Without stitches you just have rags

Monday, 19th January –
Feeling peaceful and positive, full of confidence and energy: a great start.

And I had an amazing day: talking to lots of people, both known and unknown; attracting conversations and connections from strangers, both on the tube and in shops.

I challenged myself and liked how it felt.

Tuesday, 20th January –
Anxious. Trapped. Stuck under a cloud. Unable to settle anywhere, familiar places as alien as previously unexperienced ones.

Had moments of peace in class: listening, meditating… but then drifted, aimless, getting progressively stressed. Felt weak and fragile, detached from myself.

Physically, I’m run down: the result of being overly challenged; events beyond my control demanding energy and space.

Discovered a blood-filled blister in my mouth: ugly, large. It scared me: I don’t like surprises. Planning to treat it with Reiki tonight. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 21st January –
Delicate, self-conscious; lacking confidence. Experiencing low esteem; lower than what I am used to and used to managing alone.

Spent a semi-pleasurable morning knitting with a friend, teaching and guiding her through the ebb and flow of a blanket. But then – afterwards, alone – the day dragged.

By evening, I was a mess: anxious, stressed, entangled.

My mouth, instead of improving, has grown worse: the blister making way for sores down both sides of my tongue. This doesn’t help the way I currently feel about life and about myself. It feels like ever since I hit thirty, I have been unravelling. I look in the mirror and my reflection offends: old and tired, ailment-sick. I am learning not to look too hard and to stand back. It’s one of the few times it helps to be long-sighted, further convincing me that, despite struggling to see, to navigate safely – up stairs, through doors, down streets… I am better off without frames. I am tempted to start wearing make-up and push the idea around in my mind: mulling, stewing, letting it sit… But it is so contrary to what I believe in, so ‘not what I do’, that I don’t know if I can bring myself to change that much: it would be a betrayal of self, an open acknowledgement that I am less. Or am I advertising exactly that in my refusal to conform, to attempt to master beauty? I know it’s what’s inside that counts, but I am surrounded by beautiful people and I feel like I don’t belong. Besides, I’m not all that proud of the inside either. A work in progress: me, myself and I still have countless miles to go.

Thursday, 22nd January –
Took the morning slowly: pottering around the apartment, cleaning, meditating, doing Reiki… Felt better. Went to meditation, which I enjoyed, and was able to participate. Decided to pass on all afternoon activity in favour of my other half: in hindsight, a mistake, as energetically we clashed. Thankful when the day was finally over and I was released.

Still physically rundown: tongue getting worse; stomach aching, burning, cramping; shoulders and neck tense; lower back tired, drained; feet hurting, especially the right.

Friday, 23rd January –
Felt noticeably better than yesterday, finally over the effects of the Cranial I had on my rib (the one the cheap massage before Christmas broke, the one in the Chinese massage parlour, the one with the small girl who took a flying leap).

Embracing it, I went for a walk in the sun, and didn’t die of the cold. Actually, I enjoyed it and felt happy to be alive. A first for a while…

Spent the afternoon with my sister catching up, celebrating her birthday; exploring Covent Garden arm in arm. Managed to be kind to myself as well as her. Enjoyed connections with lots of people, shining from within.

Later, I even stood up for myself, realising, profoundly, that I am often happiest alone, separate from known others whose energy – hard, aggressive, paced – has a tendency to clash. However, instead of happy, this newfound awareness made me sad me. It doesn’t bode well for my ‘home-sweet-home’ and notion of the future.

Saturday, 24th January –
Great morning pottering around the flat: cleaning, tidying, etc..; to me, therapeutic.

Did Reiki.

Went to another Meetup group (I’m an addict: the deprivation of the last two years making me extra determined to throw myself into anything and everything interesting while I can). Met more people. Made friends. Really enjoyed it.

Afterwards, became anxious: most likely hunger-led. Since the Attunement, my body has turned into a greedy child, wanting always to be stuffing, cramming… craving sugar and carbs: bad stuff; things that, previously (due to professional advice) have been banned. Succumbing daily, my will power weak: I continue to exacerbate what I should be attempting to fix and I’m not sure why. Am I trying to be nice to my inner child? Or am I seeking instead to sabotage the direction in which I am trying to go, stalling what is quite possibly the most important journey of my life?

Sunday, 25th January –
After a terrible evening (containing an argument, a breakdown in communication, upset and floods…) and an unsettled afternoon wandering, clinging on, agitated and anxious: today was actually a good day: meditation seminar, long walk, lots of writing and studying in a café.

Felt more connected. More energetic too, believing that I have found something to which I can belong. I might give all of my possessions away and join a monastery or a temple, really devote myself. I like the idea: always have. Maybe that will fix the holes, enabling me to be here without all of the pain? Probably an idealistic solution; a rose-tinted remedy. Realistically, there would still be unhappiness: stubborn injuries, incurable ailments, internal malaise; big, existential questions without answers that suffice… Still, I can dream: zzz zzz zzz.

On that note: tongue still sore, stomach still burning; shoulders, neck and back, aching and tense; old foot injury back: rearing, biting; eczema a little better (perhaps?). Notice rib for the first time since Friday: still there, still tender. What a brat.

And yet: without stitches you just have rags. I am at least making progress.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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