204. The Ghost of The Mind



When one finds themselves with too much time on their hands, old memories seep into ones consiciousness more and more. I understand these things first hand and I fear others will soon experience these same memories of better times with the  increase in unemployment and the number of foreclosed homes and displaced families.


It is not uncommon for me to reflect back upon my life, the woulda, shoulda, coulda’s of life in the past. Anything can bring back a memory or flashback. My common flashbacks occur in department stores. I can see an item that I might have once owned and the flashback to a memory just occurs. These are very powerful . One recent flashback began with  seeing a golf club swing weight. It not only reminded me of  the hundreds of rounds of golf I had played in my life, it also brought memories  of former friends who I had played with, a former fiance’, my former wealth, and caused an overall sense of depression about my current situation in life. This sorrow of all I have lost is very overwhelming.


I remember a line from a song by Billy Joel called Allentown. One of the last lines of the song says “And I do not feel like getting up today”. There are a lot of days that I do not feel like getting up especially after spending long nights of thinking about the past. The other day an Olive Garden advertisement caused me to reflect on a dinner I once had with someone. There are days when a flashback of a memory from my past life will suddenly knock me to my knees. Sometimes I want these memories to stop, but then again I have a hard time living without the good memories of my past life. It takes a lot to keep one  going mentally and physically after a major life readjustment suchas I have experienced.


Another thing I have experienced is the inability or difficulty in building or maintaining lasting relationships, or even maintaining past relationships. I have experienced feelings of fear of returning to geographic areas that I was formerly known as successful as well as  fear of learning what friends might think of me these days.  Generally I do not want to commit to anything due to fear of further failure.  At times my circumstances cause me to avoid family.  Actually,I think this avoidance is a relief for both my family and myself. These flashbacks of my past life cause me to become distant  when I am with someone .  I have the need to create distance between myself and others .


I used to suffer embarrasment about my circumstances.  Now I just have just mild discomfort  about my current life. I have traveled extensively  throughout the Southwestern and Northwestern United States seeking a place where I feel once again accepted and settled. I was recently offered an entry level position working in my old profession. I actually felt compelled to turn down the position first of all because  I didn’t have good  knowledge of the area to know if I could keep up with the required skills and didn’t  want people asking me too many questions.   Secondly, I was not sure that I could  mentally  perform in my profession any longer. Being inside their offices caused me to feel a form of claustrophobia that made me feel like I wanted to flee. The sad thing is that I probably could have pulled it off though I know that I would have been fighting misery every moment.


I daily  analyze the differences in myself from September 2007 to the current date. I notice large differences in my ability to care for myself, my thoughts and motivation, the level of self confidence I have lost due to my outward projection of self and the current way of interacting with others. Oh, I am not a filthy savage and  maintain my outward appearance, but each week I find it harder and harder  to do things that used to be  rote and I  have to push myself harder to do things that were once second nature and an integral part of life.


At times I feel that I do  need some psychiatric help or counseling. It’s not that I have slipped out of reality rather, I am finding  that my perspectives have drastically changed from the once driven soul that I was .   I am afraid that I am now someone that  is becoming too relaxed in this life of poverty and homelessness. The plans that I once had to overcome this life are becoming distant memories as circumstances keep popping up that keep me from the hope of  moving forward  as well as the past memories that  seem to drag me lower in the reality of all I have lost.


Memories are a hard thing to overcome. Inside every memory are those feelings of good and sad times in ones life. All of the love one gave and  received in return, how life once was happy and brighter than it is today. With loss  there comes sorrow. I once joked with a collegue that “money makes being miserable more bearable” when at that time in life I had too much money and no one to share it with. Later on I had that person that I wanted to share it with just to  lose that person as well.


What also greatly worries me is knowing that there are so many following in the footsteps of myself and others yet  almost nothing can be done for them. I began my trek trying to help others as well as myself and for the last few months have not been able to assist them as I once could. Oh, I hand out a few dollars here and there out of compassion and I also guess that when people see and meet me I can still be perceived as “non-homeless” since I am almost always earmarked as the sucker to get a dollar from.


The other day someone said that I was one of the most intelligent people that they had met in a long time. They of course did not know anything about me other than my outward appearance. I feel like  I am haunted by the ghosts of my memories  and that they sorely need to be sorted out before I can move  forward . I never expected my current travels to have lasted to this point 633 days later . It does not feel like this life  all started yesterday ,but it certainly doesn’t feel like this life has lasted 633 days.




1 Response to “204. The Ghost of The Mind”

  1. June 27, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Thank you for letting your readers know what’s going on inside of you, not an easy thing to share. Hang in there.

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