Monday, 18 January 2010

Down but not Out

Last night was a little unexpected. Perhaps it was the 30 hours of being a space cadet that threw my clock out of balance, perhaps it is because I am not too good at taking care of myself when I am sick and haven't eaten properly for weeks or perhaps the drugs are having one last laugh as they leave my system.

Whatever the reason, I didn't sleep. Not what I would consider sleep.

As my head hit the pillow last night, my mind started to whirr in to overdrive, excited to be back once more, creatively planning. I spent at least four hours building and delivering a one-hour talk on overcoming fear, adding new comments as I went over and over the scenario, injecting a little humour here and there, watching the audience respond, receiving compliments after. Man, I was good. I was lit up. It's a shame that I felt too exhausted to write any of it down, although it is still there somewhere, waiting to be revealed.

For these four hours I felt hot. My feet were burning. I didn't have the wherewithal to poke them out from under the duvet.

Then at 3am as my inner voice finally started to shut-the-fuck-up, the heat turned in to a cold sweat - ripples of ice darting out from my spine, the slightest influx of air triggering a wave of shivers.

So this morning I feel physically vague. Transparent. Limp.

I spoke to my friend and she sounded disappointed once more, as though I was giving up. And I'm not giving up, I just don't have the energy to take action today, which is frustrating. She started to give me a lecture, full of good intention, about how I needed to start planning my day, dressing as though I was going to work, putting on my make-up, getting back in the swing of things. And for a second I started to resent her advice.

But then she said "What always helps me is to get outside for a bit - get some fresh air. Why don't you go for a walk, then come home and have some lunch, then plan a 2 hour nap, then maybe at 4pm go for a little walk again? At least it gives you a plan" And I instantly forgave her. A walk and a nap and a bit of lunch I can manage.

Although it won't be so much of a walk, as a float, I think. Looking at my reflection in the mirror as I dried my hair reminded me of the wax-fleshed outpatients in Philip Larkin's poem "Toads Revisited". My skin is somewhat pallid, the bags under my eyes hard to conceal.

I stood in the kitchen, feeling light as a feather, swaying gently from side to side as my tea brewed just so I could feel the floor beneath my feet, just to confirm that I was still here. I feel as though the slightest breeze through the window might carry me away, like a husk.

So my body is having one last protest, wanting to stay sick, waiting for the Pity Party.

But my mind... my mind is still in the future, tasting the possibilities, waiting for my body to catch up.

We've got work to do.


  1. physically vague. Transparent. Limp.

    waiting to be impregnated with a new self

  2. JST: Oo.. very astute observation there! Think you might just be right on that one... x

  3. I hope you're getting some rest as this new emergence occurs? It sounds as though you could use some about now.

    Why is it when our bodies tire our minds spring to life, unfirling countless thoughts that we simply cannot ignore.