Sunday, 13 February 2011

Filling The Void

When I turned six years old my parents gave me a clock radio for my birthday.

Some kids might have thought that a cruddy gift but I was thrilled!

Now the monsters under my bed wouldn't dare come out because they'd think the radio was somebody else talking, somebody else with me.

Take that you nebulous bastards! No more suffocating under the doona for me!

I'm not sure if that's where my preference for having some kind of background noise came from or whether it was just something I picked up along the way.

I do know that whenever things get too much I like to have sound around me, something I can ignore if I feel like it or listen to if I want to.

Especially when there's something that won't stop bouncing around in my head, something that I'm fretting about or waiting for or desperately but unsuccessfully trying not to think about.

And it's useful in those times, it gives me a bit of breathing room, stops me from going into a spiral of 'ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh'.

But when last week I cracked the shits because you can't listen to your mp3 player when doing laps in the pool, I figured I'd let it get away from me.

What was once a coping mechanism had become the norm.

So as a little experiment* I've been turning everything off in the evenings for the last few days.

No TV unless I was specifically watching a show, no surfing or leaving the TV on shows in a 'this will do' daze, nothing left burbling away on the laptop, no radio, no CDs.

And so far I haven't gone wall-climbingly, effigy-buildingly, backwards-writing-on-the-walls-so-the-words-reflect-the-right-way-around-in-the-mirror-when-the-lightning-flashes-ly insane.

Time seems to go a bit slower, I guess because there's less occupying your senses and you can concentrate on whatever you're doing.

I read more in shorter periods of time, household tasks generally don't take as long and unless somebody/something makes creepy or unexplained noises outside my window I get to sleep quite easily and probably sleep more deeply.

I'm unlikely to keep up this regime of quiet time as a permanent arrangement but it's nice to know that it's doable.

That I hadn't slowly wrangled myself into some sort of audio-dependency that I would have to spend months or years weaning myself off.

It's reassuring to know that despite my overactive imagination I haven't somehow brought the monsters of childhood with me in another form.

That I can empty my mind every now and then, even though it doesn't stay empty for long.

That I still make good company for myself when left alone in the quiet.

*On myself. Like a mad scientist.

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