In my Simon and Garfunkel marathon earlier this week, I rediscovered one of my very favorite songs. I’ve always admitted to taking refuge in books and consider them friends, but that definitely has a dark side. Somewhere deep inside that refuge I’ve created an emotional cocoon where I go when I don’t feel safe.
It goes everywhere with me. We all need a safe place inside ourselves, but when it’s easier to go to that place than to reach out to others, something isn’t right. It’s even easier to let this happen when it takes so much energy to get myself out of the house, and everything hurts after I do. I don’t want to be that person, but I’ve let it happen.
We lose so much of ourselves and our lives to disability and chronic illness. Friends might fall away when we cancel plans often enough or don’t have the energy to reciprocate in relationships. It’s easy to feel that “if I never loved, I never would have cried.”
This is where I have to look within to see the depths of my feelings, and they aren’t always pretty.
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me,
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
The truth is that doing this doesn’t help. If I’m not doing what I’m doing for the love of it, I might as well not do it. Hiding in my room does nothing to protect me. The pain is still there. It’s just frozen. I need to learn to use it for my creativity and for the good of somebody else. I can use words to connect with others, not to isolate myself.