Back in January I wrote a post for a friends blog about nature and difficult times which can be read here
Last week a professional who was helping me said to me they felt like I was stuck. I feel stuck too. It didn’t feel helpful to reminded of how stuck I feel. I’m in work, I’ve cut down alcohol, I’m still going out and doing things but everything feels grey. Even when I’m experiencing a period of high energy it feels restless, irritable and I worry about what I’ve planned or agreed to afterwards. At times anxiety in work is so high I hear whispers of my name, it feels threatening, menacing. The strength required to fake it every day is slowly crushing me. There’s so much guilt with these feelings, I regularly speak to people who’s world’s are a genuinely frightening and scary place, I am nowhere near that in terms of difficulty.
Today someone pointed out a mistake I made, a mis spelling of a word, one which will be seen by others. I am terrible at spelling and grammar and rely heavily on auto text and spell check. I’ve no idea why this wasn’t picked up by the checker, it felt like someone was hijacking things, but that someone is just me. I left work mortified and in distress, I didn’t know what to do, where to go. I decided to go the longer way home through fields of open space.
I sat at the top of the hill, eyes closed on a bench and trying so hard not to cry. Slowly the silence punctuated by bird song started to calm me. Picking out song and naming the bird in my head brings me back to the moment.
As I continue walking dark thoughts start to creep back in. I sit down in the long grass and want to just stay there in the uncomplicated cushion forever. I make myself move and focus on taking photos on my phone and listening for more birds. The song thrush is singing its usual gawdy mania in sets of three. One set sounds like a car alarm.
I’m not ready to face home so I head to the bottom of the estate which is huge parkland next to the motorway. An old oak tree catches my eye and I head towards it, the dark thoughts continue telling me to give up and that I’m useless, all of a sudden a deer leaps up in front of me, we both stop and stare at each other. The moment reminded me of the one mentioned in blog I linked to above where I saw a kingfisher at my lowest ebb. The deer felt like a sign of impressive life, something so out of the blue which I will never get tired of seeing.
I carried on walking back through the park watching the young bunnies frolicking on the slopes, the swifts shrieking and soaring and the long tailed tits feeding their young, taking in my surroundings and remembering how much I’ve loved this particular open space over the years. Walking through the woods with their blossom confetti makes me feel like I’ve come home, I want to stay here and not face anything else.
Lately I’ve become quite focused on how long I’ve felt unwell for, measuring things on dates such as, ‘it’s been 5 months since I broke down at Christmas’, ‘3 since I had my autism diagnosis’, ‘a year and a half of wildly fluctuating mood’, ’17 years of failing to know how to be an adult’. Perhaps there is something to be said for replacing those measures with wild moments of wonder, especially as they seem to come at just the right time.