Long, sleepless nights, restless. Tossing and turning, exhausted yet unable to surrender to sleep. My anxious mind won’t quieten down its chatter, won’t let me switch off and escape into sleep.
An endless stream of “what if’s”, “why not’s”, “what’s wrong with you” running through my head. The panic ever present, unyielding in its grip on me. I’ve been trying to write for days. No words flow out, my jumbled thoughts make no sense if I even try to put them down in ink.
The ebbs and flows of life, the peaks and troughs that shape my years come and go. When I’m high, I’m high. And when I’m down I’m at rock bottom. There is no middle ground. For as long as I can remember I’ve chased those highs, craved the elation and weightlessness it brought with it. Relishing every single second, forever fearful that the next step would send me spiralling back down to the valley.
I’ve lived my life waiting for the mountains to come. The times when I’m high as a kite, on top of the world, when life feels fan-fucking-tastic and I could do anything. When I’m a ball of unbridled energy, bouncing off the walls, full of ideas and plans and hope and dreams.
As much as I chase the mountains, I’m also forever trying to keep running away from the valleys. From the depths of despair. When it’s all I can do to open my eyes in a morning, and when info my heart sinks and my eyes fill with tears. When I curl into a ball and wish I wasn’t here.
Yet what about the spaces between? Neither high nor low. When I don’t want to die yet don’t want to live. These are the hardest times. I’ve reeled it back in, re-found my mask so I can hide away, remembered how to answer ‘I’m fine’ when asked, even if inside I’m screaming ‘help me’.
People see the mask and here the “I’m fine”, see the practiced smile and canned laughter and step away. And suddenly I’m lost. Alone. Floundering.
The spaces between are what I dread the most. It’s no mans land. I hate it here. Extremes of emotion I can cope with. This place of greatness holds no appeal for me. I’m swimming, but only barely keeping my head above water. I’m tired and out of fight. I cringe when I remember the lows I’ve just come out of, ashamed that I couldn’t keep it all buried within. I’m at a crossroads with no signposts. No idea which way to turn.