After a year and half of study I realised it wasn’t for me and I dropped out. I had no idea what I would then do, I just knew I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing. It was graphic design and illustration, something I was once very passionate about, though through study, the passion faded. This seemed to be the recurring theme for the following couple of years, working out the things I didn’t enjoy, rather than those that I did. Leaving jobs after 6 months so I would feel fresh and signing up for classes I would later not attend. I was searching for something, just not sure what. I had my fair share of genuinely crazy moments, I was completely lost and my lifestyle and choices were not helping me. I was 19 at the time. I traveled, I dibbled I then dabbled, in all sorts. Same old story, everyone going through it. Until one morning I had a day where I didn’t want to leave my bed, thankfully I had no commitments that day so that’s exactly what I did. I stayed in bed the whole day, ‘youtubing’ people falling over in order to make myself feel better. It didn’t. Actually maybe slightly. Soon enough I found myself looking at “sensory deprivation tanks”. I remember a good friend of mine talking about the tanks years before. About how this dude named Joe Rogan enjoys indulging in magical treats then floating for hours on end. Opening his minds eye to the universe and fueling his inspiration for life. When I first heard about them in this way, I wrote them off. I had no inclination to try out these pods as I was afraid of being left alone with my thoughts. At this time I was spilling nachos in my bed and realised this was a pretty low point in my life. It was no coincidence I’m researching these tanks, that its time I gave them a go. Some more dabbling, why not?
I booked myself in to the nearest centre and 3 hours later I was floating. Lights on, music going, resting my naked body atop of a shin deep puddle. It was weird and I didn’t know what to do. My default setting, nothing new. Soon the lights went off with the music to follow. I was left in the dark and I could hear my mind slowly coming too. Thoughts rolling on through, voices slowly making conversation. I was bouncing off the walls, losing arguments against myself and fantasising everyday interactions that would never happen, very similar to how I fall asleep at night. Though after 15 minutes I found things turned quite dark, there weren’t too many pleasant thoughts during that session, it was the first time in a long time I had a chance to analyse my own head and after 20 minutes, I wanted out. It was erratic and I didn’t want to deal with it. I knew though, I knew if I got out and went home, the whole ride home I would be kicking myself, only to fuel the negative thoughts, or as I called them at this time “thoughts”. So I stayed. I continued to float, then towards the end I discovered something. I saw not just how negative I could be, but that it was only me allowing these thoughts through. So I stopped it. It was as simple as that. If they popped in, I ignored them. The music soon came back on and the voice told me my session was over. I never fell asleep and never really relaxed, but when I stepped out I was in another place. I remember the feeling of nothing. There was nothing running through my head, it was empty. I had done what felt like 3 days of overthinking, in a one hour session. I wasn’t fussed that I didn’t have a job, that I had no idea what to do with my life, that as of the previous Wednesday my dignity couldn’t be found. For the first time in a while I was alright. None of that was in my head, I was fine. This was the one thing I knew, I was doing this again.
That night I went to sleep at a reasonable time, like a true adult taking care of myself. The next thing I remember was waking up at a respectable time and feeling like I had a full nights sleep. There was no need to press snooze another 7 times, then set it for maybe another 2 minutes probably? It had taken me almost 20 years but I had finally experienced a nights true rest, all to only reassure me that I needed to keep floating.