IN REARVIEW // July 2017

There are more thunderstorms this July than any year I remember before. Perhaps I've just forgotten them, like the agony of hurts long past, but there certainly seem more this year than last - a perfect pathetic fallacy to the stormy downpour of my mood.

Even when the sun shines, July is bleak. Inside my mind, I am consumed and defeated by the storm. There is a hurricane inside my brain. My umbrella defences are a lightening bolt magnet - an endless attack in the pouring rain.

July is a month of good things - market days and family birthdays; writing group and Branching Out; coffee dates and dinner with friends - but the tidal wave in my head roars loud and overwhelms it all.

Anxious and on edge - exhausted - I begin to drown. I tread water, frantically, until my tired limbs begin to seize. I try my best to bury my feelings under layers of distraction - to drown my thoughts in a sea of activity - but the tiredness engulfs me; the sadness a lead weight around my waist. I drag myself from one technique to the next; crawling - frantic and panicked - from the monsters that await; but I cannot focus, cannot concentrate, cannot escape. 

Eventually I succumb, my arms and legs too heavy to ride the waves. I let the dark and angry tide have its way. I let it submerge me, fully and willingly - I, too, dark and angry. A menacing sadness grips me. A tempest of hopelessness overtakes me. Void of oxygen, I am hollowed and empty.

In this empty place, the doctors find me. I am forced back and forth, back and forth to A&E; assessed and reassessed, people concerned (unnecessarily). Palpably relieved, I am sent home repeatedly.

Until I'm not.

A curve-ball I just didn't see; I come in "for a chat" and never leave. It is not only my doctor, but the Mental Health Officer who waits for me. I am caught off guard. A punch in the gut; they section me. A kick in the teeth; they section me.

Detained; contained; and filled up with blood - they try to pump life back into me. I don't know if I am heartbroken or relieved.

There are painful conversations with professionals and family. In more ways than one, I am looking for permission to leave. Permission is denied me. I don't know if I am heartbroken or relieved.

As July comes to an end I am hospitalised and I don't know if I'm heartbroken or relieved.

As July reaches its end I am alive. And I don't know if I'm heartbroken or relieved.


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