Feeling relaxed is hard right now. There is a layer under the surface which never rests, never sleeps. I have tried yoga, and masturbation. I have tried walking and reading. I have tried new projects and focusing my energies into changing things and taking back control, but there is a part that just won’t stop, that won’t relax. These things all help, don’t get me wrong, but I am never far from that hyper vigilant state.
I watch things and listen for signs. I wait for it to start again, for my emotions to be pricked. I can’t seem to escape from them. The usual outlets I have don’t seem to work the same. I feel a bit claustrophobic, a bit trapped. I am blessed in that I can see the hills from where I sit but I want to be out there. I want to be in the wild, the wind whipping at me and stinging my face. I want to feel tiny and alone. I want to feel nature engulf me in its constant and unchanging geography.
I yearn to be lost in the landscape that has sat, unchanged, for all these years. I know that city dwellers can feel vulnerable and exposed in the elements but for me it feels calm, it feels safe and familiar. I have enjoyed the peace and the quiet and the slower pace of life. I don’t want to feel overrun again. I want to feel space, and distance. I want to gather in those who matter and push away everything and everyone else.
I want to take a long deep breath, and hold it in until my lungs might burst, and then breathe out all the anger, the frustration, the grief, the indignation. I want to scream into the open and let my fear, and my hatred, and my despair be absorbed and dissipated as they are carried away, unheard on the wind. But as yet, none of this is possible. I keep doing what I am doing, running on the treadmill of my life, punctuating my existence with glimmers of hope for the future in what I see and do.
The last three months has been spent doing the impossible. With none of the structure and routine around me I have tried desperately to provide a sense of perspective to others, whilst at the same time struggling to find my own. I have felt so ineffective listening to their silence on the end of the line, their tears, their fear, their failure. I have found the words and found the tone to move things forward whilst all the time doubting. Support by virtual means has meant the words have found their way to my lips and my keys but they haven’t feel real for me.
The words don’t touch me. I hear them and I wonder where they have come from. Who is this person speaking? She is no longer me, she is borrowed from some other time when things were different. I am on edge. I am waiting for it all to crash around me. I feel the weight of it and there is no where for it to go. Places which were safe have gone, people who were my friends turned out not to be, or worse. Despite trying to light the way for others, I am lost. Lost in my own tension, vulnerable and exposed, unable to ever switch off in case I miss something.
I wake in a panic, and quickly try to mitigate the risk by action. Preventative random action. I am becoming good at that. It feels like all I can do. Pulled from sleep, I am alert and I try to focus on the little things managed rather than all of those things that haven’t been. And there is distraction of course. I am a master at distraction. But I am so confused. So utterly untogether in my seeming togetherness. I am clinging on the the tiny things that make sense, without knowing if my love for the bigger things will ever come back.
I hope that it does all come back. I will reach the end of term on Friday but I am not sure how that will be. The land keeps changing, shifting under my feet. What am I preparing for? What am I meant to be doing? How do I relax when nothing is certain except the fact that people will be depending on me and if I mess up it will be matter? How do I fix this? How do accept that I can’t, that the little difference the drop in the ocean I make will never be enough?
I have a week less to relax thanks to another incompetence, just at a time when I feel that I need it. It fuels my anger and I am determined to fight my better nature which wants to spend my holidays working so that I can try to do my best. I know that it will be hard to turn away. I didn’t know when I started writing this how I was feeling about it all and so, I suppose I can hope that it helps to have poured it out and that perhaps I can try to switch off enough to heal and regenerate and even possibly, relax.
One of my holiday jobs is to think about how I will support others to move forward and I am aware of the need for our own experiences to be recognised. I understand the impact that collective trauma might have and know that empathy and understanding will help. We need others to recognise our individual experiences and relate to them so that we can move forward together, rather than isolated in our own emotional confusion and loss. We need to find a way to process and resolve the negative feelings that this situation has left us with.
I am sorry that I am using this space for my own recovery, but my thoughts and research into how I can support others to find their own recovery leads me to see that is probably what I am subconsciously doing here. I need to be strong, I need to be well and I hope that I haven’t pulled you down in terms of some of the posts I have written during this time. I wish that I felt I was done, but I think there is more. I still feel the words needling and pushing at me.
The last thing I want is to have a detrimental effect on the well-being of others so hopefully this post can be seen as a reflection of the difficult situation we have all been in and the way that it has been internalised and normalised. It isn’t normal and I believe firmly that, in what ever form, it needs to be allowed to come out and be expressed so that it can become externalised and we can let go of it, whatever it is for us. I suppose that this post is part of my it.
Other posts which I now see as part of my response to my experience are:
The Worst Week
Ideas and Ideas and Ideas
7 Days in April – Day 1
D/s on lockdown – Dealing with change
Is my libido on lockdown
What are we left with – COVID-19