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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Something's Shifted


(My first piece published in an actual, real magazine! This is super exciting!)

"Something’s shifted. Something’s different.
Maybe it is the choice to skip a full day’s medication and sleep instead of taking that missed dose late, staying awake all night. Maybe it is accumulated days and nights spent in close proximity to family without a break. Maybe it is too little fresh air and exercise combined with too much gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. Maybe it is none of these. Maybe it is nothing that I’ve done (or not done) and instead a cruel joke from those that pull the strings. Maybe they just want to watch me dance.

Something’s shifted inside me. My internal landscape has changed.
I can tell by the fog that fills and surrounds me. I can tell by the fog pushing its way out from inside my head. I can tell that today would have been a good day - to stay in bed. It would have been a good day to hide. To hide inside myself, inside a cave, under the covers, away from those with whom I live.

Something’s shifted. Something’s different.
I can tell by the tightness in my neck and at the back of my head. I can tell by the clench of my jaw and how my belly twists and turns. I can tell because everything bothers me. It feels like there is a dragon inside waking up. It feels like a baking soda volcano. No need to add vinegar - just run, ‘cause I’m about to explode.

Something’s shifted inside me. My internal landscape has changed.
There is no balance anymore. Balance went out the door, ran down the block and disappeared without waving goodbye. I want to stay quiet and calm and peaceful. I want to feel joy and happiness and inspiration. I want to feel love for those with whom I live. I want to have a good day. Why - can’t - I - just – have - a - good - day?

Something’s shifted. Something’s different.
It is so hard to breathe. The dragon has stirred and woken. It is hungry and my heart is already aching with the pain oozing from my pores. The dragon with his fiery breath is awake and I can’t control it anymore. What spills over and out is not good. Spilling so much pain and hurt onto those I love. Why do they always seem to get in the way?

Something’s shifted inside me. My internal landscape has changed.
I can’t stand it anymore. There’s too much clutter and mess. It needs to go and it needs to go now. I can see myself, a mad-woman cleaning and tidying, organizing, sorting, and discarding. Maybe if I work really hard at de-cluttering I will feel differently? Maybe if I clean everything outside then the inside will sparkle too?

Something’s shifted. Something’s different.
I am tired of cleaning. There is more to do but I’m too tired. I can’t get it all done. It will never be done and because it seems like this it also feels like no one is helping. All of a sudden the dozing dragon is awake again and this time he’s cranky. I see myself lashing out on those closest to me and I feel terrible. Not knowing where it is coming from or how to calm the fires, what to do or not to do, I do the only thing I can.

Something’s shifted inside me. My internal landscape has changed.
Once again it is hard to breathe. I have to get out of here before I do any more damage. I have to go. I have to run. I - need - to - leave - NOW! So I run. I run away from the place where I live, away from those with whom I live and away from myself. I am running away and at the same time knowing that I’ll have to return. I run straight towards the nearest bar because it seems like the only place to go at this time of night. I go there to get away, to be alone. I go there because I so badly want to drown.

Something’s shifted. Something’s different.
I feel like I’m drowning. I feel helpless, hopeless, useless and so fucking tired. All I want to do is to slide into oblivion and wash down the pain but I can’t even do that. One drink and I’m in more pain than I was than when I got here. My head is pounding and my stomach is in knots. Tears are running down my face and waitress avoids me like I’m contagious. I can’t do it anymore and feel like I have just lost what little strength got me here. I’m done in every sense of the word. So I give up, swallow my pride and call for a ride home.

Something’s shifted inside me. My internal landscape has changed.
I am under the covers drowning. I am drowning in my own pain and don’t feel like coming back. My heart aches with seven years of sadness, seven years of struggle, seven years of pain and anger, seven years waiting and hoping just to be disappointed again. I wish that the last seven years was a scrape on the knee and that I could be held, hugged, kissed and loved better. I’m so tired of this. I’m so done with this. I’m drowning and don’t feel like coming back. What is the point of coming back?

Something’s shifted. Something’s different.
I do come back. I have to. I can’t float away into oblivion from under the covers – who am I kidding? So I come back, bruised and raw. I come back exhausted from my struggle with the dragon. Not sure where the dragon went and too tired to care. I come back knowing, hoping and praying that tomorrow will be better because right now I have nothing left.

Something’s shifted inside me. My internal landscape has changed.
Maybe - just maybe there is hope for tomorrow. It can’t get any worse. Can it?"

By Heather Thomas
(as published in NorthWord Magazine #9, June 2013)