Scratch the Record

Scratch the Record

The depths of depression (and other related stuff) were like a record I couldn’t stop playing: You suck, you’re broken, you’re not enough. You are failing.

I tried hard to stop putting on the record. I tried to put it away, hide it, ignore it, pretend it wasn’t there (if I didn’t look directly at it, maybe it would go away). And — it kept coming on and on and on. Trying to get rid of the record, to stop it from spinning on the turntable — it wasn’t working. Rather, it seemed like depression would play more and faster and louder.

Eventually at a place where I was on my knees (probably literally and figuratively), I began to wonder if trying to get rid of the record itself was the way to go. What if I quit trying so hard? What if there is another way? Scratch.

The scratch somehow helped me feel a little bit better. And I wondered: What if instead of trying to get rid of the record, I learned to scratch it up? And even if it tried to start up, it wouldn’t end up playing very well or very long. Because who wants to listen to a scratched up record?

Thus began the slow journey into recovery, one scratch at a time.

You suck. Why can’t you get it together, like everyone else?Wait: Others have struggles too. I’ve heard them share. Scratch.

I feel fat today. I need to lose 20 pounds. Until I do that, nothing else really matters. — Okay, I see that I’m thinking about weight. Maybe I could lose a few pounds, though I’ve tried to willpower it plenty of times to know that way doesn’t work. And maybe I don’t need to. And — I’ve noticed that when I start to think about and focus on weight, it’s an indication that I’m tired, stressed, something. Let’s take a moment. Scratch.

I feel out of control and tender today. Life feels too loud. I’m not sure I’m doing anything right. — Okay. Let’s take a deep breath. Life is messy. How about 10 jumping jacks and/or a quick nap and then see where I’m at? Scratch.

Time to get up and I feel cranky and crabby. — That’s okay. Be there. And let’s move into yoga. This is what I do first thing every day. Scratch.

Scratching the record made a world of difference. Trying to get rid of a record was hard — scratching it up was easier. And then even if/when it did come on (and sometimes still does), it wouldn’t play very long, making it easier not to sucked in as long/far. And as an added bonus with learning to scratch the record? It’s turned out to be a portable skill for other less-than-helpful records in life.

Scratch the record.

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