It’s like being hit with a brick wall of the completely, blooming obvious. Knocked side-ways, shell-shocked, released, calmed, elated and sorrowful. All in the space of just right now. I’ve cried rivers of tears, destroyed contact lenses in the process, emerged sodden and blinking in the dusk of the day. Driven home feeling small and incapable, familiar roads different and difficult in the haze of what’s happening, of the things I’ve seen. And I keep seeing more. And now I see that the inability to sleep, which is making me itch in my own skin and dull and unsteady, is maybe, quite probably, definitely, part of the process. Sleep is the drug I have to go without.
And I”m so, so incredibly tired. I’m wading through water and the smallest thing requires a mountain of thought. A cup of tea is an Everest worth of effort. My brain feels tight and dessicated and so shot through with electricity that it can’t shut down. Yet later it’s become too large for it’s container, heavy and dull, straining against the sutures of my skull. Every time I move my unanchored brain feels like it’s drifted across the fluid it sits in and thudded against the sides of my head. Confused and dizzy. Everything’s ‘happening in slow motion. I’m lagging minutes behind the rest of the world. When I look in the mirror I see eyes like saucers, dilated and glassy from lack of sleep. I’m desperate to fall into the dark, soft, un-knowing of sleep.
But I can’t, so I’m sleep walking through the days, sodden through from the lack of it and it slowly dawns that I’ve been making connections as I see each dawn come in. Lying restlessly in the bed that’s no longer a place of solace and comfort but an alien landscape, with no fit or comfort. In the short space when sleep comes, when I can’t tell if I’m awake or dreaming, things drift into focus and they make sense on waking, when I realise I’d not so much slept as been forced to shut-down. Sleeping and not sleeping and drifting through the dark, dusty corners my mind and picking up things and re-filing them with newly, focused eyes.
Mission Control has taken over, I’m no longer manning this ship. I’m lying on my back, looking at the sky, adrift in the current of a wide, warm river. I’m being pulled in by a benign kind of tractor beam. Ladies and gentlemen I am floating in space.
And standing mundanely in the kitchen it’s suddenly right there. And the world’s gone still and stopped around me. I’m hollow inside, covered in goosebumps on the outside and the answers are lying, quite literally right there in front of me.
Just like they told me they would.
And I’m fizzing with the sheer magnitude and joy of it, even though I know that this is just the beginning of it and no one said it would be easy. But. This isn’t a mid-life crisis. It’s a mid-life* revelation.
*I’ll have ‘better late than never’ inscribed on my tombstone if you please.