My Two Sets of Eyes.
I used to think I have two places from which I see the world: one is my eyes, and the other one is on a plan which is parallel to my eyes’ one, but behind it. When I am looking through my eyes, I feel more vulnerable; when I am looking through my “second set of eyes” I feel more detached, more objective, more hidden and more prepared for any possible danger. It’s like I am actually standing one step behind, so I have a wider view of the scene, I can see dangers approaching in advance. By danger, I’m referring in general to any negative element coming my way, and in particular to panic, anxiety or depression attacks.
If I am one step behind, I won’t be caught by surprise, and I’ll have more chances to fight back and win the battle. One part of myself might receive the attack – my outer walls, maybe – but my omniscient “external” self will be in control of the situation and direct the counterattack, because she was ready, because I was there, waiting. If I’m looking out from my eyes instead, it will be like being in the middle of the battlefield with no cover, instead of behind the barricade. I will be out in the open and might be attacked on any side, without with no protection. I can’t possibly look in all the directions at the same time, so I won’t see it coming.
Lately I’ve started to think that standing one step behind is not what I think it is. I get the feeling that this protected fort is simply my mind. There I think, and overthink, I follow the flow of my thoughts and I am too much inside my head. I am actually in a whole other world, while life in the material world goes on and my body moves as though on autopilot. I temporarily abandon my physical body and take cover in this safe place. I’m not looking at the world from there, though. I’m looking inside of me, I’m staring at the film of my thoughts like a child listens to a story, as though hypnotized. Sure, if panic, anxiety or depression arrive, that’s probably where they will enter. From the back door. And I will be there, ready, guarding it. I’m a gatekeeper, who entertains herself watching a small TV in her dark booth, until somebody rings the bell or tries to break in.
Sometimes my hand suddenly catches my attention and it’s as though I become aware that I have a body. Then I feel a light rush of panic, because I have been abruptly catapulted in a different time and place. Suddenly I’m there, with that body, and it doesn’t immediately make sense to me. I have been thrown back into the material world I had escaped by taking refuge inside my head, inside my booth. I feel vulnerable, and I feel the impulse of running away. Away from the physical world, away from that body, so fragile, so real.
And yet what is reality? Is it the one inside my mind, or the one around my body? If the mind is a place where I take refuge, and the body is a place I’m unwillingly thrown into, what am I? Am I not mind and body themselves?
Once the illusion is gone, I’m lost. I was so focused watching that movie, and yet now I can’t remember what it was about, like a dream I was suddenly awaken from. Suddenly, I’m not so busy anymore. Suddenly, I’m doing nothing.