Up in smoke


Have you ever felt alone? Not just on your own for a while or momentarily in peace and quiet. Not just that free ‘have the house to yourself’ good kind of feeling, but a really low kind of alone. The kind of alone, where it doesn’t matter how many people are in the room or where you are, it’s still there. The deep down empty to the core kind of alone. The feeling, that if you dropped a pebble into the well inside you, you would never hear it splash down at the bottom…
It feels like this. I recognise it. Hello my old friend.

Words aren’t enough. There are none to describe the feelings that build up inside your head, inside your chest, in your whole body and tighten behind your forehead and across your shoulders. There is no logic to explain how you can have a smile on your face one minute and be sitting in the middle of your kitchen floor in a sobbing mess of tears the next, unsure of how you quite made the transition.
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After all that has happened over the past year, some I have shared with you all and some I have not, this is what is left. Somebody once said to me “I thought you were really tough, but underneath it all, you’re really a pussy cat”, so I guess I am right now. Weaker than I ever have been, ever wanted to be. It’s easy to appear strong while everyone is watching. It’s easy to tell someone you are fine down a phone line.

You see, it’s not just because there are no people around you, nor is it that the ones who are there do not care…it’s that you have given up caring so much for yourself. Something is missing, or you are missing something. Something in your brain doesn’t want to let the outside world in. Doesn’t want to believe there is anything left out there to heal you. There’s just this overwhelming emptiness where the good things used to be. Tears and tension are always right on the verge of overflowing at any moment. Moody, confusing, snappy, defensiveness replaces logic and you are susceptible to being hurt more quickly and deeply.

Sure there are good days. These are the ones where nothing extra goes wrong and you can coast through with enough to keep your hands busy and mind occupied. The days where you have things that have to be done without exception, or some component will get noticably worse. The days where you seem to see some purpose or reason for getting on with day to day life, just because even if you stop, it won’t.

The problem is, alone is the hardest thing to feel. There is no response to it. If you are angry you can find an outlet, be physical, scream, get it out. If you are hurt, you are broken, and broken can be fixed. What to do with alone?…. (write about it to a world of complete strangers-check.)
Maybe we’re not built to deal with so much at once? Maybe it’s just a simple negative shut-down reaction to the workings of an overactive mind? Too many good things being taken away, prolonged, all coupled with uncertainty of any good things to come.

I figured that things weren’t going to feel a whole lot worse than they do about now, so, as my gift to myself for getting another year older (and still actually being here), I am taking the opportunity to also give up on my last continuous vice-Smoking. The one last thing that makes me feel calm when I am stressed and upset. The one thing I could rely on to help me sleep in the small hours of the morning when all else failed. The one last thing I enjoy-to the detriment of my health and apparently my sex appeal. My appetite suppressant. My time-wasting, money-wasting bad habit.
I believe, along with saying goodbye to the cigarettes after this long, I should also wave goodbye to the last shred of my decency, anger management and sanity for a while.
You should probably all stay clear of me. ‘Probably’ was not really a necessary word in that sentence. You have been warned.

Just to be clear here, this was not written to promote any sort of response. It is certainly not a cry for empathy, sympathy or any other ‘pathy’ for that matter. It just simply needed to be said. It needed to be out of my head and away. This week brings with it another heavy blanket of emotion through a mix of things ending, some continuing and some just hanging in the balance.
I’m going to need to muster all the strength I have left to get through it unscathed and rebuild myself from the ruins.

As I type this it’s almost midnight, and I have my last cigarette and a lighter here next to me, so I am going to go and say my goodbyes then curl up tight with my pups.
Wish me luck.



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