People, places, innocence,
Frozen in my heart and mind like glass horses.
Safe from the sword of time,
Sealed with the kiss of eternity.
Escaping as tears.
Last year I wrote about a hospital I ended up spending a quarter of my year at. The hospital to me was very much what Hogwarts is to Harry. The place fulfilled a lot of long lost needs in me which made being discharged very difficult. My doctors are now suggesting another admission, but if I go back there I suspect I will find the place has completely changed now. A friend I met while in there told me that all the nice nurses have left. My experience would most likely be very different to my first admission. Afterall, you can never step in the same river twice, they say. It would be like going back to your old primary school, which I actually did a few weeks ago as I needed to film a playground. They had completely re-built the playground, expanded their classrooms, and I found the traffic noise intolerable (it never bothered me eighteen years ago). I recall my old childhood friends, and I can only picture them as they were. But no one escapes the hands of time. If I ever crossed paths with them again, I don’t know if I could connect with them in the same way. I might not even recognise them. There is now a new cohort of grade twos, threes, fours etc., a reminder that we are only a speck in time. I used to feel like a big grade six girl, and anyone older than twelve seemed ancient. I still struggle to wrap my head around the idea that I am now an adult. I don’t know where all the time went.
Nothing in this world stays the same, it seems. The only thing I can count on is change. I was diagnosed as autistic last year at the age of twenty-five. I was just starting to embrace it as part of my identity until a new doctor I saw a week ago ruled it out. If I was autistic, then I would have been like this when I was a young child, she says. A person can’t become autistic, they are born autistic, from birth and forever more, through all the highs and lows that life has to offer. I walked away with a whole new set of diagnoses to add to my collection, and a script for antipsychotics. But I am not so sure even autism is a static thing. Even genes, I learnt at university, can be changed by the environment (“Fluid genome”, “Mae-Wan Ho”, and “Lamarkism” are some terms to look up). If they didn’t then we would not evolve would we.
My depression diagnosis has been changed to schizoaffective and I am beginning to realise I spend much of my life dissociated. Through dissociation and busyness, I check out of ordinary life. I don’t feel time, age, or other earthly constructs. A part of me is somewhere else. I may let months or years pass me by, then return to the world only to find it has gone on without me.
I guess the change in my life weighing on me the most right now is the absence of a close friend. While I only met her last year, it was like we had always known each other. She was like a time machine, transporting me back to a point in life before I was swallowed by the underworld. She turned a key in me and brought back my ecstasy for life and the pleasure I got from being with another human. With her, the world seemed more bearable. I went from wanting to die all the time to being afraid of dying because I felt like my life was only just beginning. She brought out a very young side of me; our connection reminds me of the connection Avril sings about in her song “Innocence”. I thought, for a minute, my happy ending had arrived. But glass is fragile; I have not seen her since.
March 3, 2019 at 1:49 am
As always your words leave me struck with emotion and thought. Like an artist your paint a masterpiece of emotion and memory.
Having recently spoken about toxic optimism I will choose my words carefully.
We are indeed evolving people. Changing alongside our ever changing world and environments. I feel it would be a terrible curse to be the same way for eternity. Watching as the world and everyone in it continued to change around us whilst we were to remain forever flawed and broken.
Change is difficult, and whilst it often feels easier to fight against it, it is ultimately inevitable. Things may even need to get worse before they can get better.
I cannot tell you tell you that everything will be alright. Nor would I ever lie to you and say that there is always a silver lining. But I will tell you that what ever labels professionals might give you or whatever diagnoses are written on a medical report do not change who you are. You are still Zoe. Even as you continue to grow and change. Even when you are going through your hardest times and feel alone and vulnerable you are always loved.
Things will seem tough. Just allow yourself to feel whatever you feel and never feel guilty for being the way you are.
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