Tuesday 16 May 2017

State of Mind Part 2 (or swimming alone in the sea at night)

Just to highlight the point of my previous post about mental health (published this morning) - that no day is the same, and that my current understanding doesn't leave everything neatly wrapped and tied - here's another update, written tonight, an attempt to capture some of what was running through my head today...

It's like someone or something is sat on my shoulders, forcing heavy sighs and muttered "fucks" from me. Especially when I'm alone and in the car. Often I just sit in the car when I get back from work, grinding my teeth and trying to muster enthusiasm for the next thing I'm doing. AImlessly scrolling through social media feeds. I use my phone too much. There's too much noise, everywhere.

Maybe having more time on my hands is a bad thing. Evenings with no plans make me feel guilty. Pretty much everything makes me feel guilty. Not working full time. Not wanting to go on the trampoline with my employer's daughter. (But going on anyway). Not getting up as early as I plan, every day. Not writing that poem.

I don't know why I feel blue-grey today. I'm not pre-menstrual, I've not been stressed. I feel lonely but with not enough social juice to hang out with people. I wonder if I am just too much a sponge and have soaked up too much of other peoples' sadness this week. I want to hide but I have nowhere to hide. I think maybe swimming will help but the pool isn't available. I tell my housemates I'm feeling down. They love me and are kind. But I don't want to get lost in cigarettes and TV so I go out on my bike as the light fades. The sky is grey, the sea is grey, but soft. There is a streak of pink on the horizon, I thank God for it.

I cycle hard, my legs feel nothing. I want to feel something. I want to feel alive. I want to want to be alive. (I want to change the world too, but currently perhaps don't believe that's possible through either politics or prayer and that doesn't leave me much to go on because I don't want to waste my days either, whatever that means). I decide to swim in the sea even though the sun has set. I wheel my bike down over the pebbles to the water, take off my clothes. I walk into the sea in my underwear. It's low tide and shallow for a long way, but gentle waves reach my shoulders. People in flats up on the road might be able to see me. There's a dog walker or two in the distance. I wonder if they think I'm crazy. I wonder if I am crazy. I'm already writing this in my head, I'm observing, I'm outside looking in. I'm tired of all these different perspectives of me making noise, jostling for attention. I want to just be me, one version of me, feeling the sea. I love the sea. Think of Cornwall, think of many nights in Brighton, looking for God in the waves. I ask Him to say something. I hear only the waves, see the lights along the coast glimmering.

I don't feel much, still. Don't even feel cold, which is weird, because I'm always cold. But I'm glad I went in the sea. Like we shared a secret moment. I smell of salt and sand and possibly sewage? I'm glad we have a good hot shower at home. I get in bed with a peppermint tea and type this. I find it sort of weird that I'll share this with people I barely talk to and yet I probably won't talk about it with the ones I'm closest to. But not that weird. This is the world we're in. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. No one does. But we'll keep going.

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