Consider the Black Hole.
Black holes have been utterly captivating to me since a young, wannabe GCSE Physics student. (I soon realised that poor maths skills and even worse skill acquisition held me back to Double Science award - something which still bugs me to this day, in fact.)
Admittedly, not even the greatest scientists in the world right now know a whole lot about them. Thankfully, were it not for the late Stephen Hawking being so willing to dive into their inky depths, these proton-gobbling behemoths would have been even more of a mystery to us at present.
Although not always right on what exactly nailed down the concept of what exactly ‘is’ a black hole, Hawking’s enthusiasm and vigorous research has inspired many physicists to delve into the unknown and make brave hypotheses on what these mysterious cosmic blobs foretell.
Black holes are basically periods of anxiety. Change my mind.
Scientists have discovered that black holes are considered to be ‘space-like’ - imagine being stuck in one place, with only the ability to travel through time at your disposal. I liken this a lot to an anxiety attack, or when intrusive thoughts sneak up on you from out of nowhere.
You are unable to ‘move away’ from the thoughts, and are trapped by your past, present, and future concerns. Whether it’s feelings of unworthiness, low value, or fear for what is to come, our minds create these vivid and often vicious ideas in our mind - and simultaneously, traps us in one spot. We are forced to face these thoughts head on, whether we like it or not, and in turn this can derail our emotions and behaviour down a rollercoaster of irrational decision-making.
Trips to the past are not possible. Not in this universe.
Although the thoughts may seem very real, it should be noted that there is no real ‘evidence’ behind them. When thoughts grip our psyche, way of being and interaction with others, this can set off a whole chain reaction of negative consequences - whether we intended to or not.
In the fervent desire to ‘fix’ the perceived flaw or problem at hand, we actually make things worse by picking away at something that doesn’t even exist!
Even if we tried to travel to the past or future in a black hole, we’d be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces through a process known as spaghettification.
The aftermath of anxiety attacks can leave us feeling pretty ripped to shreds in the same light. By attempting to act upon thoughts as though they were real, we end up actually going through that black hole of fear and worry - and coming out the other side a teary, panicky, terrified mess.
Black holes are powerful, though. Their crazy amount of gravitational force sucks on objects around it indiscriminately, so much so that light cannot even get out!
Pain, fear, worry and anxiety works the same way. Once you get close enough to it, you become sucked in and feel trapped and helpless - unable to get out until the worst occurs.
Find your light, and remember it.
Luckily anxiety doesn’t have the power to last light years, nor take out nearby celestial objects with its presence. However, it certainly feels that way when in the moment of an attack or delirious thought process.
You feel as though you’re having a heart attack, or dying, or disassociating from everything physical around you.
You feel as though you’re ‘floating’, and completely out of control of your own mental processes and even bodily actions.
You feel totally out of control, as though there’s been a hostile takeover in your hippocampus and frontal cortex.
Certain methods of coping can really help whenever this sort of thing takes over. Being aware of the thought itself, and letting it just exist, no matter how painful, can reinforce good habits and allows you the gift to choose to act upon certain things without causing harm to others or your own self. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one such type of action - and something I will touch upon further in my posts.
Above all, forgiving ourself for slipping up and surrounding yourself with loved ones who are patient, kind, and understanding to what is going on inside of your head will help pave the way to positive change and dealing with your mental illness daily.