I’m really not too sure if anyone can relate to this, as it’s an unusual thing I’ve not seen anyone discuss before, and I’m not entirely sure how to explain it.
So picture this; you’re in the midst of writing a blog post, scrolling through reference articles or browsing twitter. You catch the glimpse of an image someone has posted alongside their article link, it’s a photograph of a guy sitting with his therapist, just a simple stock image really, nothing special.
But the guy’s hair is the most perfect shade of chestnut. His jumper is a beautiful gravelly grey, the folds and creases in it are deep and hollow and they just look so aesthetically pleasing.
The shot is well-framed, the colour balance and focus is good, but all in all it’s still just a standard stock image.
But now I want to be that guy. I want to have his jumper, I want to have the same haircut, I want the hair colour, I want the way his fringe falls in front of his eyes.
I want to be sitting in that little beige office with my head in my hand; I want to become him, as he is in that image.
Okay now picture this; you’re lying in bed and you haven’t moved for hours, you’re in the midst of a dark, depressive episode. You haven’t eaten, you got up once to smoke but even that was an empty, mechanical behaviour.
You’ve just exhausted all of the options you thought would fix this, having a coffee, browsing a humour site, searching for support in online forums, but nothing stuck.
You lie in the darkness ruminating on the past and your thoughts turn to one of your darkest moments, an overdose incident. For some reason your mind wanders to what you were wearing, you remember the shoes you boxed up months ago in a bid to declutter your life.
Those shoes. They looked good. You haven’t worn them in so long because they’re stuffed in the bottom of a bag that you never quite managed to take to the charity shop.
But damn those shoes looked so good on you. You start pulling together outfits in your mind, peering through the darkness at the piles of clothes on your floor, trying to discern which dark shape is the t-shirt that would go perfectly with them.
You want to rebuild yourself around these shoes. Your mind is racing with all the places you could go in them RIGHT NOW. All of the people you could become while you wear them. The different outfits that could change your whole identity.
You become consumed by the possibilities that something so small as putting on a pair of old shoes can have.
It’s almost obsessive in a way, researching into chestnut hair dye, ebaying grey jumpers, digging out the shoes to put them on (only to just get back into bed plus shoes), there is something in this primal desire that causes me to believe that once I get that, whatever that is, everything will be okay.
I become fixated on mundane or unachievable things (like somehow assuming the identity of a guy in a photo).
I think that because I struggle to see a concrete identity in myself, I have developed this ability (?) to latch onto imagined identities.
I guess kind of like Lenny in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, latching onto tactile things because he just wants to feel something nice in his hands – I latch onto the identity I think will save me from the pit of non-being because I just want to feel something nice in myself.
Anyway, that was a weird analogy coupled with a few weird metaphors and some dodgy explaining, so props to you if you made it through all that.
If anyone reads this and can relate then I’d love to hear from you as I’m very confused about this whole thing.