Silent Night

Last night I forgot to take my medication. That's a rare occurrence and, as a result, I found myself fully awake at 2.00pm. I knew something wasn't quite right because I didn't have my familiar 'drugged' feeling. I didn't feel woozy and I could move without stumbling about like a drunk person. I got out of bed and walked down our two flights of stairs to the kitchen to correct my 'mistake' and take my tablets. Suddenly, something struck me: the house was dark and quiet.

That our house should be dark and quiet at 2.00pm may not sound that extraordinary to you but it was to me. The important word here is quiet. The other important word is not house but head. My head was quiet.

I remember those awful times when I felt terrified being on my own when the daylight had gone. I used to follow my husband around the house just to make my internal cacophony of anxious voices pipe down a bit. I also remember switching the lights off at night in a particular order, ensuring that I was never left in the dark. The dark had become scary because it left me with no visual distractions. Silence had become fearful because it left me with no auditory distractions. All I was left with were the frightening images and sounds my head was manufacturing. I cannot tell you in strong enough terms how absolutely awful that was for me. I felt like I was losing my mind. I felt like a scared little child. I felt dreadful.

Last night, my experience was very different. As I became aware of my lack of fear, I started actually enjoying walking about the house in the dark. I crept around and loved the enveloping silence. The house that had felt so threatening only a couple of months ago now felt like a warm and welcoming sanctuary.

I looked out of the kitchen window and took pleasure at being the only one awake (or at least the only one with the light on). I thought of all my neighbours who have become cherished friends and I wished them a good restorative sleep. I looked at the moonlight, at the clouds, and I was struck by their beauty.

At 2.30pm, I made myself some toast and watched an episode of a new US crime series on the TV. As I sat there, I caught myself enjoying my little private picnic. I surprised myself by feeling totally happy and not minding one bit having this unscheduled night time all to myself. No cacophony, no anxiety - just me. Even the cat was asleep.

Recovery is often full of surprises. Had I not forgotten to take my medication, I would not have realised how far I have come since those dark scary days (and nights). We often say that we learn from our mistakes but I feel we also learn because of the mistakes we make.

Making mistakes might not at first appear to be a desirable thing, and yet how else can we experience what we would naturally avoid unless our mistakes nudge us into it....

There may well be something of value here for coaches and for their clients too :0) 

Holy Night

Gabrielle 

 What a wonderful experience - at peace with yourself and with your surroundings; it occurs to me that we could all do without the clamour that accompanies everyday living and find the enveloping silence that simply allows us to be and learn to become ourselves ... and, I would add, to share our existence with the spirit that brings life and meaning. 

 With every blessing, Mike

Thank you Mike

I like the way you write about "sharing our existence with the spirit that brings life and meaning". That's a beautiful sentence...

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