I am aware that my perspective is a tad off kilter just now. I am glad to know that I know that. Having seen my old ma stumble through Alzheimers and my husband through a slightly kindertothemind type of dementia, I imagine I know how completely awful it must have been to have thought, no, known as an absolute, that my perspective is the perspective, lucent, clear as meltwater and equally as honest. To have experienced, as both my beloveds must have done in the early days as they mentally tensed to that fragged, jagged, sharp-toothed bite of inner doubt, well, it must have felt devastating. Momentarily. So, when I know that I know that my perspective is off kilter, I am, I believe, working with a marbled up mind. For now.
So what do I do about this, one might ask one? Ps as a btw, you do know that only the British use such a detachment from actually admitting that the one is me and that me is one? Ridickkerlus. Just say I, for heaven’s sake. Or don’t. Anyway, back to me. I have found since the old guy took his permanent leave of this life, his life and of me and mine, my anxiety levels have escalated. Initially I could not even go to the shop, first customer in, all masked up, all hand sanitised with a piddling list of salad equipment without freaking out about leaving the dog for all of 20 minutes. What, you might ask, could possibly happen to one small, breakfasted-up border terror in twenty minutes? Nothing. Obviously. But this logic did nowt to stem my rise of anxiety. I was in similar panic mode when the awful and nearly-done-now sAdmin that comes with all deathness, came through the mail. I don’t try to explain it, but instead, honest up. I say, yes I have anxieties now, to Pooh Bear, to Dugie at the Dervaig Emporium, to anyone who passes by my fence. It is freeing, to be honest and even Pooh Bear responds with his lovely smile.
However, and isn’t there always one of those, I find not that these anxieties and irrational flapdoodles are waning, but more that I have found my boots. I push myself a bit more, make myself face the complete terror of going into Tobermory, even into a shop to buy a (takeaway and delicious) coffee, plus pesto and other such delicious pots of goodness. I might even venture to Calgary beach someday soon. Calgary beach, empty, huge, ripping with wind, virus free. Anxious…..honestly? But anxieties are very big monsters when they barge in through your front door with enough luggage to tell you, without words, that they plan to stay a very longtime. They stretch out their legs, accept a drink and food, take the best beds and spend half the night, if not all of it, talking loudly so you cannot sleep no matter how exhausted you are. I know them all, even as I refuse to ask their names. You won’t be staying long, I tell them in my Big Girl voice and they eye each other and snigger. In the porch, my big boots are doing a wee tap dance. I can hear them calling to me. Come on woman! You have survived a long term marriage of turbulence. You have raised and set free five extraordinary independents. You have built businesses. You have buried your husband, your favourite horse and endless beloved dogs. You have lugged, hauled, separated, reconstructed. You have done this for 50 years. And now you are scared of going to the local shop?
I get it. Even Pooh does. I can see the smirk, although he is loving enough to hide it quick. But, Pooh, I say, because there is nobody else to talk to here, logic does not explain away feelings. He knows. I know he knows. And that is how and at what point I address my anxieties. No logic. Don’t think it through. Don’t ask, why the hellikins am I feeling this when just over there lies sensible, all smug and booted up and ‘what are you going to do about this, hmmm?’ And there is a place for ‘sensible’, I know this too. He, must be a male, might irritate the bejabers out of me, might meet all the furies in me rising like wild women with weapons, but he has a point and a place. I suspect he has appeared because I am rising from the grave. I suspect he is saying, enough now, you marvellous talented, strong woman, it is time to boot up and to step out, even if it is just one step. Actually, I made up all those compliments. Never heard them from a real mouth. No matter. I can say what I like now. And it isn’t just about me being a black widow. No and no again. It is about any woman/girl who feels deep anxiety for whatever reason. I would love to scoop the lot of you up and bring you here to stay with me, in this wild place with nothing but walks, trees, shoreline, tidal flow, extraordinary light and the village people, the community, this island life.