The past couple of months have been filled with high anxiety around here. I won’t (read: can’t) go into all the details, but every day has been a real whirlwind; a spell of puzzlement, stress and sickness. When one issue appears to be solved or solving itself, another crops up in its place. Weird, unrelated life shocks that leave us asking, “What’s next?” I’ve learned to stop asking that, because it just seems to invite more trouble.
Did we do something wrong? Is it karma? Does someone somewhere have little voodoo doll versions of us, laughing maniacally as they push pins through our cotton-stuffed innards?
Whatever the case may be, it’s taking a toll. He’s lost 20 pounds off his already thin frame and the doctors can’t tell us why. He moves like a ghost though the house; sometimes I think maybe he is. Maybe we both are. Maybe we’re really already gone but still here, stuck like that couple in the movie Beetlejuice who didn’t know they were already dead. I mean, sometimes it does feel that way. The phone never rings and no one ever visits. We might as well be ghosts. Only ghosts don’t feel pain, and my migraines have become so frequent and debilitating, it’s a constant reminder that I’m still alive. What were once just really painful headaches have become hours of struggle spent in darkness, and I swear every noise from here to the other side of the world reverberates through my brain. I know the warning signs now: the flashing lights, ringing ears, the concrete neck and facial muscles, and everything being engulfed in auras of yellow and orange. The drugs that worked in the past aren’t working anymore, and losing entire days is not working out so well, either. Hours of violent, searing pain lacerating through the left side of my face, making me check the mirror afterward just to make sure it’s all still intact. It’s sometimes enough to make a person wish they were a ghost.
We don’t rest. Him more than me. He thrashes and kicks his way through the night battling whoever or whatever. For me, sleep is usually tense and restless. I wake up gritting my teeth, my jaws aching and stiff. Lately, I’ve woken up shouting, gasping, sweating .. completely freaked out by whatever was chasing or tormenting me in my dream. It’s no surprise though, considering the perpetual black cloud looming overhead.
But sometimes, I’ll go to bed rattled and disturbed, and the strangest thing happens .. very rarely I will wake up feeling completely calm and oblivious to everything for about two minutes.
It’s like .. magic.
When I open my eyes, it’s like someone has wiped the slate clean. I feel good. I feel comfortable. I feel, dare I say, happy. There are no thoughts of anything bad. No stress, no suffering, no puzzles to solve. I hug my knees to my chest and burrow further down into the blankets and revel in what almost feels like what euphoria might feel like, but then ..
EVERYTHING SUDDENLY COMES RUSHING BACK. It always, always comes rushing back. All the worries I had momentarily forgotten collectively punch me straight in the gut, and fear bubbles up all around me and inside me like red, hot lava and it burns. There is no getting away from it, no forgetting it again until I have another one of those rare, perfect sleeps where I wake up completely spacey about life.
And waking up spacey about life is good. REALLY good. If I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I’d be set for life. No drinking, no pills, no shock therapy, nothing you have to smoke or ingest or inject. No hangovers or ate-up after effects. Just a 100%, all-natural concoction of Zen calm that sends you on a trip in a completely right brain terrain; all your troubles disappear or your money back. Perhaps it could be manufactured in liquid form; just 2 drops administered sublingually at bedtime. Maybe it could taste like the sweetest nectar.
I digress, but seriously, to wake up feeling this way every day and still be able to function .. and on top of that, have the ability to make it last? What a success.
I suppose some people know how to feel this way naturally, or at least they claim to. I’ve tried the stillness. The breathing. The relaxation techniques. The torments always creep back inside. It’s like the demons thrive on attacking in the most quiet moments. It’s like they see that time as the perfect chance to wreck everything.
So my days are spent trying to recreate those blissful moments of ignorance. Day after day, chasing that feeling. Everything else just seems trivial. Everything but that feeling.
I’ll probably never be able to catch it and keep it, but it doesn’t hurt to try.