Monday, January 29, 2018

The Sound of Silence



 Cravings are the strangest part of life. They come with such force and intensity. They know exactly what they want.... They make your brain itch, twitch, and salivate until you get that craving into your body. Sometimes we have these cravings because we are missing something from our diet. Other times it's a mind/matter thing... We cave, or we fight off the cravings with something"good enough." It's a human nature thing, not just a pregnancy thing.
 Food cravings are easy to satisfy. As a pregnant woman I appreciate the donut holes that I'm craving even if they don't align with my diet plan. When I first got pregnant with Tater I knew I would have them. I waited for my first craving to come. When it did, the craving was gas station taqitos of all things. Then my cravings evolved into things I was less ashamed to eat. As my pregnancy came to end I figured the cravings would go away. Once again they evolved. When you're a parent you crave new things... Things that can't be bought in a gas station at 3am.  You crave alone time, adult interaction, the option for a scolding hot meal, and my personal favorite; silence.
                                             Related image
 Tonight I am craving total and utter silence. Usually when I have this craving for the absence of noise, quiet will do. Not tonight. I need the void of all sound. It's been a week, to say the least. Between all of us battling the flu, Sasquatch staying home, the coughing, sneezing, barfing, dog howling, and the constant hum of a humidifier I am done with noise. Even the sound of my own nasally breathing was beginning to annoy me. This bone deep craving was one that my mental health couldn't afford to ignore.
 I listened to my soul telling me to cut the noise. I made my bed, and began to turn down the volume. My phone went silent, and my watch off. All the TVs in the house were dark, and the video monitor was muted. I sat on my bed waiting. There was still noise. The gentle whistle of the wind blowing through the narrow strip between our suburban house seeped through the window. The ceiling fan whirled above me, motor softly humming. The light bulb next to somehow managing to buzz. I said "no."
 I closed the window tightly, shut off my ceiling fan, and turned out my lamp. I closed my eyes and listened. There. was. still. noise. Why?
 I listened closely for what exactly was making the last tiny but of sound. Did my dog always breathe so obnoxiously? I kicked him out of my bedroom. Sorry dog, you have to go right now. He looked at me with his sad, brown eyes as I closed the door in his face. My bed called me back. Again, I listened. The candle I had lit was making the slightest flickering noise. Not today, candle. I blew it out with one hasty, slightly annoyed breath and waited. I waited for the next minuscule noise to disturb my craving.
                                           There was only silence.
 I seized my opportunity and closed my eyes. The blanket of silence laid on my shoulders like a warm hug. Pure satisfaction of fulfilling a craving swept me from my feet and carried me in it's gently arms. This was better than any donut hole, or corn dog nugget. Simon and Garfunkel were right; there is a sound of silence, and tonight that was the sound of pure bliss. I stayed stationary for 15 minutes. I focused on the absence of noise. I listened to my breathing, as nasally as it is. I heard the light crinkle my pants made when shifting. I heard nothing more then the sound of my own mind shutting off just for a few minutes. No timers, cries, nose blows, or dog chirps.
 The silence was like my own mental health tech support turning the power off, and then back on again. Instead of them resetting my network connectivity, it reset my patience, spirit, and joy.
  My life is noisy, and pure chaos. It's crammed with busy schedules, silly songs, sticky fingers, and full hearts. My 15 minutes of soul resetting silence was everything I needed. It reminded me of all the things I love in this household, and mess. I love the laughter, the love, and even the damn dog with annoying breathing. I needed my reset.
 I know you've read me mumble on about self care, but dear god it's so important. Even just my 15 minutes of silence, followed by 30 minutes of me writing (so only keys clicking) really fixed my exhausted spirit. I feel like tonight I can actually rest, and not just have my eyes closed for a few hours.
 As I come back to my noise filled reality I will hold on to the sound of silence. Indulge in your mental health cravings, friends. It's worth it.

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