On Monday night I was surprised at how low my energy reserves had become - how long it was taking for the drugs to move out of my system. Unable to properly take care of myself and having no-one around to take control of the situation for me, I was in a downwards spiral. I needed energy to prepare food to give me more energy, and very little energy to prepare it. Instead of bouncing back from my trip in to space, I was getting weaker by the hour.
At the eleventh hour (or rather, the ninth hour), I summoned the energy to sling two chicken quarters in to the oven. By ten-fifteen, I had enough protein in my system to turn things around.
On Tuesday I travelled in to London to stay at W's house. It took almost the entire day to prepare and pack, and the evening was spent with salad and steak and good conversation. I felt better - more alive to be around people - although Tuesday night was restless and I had a couple of vivid hallucinations in amongst a few hours of hot and cold sweats. Nice.
On Wednesday, W was out for the day. I started to work through some issues that needed to be resolved on our website, first from her house, and later from the centre itself. It was strange to be around people again, to answer 'How are you?' and 'I haven't seen you for ages, where have you been?' with 'Yes, I'm good, thanks. I feel as though I've been away for ages - I've been busy and plus the weather didn't help with the trains...' More lies. More cover up. More feeling this grinding sense that I had been living in a parallel universe that I could not reveal to other people.
By the end of the day, my head was pounding from overload. I need to rest. I'm not ready for this. I need to back off, back to my solitude. I went to bed early, certain that I was ready to pass out as soon as my head hit the pillow, but found that the opposite was true - an even worse night of hot and cold sweats and a feeling of no sleep at all.
Thursday morning arrived early - 5:45 to be precise - enough time to make myself presentable for registering attendees for the Business Gym. I caught sight of my reflection in the bathroom mirror - triple bags under the eyes which were virtually closed from puffiness, and a dark bruise along the inside of one eye. I looked as though I had gone at least one round with Mike Tyson, but it felt like ten. Thank heavens for make-up. By the time I had finished getting ready, my presentation was passable.
The Business Gym was regretfully low on attendance - a shame for those who missed it because the seminar (I heard) was incredible - but it did make the registration process a little easier to handle. Usually I am impatient to sit in on as much of the seminars as possible, but this time I held back from being around people, easing myself back in to life gently, avoiding burnout.
I stuck to one-on-one conversations with the people around me, and little by little, the Light started to come in. I had a conversation with a friend who listened to my recent experiences and then shared that she too had moments of being around people when she felt detached and unsure of whether she was in control of her next reaction. And I thought that was just me. We invented a code-word - "fairies" (as in "away with the..") to support each other at future events.
I was then approached by another volunteer who wants to move in to London and asked if I was interested in sharing a flat. He wasn't planning to move until April, but when I mentioned that I needed to move in the next month or so, he said that this would be fine. It's an option to consider over the next few days.
After the seminar I then caught up with another good friend over coffee and started to feel a little more at ease with what I had been through. She asked whether she could pay me to teach her how to sell on eBay, sometime soon. We discussed each other's businesses and self esteem. I felt less and less alone in my thoughts, less stranded in my other world and less as though I was repeating old patterns. There are people to share with, to help me to grow stronger, and I have ways of helping them too.
Following this, I bought some new perfume, and a pair of jeans. Eventually I made my way back to W's, where I was introduced to her new business partner and we discussed how I could help out with setting up their business. I committed to two days a week - they were thrilled. And after looking at their new website and talking with them for a while, I started to feel more valuable in what I could contribute. I started to see my CV coming together by the end of next week. I started to see things coming in. I started to feel excited again.
And last night, home and full of new challenges, I slept like a log.
Today the weather is miserable - steady rain and dark skies. And all I can see is the Light behind it.