Friday, 22 August 2014
The Unfortunate Misfortune of being Fortunate
Yesterday I did something which I shouldn't have let myself do, but I had to.
I walked through Kings Cross station with fatigue in my step and a deep set exhaustion about my pace which couldn't be cured with a cat nap or a double shot cappuccino, and I entered the ticket hall.
I was on my way somewhere very exciting, as most of the things in the past two to three weeks have been for me. A non-stop cavalcade of new, thrilling opportunities, meetings and events... an explosion of activity and promise...
...A consuming, draining flurry of constant rush and late-ness, persistent having-to-be-somewhere, jumping on and off trains as if it were my profession and tumbling into bed for a few stolen hours of slumber before jumping up to do it all again.
Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly profoundly grateful for everything that has happened to and for me lately - I know that the me of two years younger would be sat crying with happiness at what I have been able to build and accomplish thus far - and the people who do what I do professionally deal with this daily on an entirely unreal level far beyond what I am experiencing... yet I feel myself crumbling under the strain.
And I walked into that ticket hall, absent mind whirring over my plans for tomorrow, the people I had to speak to this evening, the connections I couldn't let myself not make, whether I had time to grab something to eat before I got on the underground, and in that moment I innocuously looked up and fleetingly caught the meaningless gaze of a woman as she passed.
In that split second, a tiny part of my brain which has been jostled about, shoved to one side and pushed past in a hurry for the past fortnight, suddenly pushed through the clamour and fog of my mind and with one clear voice, said:
"I wonder where she's going?"
And like that, everything I'd been so carefully caging, categorising and compartmentalising in my mind to try and stay atop of it all, tore apart at the seams and all my thoughts fell about in a maelstrom of frantic wonder.
"Where's she been? Is that what she wears for work? Where does she work? How long has she been at that job? I wonder if she enjoys it there? I wonder who interviewed her for that job? How many candidates had they interviewed before deciding she was the one?"
You can imagine how it went.
But it wasn't just this one woman.
Like a wild animal that had finally broken free of the restraints I'd been building around it so I could get on with the shit I had to do, my wonder spread its wings and soared skyward, raining down upon everyone in that ticket hall, the hundreds, possibly thousands of rush hour humans staring up at those LED screens waiting for the indication toward their chosen destination.
It kind of felt like in Bruce Almighty when Bruce starts to hear everyone's prayers inside his head and starts freaking out, instead trying to put them all onto post-it notes or in filing cabinets.
Except it wasn't anyone elses voice I was hearing, I wasn't hearing a voice at all, just the incessant debilitating rabbiting of my own mind, relishing in it's chance to take center stage.
I quickly headed to the loos, reluctantly paid my 30p entry and sat down in a cubicle with my head in my hands.
And that's the first time in the past month or so that I've been able to admit to myself that I need help.
You see, these past few weeks I've been able to start living my dream.
I've spent a year and a half earnestly working day and night to build this future for myself, slowly constructing this foolproof mainframe to base my future on so that I can do everything I've ever dreamt of.
And like some great divine spectator has carefully considered my case and with a swish of the hand gone 'Yep, okay then' and suddenly granted every wish and whimsy, I find myself in the inextricably awful place of being able to start doing everything I've ever wanted, and feeling fucking awful about it at the same time.
The growth of Scarphelia has always been so gradual and steady that I've always felt in control, the sole orchestrator of my own future and fate. And now, everything seems to have exploded at a frankly baffling rate, and for the first time since I started, I feel out of control.
Like my life has sped up to double time, leaving my ever-heavy and worldly weighted mind in the dust still operating on slow mo, only just getting my head around stuff that happened weeks ago, the course of my life and the path of my mind have become mismatched, and it's really fucked me up.
It's resulted in a barrage of self-doubt and insecurity - 'I don't deserve this...' 'Have I even really worked that hard?...' 'Why is this happening to me when there are so many better people out there?...' 'It's only time before people realise I'm a fraud, someone who's accidentally stumbled into all this...'
And at the same time, I'm blatantly aware of the hypocrisy if it all. Isn't this supposed to be what I wanted? And now I've actually got it I can't handle it?
But yeah, I shan't bore you with my ramblings, I bore myself with them enough.
But despite that being the pinnacle of my overwhelming descent into insecurity, at the same time I couldn't be more glad it happened.
Today is the first day off I have had in a long time, and I feel it couldn't come sooner.
Today is the first time I have realised that I don't know if I will be able to become the person I have always dreamed of being, to reach the heights I've always wanted to reach, with a mind like this.
But today is also the day I realised that there are people out there who can help. People who are professionally trained in helping others to deal with exactly these kinds of things, to refine and bring clarity to those who sometimes feel so lost in reality because of the depth of their mentality. People like me.
Today is a day I have felt better about than a lot of days, because today is the day I asked for help.
And sometimes realising you need it, and plucking up the courage to actually ask, is the hardest, most difficult part of all. And at least I know now that I have reached and surpassed the hardest point.
Today is the start of the days of not having to feel bad anymore.
And I feel... Okay.