How do you cope?
How do you know how to get through this hour, this minute, when seconds and nano seconds are excruciating in their loneliness? When twenty four hours seems as long a period of time as the millenia that preceded it, and the millenia that will follow?
That existential angst that strikes hard, strikes with precision, strikes without mercy? Perhaps you have the great fortune never to have to know what this is. For you, the ones that do know what I am writing about, think now, how you coped last time, what helped to support you through the silence, through the emptiness. This is what I have found, in the tiny fragments of my very ordinary life, that accepting the moment is the first thing, the bud of green growth that heralds an awakening spring. Walking alone helps, amongst the detritus of a city scape or in the company of nature. It hurts, but it heals, somehow. Putting one foot in front of the other is a statement of hope. Being alone is necessary for me, to anchor , to gain a foot hold. If I listen to anything, I listen to known , heartfelt favourites, and they generally reflect my mood of the moment, and counter-intuitively the hearing that others have shared this feeling is comforting, and healing. REM ‘Everybody Hurts ‘ is one that triggers recovery for me, since it was the backdrop to me crying for the first time in years, when my heart was buried, and I had forgotten how to mourn. Mozarts Horn Concerto is another. Perversely, friends and family cannot help. There is no reassurance to be had by loved ones, even when the head recognises them, the heart is unmarked. Many years ago, I heard on the radio an interview with the novelist Alice Thomas Ellis speaking about her own battle with this, and she explained how isolating the feelings are, and how her husband and her children, whom she loved dearly, were unable to help. Hearing her words was a marvelous affirmation for me , that I was not a beast, with no heart, that this was something other people grappled with, alone , and successfully. The feelings of guilt are enormous, and are counter to recovery. It helps to know that guilt is counterproductive.
One of my recoveries was triggered by a plant. Does that surprise you? I am telling you this for a reason. No-one understands the minds disintegration. No-one. And no-one can forsee where and how the mind starts to heal itself. I had a large indoor plant, an ordinary household india rubber plant, I looked after it, it had a name, Roobarb. One day, in the midst of a downward trend, I was alone, and sitting in the room, with Roobarb in front of me. Not in the usual place actually, I can’t remember why it was planted firmly in front of me, but it was. And I felt a lightness literally enter my mind. I wasn’t meditating, but it was a meditative experience. Unbidden, and wholly welcome. I have never forgotten it. It reminds me to quieten my mind, and to exist in the moment.
I cannot expound any revelatory insights into helping you through your dark days, but I can let you into a secret. You are not alone. Do what you can , to remind yourself who you are. When you are well , as well as when you are not. Do not forget to tend to your innermost , heartfelt desires, whether they are found in writing, reading, caring, gardening, motorcycling, find the things that nurture you, make you more yourself. Take care. In the words of ‘Pink Floyd’, who must rank as some of the best lyric writers EVER, ( and that’s before they add the music),
Thanks go to http://www.lyrics2liveby.com/, a website to delight in.