Before I go to sleep, I stare at the ceiling. I want to calm down, but my mind is up, up, up.
I’ve got the itch.
I’m manic with adrenaline.
Pregnant with possibility.
Sleep brings me no solace: the visions go with me, as real as the beat of my heart, and I wake up in those terrible night terror-induced sweats.
After years of stillness, I’m eager to go. I don’t want to wait. I don’t want to talk about getting round to it someday because I’m anxious that someday might not come.
It’s not a given. Nothing is.
I spend the days fantasising about the opportunities that tomorrow could bring. I see myself stronger, leaner, faster, taller. I see myself successful and ambitious, but content and grateful. I see a place that is my own, where I govern myself and myself only. It’s a cosy and comfortable space. It’s not much, but it’s home to me. It’s the place I feel safe.
It’s a home, not a house, filled with patchwork furniture dotted around the living room and framed photos of those uni mishaps, awkward family photoshoots and pixelated selfies at a festival on the walls. It’s the stack of bequeathed vinyls, yet to be sorted through, and a record player poised on the shelving unit, no sign of dust: ready to play. It’s the coffee machine finally unboxed and perched on the kitchen unit where it belongs. It’s the lived-in office room, desk littered with paper and shadows cast on the wall by tilting bookshelves, spines of all varieties spilling over the edges. It’s the faint aroma of incense sticks that are so constantly burned that their musk is practically embedded in the walls. It’s the silence in the mornings as coffees are sipped on the breakfast counter, interrupted only by audible yawns and the creak of dry eyes as the sleep is rubbed away to reveal the world anew. It’s the night-light aglow as the hypnotherapy tape plays aloud and lures me into sleep.
I’ve grown attached to the ideas of what could be. But that’s all they are for now: ideas. And that’s what really gives me the itch.
Until I act to make these fantasies real, they’re about as valid as the Tory government. I want to act instead of talking, talking, talking and never seeing these talks into fruition. I’m desperate to manifest it all before the energy is all gone and I’m completely deflated again.
I want to carve out an existence for myself, the kind I can grow to be proud of. I want to look myself in the mirror and know that I saw and I conquered, or at least I tried.
I want to get out and see the world. I’ve genuinely forgotten what it feels like, to adventure beyond the perimeters of safety and routine. The same faces and the same places make for a stagnating mind.
I want to reconnect with the friends from my old life, the pre-illness life where I was independent and capable as my own person.
I want to drown out the constant chatter of UNWORTHY INCOMPETENT NOT ENOUGH TOO-SENSITIVE. I want to be formidable and fierce, a real force to be reckoned with. I want to be.