A carousel of thoughts – if you wanna think straight, don’t run in circles

A carousel of thoughts? I’m not sure if non-German speakers understand what I mean by this? In German, we use this expression to describe the repetition of the same questions over and over again without coming to a conclusion. Your thoughts go round and round just like if they were in a carousel.  A carousel of thoughts.

I wake up. I know, it’s in the middle of the night. Uff. I shouldn’t open my eyes, because I know it is there. And if I see it, then/

Boom! There it is. Just in my bedroom. It’s beautiful, it’s colorful, and there are cute unicorns that you can ride up and down on. Oh, it’s so tempting to ride on the carousel of thoughts.

“Please get in, we’re about to start a new round!” Calls the announcer from the carousel. “Yippee! Get in please!”. I hesitate. “Come on,” the announcer says enthusiastically, “Yippee, yippee, yippee!”. And the unicorns tinkle their eyes. “Oh, I don’t know,” I say, I don’t want to because I’ve had bad experiences with the carousel of thoughts. I always feel sick afterwards and can’t sleep for the rest of the night. But the announcer reassures me: “Don’t you worry, you can get out after one ride if it’s too wild for you”.

And then I’ll buy a ticket. The price per ride: loss of control. “Well, I will only go once,” I reassure myself, pay and get in.

The cute unicorns slowly begin to turn and move gently up and down, cheerful music echoes from the loudspeakers, and the announcer says enthusiastically: “Yippee, yippee, yippee”. I ignore the dark thunderclouds because it’s not raining yet, so I relax and close my eyes.

“Yippee! we’re about to start a new round in the carousel of thoughts!”

Together with the carousel, also my thoughts start to go round in circles, and I think of my partner and how badly he disappointed me the other day. The upcoming pain immediately is suppressed by hypothetical thoughts. I think of the conversation that we will have with each other and what I could possibly say and what he could possibly answer me and how I would then react.

Wham. At that moment a loud thunder brings me back into reality. The carousel has stopped. “What? Is it already over?” I ask. “Yippee,” says the announcer, “you can go on another ride if you want to.” Again I pay loss of control. Is it just imagination or are the tails and manes of the unicorns on fire? However, there is no time to think any further of it, because “yippee” we start.

My thoughts go in circles, just like the carousel

My thoughts continue where they were stopped earlier. The black thunderclouds penetrate my head and I begin to imagine my partner doing more things that offend, hurt, and disappoint me. And I ask myself: why did he disappoint me so much? Will he do it again? Did he understand that he hurt me? Does he even love me? Before I get any answers to my questions, it thunders again and the carousel stops. Well, I can’t get off like that! It’s like watching a horror film and stop it at the most exciting scene. Hastily I pay even more loss of control. I need knowledge!

While paying, I see that the image of my beautiful, colorful unicorn carousel has changed drastically: Heavy rain that pours on the roof, the unicorns look more like aggressive rhinos than gentle mythical creatures, and the music screeches terribly and wrongly. I’m glad that the deafening thunder covers the crooked tones.

“Yippee! Great! Woohoo, let’s go faster!” screams the announcer, and the rhinos gallop off. I have to hold on to avoid being thrown off. My heart is pounding alarmingly as my mind begins to swirl. And I ask myself: Why? What if he has more secrets from me? Has he learned from past mistakes, develop himself, and grow? Can I ever trust him again? Again and again the thoughts dance like crazy through my head and I pay more and more loss of control, the carousel’s currency, in the hope that the psychological thriller of my fantasies will finally give me clarity and knowledge and lead me to the right decision.

I’m not sure how many hours I spent on the racing rhinos, but I haven’t found answers to my questions. The rain has soaked me, I’m exhausted and helpless. So I hop off the carousel. I try to sleep. But all the turning has made me so dizzy that I am unable to bring order to my chaos of thoughts, and they continue to think uncontrollably. So I lie awake. At five in the morning I can’t stand it any longer and get up. The work will distract me and create structure and order. And I’ll never get into that fucking thing again.

