Hello Hello! May mumble-ramble-updates! I know it’s June now but you know I’m always playing catch up with myself. The last two weeks seem like months ago! I had to work really hard to keep myself above the surface as I was a bit unwell. I find routine-change transitions really difficult, because I fully immerse myself into a thing and that thing becomes my world – so when the thing is no more, it’s really confusing to start again because nothing makes sense and it’s like a giant hand from the sky has grabbed the safety-frameworks and I am just these floating scaredy pieces of un-latchable air, shattered magnets robbed of their magnet-magic.
The last post on here was a list of things I made myself do. The day after I wrote that, I decided to write another list of things I was going to make myself do. Here is that list:
Things I will make myself do
Make myself move one suitcase full of stuff back home. because you need to accept that the thing ended and it’ll be easier to move the rest next week. (I did that! It was emotional but I’m glad I started that process)
Make myself sleep on the coach because you need to sleep. (I tried… I wanted to… I was SO TIRED… it didn’t happen)
Make myself read something I’ve been wanting to read. I’ve been struggling with reading recently but I really want to train myself to be better at it again, especially with my assignments I need to finish – so I want to find things by people who make sense, to encourage me. I’d love to spend the summer reading. I used to read a lot when I was a child but then it suddenly became difficult when I was a teenager and had never quite been the same. If it is too difficult today, I’ll make myself watch something or listen to something relevant instead. (I tried… reading was too difficult… and so was watching and listening…)
Make myself buy food and drink for tomorrow – write a list and plan it because ‘I got freaked out in the shop’ is not an excuse! (Tomorrow I’m on a 16 hour work shift so I need to bring enough food that makes it socially look like I am eating properly, unlike last time where I turned up with a packed of Pom bears, some rice cakes, a bit of dark chocolate and a giant bottle of fruit flavoured sparkling water, which I forgot to drink most of). (I didn’t go to the shop)
Make myself be in bed by 12.30. even if you can’t sleep again. Just lie there. because you have to be up at 5.15. (I didn’t… I couldn’t… but I tried)
I hate not being able to sleep when I’m really tired, but my mind gets really proccessy and shows me lots of stuff and keeps me awake. After about 4 or 5 days being unable to sleep (even with a 16 hour shift in the middle of that), I eventually managed to fall into a series of anxiety dreams… the usual subject matter – people in roofs, people invading my space, broken-into houses and cars, and different versions of doing the show, again and again and again but them going wrong (one time I did it under a giant heavy pile of cardboard pieces, I liked that version before it went wrong). Dreams are often exhausting… but when I finally got 4 hours sleep it was SO welcoming, and when the anxiety-dream-loops finally ended I even got to dream that I was a giant sleeping mozzarella in a bed, which was Amazing! It was so comfortable getting to be a giant sleeping mozzarella in a bed, it was a relief to have finally slept.
Anyway, to be confusing and to go backwards in time, here is some stuff I wrote in the middle of those days that I hadn’t managed to sleep – I think this was day 3 or 4, I can’t remember – I’m putting it here so that in the next post I can write about coming back to London and managing/maintaining wellness.
‘It’s ten past ten pm, or something close to that, as it was 22:07 the last time I looked at my locked phone screen. I stride out the door and the shadow of a nearby plant tries to grab me – a strange reminder that that sort of thing used to happen all the time and has not happened in a while. I wonder why. Am I not around plant-like creatures anymore now that I’ve rehomed myself temporarily in the city? Have I been in hiding? Then I remember that I haven’t left the room I was in for 16 hours, only leaving my seat to put a banana skin in the bin. (This is because I’ve been working at the polling station, but I can’t pretend that I wouldn’t have done this anyway had I been in my room on my own – most likely minus the banana). I suddenly remember that I have not slept properly for about 4 days… yet this is the most alive I have felt for 4 days too. I feel the opposite of dangerous to drive – like I could drive across a giant bridge into the sky like in my years-ago dreams, with my brain designing the patterns in the tiny bright tiny bright city lights. I am not in the city. I am in Swindon. It is only about 4 steps to get to my car yet all of this and so much more is in my head.
There is an old woman asleep in the back of my car but I remind myself that this is no real inconvenience. I get in the car and realise I hadn’t thought about that woman in quite some time, probably because I hadn’t been driving (I don’t drive the car in London). I remind myself that there isn’t really an old woman in the back of my car. I hurriedly tell my brain not to tell the old woman that because her vibe gets scary and I get scared myself and my illusions must co-exist in a shared reality-space especially created for us, by us. I wonder if anyone else is invited. I want so badly the possibility of somebody else to be invited. I thought I wanted to be alone, but alone, with all of this, is so alone, yet not alone – I can never be alone, I am never alone – and that is part of the problem… but more on that another time. As I drive home, I am focused – so focused – led by streams of tiny red light-dots, computer-like graphics gleaming through the evening air. My brain projects horrible unlikely visualisations of small children appearing on the roads in front of me, rolling, crushing, crying… I ensure my speed is bordering the limits, and remind myself that those things I see are irrational projections and nothing more.
I approach the house and remember the getting-out-of-the-car fear I used to experience every day. I knew the longer I sat there, the worse it would get. Also, I haven’t been to the toilet all day because I forgot and it was easier to not go. I ring the doorbell to my parents’ house and eventually run in, straight to the bathroom, shoes and bag still on. I have words pouring in through my brain, I need to type, I need to write, I need to…
I decide to make a sandwich before my bedroom disappearance and go with the instinctual urge. Food has not been easy and now I’m back here something has been restored. I begin to get swarmed by food-based questions and fight the thing that makes me want to give up on the food plan. I don’t want to highlight it, I don’t want to respond, but eventually blurt out ‘can you please stop asking me food things or I won’t want to eat anything’, or something like that. I am immediately stuck with a feeling of exposure or embarrassment, but then realise that these are my parents and I used to say stuff like that all the time – it’s not like I went into any detail and I don’t think I was impolite. I fear I was impolite, even though I know I was not impolite. I apologise for not being social and say I’ll be more social later or tomorrow. I am struck by emotion whilst preparing my sandwich, as I realise how long it’s been since I prepared a meal. Chopping a cucumber on a chopping board felt like a flashback to a lifetime ago. I realised I needed to fix my food routine – or make it existent again. I became a bit sad that I had felt unable to do that in London, but relieved I felt I could here.
I hurried up to my room to find my laptop to type on, and realised I had forgotten to bring my charger. I needed to type… to write… I grabbed the nearest notebook – this notebook. I was going to have to do this manually. It has been a long time since I’ve done this kind of writing, I didn’t know if it would happen or not. The notebook I grabbed was the one I started learning Japanese in before The Bleak. I wonder if I’ll get back to that again one day soon.’
and then I got trapped in some thought-spheres and went and played piano for most of the night ( I recorded these old songs here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4y63Io1KyAq0YqT8N3tFZnMi4jHBq3gx )
That all seems like so so so long ago now! Part Two to follow soon!