I’m home again from my weekend away at the Medieval Fair, curled up in bed, listening to the saddest music I can find, and dreading a full day of college tomorrow.

I’m glad I went, it was wonderful and I enjoyed myself. A bunch of people were very kind to me to make it possible, driving me around, petsitting and all sorts. I bought some lovely things, had great food, spent a lot of time sitting around fires and hanging out with good people. But my fibro was very bad, pain levels very high. At the end of the weekend my head is a mess, partly because I’ve been trying to keep it together until I get home. I’m okay but also on the edge of serious trouble. Parts range from placid acceptance and wanting to tidy the kitchen to extreme distress. There’s a lot of head noise and huge self loathing. We’re fragile about the fibro flare and the changes in business plans, a sense of desperation, failure, and hopelessness dog us. Fear that maybe it’s all over, that dream of income and business success, self sufficiency. Not enough sleep, too many triggers and reminders of my past, too much trying to be strong, too many emotional shocks and bad news.

Under the place where I’m fine, there’s a sense of building panic, someone screaming out for help. It’s been a hard week. A few more dreams curl up and die, and we can’t figure out who to hate. The more gracious we are to others, the more we drive the knives into ourselves.  We also bite easily, like a frightened dog, and hate ourselves for that too. Terror and rage. I have to keep reminding myself we have value, we don’t have to let anyone in we don’t want to, we’re allowed to reject, refuse, shut down, retreat. Tonight, in bed, with Radiohead weeping on my mp3 player, it’s good to be alone. Someone in me screams and someone cries and someone sharpens their claws, and the sense of being different, of being inadequate, of being misunderstood, eases just a little. I can be a savage shape here and no one gets hurt. I can despair and no one drowns but me. I can hate myself without new fuel for that feeling as self loathing warps my perceptions and behaviour with others in ways I also hate. Arrest the spiral. Just be, even if I’m resting in a place of profound distress. Just be what I am and nothing else.

I breathe in failure and exhale despair. My joints cry out in pain of wasted effort. Someone sobs and someone soothes and someone cries ‘I hate myself’ over and over again like it’s a spell to keep away the bogeyman.

Outside, the night is still and cool and speaks to me of freedom from suffering and grief. There’s a song in it that calls my spirit and the yearning is painful but it also calls me back into my body. So I lie here, without blood, without screaming. I just breathe, and hurt. I breathe in the shadows and breathe out the pain and my bones weep and my mind is a city crying out in a great darkness but even that is a song if you know how to listen for it.

Pain is good, black earth to grow new dreams in.

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