i got a message i can’t read
if we are correct about linear time being illusory, that ought to be deeply cheering. it means all the existential stuff which weighs so heavy is actually far less important than it seems. but as neil young pointed out, knowing our problems are meaningless doesn’t make them go away. which is a bummer. it would be handy if evolution had come to our aid in this regard, and given us skills at moving around inside time.
wind back to somewhere in the south-east of england in early november 1992. there there is a caras who was disappeared. around bonfire night of that year my life transitioned into a permanent state of emergency. when i say that my circumstances are often impossible, that isn’t hyperbole. i don’t mean sort of, or a bit, impossible. i mean that regularly, for hours and hours, and frequently days, i seriously have no idea how to cope with this situation. i don’t want to tolerate this situation. i am screaming into the void “get me the fuck out of this situation”.
it took me years to learn how to be with being ill. the only way i’ve found to bear it has been to mine layers of acceptance i never imagined i had in me. and that has taken much time and untold effort. letting go sounds a lot more passive and less effortful than it is – the kind of work involved in letting go is the hardest i’ve ever had to do. but being advised to accept circumstances which are impossible is absolutely maddening! of all the useless advice i’ve been offered, i reckon the cheek of anyone – and especially anyone who is miles away from being in the same boat as me, which is almost everyone else – telling me i ought to accept the unbearable, is intolerable.
on 11th may i held a millions missing awareness event not far from the wrong planet. the occasion was deemed a success by all involved. it was uplifting to be part of such a life affirming action; to come together in solidarity and to turn something so destructive and negative into a positive. two politicians joined us: caroline lucas, green mp for brighton pavillion, and janet baah, mayor of lewes. unfortunately the toll taken by the work i put into preparing for and being there on the day has meant that i haven’t yet returned to my only-as-ill-as-usual levels. i have been missing in inaction. and i’ve spent more time than i had for a while in that horribly familiar watery drowning state.
that drowning place where i’m only part alive and nightmares merge with real life so that i can’t work out which way up i am. when i’m in that inside-out upside-down space i feel like i will never again be able to put words in an order to create a sentence or paragraph which makes sense. and if i haven’t got this – if i stop being able to weave letters into words into phrases and posts – then how would anyone know i am still here, how would i know i am? in which case how would my small broken existence count for anything?
and i think i’ve worked out part of the reason why my perception of the preposterous speeding up of time seems even more dramatic than that of my friends. i think this is because all those times where i’m drowning in nightmares and fever and am far too cold pouring with sweat melting into inexistence merging with the wallpaper skedaddling off the side of the edge of the world – all those times amount to the same time. those hours and nights and days are impossible to distinguish from one another. every time i revisit that not-place i am reliving the same unspecified days and nights and hours again and again.
those episodes steal massive chunks away from my being truly alive life in which i am part of something and share love and jokes and transcend my circumstances.
i have always experienced time as akin to a concertina – something which can be squeezed into a smaller-than-you’d-imagine-possible space, yet simultaneously stretched out beyond its logical capacity. thus an event which occured a year ago can seem like it happened last week, but at the same time an occurence from last week can feel as if it happened aeons ago.
it is strange to be sometimes on the outside peering in at my own life. but some days i have to do that in order to survive. i have to be able to remember how little i matter; to be looking from afar at that insignificant speck of dust floating in space.
This is a brave post. Thank you.
A very affecting piece and bravo for your huge effort on Missing Millions!