It's 5am. Last night was the first night I slept days. I lost count how many. I’m afraid to fall back asleep because of the monsters running wild in my head. I reach for that familiar hand to hold me because it’s what always calms me down. Only it’s not there. I start to feel around and instead I’m met with emptiness. I notice the texture of the sheets are different, the pillows are strange and when I open my eyes and the placement of the room is backwards. Light is coming from a different angle. The world comes into focus but it’s not my world. I fade from the dewy dream state and and into reality. It’s like the wind is knocked out of me. Agony hits and memories filter back. The sickness in my stomach returns. I can feel the thud of my heart like bass vibrating through me. I feel venom pulsating through my bloodstream. Suddenly everything is on fire. I’m breathing but I’m not alive. When the panic inevitably fades, I take a breath and watch as the morning light filter through the rustling trees outside the window. It makes kaleidoscopic patterns on the wall beside my bed and I trace them with my fingers. Then abruptly, unexpectedly the clouds cluster and the dancing lights are gone. All that remains is a shadow.
They say it's a broken heart, but I feel it everywhere in my body. Every limb, every bone, every muscle, every vein, every cell is on fire. My nights are haunted with darkness and my days are consumed by numbness. All I feel is broken. No amount of distractions or beauty seem to matter. I feel the sunshine on my skin and see the salty turquoise fields, but they don't ignite my soul anymore. It doesn't matter if I sleep or surf or be in the ocean or talk, because I'm dead on the inside. I can't remember what it was like to connect with joy and love. I'm running out ways to numb this pain. I'm running out of means to endure it. I'm running out of reasons to stay.
It’s now been one week since I left my home on North Shore Oahu and arrived in Australia (read my previous post Coming Home). Today I went freediving. The person I once knew used to find peace and joy in this. I found myself sitting on the sea floor, absent of fear and flirting with pain. Goosebumps plagued my skin in the cool water, but I felt nothing. Thoughts of sharks in bad visibility came to mind, but I felt nothing. When the lack of oxygen crushed my lungs, I felt nothing. Because it was nothing in comparison to the excruciating pain I have been feeling lately. But it was down there I also realised that there were no tears. No wounds. No scars. No fears. No problems. No heartache. No pain. This underwater world doesn't care for what exists on the surface. It's like I was the water and nothing could hurt me. I sat cross legged on the ocean floor in gratitude of this relief. It was like I'd hit pause. I wasn't breathing but it's like I took my first breath in months. A school of trevally surrounded me, as if to welcome and accept me to this new pain-free world. I looked up at the surface where the sky was a distant memory. There was a part of me that wanted to stay and be with the sea forever. Because in that moment, I forgot what it felt to be broken.
In case you are wondering, I did end up leaving my perfect underwater world. I wanted to stay. So very bad. But I also know it wasn't meant for me. This space I’ve found myself in lately has been at times unbearable and all consuming. There are cracks and open wounds and broken pieces. Some days I have no idea how to even begin to get back to the person I was. And other days it just fucking hurts to exist. But I also know somewhere in the depths of my soul that this is truly meant for me. Today I was reminded to keep going. Because even though my heart is broken, it still beats, it still loves, and I know I am meant to go on.