My reflection shows the reality of several sleepless nights spent choosing creating, wishing and building over nurturing my body and yet my mind chooses to ignore it, my thoughts are too busy rushing and tingling, alive with promise and expectation. So much to do and it’s all achievable!
I hold out some small hope that if I can alter the outside image I will fool the world and ultimately myself. If I can change the appearance I can change the facts, then this doesn’t ever have to end. I put on a dress, headed to town to have my eyebrows tended to and nails painted in sparkly blue glitter. I plan to tackle the hair later in the week, bimbo blonde with a hint of bright blue, fun and light.
Stopping first for breakfast at my favourite café as I haven’t eaten in a while, then taking a walk through the town park, it was so beautiful, garden beds in full bloom. Poppies are always such happy flowers and the light was illuminating their many colours in just the right way. It made me forget everything else for just a moment, sitting there on the stone bench, birds calling from the towering willow trees above and the warmth of the sun radiating onto my face and filling my soul with purity. For a short time, we were all connected, the earth, nature and me. One.
The man in the grocery shop was looking at me filling my trolley, judging. I want to scream that it’s not all for me, that I have a big family but I could feel his thoughts – “tsk, tsk, this is why she’s so fat…”
On the way home I stop off to check out the new Pet Store on the old highway. I have never been in there and I am pleasantly surprised by how extremely nice it is, has all the stuffs at reasonable prices, nice staff and it’s super clean! I express my impressed-ness to the girl cleaning the fish tanks and ask if they hire new staff very often.
She says in fact they have a casual weekday position available at the moment and I know the stars have lined up, it’s perfect! I am told the boss is away for a week but to bring in a resume when he returns. I leave walking on air, with three new fish and the chance of a new job that I might actually be able to do!
I return home, eyebrows defined, nails gleaming, car full of goodies. I pop the fish in the tank and check out my reflection, it has definately improved, I add makeup. Perfect.
Time to run, it’s been so long but it finally feels right. Step, step, step. Music fills my ears and my heart, I am unable to believe just how well these lyrics define me, I suddenly know I am not alone; words are everything and here I am flying straight through them, surrounded by their descriptive beauty, safe.
Later my body is demanding sleep while my mind sings, dances and flits from idea to idea like a restless butterfly. I am chasing the ghosts and shadows around the room through the corners of my tired eyes, up down and sideways, closer, farther, in out and round again but when I try to look at them they disappear into the abyss.
The family have returned, the house is full of noise again. The shadow ghosts have run away, I would like to be a shadow ghost, disappearing at will into that mass of micro pixels that make up our world, separating, reforming. Invisible.
Nobody else likes my sparkly nails or the hole my latest shopping endeavour has put in the bank account. We go to bed, he rolls away from me, angry or worse, dissapointed. Lying in the darkness I glance at the outline of my pillbox and once again choose to ignore them. I know I should take them but I am afraid. There is too much to do and I am frightened that if and when I do eventually sleep the remnants of happiness will be taken from me, I can’t go back to the darkness again…
But it’s too late anyway, after several days awake I have crossed the line of hypomanic exhaustion, tears roll down my cheeks, my brain finally calls a ceasefire with my body and I am asleep.
I wake again 8 hours later, I’m so tired and it seems like all my fears have come true.
Drained of energy, self-worth and the will to care about trying to fix it anymore. The happiness has gone and I can’t even seem to remember what it feels like anymore. I deliver the children to school and frantically look around the house for something I can connect with.
Writing. Writing fixes everything. I place my fingers on the keyboard of my shiny new much wanted but totally unnecessary iMac, my nails sparkle up at me but I look away, they are now a source of conflict, simply a reminder that all the times I try to make myself feel better turn out to be pointless because I always go about it the wrong way, I am selfish and just end up hurting the people I love and I am sick of it, they are sick of it.
I hate myself for being like this, I have hated myself for as long as I can remember and I am so desperately sorry that it cuts into my core like a knife, but my apologies will never be good enough because I am still the same person delivering them, over and over again. I say I’ll try harder to change and I want to, but it doesn’t work.
I don’t know how not to be me and still exist in this world.
And I don’t know if I want to.