Today I am a very weary traveller, making passage across my own recovery timeline.
There is no destination beyond ‘Wellness, as I interpret it, sustained for as long as I can.’ There is no end goal; to aim for something solid would be futile, given that life will inevitably throw a few curve balls, and the occasional cricket bat to the face.
There’s no timetable beyond the relentless mood diaries and the keeping of strict Eat, Sleep and Breathe Schedules.
The shrink tells me I must look forward, the therapist; that I must look back, to make peace with my past. Either way I end up looking at where it all went wrong or where it could possibly go wrong in the future, the over-whelming sense being doom and gloom.
The ever-ready, upbeat madness of the Positive Thinking Brigade says I must glaze over pain and pull up my socks and fake it til I make it, but as yet, my interpretive dance of the sea has not put out any fires.
The mindfulness junkies say I must be in the moment, bare witness, accept and simply ‘be’. If ‘beeing’ means squirming like a bee under a magnifying glass, writhing in pain, helpless to all, then I’m quite an expert.
When I am well, I get glimpses of the sense in all these techniques, a drop of this, a touch of that, a smattering of hope, and a very fine tincture is made. Then I must grasp onto it with both hands and commit to my daily dosage and not stray from its formula and dare I say, try to enjoy myself. And so it is plain sailing for a time. And in that interpretive dance of the sea, it is me controlling the oceanic waves of mood and wellness.
But be it iceberg or tsunami or scurvy or black plague, my health will be plundered once more. I fear that the responsibility lies beyond me, somewhere quite out of reach by any pill, or procedure, any therapeutic model or dietary plan. There’s a buzzing, a broken bee in my bonnet, and it’s singing its sonnet and lulling the hive of my mind back into obscurity.
And here lies the sting:
There is no end to this, no time to make myself at home, whether trudging or sprinting, or steering ships or whatever mode of poetic travel you prefer, and many times I have run out of fuel.
When time speeds up life is brighter, I can do more and see blue skies for miles, and I can dance on the breeze. When it slows right down, it’s like I am trudging through honey, with heavy thighs and broken burdensome wings, with my head stooped and mind full of jumble.
It is the stillness I long for. Where I can smell the flowers, taste life’s nectar, say ‘I’m fine’ and mean it.
And dance the interpretive dance of the bee and the sea and of Me, simultaneously.