pins and needles

Paper-thin convictions
Turning another page
Plotting how to build myself to be
Everything that I am not at all

Sometimes I get tired of pins and needles
Facades are a fire on the skin
And I’m growing fond of broken people
As I see that I am one of them

Oh why must I work so hard?
Just so I can feel like the noble ones?
Obligations to my heart are gone
Superficial lines explain it all


Paresthesia, or pins and needles, is the sensation of prickling, numbness or tingling that one gets when your limb falls asleep. It mostly happens in the hands and feet, when a sustained pressure has been applied on a nerve. It’s interesting to note though, that the pins and needles begins when the pressure is lifted. When blood courses through again.

I walked away from a full day’s shoot, only to enter a night of pins and needles.

‘Was it because of the girl you met?’ Spike asked me, as I we stood in line for a cab.

‘Yes…’ I replied. I couldn’t explain it then. I knew I was exhausted and drained on every level but why, why was I such a bitch to the girl?

‘You weren’t harsh,’ Spike assured me. ‘You were just stern. I could see that you were losing it though but that’s because I know you.’

Unfortunately, a host of other people could see that I was ‘losing it’ too.

‘She needed someone to talk to her that way!’ Kitty exclaimed, trying to encourage me… but I still walked away under my great cloud. I hate the fact that I couldn’t manage myself or my words well. I am supposed to be able to do it all! Aren’t I?

It sucked.

Not the girl. Not the encounter. But my personal expectations. And my apparent ‘failure’ before so many others. Firstly, it was a Sunday (cue bells and hallelujahs) and I’m supposed to be a leader (strike pose of warm encouragement). I had just spent the entire day being a good host to the interviewees we were shooting. Smiles, laughter and godly words were all part of today’s script.

I don’t think I had been pretending to be someone else, as we all find ourselves sometimes needing to do. And yet… I found my person crumbling towards the end. At dinner with the family and Spike, I barely spoke. Silent and quiet, I just couldn’t be happy. I was questioning myself… damn the introspection.

Is living life a great juggling act between the many different identities we have? And when the balls fall to the ground… is it a bad thing to find that we are unable to do the simplest things without our identities? Are the identities we have then mere… facades? Are they crutches?

Or was it because I’d stopped pretending to be someone else and was living life as me, that my inability finally showed through? Did all this hurt like pins and needles because the pressure to be someone else was finally lifted?


‘What was the girl like?’ The Mother asked.

‘She’s emotionally unstable. I think she might be bi-polar,’ I replied.

‘That’s what I thought!’ The Mother said, ‘She was feeling depressed and you identified with her. So you grew depressed.’

‘I don’t get you…’

‘You have such an open heart. You identify with people even when you don’t want to. You sensed her struggles and without realising it, began to see life through her eyes,’ The Mother explained. ‘What you’re feeling is not you.’

It’s not me. This darkness is not mine.

And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never overpowered it.

– John 1:5

The. darkness. is. not. me.

And it will never overpower me.

Rainbows, anyone?


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