Have you ever woken up with absolutely nothing in your head aside from fog, or dark grey cloud?
It’s an odd thing to describe, but on that Saturday morning, the morning after that Friday spent working from home and blubbering in front of the painter, i woke up empty. I felt hollow. I thought of nothing.
I worked until 11pm that Friday night, I barely ate or drank a thing, and all for a stupid fucking project plan, but that wasn’t unusual for my role to be fair. I finally went to sleep that night, as did my brain. However, when I awoke on Saturday, my brain didn’t.
Bailey was whining. He wanted breakfast and he wanted to go outside. My brain wasn’t registering what he needed. Not immediately. It did eventually, but I then found myself mentally repeating a mantra in order to get me up to feed him. ‘Sit up, get out of bed, walk to Bailey, stroke Bailey and say hi, walk downstairs, feed Bailey – don’t forget! Let him out, let him back in – don’t forget!’
It’s how I’ve been operating since. All the things that we typically do on auto-pilot, like brushing my teeth, showering – and the steps you take when you’re in the shower like washing and conditioning hair, washing your body (forget shaving, I was an gorilla!) – I had to tell myself to do.
Even driving from Oxford to London. ‘Get in car. Turn car on, reverse but check all mirrors, you have to merge onto a motorway, keep driving, look for break lights, stay focused, stay focused, stay focused, you have to go to work’. When the only thought popping into my head along the journey was, ‘would this company give a single fuck if I died in a car accident this morning?’ And that my instant response was ‘no’, I knew I needed help.
Of that metaphorical ‘800 pound gorilla’ weekend, where my gorilla-shaped mental breakdown won, these are the only two things I really remember. I can’t tell you what I did. I know that I cried because I remember soreness in my eyes, but I don’t know what for. I remember sleeping, and Disney movies not helping at all, but other than that, that’s it.
On a Monday morning, the thought about death – ironically – was my awakening, and at 8:30am, I was on the phone to the doctor’s surgery in tears, begging for an appointment for a mental health issue…