer's fingers have been missing the last three months for good reasons. My brain has been truly healing.

You know that feeling when you have a vicious canker sore, and it's just miserable for what seems like years? You can't eat without it bothering you. You can't sleep without it bothering you. You can't even just stand there and do nothing at all. It just bothers you. Well, my recent mental illness has been like that for me.

In the aftermath of that one particularly destructive relationship, which left me floating around mentally like separated blobs in a puddle of toxic goo, my mental state was precariously close to a cliff. Fuck that. It was that person in the movies hanging on by the fingertips. Whether I was the hero or the villain in the story at that point, I'm not actually sure.

My mental health, by the way, wasn't a canker for me then. It was more like a shotgun hole that had been blown through the middle of my head at point blank range.

Can a person heal themselves from a blasted noggin? Can they do a pull-up by the fingertips to pull themselves back up over the cliff edge to safety?

I didn't know. What matters is that after that relationship ended, I had the strength of Superman. Super-fucking-man...

While he is laying ass-up on a bed of kryptonite.

It took about two years from the end of that relationship to feel like the gaping hole in my head had found a way to heal itself. Yes, somehow, through nothing but sheer will power alone, I didn't slip from that cliff edge and I pulled myself mentally back up to safety. Once back over the edge, I finally could let the adrenaline subside. I finally could breathe.

Once safe, though, I wasn't completely healed. Oh, no, my friends. The gaping wound was simply just scarred through. My proverbial shoulders felt yanked from their sockets. My mental health had gone from feeling like the unavoidable end of me, and instead turned into... the canker sore.

But, if you've had a canker sore, you know that there's always this day you wake up and it's almost healed. Overnight it becomes incredibly less painful and barely noticeable. There's this day when you know that the next day, it's going to finally be gone.

That's the stage I was at with my mental health when I started this blog. I was on the day before the canker I called my mental illness was healed. I could feel it. The relief was all but a night's sleep away.

What finally healed it was not sitting around singing kumbaya or dedicating myself to veganism. It was not going to special retreats or finding a special human to make things better. 

No, what healed it was just shutting everything out and doing a shit ton of... Pottery.


Random, I know.

For the last three months I've truly lived it. I've breathed it. I've put 40-60 hours a week into it. I haven't actively sought out dating, or events, or outside things to fill my time and mind.

Instead I just filled buckets full of water. I sat down with blobs of mud at a spinning wheel. And I made shit.

Lots of shit.

Lots and lots and lots of shit.

I made so much shit that that picture is so 20 or 30 pots ago.

And somehow, that meditation...

That constant quiet hum of the wheel...

That connection to earth, air, water, and fire...

That happy song that constantly hummed from my lips as I worked...

That beautiful feeling I had again and again of watching a blob of mud turn into something that might last for thousands of years...

It all healed my mind. Here I am, three months later, and the mental canker is all but gone. I no longer feel the scar tissue from the hole that was there. I have healed from the strain of pulling myself up over that edge.

To be honest, friends... I bet I haven't felt this mentally incredible in more than a decade, and a decade ago I was feeling pretty damn good.

All I had to do to make it happen was sit down and make shit as I hummed a happy tune. Over and over and over again.

So, I ask again. Can a person heal themselves from a hole through the noggin? Can they do a pull-up by the fingertips to pull themselves back up over the cliff edge to safety?

No, they cannot. I don't think so. I think that all they can do is find some way to forget anything, think about almost nothing, and do that over, and over, and over until one day they turn their brain back on, and it just... Works. Right now, my brain just... works and it works really well. God, I've missed that.

Friends, it may be a relationship, it may be something else entirely, but there will be people or moments in each of our lives, where we have those holes blown through us or we feel ourselves hanging over that mental cliff's edge.

We may be ass-up on top of kryptonite, but each one of us absolutely is a Superman. And in case you haven't noticed, Superman somehow always found a way to get out of it and beat the villain anyway.

So do what you've gotta do to save yourself in those darkest moments. Let yourself feel the lingering mental and emotional canker that will always follow, And then, when you feel like you're on the brink of healing...

Find something, anything at all, that will let it finally and truly heal. Shut the world out. Turn the world off. Fixate. Meditate on whatever project is in front of you. Then do it again and again and again. And again. And again. Make shit. Build shit. Create shit. Organize shit. Just find something, and let your brain and body do what they have evolved to do. Let them heal. Because, God does it feel good to get your brain back.

Dan Pearce | Dan Pearce Knows Nothing

By the way, my new pottery profile on Instagram is feeling lonely. Come hang out with me? @donkeymudpottery