Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Power of Touch

With the last year being so ridiculously horrible in regards to work my mental health deteriorated steadily through the year as well. I started this year with extremely high hopes, and great grades to show for it. My company helped me pay for my education and as part of their "help" to get me where I wanted to be my life got turned upside-down more than it would have just through school. I took great risks with my medication, which has lead to more and more serious episodes of mania, depression, and paranoia. The worst of this was the paranoia that has continued, albeit less severe than when I was at work being tormented by ever changing rules.

Which leads me to the subject of this blog post. Many people believe in the power of touch, this is apparent with massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, and countless other therapies that have made a comeback in our medical profession. My preferred reading lately has been dystopian societies or books about sex. The interesting juxtaposition of these types of books really tells two things about touch. Humans crave touch the same way we need water or food. The first book of the Hunger Games shows Katniss reaching out to whoever she can for help, for contact, for comfort. The other side is shown in Jenna Jameson's memoir, where she tries so hard to be accepted that she ends up putting herself in a compromising position as a teen and touch does nothing but hurt.

Having experienced both sides of the spectrum I can say for sure that touch can both heal and hurt. The healing aspect of touch is way more effective than the way that touch can hurt. I spend my nights laying awake in bed, scared that someone is going to break into my apartment. Terrified that my job is going to find something they deem to justify their actions, and that a judge is going to agree. Horrified at the possibility of being murdered in my bed while I'm asleep. This paranoia doesn't subside ever, it's always present at low levels. Until last night. Last night as I fell asleep I was super uncomfortable and at the same time more at peace than I have been nearly all year. My head resting on his shoulder, the most comforting touch came from his hand on my shoulder. He was sleeping, and every time I needed comfort his hand squeezed my shoulder a little.

All it took was that little touch and I slept more soundly than I have in months. I hope 2012 brings more peaceful nights, and a more peaceful mind.

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