Last night I dreamt that I was committed into a mental asylum. This didn’t appear to strike me as a bad thing, I seemed to be having fun nosing my way around, meeting some strange creatures, taking in the sea air (we seemed to be on a gothic island structure somewhere in the middle of nowhere), and writing. I was doing a lot of writing. I had friends, and I had no worries, I didn’t need to be anywhere, there were no expectations of me, I felt really free, like being ill and ill enough for someone to say I had to be committed out here, that was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I felt light, in that it was now bearable to be because I wasn’t carrying around me an awful weight on my shoulders.
And then I woke up. And the weight was back, the expectations were back, the memories of why actually being committed to a lunatic asylum isn’t such a far-fetched thought, and if I let go just one iota of what I’m keeping in, maybe someday someone will do it to me. And it won’t be to the magic one of my dream.
I got ready for the day with a sense of fore-boding that I couldn’t shake off. The silicon chip inside my head really was malfunctioning. I didn’t feel panic, but I felt very anxious and I didn’t know why. So, I popped one of those pills I’ve been carrying around but not using, for anxiety, to avoid the panic attacks. A preventative measure, not because I felt panicky, but because I didn’t want to. It felt good, I felt calmer. But it started to wear off. So at lunchtime, I popped another. Focus in my afternoon meetings may have been less than desired but I mostly passed it off. Walking around the office, that was harder, definitely had the gait and balance of a drunk person.
But decided that I liked the floaty, so I had another…. By this time, thankfully, it was really time to go home, so go home I did, floating over the pavements, feet never really making contact with the ground. Somehow, I did get home. And decided it was a good idea to eat some food (salami & salad night on the low carb diet), but of course, a bottle of prosecco would wash that down nicely and might complement the lorazepam chasers.
And yes, prosecco is always a good thing, never a bad. But I’ve lost the angelic bliss I had earlier, now I feel like the sad, lonely, alcoholic who’s just looking for a new way to get high. I want to take a knife and have a go at my arms again, but they’re healing and I don’t want to go into therapy/ see a boy, with the scars of my emo self-involved emulation on show.
Back when I was really hurting, and not just a partially fixed up broken person, I used to get properly high a lot of the time. I’d give almost anything to feel that kind of pure euphoria but without the tell-tale come-down just once more. Except I know it doesn’t exist. Proscribed anti-panic drugs plus booze. That’s the best I can do, and watch the number of pills you pop, mistakes not required.
One day, I imagine, I’ll wake up, go for a run, have a shower, get to work, do a day’s work, interact with people, come home, maybe even have a family waiting for me, eat with them and laugh with them. At some point pretend we’re in the Waltons, goodnight Mr E, goodnight little E, goodnight, goodnight, sweet dreams, see you in the morning light. Normalcy will reign. I’ll understand the rest of you, not needed to peek into the slithers of your lives to get small insights on you. Maybe, one day, I’ll be one of you. Again.
Until then, this half-life isn’t so bad. It has some amazing moments. I get to share parts of some of you who no-one else get to see. There are days (not many) but there are days when I do kick-ass like the old me and I know she’s not too far hidden beneath the debris. I smile, I laugh, mostly I do a really good impression of being one of you.
But I’m not and until then, please no judgements about how I choose to get through my days: lorazepam, prosecco and whatever else gets me through, because the biggest win is the battle I already fought; I decided today would be a day I get through. Most of you probably just think that’s normal; one is alive, so one traverses the day and what the day gives us. For me, I make a conscious decision, I’ll get through it, whatever it takes. But whatever it takes sometimes means taking a little help from where I can find it.
I did feel like flying, but it wore off. I don’t think I should take any more pills. Some more bubbles, then maybe just collapse in bed. Cry a little bit for the life that I wanted but is never going to be mine. And then, hopefully, sleep. And this time, not about the mental asylum.