Like someone had poured ink into my mind, my thoughts, my entire body, everything turns dark. My chest becomes tight and I feel a little light headed. The feeling is one of panic, disorientation. I feel rushed, urgent, I have to keep moving, do something, I need to get that thing done I just can’t quite think what it was. I’ve forgotten something important. My mind is scrambling around and I tear around my house absently moving things, pretending to tidy up just to keep moving.
If I keep moving it’s like I can out run it. I know I can’t but I keep moving until the weight in my mind becomes to heavy and I have to stop. I stand still and feel my mind swimming. I wonder if I’m ill, if I’m coming down with something. I don’t feel right.
Slowly, slowly, it comes to me what the problem is. Realisation feels like a bubble of air coming from under water. But when the bubble bursts the vacuum it leaves in the water drags me down beneath the surface. And with that water fills my lungs. I can’t move. I feel heavy. The urgency is still there, the need to rush, to keep moving but I simply cannot now. I feel confused, why is this happening, I was fine before what is going on. I admit I’ve been stressed out, worrying because the weather made the water and the heating break and I can’t put any more money on the gas but that’s normal, I was coping. Where has it come from?
The Cloud descends on me, sinks out of nowhere and envelopes me. It is made of smoke that I cannot see or breathe through. I panic, my heart is racing and I feel sick. The reaction is not just in my mind, physically, the sensation is strong. As if I have been enveloped by this familiar sensation and I have no means to fight it. I am still here, I eventually start moving again, I talk to my child, play, prepare food from her. But it feels like I’m watching.
I realise I forgot my medication yesterday. Fucking hell. I’m always dong this. What’s the point in getting them if you can’t even remember to take them stupid cow. I know now that this will get worse before it can get better. I grab a tablet and throw it down my neck and wait, hope it will work quickly but these things aren’t like that. It’s not paracetamol.
The realisation comes that I must react myself, I must be quicker than medicine, I MUST fight this before it pulls me down deeper and I can’t hold my breath long enough to break through the surface.
All of this takes minutes. Ten maybe fifteen. From the plunge to when I realise I must do something does not take long. But the realisation that I must do something to actually doing ANYTHING, moving, thinking, “being positive” takes longer. My child is my hope. I fear in these moments, that although I clothe her, feed her, pick her up when she falls that it is she who cares for me.
Sat on the floor of our home I hold my arms out to her and interrupt her play “Mummy needs a cuddle please”. Her face lights up and she drops her toy, runs across the room to me arms outstretched and flings herself at me “Ma-maaa Kisss!”. She has just learnt the word and she almost shouts “Cuddle!” into my neck as she wraps her arms around me. We are a team my child and I. We could not exist without one another. She cares for me as I care for her. She protects me as I protect her.