IN REARVIEW // January 2017

January passes by in a blur of broken promises and let downs - hopes shattered like angry bottles across a filthy floor. The first month is often a hard one, but this seems particularly rough. I feel storm-battered: tossed around by waves of unpredictability and lost at sea. Every lighthouse in the distance turns out to be a mirage - a case of mistaken identity; 'hope' a trick of the light that vanishes in the blink of a tear-stained eye - a smoke screen that dissolves before outstretched arms, left clutching helplessly at the void that remains.

Being in hospital is 70% waiting game and I'm worn down from patiently playing it out; inevitably disappointed by the result. I've lost track of the weeks I've been here now - the lack of forward momentum merging one indiscernible day into the next. Nothing has changed in all these months - except my body, of course: the stagnant pool of inactivity making mythical creatures of my cheek bones and my hips. I barely know who I am any more - neither in the mirror nor in my head. 

Hospital makes a roller-coaster out of anything. This month there are peaks packed with family and highs resounding with the laughter of my oldest, closest friends. There are troughs of constant observation; hanging on the edge, watched over, my life at imminent risk. Often there is nothing in between - lurching from one extreme to the next with barely a moment to breathe. 

This month I reconnect with church friends, reaching out to chaplaincy in an effort to rekindle the embers of my faith. I cry almost endlessly - tears sneaking up on me in supermarkets; sobs catching in my throat mid-sentence, their reality illuminated by the artificial glow of some late-night fast-food place. I cut my hair short again and feel light for a moment; eat uncontrollably and feel the heaviness suffocating me. We have a movie night at my parents' and I fight my nephew in the park with swords made of sticks. A stranger leaves a gift for me at reception, their generosity a sucker-punch of kindness that leaves me breathless. I go a week unable to walk and talk at once without gasping for air, the toll beginning to tell on a body repeatedly drained. 

January leaves me feeling empty, though they do their best to fill me, on repeat. I am emptied and refilled; emptied and refilled; emptied out, ad infinitum, and refilled. Emptied of one substance, I am filled back up with something close-enough but not at all the same and, as the month draws to a close, I find myself wishing for a way to do the same about the thoughts inside my brain. The scene closes on a moment of deceptive calm before the storm clouds roll inevitably in and I brace myself for another battering; the wind's direction decidedly unchanged.

Origami Kusudama flowers
Hair cut selfie. Pull and Bear Weird tshirt.
Muchacho Aberdeen floor.
All good things are wild and free. Hospital notice board.
Paw. Golden retriever.
Gifts from an Instagram "friend".
Neko. Blue Lynx Ragoll.
Veggie tacos. Muchacho Aberdeen.
Hospital. Gifts from a friend.
Almond treats. Almondine & Little Squares of Heaven, Aberdeen.
Record fair. Drummonds Aberdeen.
Light box. Wild and free.


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  1. No words. Just admiration for your wonderful writing, as ever.

    Lis / last year's girl x