And so it was that the mystery of the last few weeks of utter discombobulation, exacerbated by fear that I was once again falling apart at the seams of my mind, was solved. And I’m so, so very thankful.
I’ve been clinging on by little more than a thread, at times, feeling the disconnect and wondering why, even when I wrote about disconnectedness and was overwhelmed by responses from more people than I ever thought paid attention to me, I barely felt anything, much less the compassion and solidarity being expressed there.
I’ve had a number of notable moments of utter joy and transcendent bliss – one even happened for an entire, beautiful day (last Saturday, at Trans Pride, which may be my very favourite day for a while) – and I have had times of such despair and hopelessness that I have been almost ready to stop the world and get off. Fortunately in both extremes, I’ve had wonderful people around me, either physically or through the magic of that World Between the Wires, which I can carry in my pocket, and I have been cheered, cajoled, comforted, consoled, and wrapped around in oodles and oodles of love – the absolutely permanent, undeniable kind, which will stay the course of any little jinks and twerks of the ol’ emotional register.
Throughout it all, I was determined to do my best, and if I couldn’t find things to be thankful for (in a coherent, joined-up manner), then I could at least seek beauty, and I’ve been enjoying using Instagram to good effect to share the rewards of my searchings. Almost without us realising, there are moments of beauty, like stars amidst the gloaming sky, just waiting to be noticed. If you want to follow along with the things I find, add me on Instagram – it’s fun there, I promise.
So today I’m particularly thankful (again) for the sheer wonder that is the NHS. For all the bad rap it cops, it’s a damn good service, and on Friday, after a week of progressively worse and bizarre symptoms, atop the exhaustion and mental hoopla, I decided I didn’t want to cope any more (especially as a dull ache in my hip had become a jarring, debilitating agony) and I went to the walk-in centre, around the corridor from my office.
I sat, clenched in pain and anxiety for 40 minutes, trying to lose myself in The Night Butterflies (by the wonderful Sara Litchfield), which is as gripping a dystopia novel as I think you’ll ever read, and wished I could have one of the ‘AntiPain’ pills, washed down by a couple of the ‘Coping’ ones. When I got called by the triage nurse, I shoved the book away and stumbled over to be assessed…and what a glorious assessment it was. Inside 10 minutes, I had shown off my weird, red, raised bumps across my hip, explained the agony which had made my week progressively worse (to the point of impairing my movement) and was asked whether I had been exhausted and riding an emotional rollercoaster (uhhh YES! Just a bit!), before being told that I had shingles, and should take anti-viral meds, go home, rest, and tough it out with painkillers to help – that it would be nasty, but wouldn’t last, and that all my weird symptoms wrapped up together in one nasty condition and were completely explainable.
I cried from sheer relief.
I left with a week’s worth of anti-viral medicine, three confluent medical opinions, the best wishes of my colleagues for a speedy recovery, and a HUGE, calming dose of ‘everything’s explainable’. For free. Because the NHS is absobloodylutely wonderful.
I am SO thankful.
I’m also SO SO SO thankful for technology which allows me to be in touch with my friends and support them when they (like me, cos I don’t think it’s probably all shingles) get a little moonstruck and need a bit of a boost, which I’m only too happy to offer, if I can in any way help.
What else. It’s the SINGULARITY book launch this weekend – for those of you who have been living under a rock, this is the sequel to Jessica, which I contributed to, courtesy of Helena Hann-Basquiat and her wonderful mind and determination to include other writers. It’s fun. There are prizes and nibbles and great music. You should definitely pop in and ORDER A COPY
But wait, there’s more! There’s the wonderful hotel I visited because we were part of a conference there, and they let me take a HUGE BOX of leftover food to Jenny and Gabriel et al – they even had a disclaimer form pre-made because they’ve done this before so that they could absolve liability for food eaten beyond the bounds of their own policies. And it was PERFECT timing, because for some reason, the food van hadn’t come that night, so…kismet, serendipity, just good timing – ALL OF IT, and my friends were fed by generosity which I’ve come to recognise as a sparkling, delightfully-not-so-rare gem of an attitude amongst the hoteliers of the city.
Oh! And a beautiful, gorgeous moment happened earlier in the week when I found a gorgeous, absolutely perfect gift for my lovely Best BlogWife in the world EVER, and arrived home to discover that a parcel had arrived with a gorgeous, absolutely perfect gift from her to me. It’s always so wonderful when we somehow manage to make wonderful things/thoughts/points of conversation happen at the same time. \oo/_
So…somewhere in amongst the ups and downs, and learnings, and moments of beauty, and new friendships, and conversations with people who make the heart begin to dance, and warmer weather, and things being mostly okay, and that being (considering how life could have been) bloody marvellous, YES – I’m EXTREMELY THANKFUL, and life is chock-full of silver linings.
There are skies full of sparkling stars, worlds full of sparkling, shinybright souls, and love…always love.
And summer music 🙂
Your turn, lovelies, and have a glorious weekend. And guess what – I’m consigned to rest, so I’m going to make it to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU this time 🙂