I awoke this morning, with the above song stuck in my head.
While this is not unusual – I wake up with an earworm most mornings – this occasion was different.
Because this morning, it wasn’t so much that there were song lyrics stuck in my head as it was the image of that red-haired woman bound and struggling in the water set to the relentless loop of these misheard lyrics:
“I can’t fucking breathe much less believe…in you…so tie me to the tracks, there ain’t no going back …to that untruth.”
Now while my conscious mind is well aware of the actual lyrics of that song (here), this morning, my mind substituted other lyrics entirely throughout…and yet the melody remained exactly the same. I find that quite interesting.
And even awake, I cannot get those words out of my head.
Who is Lydia?
Am I Lydia?
Quite possibly in the sense that the woman in the video – Marina Kazankova – can do something quite astounding: she can hold her breath for up to six minutes underwater.
(Thus, this video was shot in one take – a feat as described in this article.)
The reason why this is significant for me is that I was once able to hold my breath for a relatively long period: easily one and a half minutes, a little over two minutes with effort.
While I am not a competitive diver like Marina, I developed my lung capacity and increased breath control over time when I was learning to play the flute, when I was in third grade.
Though I may not have been as musically skilled as others, I could hold a note longer than any of the other flutists I knew, well into high school. This was one of the ways in which I set myself apart from others at that particularly emotionally difficult time in my life.
Related to that skill, I can also hold my breath for a rather long time while underwater.
And it would seem I am doing so again – holding my breath – metaphorically speaking.
Speaking of which, I am back in therapy again.
I hate this change.
I hate the ‘homework’ that my therapist gives me to do.
He’s asked me to chart my progress daily, in writing:
How am I learning to alter my negative self-perceptions and practicing being more mindful of my thoughts and reactions towards negativity?
(I have come to suspect that my new therapist is a zen Buddhist of some sort who subscribes to the theory of non-attachment…among other things. Not that this is in itself, a bad thing, I just find myself trying to navigate this boatload of somewhat familiar spiritual jargon.)
I don’t quite understand it, even though my therapist often insists that I do.
Perhaps he is correct, and yet I do find myself asking him a lot of questions during our sessions.
Though he reacts to a lot of the questions as if I am trying to derail him from the point that he is trying to make.
This is ‘pushback,’ he claims, and ‘pushback’ is my attempt to control the situation, even in therapy.
This is you creating a distraction so you won’t have to do the work, he says.
Do something, for goodness’ sake, he mutters.
Haven’t you run from yourself and your feelings long enough, he asks me.
(And no…my therapist doesn’t know how much he sounds like Loki when he says such things.)
But it’s OK. It’s keeping me accountable for now.
My resentment, my creation of distractions, my lack of understanding of the ‘rules’ regarding ‘ this process of developing non-attachment to emotional outcomes’ – these are simply my way of keeping my distance, of refusing to participate in my own therapy, he says.
You know better, he sighs. Stop pretending that you don’t. Stop making everything so complex.
I’m not trying to be a difficult client.
Stop holding your breath.
You are not drowning.
You know how to swim.