gaslight, ingrid bergman, concerned, middle stuff, worrying, anxiety, maddening

The Middle Stuff: Where the madness lies

The Big Stuff: death, disease, divorce, moving house, heartbreak, fertility, bankruptcy… and so on.

The Little Stuff: what to wear, what to eat, how to get somewhere, bit poor, bit fat, bit confused, bit stressed.

But what about the Middle Stuff? The big-little, little-big stuff that piles up, needing to be dealt with. The stuff that doesn’t inspire particular sympathy, concern or interest but is clearly and categorically enough to send you utterly over the edge.

Shall I get a pet? But the pet might die and then I will go mad and the pet might be an arsehole and then it’ll be my fault and can you send a bastard pet back? No, you can’t. But can you? And vets bills and damage to my house and – no one talk about it but – it’s a fifteen year commitment and I really hope that my life is incredibly different in 15 years but where does that leave the poor, possibly dead-or-maimed, possibly arseholic pet?

Shall I do an extension? How would that offset against stamp duty if I just moved to a house where some other poor bugger had done the extension? Oh, the noise. Oh, the dust. Oh, the disruption. Oh, the expense. But the light and space and… but my savings. Is this a rainy day? This is not a rainy day? So what constitutes a rainy day? Oh God.

See? Middle Stuff. Is it possible that the Middle Stuff is truly where madness lies. Middle stuff is the meat and two veg of therapy because in it is reflected all our demons. How much do we trust ourselves? How much do we trust the universe. Do we dare to hope? Do we isolate through terror? Does inaction make us feel ashamed? Let’s open up the floor for the Middle Stuff. The ‘What’s bothering you?’ stuff. The real stuff. Surely we’d feel better and closer and less PANICKED. Now. About that incredibly painful and debilitating and yet not at all life-threatening (but are they sure it’s not life-threatening) bunion operation I’m thinking about having. Can we just talk it through?

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