Monday 30 September 2013

Missing Time.

Sometimes the world moves past furiously, while I sit here in one place. Me in my little glass fishbowl of illness. The rest of the world buzzing by with plans and destinations.

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.

The days flow by, the weeks, the months. All of a sudden it's almost October and I wonder how I got here. The days merge and time is no longer measured as it once was. All temporal bets are off. Some days fly by. The week gone before I had even realised it began. Some days are excruciatingly long. They drag by, seemingly infinite, tearing at my nerves. I can feel the stress of those long days in the roots of my hair, at the base of my fingernails. I feel it in my viscera. I beg for them to end. And yet... 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.

So I go and I sit in my garden. I feel the sun on my face and the earth beneath my feet. I dig them deep. Squishing the loamy earth up between my toes. I breath in the comforting smell of freshly turned soil. I marvel at the tiny creatures that live and work in the darkness. The hint of future life and possibilities that it contains.

I run my hand through the herbs. The mint growing up through the brick work, the rosemary in an old concrete pot I found under a pile of ivy behind the shed, the thyme and the sage. The waft of perfume strong and rich. I cover my face with my hands and inhale the traces of fragrant oils. Let it infuse my being.

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.

Michelle :)

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)"


  1. Michelle, this draws near to greatness.

    You often find words for what so many of us experience, but this time you also help us lift our souls into more.


  2. I think many people should read this Michelle. It really captures what losing time feels like.

  3. Thank you Michelle, you are able to put important things into words
    Xo Clove

  4. Michelle, I hope your blog helps you as much as it helps me and the others who read it. I am having eating problems at the moment too, though more lucky then you I have some spare weight to lose, though as I said before, once all the spare is gone I look like a deflated Sumo costume :>O. WHEN the ultimate cure for this is found you should be the first to receive it, so you can inspire the rest of us to go for it! Lots of love and strength to you xx Tricia

  5. This one made me smile, when you got to the end and started describing your garden. Your words are so vivid, I could feel myself there, in the heart of your fishbowl... and it made me smile. Made me dig around inside and find the enthusiasm to be okay with today. That's a precious gift that you just gave me. Thanks.

  6. Thank you Michelle! For putting what so many of us feel into words that describe our lives perfectly. I only wish that I could experience the life that beats at the heart of your glass bowl. My time seems to vanish without the joy that you so perfectly brought into existence.

  7. You put into words words what has been in my mind. So many times there are things I want to say and I don't know how. You just did this so well. Thank you Michelle.

  8. Everything everyone said above and I have said before. Thank you Michelle. For all of your posts and especially for this post today. A fan and friend. Terri


All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx

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