Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Seether

As my P5 exam looms ever closer, I find myself lapsing into the type of behaviour that I indulged in just before P4, a year ago.

Bitten nails, wandering around the flat aimlessly, even more time spent on Facebook than normal, watching movies, tidying up without a real reason to and above all...worrying.

Today I was listening to some older music from my collection that I haven't played in a while. Awesome band Veruca Salt released a song back in the 90s called "The Seether." In it the singer Louise describes the rage monster that she becomes when angry. She admitted in interviews that this was something she found unable to control and would say the most terrible things to her family and friends. The song talks about "keeping her on a short leash" and "trying to knock her out" but nothing can stop "The Seether."

Louise said she regarded it as something that overcame her and made her something totally, utterly alien to her normal self. She hated how she became but like a female Hulk, sometimes her moods just could not be controlled.

My Seether is a bit less aggressive, but still a distraction. It takes over my life and makes me fret about meaningless shit. My P5 grading is important to me but failing it is NOT the end of the world. I'll repeat that for myself:


Even typing those words I can feel my Seether getting a bit confused. After all, he/ it sat with me loyally in the run up to P4 and dutifully got me to bite my nails to red ruin, end up taking double my prescribed dosage of beta blockers and get Oxford Dictionary Ltd to phone me up asking if I'd like to be the poster boy for the definition of the word "stress".

Today I also read this excellent and reassuring article by Jon Bullock, head of KMG UK. He gives a lot of good advice about how to approach a grading with the right mindset.

My Seether is a blunt instrument and not the most intelligent of beasts. It takes all that worry and nerves and outsources them to other areas of my life. In the days before a grading I will find myself wondering if I've got enough cat litter in the house. I'll procrastinate over the fact that I have only 2 tins of tuna instead of 3. I'll even worry about whether or not to replace my toothbrush.

My Seether isn't as extreme as Louise's but it's still there. Tonight I was mirroring the P5 techniques via the DVD on my telly, and got to the bit where Eyal Yanilov is talking about breathing techniques to remain calm and focussed. He pointedly says that if you can control your emotions you will learn to "control the fight."

My Seether makes me a shadow of the man I want to be. It makes me dithery, unfocussed, tired and panicky. It takes a wonderful experience like a Krav Maga grading and turns it into a court room appearance for a murder charge.

I will now reabsorb my Seether and change it into something called The Foundation. It will aid me in the run up to my grading in 3 days with a few nerves but more a supportive way of eating healthily, sleeping adequately and keeping myself fit for the day.

The Seether isn't a bastard. It does what it's programmed to do. It can however be retrained so it's not debilitating but an asset. 

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