I look around me, face pressed against the glass, and people are living. They are going to work, to parties, planning weekend BBQs and trips overseas. They bemoan sporting events and school plays. Not another work do? Two parties on the same night? What to do? They are renovating and undertaking garden makeovers. The Internet is abuzz with posts about planning school holiday trips and Christmas vacations.
I'm working out how many specialist appointments I have before Christmas. Working out how I can arrange transport to get my long overdue monthly blood work drawn.
I'm trying to list what meds I need to buy this pay day. How many referral letters and re-prescriptions I need to organise at my next GP appointment.
I'm planning my next trip to see a doctor. Do I have my med to stop vomiting, the one to stop me peeing, the one to stop the trotts, the extra salt and the bottle of water? Do I have my puke bag? The loo paper? Have I taken my pain meds in time? Do I have their number so I can ring and say I am running late because I am stuck in the bathroom of a 7/11 crying at the indignity of having to throw up yet again in foulness of the communal bathroom?
I'm waiting on wheelchairs and working out how to pay for another pair of compression stockings. I'm working out my plan for fire season and how to pack my medicines that need refrigeration. I'm making sure my medical records are in one place, next to my photos and my laptop.
My plans aren't like other plans. Nor are my destinations and goals.
It feels like there are two streams co-existing side-by-side. Never meeting. One looking longingly at the other. The other going on, oblivious to the first. My personal little version of the multi-verse. My alternate reality.
...to those living in the other stream,
it's just another 24hr period.
I am set adrift by insomnia, coma sleeps, exhaustion so deep it renders the rest of the world non-existent. I have no boundaries, no schedules, no timelines to imbue my world with direction and structure. I am simply here, floating from hour to hour. Night and day have no meaning when sleep is so elusive and so contrary. I measure time in pain, in fatigue, in nausea, in weakness, and that word my doctors seem so fond of, malaise. I measure time in medication. In when to eat and how much I can drink before a trip. I measure time in the number of trips to the loo to empty my body from one end or the other. I measure time in how many hours till sunrise as I lie looking up at the ceiling in that special darkness that only exists at 3am. I measure how long I have to stand at the chemist counter. How long till I have to cook dinner. I measure time in pieces. Unconnected chunks of time that clash and flow unevenly.
I lose time. I lose a sense of connection to the real world.
I am left behind. Stuck in my glass bowl.
The disorganised time of illness overwhelms and I have to make my escape.
I concentrate on the sounds around me. The bees meandering through the upright stalks of the lavender. Legs laden with pollen. Bringing life. Buzzing with the joy of the abundance around them. The tiny skinks lounging on the rocks that create the garden edging. Basking in the sun. Enjoying the warmth no matter the risks of being out in the open. The birds singing of hope from the branches above. Hope for new mates. Hope for new life. Hope.
And I lose time in the embrace of the life that surrounds me.
I open my eyes and find myself a step closer to being whole. I breathe in the energy and life around me. Allow myself to become a part of that world, the cusp of Spring, the cusp of possibility after the cold of Winter. And take a little of the hope for myself.
(The heart of my glass bowl)
My glass bowl may be small. But it is filled with life. An abundance, if I choose to find it. Choose to let myself embrace it. Choose to hope. To dare myself into believing that this new life has worth. And I fill my bowl with light and life. With gardens and beauty. I am happy to lose time in that world. To accept that time runs differently in the bowl. That it isn't a static, defined constant. That, instead, it is a wild creature living to it's own tune. That tune, is my tune. My time.
Maybe my time isn't missing.
Maybe it's always been there.
Maybe I just need to see it.
My time is different.
But my time is perfect.
If I allow it to be.
Perfect words from Talking Heads.
"And she was looking at herself
And things were looking like a movie
She had a pleasant elevation
She's moving out in all directions....
....Joining the world of missing persons (and she was)
Missing enough to feel alright (and she was)"