I haven’t been watching “The Faculty” and that’s a bit of a problem.
“The Faculty” is a movie from 1998, yet another reworking of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. This one takes place in a high school. The adults, as expected, are either oblivious or useless so it’s up to the high-school heroes to save the day once they realize the peril they face.
Despite somewhat appearing as “B” fare, the cast is an impressive who’s who. Clea DuVall, Josh Hartnett, Elijah Woods, Selma Hayek, Famke Jansen, Robert Patrick, and Jon Stewart to name but a few.
It’s been years since I’ve seen it but I remember it fondly as a dark, clever, angsty, and campily over-the-top experience.
A thought showed up the other day. It thinks we should see the movie again.
Not just any kind of thought, not a here and gone thought, not a thought to ignore. An obsessive thought. The kind of thought that makes demands and doesn’t like to let go until you fulfill them.
I don’t like having compulsive thoughts. I don’t like the behaviours the compulsive thoughts generate. I’m working on it. I try, however, to focus on the big issues. Fighting the urge to cut, to mutilate my face, to eat the contents of the refrigerator and throw it back up. These are big deals. I fight. I dig into the toolbox. But fighting takes energy so I let the small battles go.
Like the kitchen organization. Things have to be in a certain way. It’s not after-school special compulsively arranged but there is a definite method to the madness. When things are out of order, they require correction. The other people in the house aren’t as concerned with my systems as I am so I fix things more than I would than if I lived alone but I don’t let it get me down. It’s a small thing, it doesn’t take up too much time, and making that accommodation allows me some ease in my life. As long as I don’t let things escalate, I figure the small indulgences are fine.
I didn’t think the sudden urge and need to see, “The Faculty” would be a problem. It’s not my first obsessive thought about a movie or book. Usually, this kind of thing isn’t a problem.
Unfortunately, “The Faculty” is giving me grief. I haven’t been able to watch it. And I’m struggling with letting it go.
I was shocked at my inability to see the film. You’d think in the age of streaming, Amazon, and eBay, there wouldn’t be a movie unavailable in the developed world.
I started my search with the “On Demand” menu on the television. Nothing. Colour me shocked. I rarely get no results. Even if it means I have to pay $4.99 for a rental, the movie I want is usually there.
Never mind. I can wait for a few days. Amazon will have the answer. It always has the answer. I found a copy of the 1991 film, “The Doctor” last year when thoughts demanded I revisit William Hurt in the role.
Except Amazon came up empty. No blue rays. No DVDs. It’s not that the movie is completely unavailable. I can buy a duplex release that includes the Ben Affleck disaster, “Phantoms” for the European zone for $75.00 USD. That’s more than I’m willing to spend to quiet the brain, especially on a movie I won’t be able to watch.
How then, to let the obsessive thought go? Because it is still here, sitting somewhere in my cerebrum, prodding me with the anxious sense that I’ve left an imperative undone.
Watching late nineties sci-fi-horror films is obviously an imperative.
I tell my brain to grow up. I tell my brain that we are going to have to let it go.
Having compulsive, obsessive thoughts is not in my control. They come, regardless of my wishes.
I can, however, control what comes next. The uncomfortable feeling won’t kill me, though it certainly feels like it. Learning to sit with the discomfort is a misery.
Sometimes, I have a conversation with myself about the thoughts. I’m a logical person and sometimes I can be successfully reasoned with. I started with, “I know we want the move but we’re not spending that much money when we have other ways of dealing.” I don’t have an income that allows me to drop extra hundreds to relieve internal distress.
Once I’m done with the lecture, I’ll move onto meditating. I don’t meditate in the specific and I’m not going to be praying for a release from this particular desire. I will get there on my own. Meditating leaves me calmer overall, however, making it more likely that I’ll be able to successfully deal with having a compulsion thwarted. Unsuccessful dealing is ugly and I prefer to avoid it.
Writing the thought down helps too. This isn’t journaling. I keep reminder notes, an ongoing list of things I tend to obsess about. Part of the obsession is fear. Fear I’ll forget to do the thing that’s vital, important, and imperative to my successful continued existence. Or so it seems.
If I write it down, the fear that I will forget is lessened. Because I know there’s a physical reminder, I’m often able to let the thought drift away from repetitive internal contemplation.
Finally, there’s exercise. Agitated thoughts create an agitated body. It’s why the bulimia helped. The racing and chaotic thoughts were married to racing and chaotic actions as I ripped through food with gleeful abandon, stuffing it in my face with a speed and frenzy that matched my thoughts. Throw it up and the emotions and horror-show inside your head come out too.
The energy that builds up with compulsive thoughts needs to be released.
The trick is to avoid exercise that will make things worse. Now is not the time for a step workout. Calm and easy. I try yoga. The slow moves and deep breathing helps the anxious energy drift away.
Though if someone dropped off a copy of “The Faculty” at my front door, that’d be nice too.