A bit later, I make a break. And I hear a soft ringing and a familiar-sounding “Yippee”. The rhinos have become unicorns again, who blink at me with their gentle-looking eyes. I get weak. Perhaps a ride on the thought carousel will bring more clarity now? And if there is another thunderstorm, I’ll get out immediately!

But of course, again I lose control and ride the rhinos in a tornado of emotions until the mess in my head is so big, that I get dizzy, exhausted and empty. My head is filled with black and white flickering and booming noise. I feel empty despite the excess of thoughts floating around in me. Strange, how can you feel so stuffed that you think you’re going to explode and at the same time so incredibly empty?

And so I go round by round, day after day, night after night. And despite all the pondering, I haven’t come any closer to an answer.

The carousel of thoughts circles round after round. Every round costs loss of control. With each round you feed the rhinos with your own energy. Every round leads you even more into nowhere.

And then I got off and not up again. There is no sense to continue. Clarity, trust and knowledge cannot come from the head, but only from the soul.

It was hard to resist the “Yippee”. It was even harder to resist without finding distraction in the outside world. Because without a “carousel of thoughts” and without distraction from outside, I have felt the pain coming from within. It hurts so much. My partner’s behavior has opened old, deeply buried wounds. It hurts so much. I feel so alone, so abandoned, so empty. It hurts so much. I’m scared that I can’t take the pain.

“Oh, poor girl” some of you might think. “She might have a depression”. Yes, the tears are real. But the smile too.


I know what depression feels like. I was there once. At the beginning, there is this pain. You stop doing things because they seem to be just useless. At some point, the pain transforms into despair and then into this terrible emptiness and senselessness. You just want to die. And back then I was a blink of an eye away from exhaling my life forever.

And today? When I woke up this morning I cried. When I brushed my teeth I cried. When I made my bed I cried. I cried before breakfast and afterwards. I feel so terribly empty, I feel so helpless, I don’t know how to endure it, nor how to continue.

But I have this energy and this desire to live. I do feel the purpose in all this. I feel like myself being in the process of being reborn. And it hurts so much that it almost breaks me. We all know that giving birth is anything but easy. You are pressed through a birth canal that is much too narrow, you have to leave your familiar place and are pushed into the unknown. I’m in the middle of this, in this dark and narrow tunnel, and there is no turning back. I only can go forward. I don’t know what to expect at the end of the tunnel, but I have the confidence to let go. But is my partner brave enough to face his fears to come with me?

Today I took all my courage and strength to accept the little Kiki, the inner child in me, who suffers so much, who feels so helpless and left alone, so empty. I invited her to be with me, to embrace her and nourish her / my soul with love.

Many friends of mine desperately try to fill their inner emptiness with posts and likes on social media. When they feel lonely, they post a new profile picture on Facebook and bing……..bing………..bing…..bing…bing, bing, bing, bing, they receive notification over notification that their virtual friends sent them their hearts, their thumbs up, or a “Wow, lo you great”. If they still feel not loved enough, they change their background picture too, they try to get more virtual friends by sending other people their likes. Like addicts, they spend more and more time in this fake world, which sadly changes their personality. They spend more and more time at home with their phone, posting the things they would like to do instead of doing it. They lose more and more energy, the only body part that is trained daily is their thumb.

It hurts me to lose beloved ones to social media!

We all urgently need to learn to give this love we are looking for by ourselves. Not the partner, not the sport, not the food, but above all not social media can nourish an empty soul. We have to face our pain, our anxieties, not to distract us. We have to love and embrace ourselves. And stop seeking some love and recognition in social media and other distractions.

It was so good to make the beginning, to surrender to this emptiness in me. To face it, to feel it, and to fill it with love just by myself. Yes, the whole process is very painful and will most probably cost me a few more tears. And I have to admit that just one “giving myself some love” doesn’t heal my emptiness. And it would also be a lie if I said that I will never get back on the carousel of thoughts.

But I practice, I grow, I live.


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