How I Kept Myself from Imploding
Implosion is the stuff suicides are made of.
It is a process where objects are destroyed by collapsing (or being squeezed in) on themselves.
It is the flipside of explosion – the other by-product of stress. The difference is that while “explosion” is directed outside, “implosion” is directed inside. Regardless of form, both are very destructive if not handled well.
The problem is that you won’t know it coming. For no apparent reason, you just feel listless, and tired. You won’t like doing things you normally like to do, and your brain seems to be in shutdown mode. Thinking is hard and difficult.
You feel useless, incapable of doing anything worthwhile, and you want to lie down. But you cannot sleep.
You want to go somewhere. But you can’t decide where to go. You want to take a drive but you don’t even want to touch the car key.
You pace around your room, edgy as a cornered animal, feeling heavy as if dragging a ton of bricks.
When you sense all these, you are on the verge of imploding.
And there’s only one thing to do – force yourself out of the house and go somewhere – anywhere. Anywhere is better than home.
Take a walk, or drive somewhere. Go to a park and immerse yourself in nature, or see a movie.
But go alone. Having someone who cannot be of help may trigger an explosion.
That’s what I did last Sunday. No, it was not a spur of the moment decision. It was driven by the desire to let go and let loose of the pressure building up around me for so long. I have to prick it, like a balloon, to relieve that pressure before it squeezes me to a pulp.
I went to a seaside resort. The quarter of an hour drive was worth it. It was like taking off the cap of a boiling kettle.
No there was no hiss, but every fiber of my being vibrated harmonious notes of delight, like the strings of a piano under the fluid fingers of a virtuous.
The therapeutic effects of sea breeze:
My earliest childhood memories were of chasing fiddler crabs with my sister just beneath the window of our rented seaside home. How we got to live there was serendipitous.
I was asthmatic as an infant. My parents tried every possible cure. To no avail.
Out of desperation, they moved to a house which was practically on top of the seashore.
My asthma was gone like a wisp of smoke.
Since then I have a sentimental attachment to the sea.
Over the years, urbanization and industrialization wiped out all viable coastline areas in
my town. Now I have to drive some distance each time I need to get in touch with my emotional past. The desire is an irresistible force – like a siren’s song.
The song was as loud and clear last Sunday.
Sea breeze is morphine to the soul:
I devoted a good part of my time snorkeling. I love this sport. It is amazing, though not as spectacular as scuba-diving.
You get the multiple benefits of a good doze of vitamin D from the sun, a leisurely exercise, and you are swimming in Nature’s aquarium.
Seeing the vibrancy of life beneath the surface is very humbling. It makes you feel bad for fussing over little things when there are other creatures, no less important in the hierarchy of life, gleefully nibbling nothing but marine vegetation while flitting in and out of corral formations unexplainable in their variety of shapes, sizes, colors and texture.
Then I watched with interest divers going through their pre-dive routine. They check their masks for fit, their regulators, check if their air hoses are unblocked, and made sure the spare hoses are firmly fixed in place in case of emergencies.
Specifically for new divers, they familiarize themselves with hand signals, how to pop their ears, purge water from their masks, practice using buoyancy vests, and share air hose.
All these may look boring but they can mean life or death when you are several meters below the surface. The sea may seem docile and friendly but it is very unforgiving. So many divers have died for ignoring these.
Oh, I talked to people. One particular and delightful guy is a Swede who claimed to have left Sweden when he was 17 yrs old to join the merchant marine.
His adult years were spent in South American until he found his way to the Philippines more than 40 years ago and never left.
He owns the Kon Tiki, my favorite snorkeling and diving spot in Mactan Island, Cebu. He is kind of an iconoclast. He doesn’t go to Church and professes no religion because, according to him, he has no sin and God is in his heart. Typically Swedish – he would rather make friends than talk to relatives.
Finally I let go and let loose.
Settling on a table with an unobstructed view of the sea, I ordered a soda and a jumbo hotdog and enjoyed the uplifting sea breeze massage my entire being.
I filled my lungs with salty air, uncluttered my mind and emptied my heart from all the negative emotions induced by our fast-paced, competitive and demanding world.
I just sat there, motionless, thinking nothing but of the moment. I shut out the past, and never ventured into the future. I savored each moment unmindful of anything else but of the present.
Footprints on the sand:
I started preparing for home a little after two hours.
I left totally free of the burdens I had when I came. I left as bare of the pressure that made me come, as this child is bare of his clothes.
Like this boy, I left unmindful of what lies ahead. Whatever it is, let it come. I was refreshed, rejuvenated and raring to get into the real world again with renewed vigor.
I left my problems there as he left his footprints on the sand, which, in no time, will be washed away by the coming waves.
So are my problems.
Are you imploding? Go out and find a way of relieving that pressure like I did last Sunday.