Apparently sitting down to write out what’s been going on opened some sort of floodgate. I guess I knew that would happen, that’s probably why I waited a couple of weeks before I laid down my words.
After writing I was plagued by anxiety, the knot in my stomach tying and untying itself, and then after seeing something on twitter (I know, I know – why do I even go there!) the anxiety ramped up to ridiculous levels. I was literally sick. I sent one of my dearest friends (who also happens to be studying to be a psych nurse, which is handy when you’re already crazy) a text and he was out and couldn’t talk and so I climbed the walls of my mind. I imagined scenarios, conversations, hatred that will probably never happen – I turned the hand-crank of crazy until I was running at distraught warp speed.
Not knowing what to do with myself I decided to go for a run. I’m not a great runner but I knew I needed to get outside physically if I couldn’t get outside of my head. I hate running on hills but as I’m staying with my parents and they live on a mountain hills was what I was going to get. Even that wasn’t enough to deter me so I must’ve really, REALLY needed to get out.
As I began my walk/run it started to rain softly. I don’t mind running in the rain – I’m from Vancouver and I live in London – if you want to run you need to be prepared to run in the rain – but I hate drizzle and that’s what I was moving through.
The voice in my headphones told me to “Start Running” just as I hit my ascent of the mountain. As I took step after step I noticed my lungs squeezing tighter and tighter. I felt like there was a weight on my chest and it was as if someone was squeezing my windpipe. Step. Gasp. Step. Wheeze. Gasp. Step. I started to cry. Gasp. Step. I was frustrated. Gasp. Gasp. Step. I was angry. Gasp. Wheeze.
Now I am not a religious person in a god-is-a-big-white-guy-in-the-sky, heaven/hell kinda way but I do believe there is something bigger than us. I’m not always as plugged into it as I’d like to be but I do believe its there. So in my pathetic but very real hyperventilating state, on the side of a mountain for some reason I looked up and said “Yeah well if you’re so powerful why don’t you actually make it rain hard then.” Nothing like antagonizing the gods – I would have rocked ancient Greece.
So I continue my walk/run, sobbing between gasps and the running app guy (does he have a name?) tells me to “Start Running” again so I do and the track is now steeper and my chest is tighter and I am, for some unknown reason, even more determined to keep running. And as I lean into the incline a little voice in my head simply asks “Is this your best life?” And I am PISSED. No I think back, this is not my best anything. This isn’t my best body or my best mind and I am not being the best mother I can be or the best friend or the best whatever and NO. THIS. IS. NOT. MY. BEST. LIFE. I actually don’t even know what life this is. And all of a sudden I start to laugh because I’ve realise that it is raining HARD. Crazy hard. Like I’m running in the shower hard. Now I’m running down the mountain and I can breathe again and I am laughing and doing the ugly cry at the same time and my pace is picking up and I am drenched and I tune back into the music coming through my headphones and I can’t figure out what the song is from the intro and then all of a sudden it hits me. The song is I Saw a Sign by Ace of Bass. And now I am laughing, really laughing, my whole body shaking not from the sobs but from the laughter and I’m taking huge, easy, gulping breaths as the rain washes away my tears and I cruise down the mountain.
I look up at the sky and think “well played Universe, well fucking played”.