My head is my retreat. I escape inside my head all of the time, wasting minutes and hours and days. I say wasted because not all of what is going on in my head is useful, but I retreat there none-the-less. It is my place, my quiet space, although really it is anything but quiet. It feels so comfortable being there that it can be a battle to come out at points. It isn’t that I don’t want to, more that it is hard to let go of the things which occupy me there, and so I have to be teased and pulled and distracted out sometimes. This can be a barrier, but one which our current relationship set up seems to help, as I explained in It’s all in the head – the psychological side of sex.
I would like to say that I had the sort of imaginative mind where there were characters and worlds and story-lines waiting to be written, but that is not the case. There are stories there, but they are the unwritten ones of my life. They are concerned with events and situations and people that I have come into contact with. The plots will vary and will be the product of my explorations into what might happen. It feels a little like a network of pathways where I take a thought and explore its outcome down each route: Back and forth, changing and adapting, playing out the maybes and the what-ifs. This is where I process and plan; this is how I process and plan.
I first became aware of disappearing inside my head when I was a child and someone commented that I was staring at them. I wasn’t of course, I was staring through them, but in an effort to explain, I admitted that if I was somewhere that wasn’t very interesting, I took myself somewhere else. That makes it sound like it is a conscious decision, which it isn’t. It happens regardless of whether or not I want to go there and I have to fight to stop it. Most of the time, I am content with how I am, but the speed and pace can be tiring and, after a difficult day, sometimes the lines I follow are not the ones I want to. I can overthink. I do overthink, and this can be a barrier at times.
I suppose that not all retreats are where we want to be at that point. While it is a safe place and a necessary place, it can also pull me in one direction when I would rather be going in another. There has to be something pretty strong to compete with it too, so much of the time there are flashes of these thoughts trying to grab my attention. Having said that, being inside my head allows me the space to explore in a way which makes me the person I am. It lets me examine things in a way which keeps me calm and allows me to feel in control of myself. It is an outlet for the emotions which would get blocked up and stuck without the understanding to go with them.
My writing is also an outlet. It is a fragment of what has taken place inside my head. Each piece is a tiny speck of what has been explored there and it happens so slowly in comparison. Like electrical connectors, the thoughts tear along and bounce back, as if working their way through a maze in my head. But to articulate the thoughts is slow and laborious in comparison. I seem to work at a slower speed on the outside, requiring actual words and actual pictures to go with the thoughts. Inside it is different. It is lightening. A word can be a paragraph, an idea, a scenario, as the meaning and understanding falls in like a pack of cards, almost instantly.
That is not to say I am in my own head all of the time as that is not the case. When I become absorbed in something, my mind will switch to focus on that, and so my usual processing and playing out is put on hold. This is not a conscious choice, but rather the fact that I am engaged in something else that I am enjoying or interested in. Like I said, I don’t choose (well most of the time at least!). Submission is the one exception. I go there consciously. I feel myself shifting and letting go of the manic mind control to a place which is different. It is another mindset, a submissive space. It gives me a break and lets me have a rest. It is a retreat from my retreat I suppose, or an escape at the very least.
Click the button to see who else is writing about retreats for Wicked Wednesday