A while ago a counsellor told me that what had happened to me was the equivalent of having my house blown away by a tornado and suddenly finding myself sitting atop a pile of rubble, trying to make sense of the pieces. Every book that had been blown off my bookshelves: the story of my life. The walls, all that I once knew for sure, crumbled, so everything I once understood to be true, was but a pile of lies.
I sat in his little room with its ticking clock and gilt chairs and listened to him rambling, for here was a man in love with the sound of his own voice. I watched him trying to make sense of what had happened to me, for me, watching the way his tongue flashed across his lips when he was trying to say the same thing , a hundred different ways and I wanted to say, stop, I understand. But it isn’t so. My house wasn’t blown apart. It just doesn’t feel like my house any more.
It is odd then to be a stranger in your own life. To have to familiarise yourself again with everything that once defined you. To have to keep on wading through a most insidious mess, in search of what was. Each day takes enormous effort, simply because it is like learning to see again. It is like trying to remember after losing your memory. Forgetting one’s point.
But time passes. Three years now. Three years 0f chaos and confusion when I have tried every day to remember how to write. How to stick to the rituals and routines that have long sustained me. How to be kind. How to meet my obligations and keep on keeping on. How to do battle with this debilitating, circumstantial depression.
Today I switched my computer on and felt ready again. I spent the morning dancing to wrestlers entrance songs with Finn as he shovelled a cheese toastie into his mouth and I mainlined coffee as if the EU was going to ban it along with powerful vacuum cleaners and almost everything else, any time now.
I felt almost myself again. I felt like I could hear the walls of my house again. Whispering. Rooting for me. I felt almost alive. Mess of course is still everywhere. But there are candles burning and a banana loaf, with copious amounts of cinnamon sugar baking. I am wandering around singing “What’s It All About Alfie” at the top of my voice and something that has haunted my dreams for too long, has turned out not to be true. So I can stop worrying about it.
Thank you then. Thank you for always being here. Even when I have disappointed you. It has been incredibly difficult. But I did not go away. I am still here. Almost out the other side of trauma.
Tomorrow has arrived. And it is fragranced by lavender and lemons again.